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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Oct. 24, 2012/ 8 Mar-Cheshvan, 5773

The Obama-Romney disconnect on foreign policy

By Robert Robb


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com |

 Mitt Romney’s critique of President Barack Obama’s foreign policy is largely correct. But there is little reason to believe his approach would produce better results.

Obama came to office believing that the problem with America’s standing in the world was that George W. Bush was a bully and a boor. If the United States played nicer and more respectfully, other nations would accept our leadership.

That hasn’t turned out to be the case.

The United States is better off because Obama withdrew our troops from Iraq. But he surged troops in Afghanistan without accomplishing anything that’s likely to be significant or lasting.

Everyplace else, America’s standing and influence has slipped, rather than improved.

The Obama administration was caught off guard by the Arab Spring. That’s not a criticism. It was a surprising development.

However, Obama’s promise of a new beginning with the Muslim world in his Cairo speech hasn’t produced any fruit. We remain wildly unpopular in the Middle East. No one there particularly covets a new beginning with us.

Obama killed Osama bin Laden and decimated al-Qaida’s senior ranks. But al-Qaida transformed itself from a top-down organization into a loosely affiliated network of local terrorist groups. The influence of Islamic terrorist groups, to use a term the Obama administration has eschewed, is increasing, not waning, in the Middle East and North Africa.

Russia and China continue to act out of narrow national self-interest, constantly thwarting U.S. efforts to play nice by working through international organizations such as the United Nations on tough issues such as Iran and Syria.

Despite our “pivot” to Asia, countries in the region know they have to make their own accommodations with a rising China. Hiding behind an alliance with the United States won’t buy them much.

Americans sense that our standing and sure-footedness in the world has slipped under Obama. Romney is trying to exploit this by promising to restore it and make the 21st Century another American Century.

In the debate, he seemed to say that he wasn’t a return to George W. Bush with his unpopular military engagements. He was a return to Ronald Reagan’s peace-through-strength.

But the United States’ standing in the world hasn’t slipped because our military isn’t strong enough. Russia, China and the Arab street aren’t going to pay us any more heed if Romney’s military buildup goes through. Building more ships and fighter jets would have minimal effect on the spread of grassroots Islamic terrorism.

Romney believes that the United States can manage the development of other countries so that they become more pro-American. That’s a dubious proposition.

Romney decries the election of a member of the Muslim Brotherhood to lead Egypt. But Mohamed Morsi won a free, democratic election. And he wasn’t elected because Obama was a wimp. George W. Bush insisted that the Palestinians hold an election. They elected Hamas.

The bitter truth is that the spread of democracy in the Middle East will mean the election of governments skeptical about the United States at best, and likely harboring at least a low-grade hostility.

Romney is simply wrong that the rest of the world hungers for American leadership. In the Middle East, the people there largely just want us to leave them alone. The only ones arguably hungering for American leadership are the remaining Sunni despots.

There are some important tactical differences between Obama and Romney worth noting. Obama has discouraged other countries from increasing the firepower of the Syrian rebels. Romney says the United States should “ensure” the rebels have the firepower needed to topple Bashar al-Assad, presumably by encouraging rather than discouraging other countries to provide it. This is a big difference that debate moderator Bob Schieffer didn’t have the wit to tease out.

But the differences were overshadowed by a shared disconnection with the world as it is. Other nations will continue to act out of narrow self-interest irrespective of how nice and respectful the United States plays. And U.S. influence on events in other countries will continue to diminish no matter how big our guns. 

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JWR contributor Robert Robb is a columnist for The Arizona Republic. Comment by clicking here.

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