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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 Nov. 10, 2009 / 23 Mar-Cheshvan 5770

Obama can't be community organizer for the world

By Byron York




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | A lot of observers are having trouble figuring out the philosophical underpinnings of Barack Obama's foreign policy. How does the president see America's place in the world? How will he use American power? How much does he care about such things?


There are no good answers at the moment, but there is a new theory going around: Obama approaches foreign affairs as he would neighborhood issues.


"President Obama is applying the same tools to international diplomacy that he once used as a community organizer on Chicago's South Side," claims a recent analysis in The Washington Post. As such, Obama is "constructing appeals to shared interests and attempting to bring the government's conduct in line with its ideals."


When he was a community organizer, the Post notes, Obama "worked to identify the common interests" of neighborhoods that had been hit by hard economic times. That required a lot of patience, and today he is showing that same patience "in regard to reviving Middle East peace talks or reaching out to Iran." He's also "cultivating a lower profile than the other parties involved," as he did in Chicago.


Perhaps Obama is, in fact, drawing on his organizing experience in approaching foreign affairs. But what's lost in the theorizing is this: What does that experience tell us about Obama himself? And is there anything in his time as a community organizer that could possibly provide a useful model for conducting foreign policy?


During last year's campaign, I spent some time in Chicago looking into Obama's career as an organizer. A number of the people he worked with back then — he was on the job for all of three years, from 1985 to 1988 — are still in the field today, and they have vivid memories of their time with the future president. Talking to them, and looking back over Obama's record, it was hard to avoid the conclusion that as an organizer, Obama started a lot of projects, gave a lot of inspirational talks, but accomplished very little.


Among other things, Obama tried to find new jobs for displaced steelworkers, to create after-school programs, and to bring new political power to public housing residents. But he truly succeeded at just two things. One, he pushed the city of Chicago to open up a summer-jobs office on the far South Side, where there had not previously been an office, and two, he helped force the city to clean up asbestos in a 1940s-era housing project in the same neighborhood.


That was it.


Obama the organizer spent most of his time teaching community members how to put pressure on the city government, or on various wealthy corporations, to give them money. Obama's organizers could be confrontational, or they could be conciliatory — Obama favored the latter — but the whole idea was to make powerful people feel guilty, or embarrassed, or annoyed enough to give them things.


Obama, born in 1961, felt that he missed the great days of the civil rights movement. Becoming an organizer was the next-best thing he could find. But his successes were small; he wanted to redistribute wealth and resources on a large scale, and he could only accomplish so much by protesting outside the housing project management office. That was the reason he ultimately left organizing to go to law school and run for public office.


That's not to say that Obama left no legacy as an organizer. The colleagues I talked with all remembered him fondly. Several said he inspired them to improve their lives. But these were all people who shared his goals. They wanted to believe in him and in their shared enterprise.


Does Mahmoud Ahmedinejad fit into that category? The Taliban? Kim Jong-il?


Now that Obama is the president of the United States, he is the power figure, not the supplicant or the protester. Certainly a president still needs to convince foreign leaders to give him what he wants, but when it comes to dealing with the rest of the world, Obama isn't the underdog. His years on the South Side are little help.


You can see Obama's community organizing approach at the White House every day, in the attempts to marginalize Republican opponents, or in the attacks on Rush Limbaugh and Fox News. But handling the life-or-death issues of America's relations with the world — that's a new job entirely. And Obama has no experience that prepares him for it.

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Previously:




11/02/09 At key moment, Obama leaves health post unfilled 10/26/09 ‘Fierce urgency' for jobs, not health care’
10/12/09 Facts hurt Jennings in youth sex controversy
10/05/09 Amid terror threat, Dems chip away at Patriot Act
09/27/09 In Afghanistan, let U.S. troops be warriors
09/21/09 Under fire, Democrats abandon ACORN in drove
09/14/09 Dems stifle Republican health care plans
09/08/09 For Dems, a serious Charlie Rangel problem
09/07/09 Obama's speech: Wrong setting for a sales job
09/01/09 What happened to the antiwar movement?
08/24/09 Why Dems may jam through health care plan
08/17/09 GOP thinks the unthinkable: Victory in 2010
08/10/09 The empty words of a journalist turned flack
08/03/09 Probe finds new clues in AmeriCorps IG scandal
07/27/09 Obamacare haunted by unkept promises of stimulus
07/20/09 Why the GOP failed the Sotomayor test
07/13/09 What the GOPers will ask Sotomayor
06/29/09 Serious questions remain for Mark Sanford
06/22/09 How GOPers can crack the AmeriCorps scandal
06/16/09 Worried about Sotomayor? Consider Andre Davis
06/08/09 Can Mitch Daniels save the GOP?
06/01/09 When the Dems derailed a Latino nominee
05/26/09 Why the GOP will defeat Obama on healthcare
05/19/09 Rosy report can't hide stimulus problems
05/12/09 The Reagan legacy is the man himself
05/05/09 Sen. Specter, meet your new friends
04/27/09 Ted Olson: ‘Torture’ probes will never end
04/20/09 Who's Laughing at the ‘Axis of Evil’ today?
04/14/09 Congress needs Google to track stimulus money
04/06/09 Beyond AIG: A bill to let Big Government set your salary
03/30/09 On Spending and the Deficit, McCain Was Right
03/24/09 It's Obama's crisis now
03/17/09: Geithner-Obama economics: A joke that's not funny



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