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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

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. 24, 2010 / 17 Kislev, 5771

Futile death in Afghanistan: Wavering commitment kills American troops

By Tony Blankley




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The administration's Afghanistan War policy seems to be settling into a dismal combination of confusion and cynicism. Before the November elections the administration was adamant that the troops would start coming home by July 2011. This, it is presumed, was to keep the president's liberals calm.

But before the various recounts were even finished, the White House announced that the target date for turning the fighting over to the Afghan government was pushed back to 2014 — and that even that distant date was merely "aspirational." 2014, presumably is to keep the pro-war Republicans and Pentagon calm.

But can any rational observer remain calm as we watch our young brave troops risking — and too often giving — their last measure of devotion in that god-forsaken land? It is not clear what has changed for a Westerner fighting in Afghanistan since Rudyard Kipling wrote the flowing closing stanzas in his poem "The Young British Soldier":

"If your officer's dead and the sergeants look white,

Remember it's ruin to run from a fight:

So take open order, lie down, and sit tight,

And wait for supports like a soldier.

Wait, wait, wait like a soldier ...

When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains,

And the women come out to cut up what remains,

Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains

An' go to your Gawd like a soldier."

I am not arguing that we could not win a theoretical war in Afghanistan. But this particular war is being fought without sufficient resources, without a strategy than can remotely succeed and, most unfortunately, with at least one eye on our domestic politics, rather than both eyes on victory.

Regarding resources, the strategy calls for us to deny sanctuary to the enemy such that al-Qaida could not get back in the country safely. Yet even with the surge troops, we cannot occupy any but the most populous areas — so even if we succeed in our current efforts (which we are not doing), we will not be executing our strategy for want of troops.

Regarding the strategic failure, the premise of this war as currently being run is that we turn everything over to our Afghan government army and policy, who will be capable of maintaining whatever successes our troops will have achieved. This is laughable.

As virtually any troops or officers recently back from Afghanistan will tell you, the number of troops and police being recruited, trained and kept in service is pathetically short of targets.

Moreover, most of them won't fight. The idea that they will be ready to take over in 2011 or even 2014 is just not in the cards. And yet that is our strategic exit strategy.

Finally, it is apparent that the strategy of this war has been fatally tainted by domestic political calculation. This proposition was unambiguously described by Woodward in his recent book "Obama's War."

This is already our nation's longest war, and it shows no sign of ever finishing according to plans. It will end when some president decides he has had enough — or when some future president decides to fight the war to actually win — assuming we have the resources at that point to carry out a victory strategy. We do not currently have such resources in our military.

Until that day comes, we will continue to lose 50, 100, 150 of our finest troops every month. Many more will come home with terrible injuries to the brain and limbs.

I do not understand how, as a country, we can continue to send our troops into that cauldron with no rational expectation of success.

Our nation's longest war is quickly becoming our nation's most pointless war, although it didn't start out that way. After Sept. 11, we had to send in troops on a punitive raid to punish the Taliban for giving succor to those who attacked us. After overthrowing them and killing as many as we could, though, our job was done.

But first under President Bush and now under President Obama, a punitive raid has been turned into an exercise in nation building in a place that does not have nation in the modern sense of the word. We could reform Germany and Japan after WWII because they were countries before the war. We will never turn Afghanistan into anything capable of exercising close authority over all its land.

The public knows this, even if our government does not. A Quinnipiac poll released last week showed that, for the first time, support for U.S. involvement in Afghanistan is negative. Forty-four percent of the public supports the U.S. role there, with 50 percent against. In September, 49 percent supported U.S. involvement, with 41 percent against.

Among Democrats, only 33 percent say the U.S. is doing the right thing in Afghanistan; 62 percent say it's not. Among independents, U.S. involvement in Afghanistan has 40 percent support; 54 percent oppose. Republicans are the only group favoring the U.S. commitment, supporting the war 64-31.

The public needs to make a lot more noise about this. We need to save the lives of our troops now from their heroic sacrifice. Where are the tears for our sons and daughters on the front lines? A war that can't be won should never be fought.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

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Tony Blankley is executive vice president of Edelman public relations in Washington. Comment by clicking here.

© 2010, Creators Syndicate

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