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December 2, 2014

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. 8, 2012 / 23 Mar-Cheshvan, 5773

Our enemies learned the Lessons of the Battle of Benghazi. Will we?

By Clifford D. May








JewishWorldReview.com | Now that the election is behind us, perhaps we can put politics aside and acknowledge a hard fact: On Sept. 11, 2012 America was defeated by al Qaeda in the Battle of Benghazi.

About this battle many questions remain. The media and Congress have a responsibility to get answers - not only because we should know the truth, not only to assign blame but, more importantly, to learn from failure. At the least, we should try to understand what lessons our enemies have learned - because they will apply those lessons in the future.

It is possible to lose many battles and still win a war. It is possible to win many battles and still lose a war. What is perilous is to misunderstand your enemies and underestimate the threats they pose. This was the case prior to Sept. 11, 20001 as Condoleezza Rice candidly admitted to the 9/11 Commission in 2004. "The terrorists were at war with us," she said, "but we were not yet at war with them."

On Sept. 11, 2012, the situation was similar. Peter Bergen, a director of the New America Foundation and CNN's national security analyst, had been saying for months that al Qaeda was "defeated," a thesis endorsed by, among others, Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Lynch III (ret.), a Distinguished Research Fellow at the National Defense University. President Obama made this claim a central theme of his re-election campaign. Post-Benghazi, in his final stump speech in Des Moines, he reassured voters that, "the war in Iraq has ended, the war in Afghanistan is ending. Osama bin Laden is dead!"

But in Afghanistan, we have not broken the Taliban; in Iraq, al Qaeda has been increasing the tempo of its suicide attacks; in Syria, al Qaeda is playing an increasingly significant role in the civil war; in Yemen, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is far from beaten; in Mali, al Qaeda has taken control of vast territories; in Iran, a regime whose ideology is no less anti-American than al Qaeda's continues to develop nuclear weapons despite tightening sanctions.

According to The New York Times, in the months leading up to the "attacks on the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi, the Obama administration received intelligence reports that Islamic extremist groups were operating training camps in the mountains near Benghazi and that some of the fighters were 'Al Qaeda leaning.'"

That's an oddly tentative way to refer to Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, an AQ affiliate; Ansar al-Sharia, recently described by U.S government researchers as a group that "has increasingly embodied al Qaeda's presence in Libya;" and the Muhammad Jamal network which openly defends AQ and, to quote Muhammad Jamal, "all jihad movements in the world…" These three groups were primary participants in the 9/11/12 Benghazi attacks, American officials have said.

AFRICOM, the American regional combatant command for Africa, established in 2007, had drones monitoring the terrorist training camps. But those drones were unarmed as were the drones at the Sigonella naval air station in Sicily, a short flight from Benghazi. Had there been armed drones to deploy, would it have made a difference? Perhaps: According to Fox News' Jennifer Griffin, who has done some of the best reporting on this story, former Navy Seals Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty had laser rangefinders on the roof of the building where they were attempting to hold out against the terrorists. Using those rangefinders, they had pinpointed the coordinates of the mortars firing at them, and requested air support. That support never arrived and, eventually, mortars struck the roof, killing both men.

Benghazi has been a battlefield at least since June when the British closed their mission in the city after their ambassador's convoy was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade. About the same time - following two additional attacks - the Red Cross shut down its Benghazi operations.

What's to stop "al Qaeda leaning" groups from replicating the Benghazi model elsewhere? What can be done to prevent jihadist training camps from springing up like weeds across North Africa and the broader Middle East and training wave after wave of bomb makers, suicide-bombers and guerrillas? Are these threats being taken seriously?

I'm not confident. In last Sunday's Washington Post, Greg Jaffe, a longtime military affairs correspondent, contends that "the United States

— and the world — have never been safer." He points out that since 9/11/01 more Americans have been crushed "by falling furniture or televisions" than killed by terrorists, and that there are "fewer wars now than at any time in decades."

Jaffe quotes Harvard psychology professor Steven Pinker who suggests that those who do not see it that way are deluded. Pinker tells Jaffee: "A historical peculiarity of the U.S., compared to Europe, is a 'culture of honor,' in which a man has to defend himself against threats and insults."

Oh right, you see that macho culture all over such places as Cambridge and Berkeley, and what a stark contrast it is with those live-and-let-live, turn-the-other-cheek types one encounters in Egypt, Turkey, Prussia and Sicily!

I'm reminded of the New York Times op-ed by Larry C. Johnson, a former CIA and State Department counterterrorism official, asserting - two months before 9/11/01 -- that terrorism was not "becoming more widespread and lethal." Also wrong, he said, was the "impression that extremist Islamic groups cause most terrorism." Around the same time, former Illinois congressman Paul Findley called Osama bin Laden "one of the preeminent heroes of Afghans, occupying a role similar to the Marquis de Lafayette" during the American Revolution.

The controversy over Benghazi initially focused on the mischaracterization of the 9/11/12 attacks as a protest against "Islamophobia" that spun out of control. Next, it became a debate over who should be blamed for what was clearly an inadequate response. Increasingly, however, it appears that insufficient preparation made impotence inevitable. And the cause of that may be this simple: Too many otherwise smart and powerful people can't come to terms with the reality that a serious, if unconventional, war is being waged - a war that has not ended and will not end any time soon.


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Clifford D. May is president of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a policy institute focusing on terrorism. A veteran news reporter, foreign correspondent and editor (at The New York Times and other publications), he has covered stories in more than two dozen countries, including Iran, Pakistan, Sudan, Ethiopia, China, Uzbekistan, Northern Ireland and Russia. He is a frequent guest on national and international television and radio news programs, providing analysis and participating in debates on national security issues.




Previously:


11/01/12: American Exceptionalism and Its Discontents
10/25/12: Feckless pols are letting America's enemies get away with murder
09/27/12: Letter from Ireland: A 'peace of sorts,' but no model for the Middle East
08/17/12: What did Obama promise the Kremlin, and why isn't it a topic in the campaign debate?
08/02/12: After the Fall
07/19/12: Why are we still tolerating terrorists?
07/12/12: Talk to Iran: But this time talk to the people --- not their oppressors
07/05/12: New York Times v. Adelson
06/28/12: Lose LOST
06/21/12: The Trouble with Multiculturalism
06/07/12: The Battle of Syria
05/31/12: Whose Middle East Policy Is It, Anyway?
05/24/12: What Iran's Rulers Want
05/17/12: Missile Defense Is for Wimps
05/10/12: The Real Palestinian Refugee Problem
05/03/12: The Foggiest War
04/19/12: Law Games
04/19/12: Liberate 'Zones of Electronic Repression'!
04/12/12: Dare we actually listen to the Islamists?
04/05/12: Lone-wolf terrorists are a growing threat. Moderate Muslims are among those in the crosshairs
03/29/12: The Diplomats' Dilemma
03/22/12: 'Destroy All the Churches'
03/15/12: A Guide for the Perplexed Fareed Zakaria
03/08/12: How to Stop Putting Gas in the Islamist Tank
03/01/12: (War) Crimes and Punishment
02/24/12: Al-Qaeda's Big Fat Iranian Wedding
02/16/12: Listening to the Syrian Resistance
02/09/12: Are Sanctions Working? If the purpose is to penalize Iran's rulers for their crimes and discourage civilized people from buying blood oil, yes
01/26/12: If Pakistan fails it, there must be consequences
01/19/12: How terrorists lose their stigma
01/12/12: Muslims Attacked! But they are the wrong types of Muslims, so who cares?
01/06/12: The Historian, the Diplomat, and the Spy
12/29/11: Iran and Al-Qaeda: Together again for the first time
12/22/11: The Case for Palestinian Nationalism
12/15/11: What's Islam Got to Do with It?
12/09/11: Buried Treasure
11/24/11: What Would the Gipper Do?
11/17/11: Appease, temporize, posture and gesture?
11/11/11: Brave New Transnational Progressive World
11/03/11: What's Wrong with Economic Justice?
10/27/11: Autocracies United
10/20/11: The most critical threat confronting America
10/13/11: We've Been Warned
10/06/11: Anwar Al-Awlaki's American Journey
09/22/11: Cheney Got It Right on Syrian Nukes
09/15/11: The European Caliphate
09/08/11: Disoriented: The state of too many Western leaders ten years after 9/11/01
09/01/11: Palestinian Leaders to Seek the UN's Blessing . . . for a two-state solution. For a two-stage execution
08/25/11: Better understanding of Islamist experience needed
08/18/11: The Arab Spring and Europe's fall
08/11/11: Borrowing from Communists to pay Jihadis?
07/28/11: Who's to Blame for Terrorism?
07/28/11: Do Somali pirates have legitimate gripe?
07/21/11: Why Bashar al-Assad matters to the West--- and what the Obama administration still doesn't grasp
07/07/11: MAD in the 21st Century





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