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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 Dec. 5, 2011 / 9 Kislev, 5772

Does history repeat itself?

By Jack Kelly




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The philosopher George Santayana (1863-1952) thought so. "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it," he wrote in 1924.

Mark Twain disagreed. "History does not repeat itself," he said. "At best, it sometimes rhymes."

They're both right. History does not literally repeat, because no two events are ever exactly alike. But it rhymes a lot, because human nature doesn't change much; geography doesn't change much; the fundamentals of economic and military power don't change much. So we do essentially the same things, for essentially the same reasons, over and over.

Yet we're surprised when the results we get are pretty much the same as they were when those things were done before. History repeats because we weren't paying attention the first time.

What's happening now is eerily similar to events in 1979. Let's put on our Nehru jackets and platform shoes and go back there.

In 1979, the economy was in a severe recession. Americans, understandably, were focused on our economic troubles. The misery index (the rates of inflation and unemployment added together) was 19.72.

But world events wouldn't leave us alone. The biggest trouble spots were a war in Afghanistan, and Iran, where "students" orchestrated by the Islamist government seized our embassy, holding 52 Americans hostage.

The current war in Afghanistan took a turn for the worse Nov. 26 when NATO air strikes conducted in retaliation for a cross border attack on a patrol of U.S. and Afghan soldiers resulted in the deaths of 24 Pakistani soldiers. To protest this "unprovoked aggression," Pakistan closed the border to U.S. supply convoys.

On Tuesday, a mob of Iranian "students" attacked the British embassy in Tehran. Hostages were taken briefly, but released. Britain has closed its embassy in Iran, and expelled Iranian diplomats from Britain.

The attack on the embassy was in retaliation for Britain's decision to join with the U.S. and Canada in imposing new sanctions on Iran. Those sanctions, announced Nov. 21, were imposed after the International Atomic Energy Agency reported Iran is secretly going gangbusters on its nuclear weapons program.

Our president in 1979 was Jimmy Carter, a Democrat and a newcomer to national politics. When he was running for president, Mr. Carter said he would transcend partisan labels and govern as a centrist. He pledged to restrain federal spending and balance the budget. But during his term annual federal spending increased 44 percent; the national debt increased 35 percent.

Does this sound like anyone you know now?

Higher taxes, more spending and regulation didn't make the economy grow in 1979. They aren't working so well in 2011, either.

Mr. Carter, in his famous "malaise" speech, blamed the poor economy on the "self indulgence" of Americans.

Americans have "been a little bit lazy over the last couple of decades," President Barack Obama said at the APEC conference last month.

His foreign policy would be a dramatic departure from that of the Republicans, President Carter promised. He jettisoned allies (Taiwan, the shah of Iran) he found inconvenient. Mr. Carter thought his personal charm would win over leaders of hostile countries. He hugged Soviet Premier Leonid Brezhnev at a summit meeting in Vienna in 1979. A few months later, the Soviets invaded Afghanistan.

Mr. Carter's response to Soviet aggression was to forbid American athletes to compete in the Moscow Olympics the following year. When the Ayatollah Khomeini proved less tractable than Mr. Carter had expected, the response was the botched rescue mission at Desert One.

President Obama also has given the back of his hand to our allies, and was as confident as Mr. Carter that his charm would win over our adversaries. His response to aggression makes Mr. Carter's seem robust.

"President Obama is not even leading from behind on Iran," said the Washington Post in an editorial Nov. 22. "He is simply behind."

"If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be of learning from experience?" asked the Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950).

Only some men. Liberals ignore history because it conflicts so with their most cherished notions. Mr. Santayana's point was today's events would be less unexpected if we studied, carefully, what happened in similar situations in the past.

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JWR contributor Jack Kelly, a former Marine and Green Beret, was a deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force in the Reagan administration.

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