In this issue

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 December 4, 2013/ 1 Teves, 5774

Our Good War Turns Bad

By Roger Simon

JewishWorldReview.com | The zero option should be a zero-brainer.

The zero option is a plan to leave zero U.S. troops in Afghanistan after December 2014.

The other option, which never has been named, could be called the "let's break our promise to the American people and keep 10,000-16,000 troops in Afghanistan until at least 2024 at a cost of $80 billion or so" option.

One would think the Obama administration would favor the zero option.

At a campaign rally in Boulder, Colo., on Sept. 2, 2012, President Barack Obama said: "We are bringing our troops home from Afghanistan. And I've set a timetable. We will have them all out of there by 2014."

Obama was running for re-election, and he knew that every word he said would be examined closely. So I thought that when he said "we will have them all out of there by 2014," he meant "we will have them all out of there by 2014."

Silly me.

Obama now wants to keep thousands of our fighting forces, plus NATO troops, in Afghanistan in four bases, where they can carry out counterterrorism missions and "instruct" (shades of Vietnam) the Afghan army.

Which means that the Afghanistan War — already the longest in U.S. history, at just over 12 years — will stretch to an incredible 22 years, at a minimum.

That is one long war.

The war in Afghanistan already has cost us about a half-trillion dollars. More than 2,000 Americans have been killed in hostile action, and more than 19,000 have been wounded. Thousands of civilians have been killed.

Our stated mission has been accomplished. Afghanistan is our "good" war. We invaded after the attacks of Sept. 11 in order to disrupt, destroy or disperse al-Qaida terrorists and topple the Taliban government of Afghanistan, which was sheltering them.

And we did it. We did it so successfully, in fact, that in 2010, then-CIA chief Leon Panetta said the number of al-Qaida members in Afghanistan had been reduced to "50 to 100, maybe less."

The Taliban are no longer in power in Afghanistan. A United Nations report released last month estimated that between 10,000 and 12,000 members of the Taliban had been killed, captured or wounded in the past year.

The report also said that 2013 had not seen "significant gains for the Taliban, who have neither managed to seize population centers nor gain popular support." And the Taliban have indicated some willingness to enter into peace talks and end the fighting.

So why don't we say "mission accomplished" and bring our troops home?

True, there are things our forces still could do in Afghanistan, such as counterterrorism, which is not to be confused with counterinsurgency. Counterinsurgency is when you try to win the hearts and minds of the enemy. Counterterrorism is when you kill the enemy and then try to win their hearts and minds.

Our mission that killed Osama bin Laden was counterterrorism. It was highly successful, though highly dangerous. (Bin Laden was sheltering in Pakistan, a country we pay $1 billion per year to conduct its own counterterrorism. But somehow the Pakistanis overlooked bin Laden year after year. Go figure.)

White House press secretary Jay Carney recently promised that if Afghanistan agrees to let us stay for the next decade or so, "you will not see U.S. troops patrolling mountains or cities."

But our troops will not be sitting around playing video games. They will continue to be in harm's way, and some will continue aggressive and dangerous missions. We will have casualties.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai says he would be happy to see us go, but I doubt it. The billions we lavish on him each year amount to half his government's expenditures.

Recently, he has been biting the hand that feeds him, but that is only because he wants to get fed more. He knows that the Obama administration does not want the zero option — it does not want to leave Afghanistan — so Karzai can talk tough.

"There is mistrust between me and the Americans," Karzai said in a speech a few weeks ago at Kabul Polytechnic University. "They don't trust me, and I don't trust them."

What does Karzai want? "We want the Americans to respect our sovereignty and laws and be an honest partner," he said. And then Karzai delivered his punch line: "And bring a lot of money." The crowd roared with laughter.

And why shouldn't they laugh at us? We are begging to stay and prop up one of the most corrupt governments in the world. In July, Transparency International released its annual "sleaze" ratings, and once again, Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia tied for the most corrupt country on earth.

Is this the neighborhood we want to stay in? And fight for? And throw more money at?

We have achieved our goals in Afghanistan. We have won. It is time for our troops to come home.

If we stay for another decade, our good war could come to a very bad end.

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

Comment on Roger Simon's column by clicking here.

Roger Simon Archives

© 2013, Creators Syndicate.