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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

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 April 10, 2014 / 10 Nissan, 5774

Russia, a victim of its own past

By Cathy Young





http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | As relations between Russia and the West grow frosty enough to qualify as Cold War II, many ask who is to blame for the new hostility — and quite a few point fingers at the West and the United States in particular.

The pundits, including Jack Matlock, former U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union, say that after communism fell, Western powers were more interested in humiliating a former enemy than in helping it become free and prosperous: Russia was trampled and insulted and turned into an enemy again.

But the argument is misguided. Whatever mistakes the West may have made, Russia's course is the result of its inability to overcome its authoritarian and imperialistic legacy. And blaming the West is part of the problem.

The narrative of Russian humiliation is factually wrong. While some Western leaders spoke of "victory" after the Soviet Union's dissolution, this was meant to be a defeat of communism, not Russia — whose first president, Boris Yeltsin, was treated as a friend. Bill Clinton's first trip abroad as president in 1993 included a meeting with Yeltsin in Vancouver, British Columbia. Despite its economic woes, Russia was included in summits of the Group of 7, the forum for leaders of top economies, and formally became its eighth member in 1998.

Some critics, Western and Russian, contrast the treatment of post-Soviet Russia with that of post-World War II Germany, which received aid to rebuild its economy under the Marshall Plan. Yet Western aid to Russia just from 1992 to 1997 totaled $55 billion (not counting private charity); Marshall Plan aid to Germany was about $1.4 billion in 1949-1951, less than $10 billion in 1997 dollars.

It is often claimed that NATO expansion to Eastern Europe and the former Soviet republics broke a 1990 promise to Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev. But a 2009 article in The Wilson Quarterly by Mark Kramer, director of Harvard's Project on Cold War Studies, convincingly argues that there was no such pledge. Indeed, NATO's eastward expansion was thought to include a path to possible Russian membership. To some extent, this was derailed by mutual misunderstandings. Still, NATO's Partnership for Peace program and later the NATO-Russia Council not only allowed for military cooperation (and Western assistance to Russia), but required NATO to consult Russia about its security concerns.

The prospect of Ukraine and Georgia's NATO membership is often said to threaten Russia with "encirclement" by hostile entities. Yet, as some Russian military experts admit, Russia's nuclear arsenal makes a military attack by NATO forces near-impossible. Most likely, the Kremlin's fear is that neighbors integrated into the democratic capitalist West may threaten its crony-capitalist regime at home — a direction in which Vladimir Putin made clear moves even in the early 2000s, when the Bush administration treated him as an ally.

Putin played on a very real sense of humiliation and resentment among the Russian masses by promising to restore Russia's dignity as a "great power." But the cause of that humiliation is not the West but Russia's own failed communist experiment. The comparison to postwar Germany is ironic: Germany was forced by the victors to confront and repent for the crimes of its Nazi past. No such reckoning ever took place in Russia, enabling Putin's propaganda machine to celebrate Soviet "achievements" and blaming the Soviet Union's downfall on Western intrigue.

Anti-Western grievance is a major source of a dangerous authoritarian mentality in Russia. Western pundits should not be feeding that grievance with wrongheaded blame.

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JWR contributor Cathy Young is a regular contributor to Reason magazine, Newsday and Real Clear Politics, where this first appeared. Comment by clicking here.


© 2013, Cathy Young. This originally appeared in Newsday.

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