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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 Feb. 8, 2011 / 4 Adar I, 5771

America and Autocrats

By Mona Charen




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | As Egypt staggers toward an uncertain future, a familiar complaint is making the opinion rounds in the United States -- namely that Egypt's current predicament is at least in part traceable to the supposed American fondness for propping up corrupt dictators around the globe.

From the left, Salon magazine offered that "this is a good moment to take a look at where else in the world American taxpayer dollars are helping to prop up dictatorships with poor human rights records," while on the center/right, Robert Kagan demanded, "What are we going to do -- support dictators for the rest of eternity because we don't want Islamists taking their share of some political system in the Middle East?"

The U.S. has been accused of backing autocrats and therefore engendering the enduring hostility of persecuted populations for more than half a century. Throughout the Cold War, the standard accusation was that America was responsible for every act of every authoritarian regime on the planet -- provided it was outside the Soviet sphere.

There is no doubt that American policymakers have made (and continue to make) their share of mistakes. There is also no question that the U.S. has allied itself with some despicable characters over the years.

But while this name never seems to pop up on lists of disgraceful U.S. allies compiled by the left, the first one that ought to be mentioned -- because his was arguably the worst regime we ever "backed" -- is Joseph Stalin.

During the Second World War, the U.S. was in a formal alliance with Uncle Joe, and provided his murderous regime with support and war materiel worth millions. In light of the stakes at the time -- a world dominated by Nazi Germany -- it seemed to be an acceptable accommodation. According to the logic we're hearing now, this ought to have embittered the Soviet people toward the U.S. in perpetuity.

But life is complicated -- and the former Soviet subjects don't seem even to view Stalin himself (responsible for roughly 20 million deaths) all that harshly.

Yes, the U.S. maintained relationships, some quite friendly, with dictators around the globe. But the U.S. is not G0d. It didn't separate light from darkness and create the world. It has, with infrequent exceptions, had to deal with the world as it is. In 1945, when U.S. world leadership began, there were only about 30 countries in the world that could fairly be described as free. By 1973, according to Freedom House, of 151 nations in the world, only 44 were free. Today, among 194 countries, 87 are considered to be free. Freedom is expanding, and for that we rejoice. But progress is slow and painstaking.

The United States did push and prod a number of authoritarian allies toward democracy and freedom. In Indonesia, South Korea, the Philippines, Chile, El Salvador, Taiwan, and elsewhere, American pressure helped to ease dictators out the door and usher in more pluralistic governments.

If we sometimes allied with dictators with like Anastasio Somoza and the Shah of Iran, we were also in the vanguard of nations seeking to free many millions more from far worse regimes.

But the business of reforming allies is tricky. Former President Jimmy Carter made "human rights" his foreign policy mantra -- but he applied it very selectively. And arguably by leaning on the Shah, he paved the way for some of the world's worst human rights abusers to take power in Iran. Former President George W. Bush spoke movingly of his "freedom agenda" for the Middle East and warned that so long as "the Middle East remains a place where freedom does not flourish, it will remain a place of stagnation, resentment and violence ready for export." That may be true. But given the nature of the region, it's no simple matter to get from A to B, as Bush discovered.

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