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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 May 6, 2011 / 2 Iyar, 5771

Is This the Face of Evil?

By Mona Charen




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Images of Osama bin Laden's mangled face will not be beamed around the world. But it's worth considering, as we think about the death of bin Laden, how his face looked in life.

It was not the face of a rabid or fulminating zealot. It was not even an angry face. On the contrary, in nearly every photograph, bin Laden bears a benign expression. There is softness to his demeanor. He was reportedly soft-spoken (if intense) with colleagues and reasonably kind, if distant, with his wives and children.

Yet he was the author of some of the greatest cruelties and crimes of the past two decades. Inspired and encouraged by him, al-Qaida murdered thousands of innocent Americans in cold blood. The memory of human beings hurling themselves to their deaths out of windows in the World Trade Center rather than die in the inferno is etched in our psyches. It was al-Qaida, possibly Khalid Sheikh Mohammed personally, who kidnapped, bound, and beheaded Daniel Pearl. It was al-Qaida, bin Laden's creation, that used a child with Down syndrome as an unwitting suicide bomber in an attack on an Iraqi polling place in 2005.

Perhaps running short on handicapped children to booby-trap, al-Qaida used mentally impaired women to sow death and mayhem in Iraq in 2008. The AP reported: "Two mentally retarded women strapped with remote-control explosives — and possibly used as unwitting homicide bombers — brought carnage Friday to two pet bazaars, killing at least 91 people..."

When mentally impaired women were not available, al-Qaida had other tactics. According to C. Christine Fair of Georgetown University, who authored a U.N. report on terrorism, al-Qaida terrorists in Iraq would rape women and then hand them off to Samira Jassim, known as the Mother of Believers. Until her arrest in 2009, her job was to convince the shattered victims that the only way to redeem their honor was to die in a suicide mission. Paul Kix in the Daily Beast reports that 28 women did so.

Political theorist Hannah Arendt ignited decades of debate when she coined the expression "the banality of evil," in reference to the architect of the Holocaust, Adolf Eichmann. He wasn't extraordinary at all, she wrote, just a clerk doing his superior's bidding without question.

But what of Hitler himself? There, if anywhere, was a face that personified evil, contorted as it so often was by rage. But his secretary remembered him as thoughtful and kind — he was solicitous about her health, for example. It took years for her to come to terms with his fathomless evil — and her own complicity.

None of the great monsters of the past hundred years — Lenin, Mao, Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot — thought of themselves as evil. On the contrary, even when exhorting their followers to the worst extremes of human degradation, they did so in the name of a higher good. Hitler was purging the world of a dire threat, untermenschen (Jews, Gypsies, the mentally impaired, homosexuals, and Slavs), in order to usher in a golden age, the "thousand-year Reich." Even in the very last moments of his life, Hitler pointed to his war against the Jews as his greatest achievement. He was proud of the Holocaust.

The communists allowed as how in order to make an omelet, you had to break some eggs. In order to build the perfect society with universal prosperity and complete equality, some harsh measures would be necessary in the short term. But it was for a greater good. The brave dissident, Vladimir Bukovsky, noted mordantly that he had seen many broken eggs, but no one had ever tasted the omelet. One of Stalin's henchmen recorded, "Our great goal was the universal triumph of communism, and for the sake of that goal everything was permissible ... to destroy hundreds of thousands or even millions of people ... and to hesitate or doubt about all this was to give in to 'intellectual squeamishness' and 'stupid liberalism.'" One hundred million people in the 20th century were sacrificed to that particular ideal.

Robert Heinlein said that "Man is not a rational animal, he is a rationalizing animal." Some are. Certainly those who commit tremendous crimes nearly always do so armed with elaborate self-justifications.

The unifying theme for the great killers is to dehumanize their victims first. Stalin targeted "kulaks," and "counterrevolutionaries." Hitler despised "Jewish vermin." Pol Pot loathed and derided "cosmopolitans." The soft-spoken bin Laden, his quiet style notwithstanding, denied the humanity of his victims with the word "infidel."

You cannot reliably detect evil in a face. But the attempt to dehumanize is always the precursor of dark crimes.

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