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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 May 12, 2011 / 8 Iyar, 5771

Obama's Bin Laden Mission ‘Gutsy’ -- What About Bush's ‘Surge’?

By Larry Elder



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "When President Obama was faced with the opportunity to act upon this," said Deputy National Security Advisor John Brennan, "the President had to evaluate the strength of that information and then made what I believe was one of the most gutsiest (sic) calls of any president in recent memory."

One of the gutsiest calls of any president in recent memory? On what basis, and by what measure?

Americans wanted Osama bin Laden — dead or alive, preferably dead. "How important," asked a 2006 Gallup poll, "do you think it is to the U.S. that Osama bin Laden be captured or killed?" The percentage of Americans who considered the apprehension or killing of bin Laden "somewhat important" to "extremely important" totaled an overwhelming 86 percent. Obama acted in accordance with popular opinion.

Worst-case scenario, the mission failed and bin Laden's guards massacred the SEALs. Obama, we are told, would have suffered the same political setback as did President Jimmy Carter following an unsuccessful military mission. Bad analogy. Carter was already broadly unpopular, fighting off a vigorous intra-party challenge to his renomination from Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass. Seventy to 80 percent of Americans actually supported Carter's rescue attempt, and Carter received a brief bump in the polls.

The Gutsy Obama argument also claims Obama "boldly" risked angering Pakistan. But according to the U.K. "Guardian," President Bush and Pakistan's then-leader Pervez Musharraf had secretly agreed — 10 years ago — to allow an American military effort on Pakistan soil to capture or kill bin Laden. And, in 2008, when Pakistani elected a civilian government, Bush renewed the arrangement.

Now examine the political and national security risks undertaken by Bush with his 2007 decision to "surge" in Iraq by sending in 21,500 additional troops to reverse the deteriorating situation.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., called Bush a "loser." Critics wrote the war off as a "blunder," "unwinnable," a "civil war." Seventy percent of Americans opposed the surge, according to an AP-Ipsos poll, "and a like number don't think such an increase would help stabilize the situation there."

Then-Sen. Obama opposed the surge and promised to try to stop it. He predicted that it would make things worse: "I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the sectarian violence there. In fact, I think it will do the reverse. … So I am going to actively oppose the president's proposal."

Bush's former CIA director, George Tenet, in his book released in April 2007, questioned the surge: "Sectarian violence in Iraq has taken on a life of its own and … U.S. forces are becoming more and more irrelevant to the management of that violence." NBC's Tom Brokaw said the decision to surge would "seem to most people … like a folly."

Obama, on the other hand, said the Abbottabad intel on bin Laden gave the U.S. the "the best chance" to get him "since Tora Bora." Obama faced greater criticism had he refused to act.

Yes, civilians could have been killed, along with the SEALs. If so, what would have been the political and national security downside? That Obama erred by taking advantage of a secret deal to enter Pakistan? That Obama erred by using actionable intel to get the world's most wanted man, the spiritual leader of a global Islamofascist movement, a jihadi-terrorist who declared war on America, a mass murderer responsible for the slaughter of 3,000 Americans on American soil, a man whom 86 percent of Americans wanted captured or killed?

Would most Republicans have attacked Obama for an unsuccessful mission to kill bin Laden — especially given the Tora Bora failure under Bush? Republicans applaud Obama's decision to send in more troops in Afghanistan, and approve the stepped-up drone attacks in Pakistan. Republicans support Obama's continuation of Bush-era policies including rendition, Guantanamo Bay, the Patriot Act, the state secrets doctrine, military tribunals and the terror surveillance program.

What about Obama's failed missions? Drone attacks have killed Pakistani civilians, for which the Obama administration has had to apologize. In an attempt to learn the location of bin Laden's second in command, seven CIA agents were killed on a CIA base in Afghanistan by a homicide bomber whom they mistakenly trusted. Bad stuff happens in war. Ask G.W. Bush.

The consequences, however, of an unsuccessful surge were catastrophic. The Iraq War would have been lost and abandoned. Terrorists would have been emboldened. The vacuum of a failed Iraq would have likely been filled by Iran, more confident than ever that a humiliated America planned to sit it out as Iran pursued a nuclear bomb. The perception of an America that loses wars then cuts and runs would have undermined the war in Afghanistan. The GOP would have been crippled for years under the avalanche of I-told-you-so's. Bush's political obituary would have been cast.

But Bush stood fast.

Obama certainly deserves credit and praise for greenlighting the successful strike against bin Laden. But Bush's decision to surge was a truly gutsy call — and it deserves acknowledgment as such.

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

JWR contributor Larry Elder is the author of, most recently, "Stupid Black Men: How to Play the Race Card--and Lose." (Proceeds from sales help fund JWR)

Let him know what you think of his column by clicking here.

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© 2006, Creators Syndicate

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