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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 August 30, 2013/ 24 Elul, 5773

Poisoned Minds, Poisoned Bodies in Syria

By Suzanne Fields




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "Humane killer" appears to be an oxymoron that startles with contradiction. Yet talking of war is a way of drawing a fine distinction, not a contradiction. The civilized world clarifies an understanding of how a civilized man can kill an enemy while separating human from inhumane.

When Syrian President Bashar al-Assad turned poison gas against the rebels and their families, everyone could agree that even in a civil war — where passions burn hottest — that's inhumane, and it's not forgivable.

The harsh and mechanical reporting of war rarely invites poetry to make a correspondent's points, but a reader with a yearning for a more penetrating reality turns to the poignant verse of Wilfred Owen, the young British poet who was called to duty when the poisonous mist of chlorine gas settled over the trenches in the Great War of 1914-1918. The poet who dreamed of joining bards and birds "singing of summer scything" turned the poetic power of observation to describe a victim on the front, fumbling with helmet and mask, too late to protect himself from the poison that leaves him "guttering, choking, drowning." We see the victim's white eyes wilt on his face, like a "devil's sick of sin" and listen to "the gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs."

Tanks and machineguns killed many more soldiers in the Great War than gas, but the poison could linger when it did not kill, terrifying and demoralizing both the soldier on the front and the public back home. It was such an inhumane way to kill that its use led to the Geneva Protocols that outlawed chemical warfare in 1925.

Although powerful images of "ordinary" battlefield and civilian deaths have been blamed on both government and rebels in Syria, there's less talk about the grim inhumanity of the weapons than identifying a political rationale for our own self-interest. The fighting simply didn't feel up close and personal when President Obama argued against getting "mired" in such a grim and difficult dilemma. A year has passed since he drew a blood-red line that would be the outer limits of American patience and then declined to follow through when Assad looked at the red and saw it as green.

Photographs of the dead, of women, children and whole families, shouldn't have been necessary to get President Obama's full attention. He could have helped the rebels when they were winning. But the use of chemical weapons is a game-changer, even for a president who leads from behind. The appeal to good will and fair play hasn't worked. He neither "reset" relations with Russia nor did he establish a "new beginning with Muslims around the world," as he promised in Cairo in 2009.

His approach in the Middle East was simple, even elegant, says Walter Russell Mead in a trenchant analysis in The Wall Street Journal. The president's policy was well-intentioned, carefully crafted, consistently pursued, and a colossal failure. "The U.S would work with moderate Islamist groups like Turkey's AK Party and Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood to make the Middle East more democratic," he argues. "This would kill three birds with one stone."

This would narrow the gap between the "moderate middle" of the Muslim world (such as it might be) and demonstrate how peaceful, moderate parties can achieve results and isolate terrorists and radicals. The democratic gains that would be achieved would improve economic and social conditions to the point of reducing the appeal of fanaticism that drives people into terrorist camps. It seemed so simple.

The clarity of hindsight exposes many errors in the president's thinking about the world and America's place in it, but no error is so clear now as his refusal to aid the Syrian rebels before their ranks were swollen with radicals and terrorists nobody can trust. The cost in human life from chemical warfare rather than politics inevitably drives us toward getting an involved, unhappy result. Though that may be, many of the rebels are neither friendly nor inclined to learn democracy. The president in failing to win what once appeared to be an easy victory over a dictator backed by Russia and Iran now looks weak and uncertain. President Vladimir Putin in Russia and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Iran are entitled, from the evidence the president himself furnished, to think Obama is dithering, indecisive and irresolute. We can expect them to act accordingly.

But if an Assad victory would be awful, a rebel triumph might eventually be worse. In the sixth year of his presidential odyssey, Obama is poised to sail through Scylla and Charybdis, anarchy and despotism. Rough seas lie ahead.

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© 2006, Creators Syndicate, Suzanne Fields

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