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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 June 5, 2007 / 19 Sivan, 5767

‘Soft Power’ unplugged

By Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | There is a growing appreciation of several facts about the war we are in. First, we are most immediately up against an ideology — Islamofascism describes it well — that has unmistakable totalitarian political characteristics and ambitions. It is in the service of the goal of global domination of this theo-ideology that adherents employ terrorism. Terror is a means to an end, not a goal in its own right, let alone an enemy.


Second, to wage successfully a counter-ideological war requires means other than military ones. Taken together, these instruments have come to be called "soft power" (as opposed to the traditional kind of "hard power" represented by armies, navies, air forces and nuclear weapons).


Third, given that the stakes in this war are nothing less than the survival of the Free World, every effort must be made to strengthen the effectiveness and impact of those instruments of soft power particularly relevant to challenging, undermining and, with luck, defeating a virulent totalitarian ideology. This is quintessentially true of those relevant to the dissemination of information that serves such purposes.


Given these insights, it is peculiar, not to say confounding, that the United States has failed so miserably over the past five years of this War for the Free World to value properly the role of government-sponsored international broadcasting in its outcome. In fact, the history of this period is one in which America's leaders have allowed the systematic dismantling of much of its capacity for waging the war of ideas via such broadcasts and woefully misapplied much of what remains.


Consider just the latest rounds of cuts being proposed in the Fiscal Year 2008 budget for the Voice of America (VOA, the United States' official information network) and the "freedom radios" — government-underwritten international broadcasters intended to operate as though they were truly independent, reliable sources of information in countries where that is not otherwise assured, namely Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) and Radio Free Asia (RFA).


The Bush Administration's planned cuts would:

  • Eliminate virtually all English-language VOA broadcasts world-wide, apart from Africa, which would see its service cut nearly in half. This is occurring at the same time as governments in Russia and China that are increasingly assertive have launched 24/7 propaganda radio services in our native language.

  • Reduce by a third RFE/RL's Russian-language broadcasts to Russia from 24- to 18- hours a day, and take VOA's Russian-language radio off the air altogether. This would come at a time when the authoritarian Vladimir Putin is making a comprehensive effort to deny his people access to truthful information about their country and the world. What is more, Putin's repressive measures could end the Voice of America's remaining TV broadcasts in Russian at any moment.

  • Drop altogether broadcasts by: the VOA in Cantonese, Croatian, Greek, Georgian, Thai and Uzbek; RFE/RL's Macedonian service; and Radio Free Asia's broadcasts in Cantonese. American interests in China, Southeastern Europe, Central and Southeast Asia would be negatively affected.

  • Eliminate the VOA's radio broadcasts in Ukrainian, Serbian, Albanian, Bosnian, Macedonian, Hindi. Given the ongoing turmoil in Ukraine, the Balkans and Kashmir can we afford to do anything that might reduce our presence or influence there?

  • Reduce radio broadcasts by: the Voice of America to China in Tibetan and to Africa in Portuguese; RFE/RL's services in Ukrainian, Romanian, Kazakh and South Slavic languages in Kazakh; and RFA's broadcasts in Tibetan.


The cumulative effect of these cuts alone would be to write-off more than 18 million listeners each week around the world. Who could possibly choose voluntarily to eliminate such an audience, much of which is in places critical to the future course of this war?


Sadly, such prospective, painful reductions in service would come on the heels of years of earlier, similarly ill-advised decisions that have already: placed greater priority on building audience share in the Mideast by substituting pop music for much of the news and information programming so vital to counter-ideological struggles; dismantled the short-wave broadcasting systems that remain critical to reaching some critical audiences; permitted our enemies in Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran to use U.S.-broadcasting arms like the Arabic-language Al Hurra television network as a propaganda platform; and made taboo certain topics — such as the prospects for and necessity of the overthrow of Iran's regime.


Unless reversed, the cumulative effect of these past and pending actions will be the unplugging of some of the most important conduits of America's soft power. Such behavior amounts to an egregious example of unilateral disarmament in War of Ideas. The notion that budgetary austerity requires such cuts is laughable. The $26 million it would require to prevent the 2008 cuts is chump-change in a $2.9 trillion budget. And the costs associated with yielding the battlespace to our ideological foes will be incalculably higher.


Fortunately, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Agencies has a chance on Tuesday to prevent such a mistake and, better yet, to begin rebuilding the information part of America's soft power capabilities. Chairwoman Nita Lowey and her ranking Republican colleague, Frank Wolf, are fully aware of the need for a true war of ideas. If they can prevent our further disarmament in this war, and set the stage for the substantial expansion of America's capacity to delegitimize our foes and inspire and empower their opponents, there may yet be hope for defeating the Islamofascists and their enablers.


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

JWR contributor Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. heads the Center for Security Policy. Comments by clicking here.

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"War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World"  

America has been at war for years, but until now, it has not been clear with whom or precisely for what. And we have not been using the full resources we need to win.

With the publication of War Footing, lead-authored by Frank Gaffney, it not only becomes clear who the enemy is and how high the stakes are, but also exactly how we can prevail.

War Footing shows that we are engaged in nothing less than a War for the Free World. This is a fight to the death with Islamofascists, Muslim extremists driven by a totalitarian political ideology that, like Nazism or Communism before it, is determined to destroy freedom and the people who love it. Sales help fund JWR.

© 2006, Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.

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