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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 March 17, 2014 /15 Adar II, 5774

Back by popular demand: Tyranny

By Paul Greenberg




JewishWorldReview.com | Ham and eggs, dictators and plebiscites, tyranny and sham elections, they all go together. So it was wholly to be expected, which means it was wholly a surprise to our ever-alert administration, when the latest tsar decided Crimea was ripe for the picking and sent in the Cossacks (sans identifying insignia for now). As usual in these matters, the local bullyboys, formally known in press reports as militias, backed up the not very well disguised Russian troops. With that little formality out of the way, Vlad the Annexer ordered a plebiscite (and its usual result) for immediate delivery, specifically Sunday, March 16, 2014. Satisfaction Guaranteed.

It was all according to Hoyle, or rather Hitler, whose well-thumbed playbook specified that each conquest, from the remilitarization of the Rhineland in the West to the Anschluss with Austria in the East, be approved by a rigged referendum. Then came the takeover of Czechoslovakia piece by piece -- first the Sudetenland and then the rest on the installment plan. It was all easy enough, and predictable enough, after the Western democracies had collapsed at Munich. That grab, too, would be ratified at the ballot box as the pattern continued: first conquest, then plebiscite.

The outer signs of democracy must be preserved while its substance is hollowed out. To quote T.S. Eliot, the poet laureate of Western decadence Between the Wars: Shape without form, shade without colour/ Paralysed force, gesture without motion . . . . The lines are from "The Hollow Men," a title that might be the perfect description of Western leadership then as now, from Neville Chamberlain to Barack Obama.

Once again a popular vote, this time in newly captive Crimea, is staged -- but Tsar Vladimir took no chances with the wording of the ballot. The voters would have only two choices: annexation to the Soviet Union -- excuse me, Russia -- now or later, immediately or as soon as Crimea's puppet parliament approves. And it will once Moscow pulls its strings. There is no way for Crimeans to vote for remaining in supposedly independent Ukraine. And this will be called a free expression of the people's will.

"Any discussion about the future of Ukraine must include the legitimate government of Ukraine," says President Obama. "In 2014, we are well beyond the days when borders can be redrawn over the heads of democratic leaders." Really? If so, our president must have forgotten to tell the Russians, whose latest tsar keeps adding to his subjects, from Georgia to Crimea.

"The steps taken by the legitimate leadership of Crimea," says V. Putin, who sounds a lot like an old Commissar of Nationalities named J. Stalin, "are based on the norms of international law and aim to ensure the legal interests of the population of the peninsula," which is now perfectly free -- to do just what Moscow says.

Once the annexation of Crimea to the Motherland is an accomplished fact, and it's being accomplished every day -- by force -- does anybody think this administration or an equally supine Europe will do anything about it? Anything beyond a few more paper protests, that is.

Then it will be time for the next Russian advance. A slice of Ukraine, maybe? Why not? For the world's (non)reaction will be pretty much that of the last American secretary of state after the massacre at Benghazi: "What difference, at this point, does it make?" --Hillary Clinton, January 23, 2013.


So long as the West has no will to resist aggression, aggression will not be resisted. And it's clear that the current crop of Western "leaders" is a little short of will these days. Indeed, a lot short. They all seem decided only to be undecided, resolved only to be irresolute. Oswald Spengler could be writing his "The Decline of the West" right now; it never seems to go out of date.

But now and then an exceptional leader, after a long series of provocations, will finally arise with the courage to face facts and tell the old truths once again. Like this voice in the wilderness after the sellout at Munich in 1938. A wave of rejoicing and relief had engulfed England when Neville Chamberlain returned to London waving his scrap of paper and proclaiming Peace In Our Time, but there's always one spoilsport. This time it was a washed-up old Tory backbencher named Winston Churchill who dared point out the obvious:

"I do not grudge our loyal, brave people, who were ready to do their duty no matter what the cost, who never flinched under the strain of last week -- I do not grudge them the natural, spontaneous outburst of joy and relief when they learned that the hard ordeal would no longer be required of them at the moment; but they should know the truth....

"We are in the presence of a disaster of the first magnitude. Do not let us blind ourselves to that. ... And do not suppose that this is the end. This is only the beginning of the reckoning. This is only the first sip, the first foretaste of a bitter cup which will be proffered to us year by year unless by a supreme recovery of moral health and martial vigor, we arise again and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time."

Now as in 1938, another little province falls sway to a dictator's will and the old Iron Curtain descends again. Remember it? Who says the Cold War is a thing of the past? Except pollyannas like our president and secretary of state. There is still time to face facts and tell the truth -- and act upon that truth. But not as much time as there was last week or will be next week. For this commander-in-chief went wobbly some time ago. And not until the West's moral disarmament is reversed will its old spirit return. And its old energy.

But what can be done? The position of Leader of the Free World has been vacant for some time now, and to fill it again will take a reawakened West, and a reawakened president and commander-in-chief. He can start by sending those NATO troops to Poland its shaken president has just requested. In the first days of his Reset with Russia, the current occupant of the White House unilaterally reversed his predecessor's plans to install an air defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic--without bothering to consult the Poles and Czechs. Now that reversal needs to be reversed, and the Reset reset. Just for starters.

Messages need to be sent, and not just in empty speeches and meaningless communiqués but by concrete actions: trade restricted, visas withheld, aircraft carriers dispatched. ... Or the West will continue to wallow in its own weakness, inviting more developments like the endless horror in Syria, the mullahs' Bomb in Iran, the renewed chaos in Iraq and Afghanistan, and so disastrously on.

The bad news is piling up, as it was in 1938, for we have taken a wrong turn and find ourselves on an increasingly dangerous road. The good news is that we can yet turn back.

It took Russia's invasion of Afghanistan late in the Carter Years for that president to finally awaken to some old, old truths, among them that there is Evil in the world. Which seemed to come as a shock to Jimmy Carter, as if Man's fallen estate were news. Here's hoping the invasion of Crimea -- for let us call it what it is -- will have the same electrifying effect on this president and the West in general. Because that unending sound you hear, which grows louder and louder till it cannot be ignored, is a resounding wake-up call.

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.

Paul Greenberg is the Pulitzer prize-winning editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

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