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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, 2014 / 6 Iyar, 5774

Good thug, bad thug

By Paul Greenberg




JewishWorldReview.com | You know the technique. In police work, it's called good cop, bad cop. A couple of detectives team up to work on a suspect. The good cop wants to be our suspect's friend, offering all kinds of inducements if he'll do as the cops say -- like provide information or just straighten out his act in general. If he'll do that, his friend the good cop assures him, he'll get lenient treatment, maybe even a reward. And won't be left to the less than tender mercies of the bad cop. And there's no telling what the bad cop will do to him if he doesn't cooperate. (In diplomatic circles, this is called deterrence, and it's been known to have considerable effect.)

In diplomacy, the same game might be called good thug, bad thug, and it's being played on us. And it's paying off handsomely for the latest aggressor out to take over Eastern Europe (and soon enough points beyond) piece by piece. Having already ingested Crimea, the latest tsar of all the Russias is now chewing on what remains of Ukraine, beginning in the east and advancing from city to city, taking hostages all along the way.

Among the victims was a group of international observers dispatched to Ukraine by the ironically titled Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe. The hostages were paraded for the delectation of the Russian media by the bad thugs in occupied Slovyansk. You can tell the bad thugs by their standard Russian-issue camo (minus insignia) plus the obligatory black masks and menacing manner.

The hostages appeared nervous when they were marched before the television cameras, and they had every reason to be. Even as they tried to explain that they weren't soldiers but only observers, and formally thanked their captors for their kind treatment. ("Since yesterday, we have been in a more comfortable room, which has been equipped with heating.") Watching them at this command performance, it was hard not to be reminded of the captured POWs that the North Korean and Vietnamese Communists used to trot out for the usual naifs in the press. Or the squad of robotized hostages in "The Manchurian Candidate."

The hostages now have been released after a week of being held and exhibited. The official response from the good thugs in Moscow was to praise the hostage-takers for their "courage and humanism."

The all-too-familiar scene in Slovyansk was just Stage One in the extensive repertoire of tactics perfected by Moscow over the years, and now being practiced in various Ukrainian locales as city halls are seized, the Russian flag raised, and officials, journalists and just innocent passersby are jailed -- or worse.

The mayor of Kharkiv, which is Ukraine's second-largest city, has just been shot in the back, and in Donetsk a peaceful demonstration of about a thousand Ukrainians marching behind their national flag was set upon by the usual thugs in camo and black face masks. These Russian forces in everything but name were wielding batons and stun guns, throwing bricks and beating up anybody they could get their hands on. (What, no Cossacks on horseback?) It could have been the czarist police and the black hundreds on the prowl again. The bad thugs were having a field day.

Now enter the good thugs. Moscow's defense ministry continues to deny that it has anything to do with all these masked freebooters waving Russian flags who have taken over Ukrainian city after city. Despite the no longer concealed presence of one Igor Strelkov, a notorious Russian agent well known from his days in Crimea, and Georgia before that, directing Russian not-so-stealth operations. He's now openly in charge of occupied Slovyansk.

All the while, the good thugs keep making soothing sounds. Sergei Shoigu, the Russian defense minister who's the counterpart of our secretary of defense, Chuck Hagel, has assured the ever gullible Mr. Hagel that Russia has no plans to invade eastern Ukraine. Really? Its ill-disguised forces are already taking over eastern Ukraine with no real opposition from Washington, Europe or Kiev. The latest tsar in a rapacious old line, Vladimir the Devious has repeated the same assurances. Just as Reichschancellor Hitler assured the world that Czechoslovakia was his "last territorial demand in Europe" -- before the next one. It's an old, old script, and Barack Obama and feckless company seem to have learned nothing from it except how to be suckers.

Not so, says our president, who at a time when forceful action is called for, promises only symbolic sanctions against a few Russian big shots here and there. No wonder the Russian stock market has rebounded from its dumps as investors realize these much- promised sanctions are only gestures in place of a real foreign policy -- the kind Harry Truman, George Kennan, and George Marshall had to improvise after Comrade Stalin began picking off pieces of Europe one by one. That's when the North Atlantic Treaty Organization -- NATO -- was born.

The next half-century of conflict became known as the Cold War, but our current president is at great, and greatly unconvincing, pains to deny that his pal Vlad has started another Cold War. For if Barack Obama did recognize that obvious truth, he'd have to take a good hard look at just what his Reset of Russo-American relations has accomplished: little except to give aggression new license. His talk about taking forceful action to save what's left of Ukraine (someday) has reaped pretty much worldwide contempt. And deserved to.



To quote Sen. Lindsey Graham, who believes in a strong deterrent in diplomacy as well as defense: "Every time the president goes on national television and threatens Putin, everybody's eyes roll, including mine." No doubt Vladimir Putin's do, too. That customary sneer on Tsar Vlad's face didn't get there because Barack Obama has proven such an effective leader of the free world. Remember when Leader of the Free World was a title almost synonymous with president of the United States? Now it's verboten in official Washington. For there are some titles that only invite raised eyebrows.

After all his huffing and puffing, Barack Obama has produced only a few superficial sanctions against a few Russian tycoons and other influentials. Not against that country's big banks or natural-gas monopoly or anything else of real importance. To call his foreign policy feckless only begins to describe it. To do that would require a whole thesaurus of synonyms for ineffectuality, vacillation, futility ... terms that haven't been so relevant since the West was being led by statesmen like poor Neville Chamberlain in the fearful Thirties, which were inevitably followed by the calamitous Forties.

And now our president has reacted to the latest outrages in Ukraine with the same force and effect as ... Jimmy Carter during the nigh-eternal Iranian hostage crisis. One of the leaders of that mob has just been designated the mullahs' representative to the United Nations. Yes, we've been here before. "America Held Captive" became a nightly feature of the television news in the late stages of the Carter administration, when it was going from helpless to hopeless. Now another administration is following the same well-trodden path to failure, shame and futility.

Today's version of appeasement invites the same violent result it did in the 1930s. But it's still not too late to call on our contemporary Churchills -- the John McCains and John Boltons still among us. They may be voices in the wilderness now, but they will become more and more relevant as the Obama administration becomes more and more irrelevant.

It was said that George W. Bush demonstrated the limits of American power; this president seems intent on demonstrating the limits of American powerlessness.

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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