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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 July 5, 2011 / 3 Tamuz, 5771

War by Euphemism

By Paul Greenberg




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | War is the health of euphemism. As was demonstrated once again when Robert Gates, who now has served as secretary of defense under two successive presidents, appeared on Fox News the other day. Mr. Gates is (a) a dedicated public servant whose competence the country has relied on for years, and (b) an honest man obliged to explain his boss' disingenuousness.

It ain't easy, but he gives the assignment his unconvincing best. For example: Asked whether the country is engaged in hostilities in Libya, a legal point of some interest in the debate over the War Powers Act, our game secretary of defense said that, at the Pentagon, they prefer to say "we're involved in a limited kinetic operation."

There you have the hallmark of euphemism: It obfuscates meaning by expanding language, turning a solid into a gas. In physics it's called sublimation, in politics rationalization. It's quite a process. It can give the bloodiest deeds an antiseptic sound. Although the people killed as a result are just as dead.

Calling hostilities another name scarcely changes the reality on the ground. Civilians killed in bombing raids may now be known as collateral damage, but the change in terminology scarcely minimizes their suffering. It only disguises it. If not very well.

Mr. Gates does have a sense of humor, if of the gallows variety. For he added, "If I'm in Gadhafi's palace, I suspect I think I'm at war." Maybe because of the corpses that litter the place on deadly occasion.

Onward, NATO -- in peace or limited kinetic operations.

If the key to wisdom, its very purpose, is to call things by their right names, the object of American policy in, around and in the general vicinity of Libya seems to consist of calling things not even by their wrong ones, which at least might lead to some meaningful disagreement.

Instead, things are given names so vague there's nothing there even to disagree with. How do you authorize or oppose, take a stand for or against, limited kinetic operations?

There used to be two kinds of rhetoricians -- those who raised the level of public discourse and those who lowered it.

Now there is a third, and it begins to dominate our public discourse: those who just muddy the discussion.

Unable to win or even lose the war against Moammar Gadhafi's crumbling but still cruel regime, this administration claims it's not involved in the "hostilities" there. Even as it fires drones that run up the casualty lists, military and civilian. And supply the weaponry other members of the North Atlantic alliance use at our expense and to such deadly effect.

If this isn't war, it'll do till something even bloodier comes along, which it will, the world being the world, and man being man.

Yet none (in this administration anyway) dare call it war. That way, our president can hope his latest, uh, limited kinetic operation, or overseas contingency operation, or whatever the latest term of legal art is, can escape congressional scrutiny.

Call it multilateral diplomacy, to use another Obama-ism. What it means down on the ground in Libya is death and destruction. As a political term, multilateral diplomacy has the great advantage of diluting responsibility for deadly policies. For if all are multilaterally responsible for some murky war, nobody is.

In the end, in this all too painfully real world, there's no denying that the White House is waging war -- on the English language.

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As the killing goes on in Syria, where the regime grows more desperate, and therefore even more brutal, one of the thousands of Syrians who've taken refuge in neighboring Turkey was interviewed in a refugee camp. "What is our guilt?" asked the 27-year-old identified only as Mohammed. "We just demanded freedom and democracy, nothing else."

Young man, that is exactly your guilt. It can even be a capital offense in your country. And a lot of others across the Arab world.

Whether it be a Moammar Gadhafi or Bashar al-Assad shooting down his own people in hopes of surviving himself, the slaughter of the innocents continues.

And what is the American response to these horrors? Euphemisms galore. Pick your own favorite. There are so many to choose from. For this administration's policy toward the Arab Spring, which is now in the process of becoming the Arab Winter, is to have no policy. Or at least no clear one.

The longer you dig into the statements out of the White House and State Department, the more you realize all this verbiage is being used not to explain any policy but to substitute for one.

Call it diplomatic kudzu. It's not a crop, just a cover.

Paul Greenberg Archives

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JWR contributor Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Send your comments by clicking here.

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