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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 Nov. 13, 2009 / 26 Mar-Cheshvan 5770

The Politics of Fort Hood

By Jonah Goldberg




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Let me say up front, I don't think President Obama is to blame for the Fort Hood shootings, and I don't think it's fair to say otherwise.


But (you knew there had to be a "but"), that doesn't mean Obama won't pay a political price for Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan's rampage.


At first blush, it seems distasteful to take a political yardstick to the pain suffered at Fort Hood. But if we are to consider this incident part of the bloody tapestry of the larger war on terror, there's no way to separate it from politics. After all, the war on terror has been driving politics in America for the better part of a decade now.


And that might offer insight into why so many are eager to make the massacre a story about the psychological breakdown of a man who just happened to be a Muslim.


If this is just another incident where a deranged man went "postal" at his office, then there's no reason to second-guess the Obama administration's fairly relentless effort to dismantle the war on terror.


That effort stems from what Obama believes to be a sweeping mandate to be Not George Bush. In pursuit of that mandate, the White House has already purged the phrase "war on terror" from its lexicon, preferring "overseas contingency operations." Obama is hell-bent on closing Guantanamo Bay, is making progress on the White House project to treat terrorists as mere criminals, and has kowtowed to the United Nations as no president has. Meanwhile, his secretary of homeland security, Janet Napolitano, says that Islamic terrorism like we saw on 9/11 should now be referred to as "man-caused disasters." But she adds that American right-wingers must be scrutinized as potential terrorists.


All of these moves seemed politically palatable for a war-weary country that felt, rightly or wrongly, as if we'd made it through the worst of it. It was time for a makeover of our political house. The problem is that, rather than merely throw on a fresh coat of paint and lay down some new carpeting, Obama is going after load-bearing walls and structural beams. And if the war on terror refuses to go away as easily as the phrase we use for it did, the whole edifice of the Obama administration could come crashing down.


For instance, it seems likely that Obama has already suffered a rhetorical defeat. Whatever his faults, President Bush got to say one thing that the American people always appreciated: After 9/11, he kept us safe from a terrorist attack on the homeland. If Hasan acted as a Jihadist terrorist and not a disgruntled psychiatrist, Obama can't even make the same claim about his first year in office.


More substantively, Obama has had the luxury of exploiting his predecessor's success. His actions on Guantanamo, his mea culpas for America to the Muslim world, etc., have only been possible in a political environment absent domestic terrorist attacks. As it stands, Hasan may have been a one-off, an isolated incident. Let's hope that's the case, but let's not delude ourselves that this is likely.


Yet, if we see more of this sort of thing, the underpinnings of Obama's national-security posture may well disintegrate. His reputation for flexibility notwithstanding, the record shows that he is, in fact, implacably ideological when it comes to his core beliefs. If terrorism drives the country rightward, he may well choose to stand his ground. That's what he's done with the domestic crisis. While the country has been screaming for Washington to concentrate on fixing the economy and the unemployment rate, Obama and his party have rigidly focused on their health care schemes and cap-and-trade — which, even if they work, will do nothing to fix joblessness in the near future.


Conversely, if the "Hasanity defense" prevails, and the left convinces the country — or even itself — that the shootings were a tragic byproduct of two unnecessary wars, the president will still be in a bind. Particularly among Obama's core supporters, the notion that violence only begets more violence is as popular as it is untrue.


Early reports suggested that Hasan was driven to his murder spree out of frustration with Obama's refusal to pull out of Iraq and Afghanistan fast enough. If Obama's base believes that line of argument — which is essentially a "blame Bush" argument — it will only intensify their opposition to escalation in Afghanistan. If Obama goes ahead with escalation anyway, the prospect of "LBJ redux" increases.


If the majority of Americans had thought in 2008 that the war on terror was a top priority, they wouldn't have voted for Obama. It only makes sense that if the war on terror once again becomes a top priority, they'll most likely regret their vote.

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


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