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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 4, 2014 / 2 Adar II, 5774

Playing the chicken in Kiev

By Wesley Pruden




JewishWorldReview.com | Barack Obama's America has become a paper tiger with cardboard teeth, and nobody knows this better than Vladimir Putin. Who can blame him? Some of Barack Obama's red lines are missing, and he can't remember where he put them.

He drew a red line across Iran and warned that a nuclear weapon in the hands of the mullahs in Iran "is unacceptable." Since he didn't say what the meaning of "is" is, or define the meaning of "unacceptable," either, he left it to others to say what he meant with his defiant language. The president likes words, and can spin them together better than most, but words, however heroic and inspiring, are cheap in the hands of a man who doesn't believe a syllable of them.

Vladimir Putin's adventuring into Ukraine was clearly carefully thought out. He looked for evidence that Mr. Obama was merely a blowhard and a con man, fooling most of the people most of the time and some of the people all the time. He could fool enough foolish American voters to give him two terms in the office once held by Lincoln, two Roosevelts, Harry S. Truman and Ronald Reagan, but he couldn't fool an old KGB hand, who, evil or not, is experienced in recognizing a weak spot inviting attack.

Mr. Obama's fondness for heroic rhetoric - in crises in Egypt, Iran, Syria and now Ukraine and Crimea - backed up by nothing more than a smile and a shoeshine (and not even a necktie), represents a target too rich for a villain to ignore. President Obama warned everybody to behave, telling Viktor Yanukovych, president of Ukraine before he was driven from office by democracy protesters, that "there will be consequences if people step over the line." He dispatched a national-security adviser to say that brutal repression in Ukraine is "completely outrageous" (which is apparently worse than merely "outrageous").



Mr. Obama thinks these words are enough to slow down evil-doers, with no follow-through necessary. He never learned, because he is neither a student of America nor of the American presidency, that a president's words must have consequences. He's just not very interested in the America he was elected to govern. He arrived at the White House promising a "re-set" of relations with Mr. Putin and the Russians, apparently unaware of what he wanted to re-set, and unaware that Russia dreams of restoring itself to a great power and is willing to do anything to achieve it.

It's barely conceivable that Mr. Putin wants a war in Ukraine or Crimea. Nor should anyone here. Mr. Obama is not dealing with crazy Muslims, drunk on their notions of a perverted religion. But just as in the Cold War, neither East nor West dreams of mutual suicide. Mr. Putin has driven President Obama into a corner, there to contemplate his Chicken Kiev moment, with the fox circling the chicken house. Like it or not, Mr. Obama is not the fox.

Mr. Obama can't believe that he's the spurned lover; nothing like this has happened to the prince of Hawaii before. He has dreamed for years of a romance with Russia. When the Russians put the squeeze on Georgia in 2008, and John McCain said Georgia was where he would draw the line against Russia's attempt to restore the old Soviet Union under new branding and management, Barack Obama had a better idea. He would change everything, there would be no more conflict at home, black and white would lie down together with the lions and lambs. Rough places would be made smooth and all hard things would be easy forever more. How could Vlad resist him? America swooned, and for a long time the people who voted for him did not notice what a snow job it was. But Vlad did, and bided his time.

Only the foolish want a military response, however much Mr. Putin deserves comeuppance. There are other things the West could do, with sanctions and the like. Mr. Putin does not want to be the international pariah. Mr. Obama imagines himself a wielder of deft diplomacy, though President Obama has never demonstrated a particular skill at diplomacy, either.

He could start by looking like he's interested in what his administration is doing. He has allowed the Pentagon and the State Department to come up with competing policies about what to do in Egypt, confusing everybody, and where the president appears to not have a clue about what to do there any more than what to do in Iran or Syria. The job is so fatiguing. He could attend a meeting or two with his security chiefs, as if he were really interested. He might fool some of the evil-doers.

Wesley Pruden Archives

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© 2014 Wesley Pruden

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