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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 Sept. 9, 2013/ 5 Tishrei, 5774

A legacy for Barack Obama

By Wesley Pruden




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | A war nobody believes in, led by a man nobody trusts. If Barack Obama is still looking for a legacy, here it is. Everything about the Syrian dilemma stinks.

Bashar al-Assad is recognized by nearly everybody as the source of at least half the stink. But only half. The rest of the stench is supplied by the rebels. It's tempting to suggest that Mr. Obama, who yearns for applause, deserves the dilemma.

Bombs always sound to the uneducated ear like the cheap, quick and sensible way to punish international bad guys. Lots of bang-bang, fire, smoke and bravado is exciting, stimulating and inspiring, guaranteed to warm the blood of those who are not required to shed the blood. Bombs usually accomplish considerably less than expected, as decades of war on nearly every continent have demonstrated to anyone paying attention.

But cutting an American president, any president, off at the knees is no strategy, either, even if he's a president who deserves punishment for screwing up everything he touches and threatens to make incompetence the national virtue. If the president really wants to go to war over Syria's chemical weapons, and doing it alone unless you count the French, he should have done it without consulting Congress, since he thinks congressional permission is not really necessary. Congress only wants to belabor the obvious, anyway, and spend the rest of summer and early autumn debating, preening and trying to avoid responsibility for saying either yea or nay.

The bipartisan version of an administration deal with Congress was a corker, written in fact by Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, the Republican, and Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey, the Democrat. The actual architect was whoever invented Swiss cheese, because it has holes in it large enough to drive an Abrahms through and on to Damascus. Mr. Menendez emerged from the negotiations bubbling with pride of authorship.

The deal would give the president "the authority he needs to deploy force," he said, while "assuring that the authorization is narrow and focused, limited in time, and assures that the armed forces of the United States will not be deployed for combat operations in Syria."

This is a cheesy way to fight a war, and ineffective besides. A war requires more than boots on the ground, and John Kerry keeps assuring us that no American footwear will touch Syrian sand. But change always happens. Anyone who has heard these promises before, beginning with Lyndon Johnson ("We seek no wider war"), is naturally skeptical. Harry Truman never called the Korean war a war; it was only "a police action." FDR promised in 1940 that he would never send "American boys" to a foreign war. Circumstances change.

The cliché about boots does not impress Charlie Rangel, the Democratic congressman from Harlem, who brought a Purple Heart and a Bronze star home from Korea. "You cannot be part pregnant in international conflicts," he says, "and once you get in, all these resolutions mean nothing." He doesn't think most members of Congress "have any skin in the game."

He makes the obvious point that the makers of war are rarely the fighters in the war. "You know, they don't get these volunteers for combat from Harvard or Yale," he says. "They get them from communities like mine . . . if members of Congress thought for one minute that [the country would be] drafting their kids and their grandkids you would not see this overwhelming sense of patriotism that you see."

Nobody plots mistakes, but difficulties always follow. The invasion of France was the most carefully plotted battle of World War II; the quartermasters calculated down to the last bean how many the Navy would need for its signature soup in the ships off Normandy. Dwight Eisenhower ruefully conceded on the eve of D-Day that in every battle once the first shots are fired all the carefully drafted plans are gone with the wind. Congressional resolutions, however eloquently parsed, mean nothing once the shooting starts.

Saying "pox on both your houses" is no policy, either, even if it replaces "no policy." Barack Obama painted himself into this corner, taking the rest of us with him, and in a fair and ordered world we could walk away to let the Islamic precincts of the Middle East stew in their own bile, venom and malignant evil.

If the president loses the vote, his credibility will be lost for sure and for good, but so will the credibility of the United States. For better or worse, the credibility of the president, any president, and the credibility of the nation are bound together. That's what makes this dilemma particularly and spectacularly bad. This one may be a hold-your-nose vote, to give Barack Obama his legacy. That's the only argument he can credibly make. What a choice.

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.

JWR contributor Wesley Pruden is editor emeritus of The Washington Times. Comment by clicking here.

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