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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 Oct. 6, 2009 / 18 Tishrei 5770

Obama dithers and dithers

By Wesley Pruden




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Only a wreck on the highway is more exciting than watching a president argue with himself. Not even the gruesome sight of presidential gore can overcome the instinct to stare at the gloomy and ponder the morbid.

Barack Obama, like the "progressives" he represents, is proud of a mind so open that his brains are forever at risk of falling out. He first said the war in Afghanistan was a war the West could not afford to lose. But that was way back when, and he changed his mind. Then he changed it again, and now nobody, maybe not even the president himself, knows what he thinks. This president's resolve, crucial though it is to the nation's security and survival, is always a work in progress.

All presidents are fond of saying the door to the Oval Office is always open, advice is welcome from all, no point of view will be ignored, the opinion of every American is valued, blah, blah, blah. This is happy talk, usually sufficient only as a strategy for dithering and delay. A Praetorian guard can make sure that anyone who takes the happy talk for the real stuff is kept far, far away from a president absorbed in his indecision.

This definitely includes the leader of the soldiers whom the commander in chief put in harm's way in Afghanistan. You might think the president talks frequently with Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the commander of both U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan. But if you think that, you don't understand how this president works. Gen. McChrystal's five-page Commander's Summary of what's going on in Afghanistan, prepared for the president, came forcefully to the president's attention with the leak of the document, in which the general warned that "failure to gain the initiative and reverse momentum in the near-term (next 12 months) - while Afghan security capacity matures - risks an outcome where defeating the insurgency is no longer possible."

Joe Biden, the vice president who thinks of himself as the strategist for all seasons, says what the general ought to do is "narrow the mission." He would just send drones and Special Forces to expand the war into Pakistan. Gen. McChrystal, in remarks to the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, says such a strategy is "shortsighted" and would make Afghanistan something of a "chaos-istan," a sanctuary for terrorism once the government falls to the Taliban. For his pains, he was summoned by the president to a 25-minute chewing out aboard Air Force One on the tarmac at Copenhagen airport. A president is rightly jealous of maintaining civilian discipline over the military, and Mr. Obama was having a particularly hard day in Copenhagen, but the frustrated general has been having a hard time, too, just getting the president's attention.

And it's not just Gen. McChrystal. The chief of the British general staff told the London Sunday Telegraph over the weekend that failure in Afghanistan would have an "intoxicating effect" on militant Islam and the consequences to the West would be "enormous" and "unimaginable."

Said Gen. Sir David Richards: "If al Qaeda and the Taliban believe they have defeated us - what next? Would they stop at Afghanistan? Pakistan is clearly a tempting target not least because it is a nuclear-weaponed state, and that is a terrifying prospect. Even if only a few of those nuclear weapons fall into their hands, believe me they would use them. The recent airlines plot has reminded us that there are people out there who would happily blow all of us up."

Sir David said he sounded his warning, unprecedented in Britain, because he believes that the public "and even members of the government" are not awake to the "enormous risks" if the war in Afghanistan is lost.

The White House, suddenly aware of its growing reputation for dithering incompetence, tried to calm the controversy Monday with the assurance that the military bureaucracy is alive, well and functioning. The president has, too, read the general's gloomy assessment, the White House press secretary said, but the president doesn't expect a "formal" request to arrive for "a little bit." The president is not yet focused on "resource decisions."

The war in Afghanistan is in its ninth year, and Americans are impatient. Maybe in the end the president will decide to cut and run. Maybe that will be the popular decision. Maybe "narrowing the focus" is a better strategy. Maybe sending more troops is even better. But further dithering won't impress anybody, and asking an American soldier to be the last man to die in an abandoned cause is too much for any president, no matter how pretty the speech, to ask.

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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