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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 Dec. 30, 2011/ 4 Teves, 5772

More than malarkey in the Strait

By Wesley Pruden




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It isn't saber-rattling by Iran that's making noise in the Middle East, but rhetoric-rattling. Nobody does it better.

The latest purveyor of big malarkey is the chief of the Iranian navy, who would execute the Iranian threat to close the Strait of Hormuz in answer to the Western sanctions against Iran for its work on a nuclear weapon.

"Closing the Strait of Hormuz for Iran's armed forces is really easy," he says, "or as Iranians say, it will be easier than drinking a glass of water." (Those witty Persians.) Then, in deference to the real world, he added a caveat: "But right now, we don't need to shut it."

The Iranian admiral, or whatever they call a navy chief who never, never gets sick at sea, obviously doesn't have Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's gift for rhetoric both flaming and empty. Not being a politician, he understands the risks in challenging the U.S. Fifth Fleet, with its 20 ships and abundance of combat aircraft.

He certainly doesn't frighten anyone, not even himself or his shipmates. The British Foreign Office dismissed the talk as the "rhetoric" it is. "Iranian politicians regularly use this type of rhetoric to distract attention from the real issue, which is the nature of their nuclear program." The U.S. State Department, which rarely uses the straightforward English that our cousins do across the sea, dismissed the Iranian threat as merely "an element of bluster."

Rhetoric has become the chief export of the Islamic countries, oil being only second. It's in the DNA. Once upon a time a drowsy follower of the prophet lay against an olive tree close by the village gate, trying to take a nap. But he was surrounded by a gaggle of village children who were raising the usual din of children at innocent play.

"Children, children," he cried. "A man is giving away melons at the other end of the village. Go and take as many as you like."

The ploy worked and the children quickly ran away, their feet raising little clouds of dust. The drowsy follower of the prophet settled back to continue to get his nap at last. But suddenly he bolted to his feet, wide awake, and ran to join the children. "What am I doing here?" he mumbled to himself. "Someone is giving away melons at the other end of the village."

Arab bluster has little power any longer to frighten anyone but the credulous, and the price of oil, which is usually sensitive to any prospective disruptions of the market, ticked upward only a little in the wake of the Iranian threat, and then subsided the next day.

Nevertheless, the Iranians could disrupt the Hormuz chokepoint; about 40 percent of all the Gulf oil goes through the Strait, which divides Iran from the United Arab Emirates and Oman. The strait narrows to a width of only 21 miles where the Persian Gulf flows through on its way to the Arabian Sea and thence to the Indian Ocean. The U.S. Department of Energy calls the Strait "the world's most important oil chokepoint." If Iran could actually close the chokepoint, it would disrupt oil not only from the United Arab Emirates and Oman, but from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar. This is why it's not going to happen.

But the rulers of Iran, goofy as they usually sound, are actually as clever as the villager in hot pursuit of the mythical melons. They understand that the window of opportunity to disrupt the Iranian nuclear-weapons program is swiftly closing, and dispensing a little more apocalyptic rhetoric could guarantee that the West -- meaning the Obama administration -- will do nothing about it.

The International Atomic Energy Agency reported only last month that there is evidence that the Iranians, despite their assertions that they are only working on peaceful applications of nuclear energy, are actually at work on a bomb and the computer modeling of how to use it. The Washington Post reported in November that nuclear scientists from the old Soviet Union and Pakistan have joined North Koreans in designing and building the high-precision detonators needed to set off the chain reaction of a nuclear explosion.

The buzz in the West that something dramatic is afoot in Iran has been heard in Tehran, too. It's a rattle of more than rhetoric. A loaded gun in the hands of a 5-year-old, after all, can wreak enormous damage.

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

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