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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 April 8, 2010 / 24 Nissan 5770

Static in the Air

By Bob Tyrrell



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The increasing static in the air between Kabul and the White House brings to mind other dicey episodes in American diplomacy. Even dealing with allies can be tricky. Recall de Gaulle. He was heartburn for five American presidents. Even Churchill could be difficult, and he was half-American. Yet for Roosevelt and Truman, he could be a trial, particularly when the question of the future of the British Empire's colonies was on the table.


President Barack Obama's rows with Afghan President Hamid Karzai may not put you in mind of de Gaulle or the passing of the British Empire, but there is a troubling analogy, to wit, the Kennedys' treatment of the president of South Vietnam, Ngo Dinh Diem. It did not end prettily. In the early days of the Vietnam conflict, President John F. Kennedy was increasingly critical of Diem for his apparent ineptitude, corruption and brutality. Our ambassador to Saigon, Henry Cabot Lodge, snubbed the South Vietnamese president. When word reached Washington that officers in the South Vietnamese army were going to overthrow Diem, the Kennedys pointedly looked the other way. The coup took place, and to the administration's embarrassment, President Diem was not left an exile, but a well-photographed corpse. His was to be the last stable South Vietnamese government. Sometimes foreigners know more about the governance of their own countries than Americans do.


Is the Diem scenario to be the scenario for Afghanistan? The country is probably even more ungovernable than South Vietnam. It has never in modern times had a strong central government. There always have been rivalries and, by our standards, much corruption. From this backward country has emerged President Hamid Karzai, another difficult ally. It is not too soon to ask whether President Obama will handle him as his White House predecessors handled de Gaulle or as Diem was handled.


For several months, the Obama administration has made clear through leaks and public statements that it does not approve of Karzai's fraught election and his laxness in dealing with corruption. The consequence has been a growing hostility between Kabul and Washington that may now be reaching a crisis.


Though not very well-reported, the crisis appears to have begun in early March, when President Obama refused Karzai's request for a meeting in Washington. Karzai's response was to invite Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to visit Kabul. There the Iranian, in his trademark dirty jacket, delivered a series of snipes at President Obama. Late in the month, when President Obama visited Kabul on his whirlwind trip to visit our troops, he did sit down with Karzai but then allowed it to be leaked worldwide that at his sententious best, he had treated Karzai to a lecture on the essentials of Good Government.

Letter from JWR publisher


That indignity apparently provoked Karzai to let it be leaked that he has told Afghan colleagues that if the static continues between Washington and Kabul, he might consider joining the Taliban! Not to be outdone, the administration — through its spokesman, Robert Gibbs — has let it be known that when Karzai arrives in Washington for a May 12 meeting, he may not get to see President Obama. "We certainly would evaluate whatever continued or further remarks President Karzai makes," Gibbs said, "as to whether that's constructive to have such a meeting."


Readers of this column may recall that I had a little fun at Karzai's expense in February, when I took exception to his demagoguery in Parliament over the issue of Afghan civilians' being killed by our troops. Usually they were put in harm's way by the Taliban. I also joked about an election monitoring board that Karzai packed with allies. "Hamid Karzai, D-Chicago," I called him to make an obvious point.


After the column appeared, I got a sobering call from a friend who had played a significant role in the Bush administration's conduct of war in Afghanistan and Iraq. During the call, he/she reminded me that a change in leadership in those faraway parts does not necessarily end in improved leadership. Moreover, Karzai has achieved more than any of his rivals likely would achieve toward peace and security in the region, with no evidence that he himself is corrupt.


Lay off, my friend said, so I have. That picture I once beheld of Diem sobered me up, too. I wonder whether President Obama has seen it.


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.

JWR contributor Bob Tyrrell is editor in chief of The American Spectator. Comment by clicking here.

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