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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 June 25, 2009 / 3 Tamuz 5769

Our Presidential Tenderfoot

By Bob Tyrrell


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The anti-government protests in Iran following the government's rigged elections are doubtless a little more than the "robust debate" among Iranians that President Barack Obama welcomed during the election. Some of the debaters have been shot dead. Others have been hustled off to jail. I wonder whether this is an eye-opener for our novice president.


Conservatives have objected to his Laodicean calm in the first days of the bloodshed. He fastidiously refused to take sides. Only by the weekend did he come to his wits and call "on the Iranian government to stop all violent and unjust actions against its own people." After that, the bloodshed got worse. On Tuesday, he expressed "concerns," but by then, the demonstrators had a martyr, 26-year-old Neda Agha-Soltan, an apparently nonpolitical singer who was shot dead, presumably by government riot-control troops, though she was not actually in the protest. The videotape of her death has been circulating in news media and on the Internet ever since.


Though the nonsensical Mahmoud Ahmadinejad remains the president of Iran after the disputed elections, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is the country's supreme leader. Having lost confidence in the police and members of the street militia, the Basij, he called out the Revolutionary Guard to clamp down on the protests. Interestingly, the head of the guard in the province of Tehran, Gen. Ali Fazli, a veteran of the Iraq-Iran war, refused to fire on his own countrymen and was arrested. The guard itself is a powerful force in the country, with its own institutions and considerable independence from the government and the Rev. Khamenei's Guardian Council.


Now it seems likely that the guard will turn Iran into a military dictatorship, with the Rev. Khamenei slipping into a gray space somewhere between political power and spiritual authority. Thus, the outcome for now of the street demonstrations in Iran might well be what we Americans call the division between church and state or between mosque and state. Whether this will render Iran peaceful and an agreeable member of the world community is dubious. The Revolutionary Guard obviously is full of angry militants. Perhaps the best that the West can hope for is the ongoing splintering of the ruling military dictatorship, with some members of the guard resisting attacks on their countrymen and others attempting totalitarian control of Iran.


Yet my question remains: Has our sententious new president learned anything from the unforeseen violent culmination of the Iranian elections? Frankly, I doubt it. He reminds me so much of our most recent sanctimonious pontificator, President Jimmy Carter, who at first attempted to end the Cold War by lecturing Americans against their "inordinate fear of communism." Then the Soviets became more aggressive. Finally, Carter began the military buildup for which his successor took justifiable credit. President Ronald Reagan knew the value of a strong military in support of resolute diplomacy.


Neither Carter nor Obama has any sense of the linkage of the two, and now it looks as if the Obama administration is going to cut back on our military, even as the dangers to world peace grow.


At the heart of our new president is, it seems to me, ambivalence. Within him exist opposite attitudes. What we have seen during the protests in Iran is not a clear sense of geopolitics, but uncertainty. President Obama has not had a clue as to what to do. His White House aides are actually claiming that his muddled Cairo speech before the Iranian elections inspired the young demonstrators. "We're trying to promote a foreign policy that advances our interests, not that makes us feel good about ourselves," an anonymous Obama administration aide told The Washington Post. That is precisely the opposite of the truth.


Increasingly, it is apparent that we have not only a very unseasoned president in the White House but also a very weak one. At a surprisingly early point in his presidency, Obama's program is in disarray. On health care, he is under fire from the left and the right. His cap and trade policy is in trouble. This week, The Hill reports that "congressional Democrats are largely ignoring President Obama's $19.8 billion in budget cuts." His Democrats on Capitol Hill are intent on cuts that he has not asked for, some of which shave funds for his priorities.


Let the mainstream media purr on about this president's mastery of government. My sense is that he is out of his depth. His dithering over the Iranian protests is but one bloody example.

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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