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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
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

Obama is right on Syria

By George Will



JewishWorldReview.com | People who talk incessantly often talk imprecisely, and Barack Obama, who is as loquacious as he is impressed with his verbal dexterity, has talked himself into a corner concerning Syria and chemical weapons. This is condign punishment for his rhetorical carelessness, but the nation’s credibility, not just his, will suffer. His policy is better than his description of it, and his description is convoluted because he lacks the courage of his sensible conviction that entanglement in Syria would be unwise.

Nine months ago, Obama said: “We have been very clear to the Assad regime . . . that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my calculus.” This is less a policy than a large loophole masquerading as a policy.

“Moving around or being utilized” (emphasis added) suggested that moving the weapons would cross the red line. Now, however, the argument is entirely about whether they have been used. How much is “a whole bunch”? Can less than this be utilized without changing Obama’s “calculus”? What, if anything, might a changed calculus mean in terms of U.S. actions?

By last week, the “red line” had been demoted to just “another line”: “To use potential weapons of mass destruction on civilian populations crosses another line with respect to international norms and international law. . . . That is going to be a game changer.” Well.

What about their use against others than civilian populations? Do Bashar al-Assad’s armed enemies count as civilians? How might the game change? Or is the use of such weapons itself the change? Does the line matter only with regard to international law and norms, not to U.S. policy?


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Obama, who supposedly speaks so well, is behaving better than he is speaking. In an essay in the May/June issue of the American Interest (“Leading from Behind: Third Time a Charm?”), Owen Harries and Tom Switzer argue that Obama understands the “most important sentence ever written about American foreign policy,” Walter Lippmann’s formulation: “Without the controlling principle that the nation must maintain its objectives and its power in equilibrium, its purposes within its means and its means equal to its purposes, its commitments related to its resources and its resources adequate to its commitments, it is impossible to think at all about foreign affairs.”

An unidentified Obama aide did Obama no favor when he characterized (to the New Yorker) Obama’s policy as an oxymoron — “leading from behind.” Those who have the courage of Obama’s convictions should praise his policy as an escape from the delusional ambition that the United States can and should lead everywhere.

The argument about what, if anything, the United States should do about developments — at once appalling and opaque — in Syria is just the latest flaring of a controversy that can be said to have been kindled in 1990 when Jeane Kirkpatrick urged the United States to resume its life as a “normal nation.” Although Kirkpatrick was a Democrat until 1985, she was in accord with Ronald Reagan, for whom she served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, regarding foreign policy. In an article written after the Berlin Wall fell and before Iraq invaded Kuwait and the United States prepared to reverse this aggression, Kirkpatrick wrote: “With a return to ‘normal’ times, we can again become a normal nation. . . . It is time to give up the dubious benefits of superpower status.”

One of those benefits is that those who make U.S. foreign policy can scrub from their vocabularies the word “unacceptable,” which usually denotes something America actually must accept. Or even is already accepting, as when (March 11) Tom Donilon, Obama’s national security adviser, strangely said, “The United States will not accept North Korea as a nuclear state.”

In December, Obama said: “The use of chemical weapons is and would be totally unacceptable.” Not partially but totally, so . . .

Remember Colin Powell’s U.N. speech detailing Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, a speech the accusations in which Powell meticulously vetted during days he spent at CIA headquarters? Obama is muddled about his own red lines but he is rightly cautious about what it is possible to know about the Assad regime’s behavior.

Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said “it is in our DNA” to believe “there are no limits on what is possible or what can be achieved.” Obama seems to know better. Certainly his confused — or perhaps calculatedly confusing — words about red lines serve his policy of sensible caution.

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.

George Will's latest book is "With a Happy Eye but: America and the World, 1997-2002" to purchase a copy, click here. Comment on this column by clicking here.

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