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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

A preferable tyranny

By George Will



JewishWorldReview.com | Former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi knows neither Thomas Jefferson's advice that "great innovations should not be forced on slender majorities" nor the description of Martin Van Buren as a politician who "rowed to his object with muffled oars."

Having won just 52% of the vote, Morsi pursued his objective — putting Egypt irrevocably on a path away from secular politics and social modernity — noisily and imprudently.

It is difficult to welcome a military overthrow of democratic results. It is, however, more difficult to regret a prophylactic coup against the exploitation of democratic success to adopt measures inimical to the development of a democratic culture.

Tyranny comes in many flavors. Some are much worse than others because they are more comprehensive and potentially durable.

The tyranny portended by Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood promised no separation of politics and religion, hence the impossibility of pluralism, and hostility to modernity that guaranteed economic incompetence.

Theologized politics, where compromise is apostasy, points toward Orwell's vision of totalitarianism: "a boot stamping on a human face — forever."

Military despotism might be merely for a while, though perhaps for quite a while: The 1952 Egyptian coup inaugurated six decades of military rule. Egypt's military tyranny is preferable to Morsi's because it's more mundane.

Mussolini's fascism, being Italian, was tyranny tempered by anarchy; Egyptian military tyranny has been tempered by corruption because the military is thoroughly entangled with Egypt's economy.

A famous description of Prussia — less a state with an army than an army with a state — fits Egypt, but greed might focus military minds on the advantages of economic dynamism, which depends on liberalization.



What was optimistically and prematurely called the "Arab Spring" was centered in Tahrir Square in the capital of the most populous Arab nation. Western media, and hence Western publics, were mesmerized by young protesters wielding smartphones and coordinating through social media their uprising against the military dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak.

Smartphones are luxury goods in a nation in which about 40% of the population lives on no more than $2 a day. In the short term, meaning for the foreseeable future, Egypt's best hope is for an authoritarianism amenable to amelioration.

Jeane Kirkpatrick came to Ronald Reagan's attention partly because he was a constant and serious reader whose fare included Commentary magazine. In its November 1979 issue, Reagan found Kirkpatrick's "Dictatorships & Double Standards." His future ambassador to the United Nations made an argument that is pertinent to America's deals with Egypt after the military coup.

Liberalism, the Carter administration's animating impulse, adhered to a "modernization paradigm" which taught that the U.S. interest was always in modernization. This meant that popular movements espousing revolutionary aspirations were preferable to traditional autocracies.

This, said Kirkpatrick, "encourages support for all change that takes place in the name of 'the people.'"

However, the liberalization of an autocracy is, she believed, neither certain nor easy but is more likely than the reform of an ideologically revolutionary regime.

This is because of "systemic differences between traditional and revolutionary autocracies that have a predictable effect on their degree of repressiveness. Generally speaking, traditional autocrats tolerate social inequities, brutality and poverty while revolutionary autocracies create them."


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An Islamist regime wielded by the Muslim Brotherhood would be revolutionary, aiming for the total subordination of society to administered doctrine. No democratic origin of such a regime will mitigate its nature.

The U.S. Constitution bristles with the language of proscription:

Congress, although the expression of popular sovereignty, "shall make no law" doing this and that. The purpose of such provisions, the Supreme Court has said, is to place certain things "beyond the reach of majorities."

Furthermore, the noblest career in the annals of democracy involved a principled recoil against democracy improperly elevated over all other values.

The idea that the strong have a right to unfettered rule if their strength is numerical is just the barbarism of "might makes right" prettified by initial adherence to democratic forms.

Egypt's military despotism may be less dangerous than Morsi's because it lacks what Morsi's had — a democratic coloration, however superficial and evanescent.

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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