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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 August 23, 2007 / 9 Elul, 5767

What September Won't Settle

By George Will


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Come September, America might slip closer toward a Weimar moment. It would be milder than the original but significantly disagreeable.


After the First World War, politics in Germany's new Weimar Republic were poisoned by the belief that the army had been poised for victory in 1918 and that one more surge could have turned the tide. Many Germans bitterly concluded that the political class, having lost its nerve and will to win, capitulated. The fact that fanciful analysis fed this rancor did not diminish its power.


The Weimar Republic was fragile; America's domestic tranquility is not. Still, remember the bitterness stirred by the accusatory question "Who lost China?" and corrosive suspicions that the fruits of victory in Europe had been squandered by Americans of bad character or bad motives at Yalta.


So, consider this: When Gen. David Petraeus delivers his report on the war, his Washington audience will include two militant factions. Perhaps nothing he can responsibly say will sway either, so September will reinforce animosities.


One faction — essentially, congressional Democrats — is heavily invested in the belief, fervently held by the party's base of donors and activists, that prolonging U.S. involvement can have no benefit commensurate with the costs. The war, this faction says, is lost because even its repeatedly and radically revised objective — a stable society under a tolerable regime — is beyond America's military capacity and nation-building competence, and it is politically impossible given the limits of American patience.


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The other faction, equal in anger and certitude, argues, not for the first time (remember the transfer of sovereignty to Iraq, Iraqi voters' purple fingers, the Iraqi constitution, the killing of Saddam Hussein's sons, the capture of Hussein, the killing of Zarqawi, etc.), that the tide has turned. How febrile is this faction? Recently it became euphoric because of a New York Times column by two Brookings Institution scholars, who reported:


"We are finally getting somewhere" ("at least in military terms"), the troops' "morale is high," "civilian fatality rates are down roughly a third since the surge began" and there is "the potential to produce not necessarily 'victory' but a sustainable stability."


But the scholars also said:


"The situation in Iraq remains grave," fatalities "remain very high," "the dependability of Iraqi security forces over the long term remains a major question mark," "the Iraqi National Police . . . remain mostly a disaster," "Iraqi politicians of all stripes continue to dawdle and maneuver for position," it is unclear how much longer we can "wear down our forces in this mission" or how much longer Americans should "keep fighting and dying to build a new Iraq while Iraqi leaders fail to do their part," and "once we begin to downsize, important communities may not feel committed to the status quo, and Iraqi security forces may splinter along ethnic and religious lines."


The rapturous reception of that column by one faction was evidence of the one thing both factions share: a powerful will to believe, or disbelieve, as their serenity requires. Consider the following from the war-is-irretrievable faction:


Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina, House majority whip, recently said that it would be "a real big problem for us" — Democrats — if Petraeus reports substantial progress. Rep. Nancy Boyda, a Kansas Democrat, recently found reports of progress unendurable. She left a hearing of the Armed Services Committee because retired Gen. Jack Keane was saying things Boyda thinks might "further divide this country," such as that Iraq's "schools are open. The markets are teeming with people." Boyda explained: "There is only so much you can take until we in fact had to leave the room for a while . . . after so much of the frustration of having to listen to what we listened to."


In the other faction, there still are those so impervious to experience that they continue to refer to Syria as "lower-hanging fruit." Such metaphors bewitch minds. Low-hanging fruit is plucked, then eaten. What does one nation do when it plucks another? In Iraq, America is in its fifth year of learning the answer.


Petraeus's metrics of success might ignite more arguments than they settle. In America, police drug sweeps often produce metrics of success but dealers soon relocate their operations. If Iraqi security forces have become substantially more competent, some Americans will say U.S. forces can depart; if those security forces have not yet substantially improved, the same people will say U.S. forces must depart. Furthermore, will the security forces' competence ultimately serve the Iraqi state — or a sect?


Petraeus's report will be received in the context of his minimalist definition of the U.S. mission: "Buying time for Iraqis to reconcile." The reconciling, such as it is, will recommence when Iraq's parliament returns from its month-long vacation, come September.

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