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In this issue
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 Dec. 11, 2008 14 Kislev 5769

Steady hand at defense

By George Will

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Email this article | With President U.S. Grant's long, narrow desk behind him, he works at Gen. John Pershing's spacious partners desk and converses with guests at a round table used by Secretary of War Jefferson Davis. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, part of the reassuring furniture of government for most of 42 years, will soon serve his eighth president in a career that began in 1966 when Gates joined the CIA; he became director 25 years later.

On Nov. 1, 1979, he was note-taker when Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Jimmy Carter's national security adviser, met in Algiers with representatives of Iran's radical Islamic regime that had just overthrown the shah, who had fled to the West. Brzezinski assured the Iranians that America would recognize their revolution, sell them weapons the shah had wanted and embrace normal relations. They demanded the shah. Brzezinski rejected that as dishonorable. Three days later, U.S. diplomats were taken hostage in Tehran.

"I actually think," Gates says, "there is a reasonable chance" some combination of diplomatic and economic carrots and sticks can deter Iran, with its ramshackle economy and restive citizenry, from acquiring nuclear weapons, even though its nuclear quest began under the shah. Will other nations assist U.S. nonproliferation efforts? Gates answers obliquely, noting that Vladimir Putin told him that Iran is Russia's biggest security threat. And, he says, Iran might yet recognize that acquiring nuclear weapons would be a net subtraction from its security, if that acquisition provoked nearby nations to become nuclear powers.


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Regarding Iraq, Gates is parsimonious with his confidence, noting that "the multisectarian democracy has not sunk very deep roots yet." He stresses, however, that there is bipartisan congressional support for "a long-term residual presence" of perhaps 40,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, and that the president-elect's recent statements have not precluded that. Such a presence "for decades" has, he says, followed major U.S. military operations since 1945, other than in Vietnam. And he says, "Look at how long Britain has had troops in Cyprus."

Regarding Afghanistan, Gates recalls with a flicker of a smile that two decades ago, when "we were the quartermaster for the mujaheddin" fighting the Soviet army, "I was pumping arms across the border to some of the same guys" America is dealing with today. He is encouraged by the "dramatic expansion" of Afghanistan's national army and police. But when asked if Afghanistan has ever had a national government whose writ ran nationwide, he says "no."

Afghanistan, which is almost as large as Texas, has fewer U.S. troops (34,000) than New York City has police (35,800). Asked if NATO, which will celebrate its 60th birthday in 2009, might die from its cumulative futilities in Afghanistan, Gates is acerbic: Afghanistan is the "top operational priority" of NATO, "which must never forget that it is a military alliance, not a talk shop." He says NATO nations other than America have approximately 2.5 million people under arms but protracted wheedling is required to get even 10,000 more for Afghanistan, and they come encumbered with caveats that cripple their usefulness.

Still, he thinks there will have to be American boots on Afghanistan's soil for many years because it would be "very difficult" to use "offshore" operations — Special Forces, cruise missiles and other airstrikes — to prevent the country from again becoming an incubator of terrorist capabilities. Noting that the first attack on the World Trade Center was in 1993, he says: "We paid a price quickly for turning our backs on Afghanistan after 1989." For that, he says, he shares the blame.

Asked what worries him most, he unhesitatingly answers with one word: "Pakistan." That nation's western region seethes with threats to the regime, and there are groups that hope terrorist attacks such as those in Mumbai can, like the assassination in Sarajevo in 1914, spark a conflagration.

Still, he says he used "an unfortunate phrase" when he recently said that the world in 1970 was "amateur night" compared to today. He meant that although Henry Kissinger deftly handled three simultaneous challenges (Syria attacking Jordan, turmoil in Lebanon, the Soviets building a submarine base in Cuba), back then crises "had a beginning and an end." Today's festering crises, from North Korea to Kosovo, "come up on the table and don't go off." Fortunately, Gates's experiences in the cauldron of crisis are as impressive as the provenances of his desks and tables.

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