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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 May 15, 2009 / 21 Iyar 5769

Obama foreign policy settling for expediency

By Jonathan Gurwitz


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | One word and a phrase abounded at a recent day of briefings at the State Department. The briefings, an annual event sponsored by the National Conference of Editorial Writers, allow a small group of journalists from across the nation to hear from top diplomats and discuss a broad range of foreign policy issues.


The frequently used word was "acting" — as in one temporarily holding a rank or position. There was an acting assistant secretary for international security and non-proliferation, an acting assistant secretary of state for public affairs, an acting assistant secretary for African affairs and an acting assistant secretary for Near Eastern affairs.


In the run-up to the inauguration, President-elect Barack Obama received praise for his alacrity in filling key posts and his ability to take the reins of power quickly. When he announced his national security team on Dec. 1, Obama said:


"I will be in close contact with these advisers, who will be working with their counterparts in the Bush Administration to make sure that we are ready to hit the ground running on Jan. 20. Given the range of threats that we face — and the vulnerability that can be a part of every presidential transition — I hope that we can proceed swiftly for those national security officials who demand confirmation."


As at the Treasury Department, Obama has made some high-level appointments at State, including Hillary Clinton and Richard Holbrooke. But it's at the level of assistants that policy is often crafted and enacted, and that level at the State Department remains remarkably barren.


Four months into the Obama administration, 33 out of 45 leadership posts that require a presidential appointment remain unfilled, with 13 late nominations awaiting confirmation and 20 positions for which no nominee has yet been put forward.


Among the critical geographic and functional areas — in addition to non-proliferation — lacking a presidential appointment are assistant secretaries for: international narcotics and law enforcement affairs; diplomatic security; western hemisphere affairs; and democracy, human rights and labor.


Leaving so many positions unfilled in a dangerous world may not sound smart. The operative phrase in the Obama-Clinton State Department, however, is "smart power." What is smart power? Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, deputy coordinator in the office of the coordinator for counterterrorism, put it this way:


"Smart power is the holistic approach that we have been using for several years now in our counterterrorism efforts."


The emphasis in italics is mine, showing that Obama smart power is not much different in substance from the presumably dumb power of the final Bush years. We're still firing missiles in Afghanistan and Pakistan, "air raiding villages and killing civilians" as candidate Obama once put it. We just have more articulate spokesmen defending the policy.


Another commonality between late-Bush and early-Obama foreign policy is that you hear almost nothing now about human rights and freedom. George W. Bush made a compelling case after 9-11 that international security was integrally linked with the growth of democratic institutions and individual liberty.


In pursuing a foreign policy that wasn't based solely on cold, hard national interests but also on universal values, Bush was following a rich bipartisan tradition that in recent memory encompassed Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Scoop Jackson and Jeanne Kirkpatrick.


The realists reasserted control in the second Bush term. Unpopular at home and abroad, Bush was a poor spokesman for the freedom agenda. U.S. foreign policy is still, unfortunately, unburdened by the oppression of women, the educational impoverishment of girls, the execution of gays or the imprisonment of political dissidents.


Obama — immensely popular and eloquent — could be their champion.


Should be their champion.

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JWR contributor Jonathan Gurwitz, a columnist for the San Antonio Express-News, is a co-founder and twice served as Director General of the Future Leaders of the Alliance program at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. In 1986 he was placed on the Foreign Service Register of the U.S. State Department.

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© 2009, Jonathan Gurwitz

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