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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 Nov. 1, 2005 / 29 Tishrei, 5766

Individual spirit finally protected

By Jonathan Gurwitz


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I was unprepared for the words of Dr. Najmaldin Karim. It was getting toward the end of a daylong conference on political violence sponsored by the University of Central Florida's Office of Global Perspectives and the National Conference of Editorial Writers. Karim was on a panel to discuss the situation in Iraq.

After two other speakers, Karim began to address the group of journalists, academics and students, many of whom were foreigners. His biography identified him as the president of the Washington Kurdish Institute. I expected the distinguished-looking man with a stern face and square jaw to launch into a bitter discourse about the litany of crimes Saddam Hussein and the Baathist regime had committed against the Kurdish people.

Such a discourse would, of course, have been entirely appropriate. The atrocities against the Kurds cannot be recounted too many times, especially to those who lamentably believe the U.S.-led effort that destroyed the former dictatorship and is now creating a new political order to be a moral calamity. Karim, like all Kurds, has a right to feel embittered, not only about the 2,000 villages Saddam destroyed while the world — the United States included — did nothing. And not only about the slaughter of more than 100,000 people by conventional bombing, firing squads, torture and chemical weapons — yes, the chemical weapons some ignorantly claim Saddam never had.

The Kurdish grievance goes back more than eight decades, when the colonial powers that carved up the former Ottoman Empire declined to fulfill their promise to create a homeland for the Kurds. Today they are probably the world's largest nationality not to have their own state.

So when the words began to flow gently from Karim, they caught me off-guard. He began by reading Lord Byron's "Canto IX of Don Juan:"

And I will war at least in words (and should

My chance so happen — deeds), with all who war

With thought; and of thought's foes by far most rude,

Tyrants and sycophants have been and are.

I know not who may conquer. If I could

Have such a prescience, it should be no bar

To this my plain, sworn, downright detestation

Of every despotism in every nation.

The Republic of Fear's murderers and their jihadist allies are thought's foes today.

"The suggestion that Saddam Hussein's dictatorship was a 'stable' form of government," Karim said, "is outrageous to Iraqis not on the ideological fringe, especially the Kurds. The war in Iraq didn't begin in 2003 — for the previous 35 years, Kurds, Shiites and anyone else who threatened the oligarchy fought against the suppression of their very existence."

Karim then quoted John Stuart Mill from "On Liberty:"

There is a limit to the legitimate interference of collective opinion with individual independence; and to find that limit, and maintain it against encroachment, is as indispensable to a good condition of human affairs as protection against political despotism.
"Secular Iraqis," he said, "view the new Iraq as their long-awaited opportunity to finally protect the individual spirit, the domain of man that suffers so acutely under totalitarian rule.

"Plenty of piffle has been uttered about American imposition of a livelihood that Iraqis do not want. A deep gratitude permeates Kurds for the American sacrifice."

Karim is neither a political scientist nor a historian. He graduated from medical school in Mosul and completed his training in neurosurgery in the United States. In addition to being an advocate for the Kurdish people and the democratic rule of law in Iraq, he is a practicing neurosurgeon and a clinical professor.

How odd, I thought, to listen to a Kurdish doctor lecture a heterogeneous audience in the United States about politics in his native land by quoting Byron, Mill and Tocqueville for good measure.

Free people in free societies can sometimes surprise you that way.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

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.Comment by clicking here.

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