Home
In this issue
December 2, 2014

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 20, 2005 / 11 Iyar, 5765

Irony hath no shame

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker
Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Even the most liberal-bashing, war-mongering, beef-eating American surely struggled to keep a straight face as the Bush administration expressed moral indignation about a Newsweek story that went belly-up on account of bad intelligence.

If anyone on G-d's green earth should understand that sometimes information is flawed, that one would be President George W. Bush, whose arguments in favor of invading Iraq proved to be similarly false.

Not lies, as I've stubbornly argued despite the risk of assault by audiences armed with cream pies and salad dressing. But bad info. Widely held beliefs that turned out not to be true. Incorrect data from formerly reliable sources who didn't get it right this time.

As was the case with the two Newsweek reporters who filed a "Periscope" item claiming that a Pentagon investigation had found evidence of Koran desecration at Guantanamo Bay.

The blurb, as everyone now knows, was later retracted, but not before it had provided unemployed Afghan radicals an excuse to riot, leading to more than a dozen deaths. And not before the world exploded in outrage and recrimination. I've already written about this so won't belabor the topic.

But after several days of being slapped around by the Irony Fairy, I can't ignore the absurdity of the White House's new role as institutional victim. My eyes have rolled so many times, my sockets are sore.

Apparently borrowing a page from the administration's critics, the White House condemned the reporters for making assertions on thin evidence, while press secretary Scott McClellan urged Newsweek to help repair the damage inflicted on America's image abroad.

" There is lasting damage to our image because of this report, and we would encourage Newsweek to do all that they can to help repair the damage that has been done, particularly in the region," he said.

McClellan suggested that Newsweek write about what happened — how it got the story wrong — and shine a light instead on how the U.S. military goes out of its way to be sensitive about issues related to Islam and the Koran.

I'm all for showing our best face, especially the military's, and have noted the media's disproportionately negative coverage during our time in Iraq and Afghanistan. But, come on, Scottie. One small news item about Koran desecration (not the first) hurt our image abroad?

Our image as infidels was, and has been, abysmal among those who would riot and who, time permitting, happily would exterminate us. Islamic extremists didn't even need Abu Ghraib to hate us more. Our image as Satan is tattooed on the radical-Muslim psyche and won't be erased until those rioting have a job, a paycheck and hope for some future this side of 72 virgins.

All of which is why I supported the Bush Doctrine and still hope it works. The spread of freedom and democracy is the Arab world's best hope and, therefore, ours. But getting to test that doctrine by invading Iraq was a bet we now know was based on faulty intelligence.

There were no stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, as everyone — including the French, Germans and others — believed. There is no evidence so far of Iraq trying to buy uranium yellowcake from Niger, as claimed. There were no mobile labs for biological weapons production, though arguably what were believed to be mobile labs had potentially dual uses, including possible production of biological and chemical agents.

Donate to JWR


All of the above were factors in the U.S. decision to invade Iraq. All were based on sources that proved to be unreliable. And yes, many people died.

History will determine whether the risk was worth it and whether we "won" this war. If democracy takes firm root in the Middle East — and there's reasonable cause for optimism — Bush will be honored for his political skill and courage. If not, charitable scribes will say he acted in good faith on bad information. The less-than-charitable are having their say now.

Alas, he had bad sources.

Newsweek's reporters in this case were sloppy by their own standards, printing a potentially explosive story based on only one (formerly reliable) source. For that, there's no defense. But the Bush administration would have done well to remain silent if sternly disapproving and let journalism punish its own. The market will take care of the rest.

By contributing to the cacophony of criticism, officials merely reminded people of this administration's own reliance on unreliable sources, giving the hate-Bush crowd fresh grenades to lob. As careful students of life's rulebook know, those who wage war don't get to play victim.

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 Kathleen Parker can be reached by clicking here.

Kathleen Parker Archives

© 2005, Tribune Media Services

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles