Home
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 Sept. 12, 2007 / 29 Elul, 5767

The good, the bad, and the very ugly

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker
Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | On the sixth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Americans were treated to two starkly contrasting images that speak centuries of difference between the U.S. and its enemies.


In Frame One, we see Gen. David H. Petraeus testifying before Congress on the status of the war in Iraq. In Frame Two is Osama bin Laden in a new video — resplendent in white robes, his beard recently rinsed dark to conceal the gray — promising that Islam will subjugate the West.


One an image of courage, integrity and honor; the other a caricature of manhood.


Then there is a third frame. It is a full-page ad in Monday's New York Times placed by MoveOn.org and attacking Petraeus' integrity: "General Petraeus or General Betray Us?" reads the caption. And then, "Cooking the Books for the White House."


The fog of war, it seems, has seeped into the left wing of the blogosphere.


One may disagree with the war — and even find informed fault with Petraeus' report — but impugning the character of the war's commanding officer while American forces are still fighting is what's known as betrayal. If Petraeus were ordering the mass murder of civilians, this would be a different matter. But last time we checked, American forces were fighting to prevent innocent people from getting killed.


Thus, the ad reveals more about the character of those who placed it than it does of Petraeus. It also reveals a dangerous lack of judgment. Put it this way: If Petraeus is viewed as the bad guy, will they know evil when they see it? (Hint: It has a beard and lives in a cave.)


Because bin Laden and Petraeus hit the same news cycle — and no, I'm not suggesting that Iraq had anything to do with 9/11 — it is convenient and instructive to compare the two men. Visually, they are opposites. One is bearded and operates in shadow. The other, clean-shaven and open-faced, operates in full daylight, exposed and open to scrutiny.


They are night and day, darkness and light.


"Virtually impotent" were the well-chosen words homeland security adviser Frances Fragos Townsend used to describe bin Laden, saying he's a man on the run, living in a cave.


Impotence is a strong word for a woman to use around men, but it is apt here in multiple ways. Impotence gets to the heart of a deeper matter — bin Laden's sense that he has been minimized by external forces. Freedom is his boogeyman. His need to control others is symptomatic of deep-rooted insecurities.


It is appropriate, meanwhile, that he is a cave dweller. The cave — both Plato's allegorical house of illusion and primitive man's earliest shelter — is a proper home for a delusional man trapped in the distant past. Bin Laden and his cohorts are the embodiment of the primitive, infantile male, acting out their frustrations through cowardly barbarism.


It may take a certain kind of courage to fly an airplane into a building, but it takes no courage to murder defenseless people whose crime was getting to work on time. Yet, on the tape released Tuesday, bin Laden praises one of the hijackers of Flight 11, saying that the dead man "recognized the truth."


"It is true that this young man was little in years, but the faith in his heart was big," says bin Laden.


Giving the devil his due, bin Laden is crafty. He flatters young men, promising virgins in the afterlife, then convinces them to strap on bombs or fly planes into buildings. The young men die and bin Laden gets a new outfit. Quite a trick.


In another contrast, bin Laden wants to subjugate the world, while Petraeus leads men and women who want to release the world from subjugation. One fights for the submission of others; the other fights for their liberation.


You don't have to be an American exceptionalist to recognize that there is a difference. One is good, the other is not.


In fairness, MoveOn's ad was aimed at the Iraq War and wasn't intended, either by omission or commission, to be a commentary on bin Laden. But the distorted judgment that prompted an attack on Petraeus as America relives the horrors of 9/11 hints at a sinister alignment with darker forces.


Bin Laden must be very pleased. He could not have done better himself.

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

© 2006, WPWG

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles