In this issue

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 Jan. 12, 2006 / 12 Teves, 5766

Hooked on oil

By Victor Davis Hanson

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | For the foreseeable future, petroleum will power the global economy. There is far too little of it to go around — especially now that 2 billion Chinese and Indians are in the market. And the resulting scramble for oil warps all reason and common sense.

In our petroleum-paranoid world, "No Blood For Oil" was the common smear against removing oil-rich Saddam Hussein. Yet after the March 2003 invasion of Iraq, the global price skyrocketed. The shady deals of French and Russian oil consortia and the rot of the U.N. oil-for-food program were at last exposed. And Iraq's oil industry was, for the first time, under democratic control.

No matter. The conspiracy-minded still alleged that America always uses its military power to secure corporate petroleum — as if there were oil in Grenada, Panama, Mogadishu, Serbia, Bosnia, Kosovo or Afghanistan.

So when it comes to oil, we create myths and ignore the truth.

If critics wrongly charge that the U.S. went into Iraq to steal Saddam's oil, they nevertheless remain oblivious to the other glaring ways petroleum has a lot to do with current threats against the United States.

First, there are the peculiar circumstances of its history and exploitation in the oil-rich Middle East that explain much of the region's present pathology. Unlike most industries, petroleum in the Arab world and Iran was not the dividend of incremental scientific discoveries or the hard work of an educated middle class. Instead, it came about as a matter of luck — and the Western expertise that discovered and exploited it.

At first Western oil companies propped up dictators in the Gulf to allow a free hand to tap resources without much scrutiny. Later, during the 1970s backlash against foreign oil interests, new state-run companies nationalized the industry as their elites used the enormous profits to buy weapons and billions in Western material goods.

Greedy autocrats in these Middle Eastern nations then masked their new stranglehold on the lucrative industry by perennially citing the past sins of Western oil companies and their governments. The Arab Street still saw little of the profits but heard much about how their poverty was supposedly the result of Westerners.

Terrorists like Osama bin Laden soon found ways to shake down petro-rich illegitimate governments. Such regimes gave money and help to Islamic radicals, who in turn blamed Middle East misery on the "crusaders" who once created but now supposedly kept "stealing" the wealth of the Arab people. In the Orwellian world of petro-logic, sheikdoms and juntas that gouge 90 percent profits on each barrel pumped from the desert somehow have convinced their people that they still are daily victims of beer-bellied and twanged Texans.

Moreover, oil profiteering masks the abject failures of quite odious regimes. Take state Marxism, a crackpot philosophy whose heritage is impoverishment and mass death. But thanks to obscene profits, Hugo Chavez spreads cash subsidies all over Latin America under the guise of a successful "socialist" state — as if his anti-democratic government, rather than oil luck and foreign expertise, enriched Venezuela. Without $60-a-barrel oil, Chavez would be just another pathetic blowhard like Fidel Castro lording over a failed state.

In Iran, take away windfall oil profits, and the eighth-century theocrats running the country would be derided as impoverished Taliban clowns, rather than feared for their threats to wipe Israel off the map.

In Russia, worry over oil cut-offs gives Vladimir Putin a pass as he subverts Russian democracy and gives Iran reactor fuel.

And without oil thirst, the world might shun a country like Saudi Arabia for the brutal practice of Sharia law, religious intolerance and subsidies for global anti-Semitic and anti-Western propaganda.

But we the importers also are warped here at home. Gas-guzzling Americans burn far more oil than we produce. That sends billions abroad into the hands of these unsavory governments who profit by accident rather than sound economics.

Free-market libertarians reply that our oil is simply a commodity like anything else — oblivious that current enemies of the United States are parasites and cannot even craft the weapons they use against us without a Middle East awash in petrodollars.

Some environmentalists prove just as clueless. Even as Russian and African polluters frantically pump without American-style regulations, these well-meaning activists argue that we should not drill in a responsible fashion in small areas in Alaska and off our coasts to feed our own appetite. If the left would push nuclear power and more drilling, and the right would push more mandatory efficiency standards and alternative fuels, the United States could cut its imports and collapse the world price.

Imagine the dividends to America that transcend even scaling down our trade imbalances. Cash-hungry failed foreign nations would now have fewer resources to aid terrorists like al-Qaida or Hezbollah, or even to fund anti-Western madrassas. The Arab Street would have to blame its own elites for mismanagement rather than Western bogymen. And it would be far easier to curb weapons of mass destruction if madmen lacked the oil to pay for them.

But like all addicts, those hooked on imported oil defend their dealers, blame others for their dependency — and deny that their destructive habit is a habit at all.

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.

Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and military historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. Comment by clicking here.


© 2006, TMS