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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 July 1, 2005 / 24 Sivan, 5765

The Danger of the Kennedy Quagmire: He's hurting U.S. resolve by pushing the Vietnam button

By David Gelernter


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Sen. Edward M. Kennedy has announced that the Iraq war "has been consistently and grossly mismanaged," and our troops "are now in a seemingly intractable quagmire." "Quagmire" is not a state of war but a state of mind. So the senator's words aren't necessarily wrong, they are merely irresponsible and potentially deadly — to U.S. interests and Middle East freedom.


When U.S. troops landed on Omaha Beach on D-day, they were pinned down by heavy fire and couldn't move. If some wiseguy had grabbed a megaphone and announced, "I hate to tell you, but this invasion has been grossly mismanaged and we are now stuck in a quagmire," he would not have been wrong. But luckily those soldiers decided that Omaha Beach was no quagmire. They fought their way inland and helped liberate Europe.


The U.S. has been stuck in countless potential quagmires in many wars. Each time, we could have announced "this is a quagmire and we're going home." Thank G-d we didn't — usually.


Granted, Kennedy isn't urging us to run away. He thinks we should switch strategy, make a success of Iraq and then go home. So we tell our troops that Iraq is a quagmire — and expect them to fight on bravely and win nonetheless, as various geniuses futz with the war plan until the senator is satisfied? Not even a Massachusetts liberal could believe that. (I think.)


Soldiers are human beings. Why should they risk their necks if they are stuck in a quagmire and their leaders are out to lunch?

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But Kennedy isn't really talking about President Bush and Iraq at all. When he says "quagmire," he is pushing the Vietnam button — using a code word for our supposed mistakes in defending non-communist South Vietnam against the communist North and a homegrown terrorist insurgency. Many liberal old-timers are positive they did humanity a gigantic favor by getting the U.S. out of Vietnam. But let's look at some facts.


Revisionist experts claim that we could have won in Vietnam if we hadn't lost heart.


Lewis Sorley, career Army officer and military thinker, believes South Vietnam was secure by early 1971 — contingent on our continuing to support it with arms, money and occasional firepower. Which we didn't do. Robert Thompson of the British Advisory Mission to Vietnam believes that "on Dec. 30, 1972, after 11 days of those B-52 attacks on the Hanoi area, you had won the war. It was over." If we had kept faith with the South. Instead we withdrew, in ever-increasing panic.


Sorley believes that the Army itself played a role in our failure to keep faith. But public opinion played an even larger role.


Our defeat was catastrophic for Southeast Asia. Tom Wicker — a liberal New York Times columnist and leading critic of the U.S. role in Vietnam — summed things up four years after our final defeat. "What Vietnam has given us instead of a bloodbath [is] a vast tide of human misery in Southeast Asia — hundreds of thousands of homeless persons in United Nations camps, perhaps as many more dead in flight, tens of thousands of the most pitiable forcibly repatriated to Cambodia, no one knows how many adrift on the high seas or wandering the roads."


We failed to follow through and Asians suffered. Political leaders helped shape public opinion, which helped shape U.S. policy. The conservative British historian Paul Johnson comments — discussing Vietnam, supporting his assertion with poll numbers — that "it was not the American people which lost its stomach for the kind of sacrifices [President] Kennedy had demanded in his Inaugural. It was the American leadership." Kennedy sent Americans to South Vietnam early on. He promised in his inaugural that Americans would pay any price for the survival and success of liberty.


All of which means that today, Ted Kennedy's comments are too important to ignore.


The Bush administration must explain to the nation that quagmires are created by politicians and pundits, not soldiers. It has yet to confront head-on the potentially deadly resonance between the public's natural unease with the news from Baghdad and statements like Sen. Kennedy's.


We must also confront our memories of Vietnam. If we don't, they will drive us crazy — or maybe they already have. Freud invented psychoanalysis to help hysterical and otherwise loony patients confront painful memories, to find truths that would set them free.


America needs emergency psychoanalysis right now, before statements like Ted Kennedy's start destroying our will to do what is good and what is right.

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.



Yale professor David Gelernter is a senior fellow at the Shalem Center, Jerusalem. To comment, please click here.


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© 2005, Los Angeles Times. Distributed by Los Angeles Times Syndicate

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