Roundup: Media's Take
This is where we excerpt articles from the media that take a historical approach to events in the news.
SOURCE: WSJ (9-12-12)
Daniel Henninger is deputy editor of The Wall Street Journal's editorial page.
It is no accident that the Chicago teachers union would walk off the job, seeking a 29%, two-year wage settlement, days after the Democratic convention in Charlotte, N.C. The Chicago teachers union and the podium speakers in Charlotte are part of the seamless political fabric that has been created by Barack Obama and the modern Democratic Party. They've got goals, and what they want from the people of Chicago or America is compliance.
The speakers in Charlotte fastened the party to a theme: We're all in it together. This claim is false. The modern Democratic Party, the party of Obama, is about permanent division and permanent opposition. You'd never have guessed they were speaking on behalf of an incumbent and historic presidency. One speaker after another ranted that the America system remains fundamentally unfair.
Despite seven Democratic presidencies since FDR, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Harvard still grieves, "The system is rigged!" Jennifer Granholm, who seems to have summered in Argentina, shouted that for Mitt Romney, "year after year, it was profit before people." The economics of San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro (Stanford, Harvard Law): "It's a choice between a country where the middle class pays more so that millionaires can pay less." Sandra Fluke: "Six months from now, we'll all be living in one [future], or the other. But only one."
How is it that this generation of Democrats, nearly 225 years after the Constitutional Convention, sees 21st century America at the precipice of tooth and claw?...
SOURCE: Foreign Policy (9-12-12)
Ty McCormick is an assistant editor at Foreign Policy.
SOURCE: WSJ (9-12-12)
Mr. Rove is the former senior adviser and deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush.
SOURCE: Project Syndicate (9-13-12)
Dominique Moisi is the founder of the French Institute of International Affairs (IFRI) and a professor at Institut d’études politiques de Paris (Sciences Po).
SOURCE: Daily Beast (9-13-12)
Peter Beinart is editor in chief of Open Zion, a blog about Israel, Palestine, and the Jewish future at The Daily Beast. He is the author of The Crisis of Zionism (Times Books).
[W]hy did Romney issue [his] parade of idiocies? Because he’s trying to paint Obama as someone who won’t stand up for America....
For decades, this kind of thing worked. In 1972, Richard Nixon’s vice president, Spiro Agnew, chastised George McGovern for saying, “I would go to Hanoi and beg if I thought that would release the boys [held hostage as prisoners of war] one day earlier.” At the 1984 Republican Convention, Jeane Kirkpatrick famously said that Democrats “blame America first.”
But it’s not working this time. Despite his bluster, Nixon withdrew American ground troops from Vietnam. Although Ronald Reagan talked like John Wayne, the only country he invaded was Grenada. By contrast, George W. Bush launched two disastrous wars, and in so doing gave GOP bluster a bad name. As early as 2004, John Kerry was mocking Bush’s faux-tough call for Iraqi insurgents to “bring it on.” In the 2008 debates, Obama mocked John McCain for singing “bomb, bomb, bomb” Iran....
SOURCE: Foreign Policy (9-11-12)
Juliette Kayyem served as homeland security advisor to Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts and, most recently, as assistant secretary for intergovernmental affairs in the Obama administration. After over 11 years responding to a world where "stuff happens," she is now a columnist for the Boston Globe and teaches at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.
There will be no politicians at the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. They are no longer invited. Organizers of the memorial have now decided that they want to make the solemn events more intimate. The decision also reflects the continuing struggle between New York City, New York state, and New Jersey over the memorial, the museum, control of the site, and, as a consequence, the memory of 9/11. Last year, on this same day, the political grandstanding got so outlandish that it led to a showdown between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Michael Bloomberg over the choice of readings.
But, whatever the motivation, the United States may be ready for a change on how to remember 9/11 too. It is time to make it personal again, to make it less an event or even a call to action. The burden of tragedy is private, but the 9/11 families lost possession of a day that was ultimately theirs. So many of them -- embracing new lives, spouses, children, professions, but forever cognizant that it might have been so much different -- have, at long last, carried on. America needs to do the same.
This last decade has been summed up by a series of mottos that captured its zeitgeist. The War on Terror. Mission Accomplished. With Us or Against Us. The Surge. Heck of a Job. One Percent Doctrine. Red (Orange, Yellow, Green, Purple, Hazy) Alert. The System Worked. Security Theater. Bin Laden Is Dead.
But surely none has so animated the way we think about, and organize around, America's security than the two words uttered by President George W. Bush as early as Sept. 14, 2001, and repeated to defend policies as far ranging as the war in Iraq to the establishment of the NYPD's massive counterterrorism unit: Never Again...
SOURCE: Israel Hayom (9-7-12)
Ambassador Dore Gold is a world renowned expert on Middle Eastern affairs.
While Israel is naturally focused on the implications of Iran completing its drive toward nuclear weapons, there is another case of one of its bitterest enemies, who tried to accomplish the same goal once before: Saddam Hussein of Iraq. As a result of the 2003 Iraq War, the U.S. Army captured thousands of hours of recordings of highly-classified meetings of the Iraqi leadership on the subject of how they viewed the purpose of nuclear weapons in the future, as well as how they envisioned their use in the context of a war against Israel.
The U.S. Army made the Iraqi tapes and documents available for analysts, who have begun to publish books and academic articles on their content. Last year, two analysts, Hal Brands and David Palkki, published a study they prepared on the Iraqi records for the U.S. National Defense University (NDU). What they found was that Saddam Hussein had personally spoken about the importance of nuclear weapons as a key component of Iraqi strategy from 1978 until the Israeli strike on the Osirak nuclear reactor in 1981.
Saddam's earlier obsession with nuclear weapons appears to have stopped for at least seven or eight years after the attack, according to the documents, until the late the 1980s when he began to speak about the subject again. For Brands and Palkki, the time Israel gained is a vindication of Prime Minister Menachem Begin's decision to strike Iraq.
So how did Saddam Hussein view the utility of nuclear weapons in a future conflict with Israel?..
SOURCE: NYT (9-10-12)
SOURCE: CS Monitor (9-5-12)
Lt. Gen. Wallace C. "Chip” Gregson Jr., retired, is senior director of China and the Pacific at the Center for the National Interest. He served as commander US Marine Corps Forces Pacific, and as assistant secretary of defense for Asia-Pacific security affairs from 2009-2011.
Joseph A. Bosco served in the office of the secretary of Defense as China country desk officer and previously taught graduate seminars on China-US relations at Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. He is now a national security consultant.
Some China scholars have begun to accuse Beijing of “salami tactics” in seeking to seize gradual control of the South China Sea. The term evokes disturbing echoes of Nazi Germany’s incremental aggression until it was ready for all-out war.
Applying World War II terminology to China’s current behavior may seem overblown, but it is apt. In fact, China’s actions also resemble those of another bad actor of that tragic period: Imperial Japan.
The emerging Japan of the 1920s and ’30s, like today’s China, was steeped in historic resentment of the West’s forcible imposition of commercial and cultural influence. Even as Western interaction hugely benefited Japan’s economy then and China’s now, both countries set about building military capabilities commensurate with their new economic prowess.
Naked military power was seen by Imperial Japan, as it is by the Communist Party in China, as necessary to defend and expand industrial achievements and economic influence against hostile Western nations, most notably the United States....
SOURCE: American Conservative (9-4-12)
Patrick J. Buchanan is a founding editor of TAC and the author of Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?
SOURCE: National Review (9-6-12)
Clifford D. May is president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a policy institute focusing on terrorism and Islamism.
SOURCE: WaPo (9-6-12)
David Ignatius writes a twice-a-week foreign affairs for The Washington Post.
SOURCE: Irish Times (9-5-12)
Lindsey Hilsum is international editor of Channel 4. She appearing at the Mountains to the Sea Festival at the Pavilion Theatre, Dún Laoghaire, at noon next Sunday. Her book Sandstorm: Libya in the Time of Revolution has been longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award.
SOURCE: LA Times (8-31-12)
Michael Kinsley, a former editorial page editor of the Los Angeles Times, is a Bloomberg View columnist.
SOURCE: American Spectator (9-5-12)
Peter Ferrara is Director of Entitlement and Budget Policy for the Heartland Institute, General Counsel of the American Civil Rights Union, and Senior Fellow for the National Center for Policy Analysis. He served in the White House Office of Policy Development under President Reagan, and as Associate Deputy Attorney General of the United States under the first President Bush. He is the author of America’s Ticking Bankruptcy Bomb (HarperCollins).
SOURCE: National Interest (9-5-12)
Bruce Fein was a senior policy adviser to the Ron Paul 2012 Presidential Campaign and is author of American Empire Before The Fall.
SOURCE: Financial Times (UK) (9-4-12)
The writers are a former US deputy assistant secretary of defence and a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council.
SOURCE: National Interest (9-5-12)
Robert G. Rabil served as a chief of emergency for the Red Cross in Lebanon during the country's civil war. He is associate professor of political science and the LLS Distinguished Professor of Current Events at Florida Atlantic University. He is the author of Syria, United States and the War on Terror in the Middle East and most recently Religion, National Identity and Confessional Politics in Lebanon: The Challenge of Islamism.
Arab uprisings have greatly affected the political landscape of the Middle East. Gone is the era when autocratic or totalitarian rulers unilaterally decided their approach to the Arab-Israeli conflict. New and surviving political actors are now sensitive to their public's sentiments toward the Palestinian question, which runs deep in the collective consciousness of the Arabs. The Arab uprisings have foregrounded the Palestinian cause in the region’s politics, but it has remained secondary to immediate Arab concerns about the Syrian crisis and its implications for the region. In Washington, this has fed an impression that the fall of the Syrian regime would disrupt the Tehran-Damascus-Hezbollah-Hamas axis—on Israel, the thinking goes, their hands would be tied.
This Beltway conventional wisdom has serious flaws and implications for U.S. policy making. Broadly speaking, the uprising in Syria has compelled Hamas to begin steering away from Damascus—and by extension Tehran—and turn instead toward Egypt and Jordan. But this development cannot be misconstrued as a collapse or even a severe disruption of the Iranian-led rejectionist axis, which is constantly reinventing and adapting itself to changing conditions in the Middle East.
Hamas’s New Role
There is a growing consensus among Arab political elites, especially Islamists, that, after years of ineffectual negotiations and in a climate where Israelis are anxious about the implications of Arab uprisings for their security, Israel has all but abandoned the concept of the two-state solution in favor of the status quo. Neither Arab regimes nor Islamists can swallow this bitter pill. Nor will they pursue policies inimical to Hamas and favorable to Israel. While Jordan and Saudi Arabia have a national interest in resuming the peace process, the Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood (and its affiliates in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Gaza) have a superficial interest in resuming the peace process, if only to conceal their immediate strategy—to reduce Egypt's and Jordan's economic and security cooperation with Israel—until the Syrian crisis is over. This strategy was described to me by an influential member of the Muslim Brotherhood....
SOURCE: National Review (9-10-12)
...[T]he problem [with the New Deal] was that what most of the country thought of as the ceiling, the progressive faction continued to see as the floor. They talked of the New Deal’s “unfinished business” and kept on seeking a hero to take care of it, believing that history moves to the left and that progressive eras are followed by times of consolidation, which in turn are followed by times of still further action, in which the country will move left again. Lyndon Johnson tried to fulfill this hope, but his excesses set off a whole new dynamic, consisting of liberal overreach, a conservative backlash against it, and then a moment of more-or-less moderation — to be followed, once memories faded, by liberal excess again. This was back-and-forth alternation, instead of progress in a single direction interrupted with pauses. Johnson’s Great Society ran into a wall in the 1966 midterms, and then spawned a run of Republican presidents....
Clinton, after running as a moderate against the moderate George H. W. Bush, got carried away and tried to pass a health-care reform that spawned the Republican capture of Congress. Clinton then triangulated his way back to the center, permitting (or forcing) the younger George Bush to run as a compassionate conservative. After this, Obama won in a landslide after the fiscal implosion, made a swerve to the left sharper than Bill Clinton’s, and triggered the Tea Party’s rise. This led to the Democrats’ drubbing in the 2010 midterms, which progressives saw as racist, fascist, hateful, and simply vicious, but which was in fact completely predictable and similar to what had happened quite often before....
In 1933, government had to get bigger. Now it has to reform, devolve, cut back, and control itself, before it shoves us off the cliff into catastrophe. This is why “the new FDR” is now in such trouble — and why the search for the next one will end in more tears.
SOURCE: NYT (9-3-12)
Masha Gessen is a journalist in Moscow. She is the author of “The Man Without a Face,” a biography of Vladimir Putin.
...The first day of September, often referred to as The Day of Knowledge, is the day when classes begin in schools across [Russia]. The morning usually starts with a school assembly during which 11th-graders (the oldest students) take the first-graders by the hand and lead them into the school while ringing a ceremonial bell.
That is a rite of passage that has painlessly made the transition from the Soviet to the post-Soviet era. Other rituals have proved trickier. According to one tradition, a local World War II veteran has to address the assembly; 67 years after the end of the war, few able-bodied veterans remain, but local authorities scramble to find them and deliver them to both public and private institutions.
Back in the day, Communist Party representatives used to address the assemblies as well. Now some schools have replaced them with Russian Orthodox priests who lead the groups in prayer in clear violation of the Constitution, which guarantees separation of church and state. I know of only one case in which a parent took the school to task — he succeeded in stopping the prayer services....