Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah, right, with Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas. (Photo: Reuters)
How to set Syria free
The Economist argues that supplying Syria’s opposition with weapons would be counterproductive in Assad’s bloody battle against those seeking to oust him.
Far better to attack Mr Assad’s regime where it is vulnerable—by peeling away his support, both at home among Syria’s minorities and abroad, especially in Russia, its chief defender on the UN Security Council. Both Syria’s Alawites and Vladimir Putin cling to this dictator because they think that, despite his faults, he is better than the alternative. Yet under Mr Assad Syria has no future.
Palestinian Unity May Turn to Reality
J.J. Goldberg of The Forward believes that the latest reconciliation attempt between Fatah and Hamas might just work this time.
Damascus is in flames, leaving Hamas homeless, dependent on the good will of pro-Western Fatah, Jordan, Turkey and the Egyptian military. Fatah-Israel talks are deader than ever. Hamas has gone nearly four years virtually violence-free; a year or two on the inside might soften it to the point where it won’t frighten the next Israeli government.
Former New York City Mayor “Handwrites” Emails Defending Obama
Buzzfeed presents terse yet polite handwritten notes from the computer-averse Ed Koch, in response to Obama critics who emailed him their complaints about the president.
Thank you. I believe you are much too hard on President Obama who I have criticized. Your criticisms are grossly overstated or just plain wrong. However I appreciate your writing and providing your honest opinions.
Israel hawks warm to Obama
Ed Koch is not the only one whose ruffled pro-Israel feathers are being smoothed by the president, writes Ben Smith in Politico.
Indeed, even the Republican who won his seat in part by convincing his Jewish constituents to send Obama a message on Israel, New York Rep. Bob Turner, says he’s impressed. “I think that the president has made some forceful defenses of Israel in speeches of late, which is very important – it has diplomatic weight and credibility throughout the Muslim world,” he said, also citing the new Iran sanctions. “These things give us some comfort.”
The neocons’ big Iran lie
With so many pundits agitating for military action in Iran, it would be prudent to listen to experienced defense experts who offer an alternate view, writes Matt Duss in Salon.
As with Iraq, these calls for action are couched in the rosiest of post-strike scenarios, which fly in the face of what a preponderance of military and civilian analysts have predicted would have extraordinarily negative consequences.