Must Read Op-Eds May 24, 2011

Updated

Here are today’s major opinion and editorial columns.

BRITAIN IS WORKING  BY DAVID BROOKS
NEW YORK TIMES

The British political system gives the majority party much greater power than any party could hope to have in the U.S., but cultural norms make the political debate less moralistic and less absolutist. The British press also do an amazing job of policing corruption. The media go into a frenzy at the merest whiff of malfeasance. Last week, for example, a minister was pummeled for saying clumsy things about rape. 

 

Just don’t start asking yourself whether there might be some relation among last year’s failed grain harvest from the Russian heat wave, and Queensland’s failed grain harvest from its record flood, and France’s and Germany’s current drought-related crop failures, and the death of the winter wheat crop in Texas, and the inability of Midwestern farmers to get corn planted in their sodden fields. Surely the record food prices are just freak outliers, not signs of anything systemic. 

REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE PAWLENTY BENDS HIS TRUTH-TELLING  BY DANA MILBANK
WASHINGTON POST

Pawlenty did indeed have such a message in 2006, when he was asking Minnesotans to give him a second term. But he surrendered immediately when Limbaugh challenged him. … In the race for the Republican presidential nomination, some truths are just too hard to tell. 

TIME FOR NETANYAHU TO DITCH HIS DO-NOTHING POLICY  BY RICHARD COHEN
WASHINGTON POST

The occupied West Bank is a looming demographic disaster, and the world has embraced the Palestinian cause. Today’s moderate Palestinian leadership may disappear tomorrow, and the 1967 borders are no less defensible than the current ones — missiles and rockets do not pause for barbed wire. A doctrine enunciated in 1923 is out of date. You cannot build an iron wall high enough anymore. 

GATE’S WAR - AGAINST DEFENSE CUTS  BY MICHAEL GERSON
WASHINGTON POST

So the military needs to recover from past and continuing exertions. It also needs, according to Gates, some updated systems and capabilities. Under these circumstances, it is not enough for politicians — including the president — to pull defense reduction targets out of thin air. They will need to specify which capabilities and commitments America should abandon. 

AN ANTI-ISRAEL PRESIDENT  BY BRET STEPHENS
WALL STREET JOURNAL

What, then, would a pro-Israel president do? He would tell Palestinians that there is no right of return. He would make the reform of the Arab mindset toward Israel the centerpiece of his peace efforts. He would outline hard and specific consequences should Hamas join the government. Such a vision could lay the groundwork for peace. What Mr. Obama offered is a formula for war, one that he will pursue in a second term. Assuming, of course, that he gets one. 

A LINK BETWEEN CLIMATE CHANGE AND JOPLIN TORNADOES? NEVER!  BY BILL MCKIBBEN
WASHINGTON POST

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Must Read Op-Eds May 24, 2011

Updated