Must Read Op-Eds for May 9, 2011

Updated
 

Here are today’s top opinion and editorial columns.

BIN LADEN’S DEATH CHANGES LITTLE  BY MAX BOOT
WALL STREET JOURNAL
But the gains achieved so far are tenuous and reversible. The Taliban are back on the offensive. … If we give more time to Gen. David Petraeus and his successor, Gen. John Allen, they can strengthen Afghanistan enough—mainly by building up the indigenous security forces—to prevent a Taliban takeover or a ruinous civil war even after U.S. forces finally start drawing down. That, in turn, can help us to stabilize Pakistan: an outcome worth fighting for. 

THE UNWISDOM OF ELITES  BY PAUL KRUGMAN

NEW YORK TIMES
The official story in Europe these days is that governments of troubled nations catered too much to the masses, promising too much to voters while collecting too little in taxes. … The real story of Europe’s crisis is that leaders created a single currency, the euro, without creating the institutions that were needed to cope with booms and busts within the euro zone. And the drive for a single European currency was the ultimate top-down project, an elite vision imposed on highly reluctant voters. 

WHOSE FOREIGN POLICY IS IT?  BY ROSS DOUTHAT
NEW YORK TIMES
Big government conservatism has given way to big government liberalism, America’s overseas footprint keeps expanding, and nobody has been willing to explain to the public that the global war on terror isn’t a free lunch. The next president won’t have that luxury. But we’ll know that the Bush-Obama era is officially over when somebody presents us with the bill. 

A FATAL-HAMAS DEAL  EDITORIAL
NEW YORK TIMES
For weeks President Obama and his aides have been debating how to revive the peace process — and how deeply the president should engage. The answer, to us, is clear. It is time for Mr. Obama, alone or with the quartet, to put a map and deal on the table. If Bin Laden’s death has given the president capital to spend, all the better. The Israelis and Palestinians are not going to break the stalemate on their own. And more drift will only lead to more desperation and more extremism. 

WHY IS THE WEST SO SLUGGISH ON SYRIA?  BY JACKSON DIEHL
WASHINGTON POST
The Western response: Four days after the first mass shooting, Hillary Clinton called Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad “a reformer.” The first, weak U.S. sanctions came on April 29 — 45 days after that first call for freedom. On Friday, as troops turned heavy machine guns and artillery on protesters, Europe finally followed suit. A White House statement threatened further measures, but said they would depend on the regime’s actions — as if it had not yet done enough. 

RESCUING DETROIT: NO NEWS ABOUT GOVERNMENT’S GOOD NEWS  BY E.J. DIONNE
WASHINGTON POST
It’s axiomatic that government isn’t perfect and that we’re better off having a large private sector. It ought to be axiomatic that the private market isn’t perfect, either, and that we need government to step in when the market fails. The success of the auto bailout and the failure of the Republicans’ anti-Medicare campaign both teach the same lesson: The era of anti-government extremism is ending. 

Must Read Op-Eds for May 9, 2011

Updated