Must-Read Op-Eds for Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Updated
 

A FLASHPOINT ON TURKEY’S BORDER
EDITORIAL
NEW YORK TIMES

Turkey showed prudent restraint after one of its fighter jets was shot down by Syria on Friday. But the incident is a reminder of how easily Syria’s bloody civil war could spill over their common border, and it lends greater urgency to United Nations and Western efforts to end that conflict. …We’re not sure what kind of cynical game Russia is playing. It is abetting Mr. Assad’s killing spree by supplying him with helicopters. It is also pushing to include Iran — Mr. Assad’s other enabler — in an international meeting on Saturday to salvage the peace plan put forward by Kofi Annan… The Russians need to make sure that the meeting is not another wasted effort and show that they are willing to use their leverage with Mr. Assad to help engineer a solution and prevent an even bloodier and wider conflict.

THE FEAR FACTOR
BY THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
NEW YORK TIMES

You would have to be very naïve to think that transitioning from primordial identities to “citizens” would be easy, or even likely. … But you would also have to be blind and deaf to the deeply authentic voices and aspirations that triggered these Arab awakenings not to realize that, in all these countries, there is a longing — particularly among young Arabs — for real citizenship and accountable and participatory government. It is what many analysts are missing today. That energy is still there, and the Muslim Brotherhood, or whoever rules Egypt, will have to respond to it. … If Egyptians can forge a workable social contract to govern themselves, it will set an example for the whole region.

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FAR FROM HAVING ‘IT ALL’
BY KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL
WASHINGTON POST

More than 70 percent of all mothers and more than 60 percent of mothers with children under 3 are in the workforce. Two-thirds of them earn less than $30,000 a year. Nine of 10 less than $50,000. … These mothers don’t have the luxury of flexible time or the ability to leave when a child is in trouble or sick. Most can’t afford to take unpaid sick leave to care for their children — and many would lose their jobs if they did, despite the federal law guaranteeing unpaid leave. Many work in jobs — as home-care workers, farm workers, cleaning people — that have scant protection of minimum wage and hours standards. Many cobble together two or three part-time jobs. Child care gets done by grandmothers, neighbors or simply the TV.

ROMNEY MAY SOON BE FEELING THE ARIZONA HEAT
BY KATHLEEN PARKER
WASHINGTON POST

What we have here is a sticky wicket. And no one is in greater need of Goo Gone than Mitt Romney, who has said that Arizona’s law is a model for the rest of the nation. Not only has that law been deemed at least partly unconstitutional, but Romney is now positioned to be associated with profiling. Not the best way to court the Hispanic vote. Worse, if Arizona and other similarly minded states begin to apply the equal-treatment template across races and ethnicities, he’ll have everybody mad at him. Not that the Arizona law is his fault, obviously. But angry people will pick the easiest target, and the Obama campaign will make sure those dots are connected. One thing is for certain: Romney can’t change his mind. He’s stuck with a position that, though appealing to Arizonans and others who are justifiably angry with our inert (inept) federal government, is profoundly offensive to our American sense of fairness.

HOW OBAMA CAN SUPPORT RUSSIA AND OPPOSE PUTIN
BY GARRY KASPAROV
WALL STREET JOURNAL

In March, President Obama was overheard telling Mr. Medvedev he would have “more flexibility” to address Russian interests after his re-election. Yet Mr. Obama looks all too flexible already. Negotiating on trade or missile defense is all well and good, but when you put moral values on the table with a dictatorship you lose every time. America should be siding with the Russian people, not with Mr. Putin. Russia is not America’s foe. We have much in common—struggles with radical Islam, concerns about Chinese influence and expansionism, real shared strategic interests. Mr. Putin’s Russia, on the other hand, is concerned only with power and the oil and gas profits needed to maintain it. Yes, a free Russia will compete with the U.S., but it will not be an unwavering adversary.

LET’S BAN THE WORD ‘TRILLION’
BY ANDREW TISCH
WALL STREET JOURNAL

…From now on, if you want to say “trillion,” say “one thousand billion” or “one million million,” or “one thousand thousand thousand thousand.” Our national debt, then, would go from $15.8 trillion to $15,800 billion. Doing this would show, among other things, that even cutting $100 billion from our debt would bring us down only to $15,700 billion. …What about expressing a trillion as “a million million”? By that standard, our deficit is now $15.8 million millions. We can’t keep piling more debt onto our children or our children’s children or our children’s children’s children. Otherwise, the million million millions in debt will make their future worthless, worthless, worthless.

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Must-Read Op-Eds for Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Updated