THE WASHINGTON POST
“Let’s go over the fiscal cliff”
Marc A. Thiessen
Going over the fiscal cliff would help the GOP… It would save Republicans from having to break their pledge not to raise taxes. If GOP leaders hold the line on taxes this fall, and the Bush tax cuts expire despite their best efforts, it would not harm their reputation as the party of low taxes. …Republicans should make clear that they are willing to live with the higher, Clinton-era rates. It will be hard for the Democrats to paint such a scenario as an economic disaster, because letting the Bush tax cuts expire simply restores the status quo during the Clinton administration. …Americans had a choice this November, and they voted for bigger government. Rather shielding voters from the consequences of their decisions, let them pay for it.
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Israel may lack the political will to undertake the type of military operation necessary to drive Hamas out of Gaza. There would also be some question whether the Palestinian National Authority would be willing to reconstitute its government in Gaza following in the wake of Israeli tanks. However, assuming Israel takes the step of launching ground action in Gaza, it should find ways to have a more decisive impact than the last time around. Ultimately a second, limited invasion of Gaza may only achieve what the first invasion did, which is to buy time. Given the increasingly complex and unstable environment Israel faces in the Middle East, this may be the best that can be hoped for.
THE NEW YORK TIMES
It is time for Arab leaders to speak the truth and stop ignoring the culpability of Hamas. …A cease-fire and diplomacy by Egypt, Turkey and Qatar would be valuable but not sufficient. President Obama is right to invest more attention in Asia, but he also needs to assert more of a leadership role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The goal must be a permanent peace not another stopgap measure. As former Secretary of State James Baker III and Samuel Berger, a former national security adviser, wrote in a book, “Pathways to Peace,” the unresolved conflict “is a catalyst for radicalism across the Arab world at a time when its heart and soul are in play.”
THE NEW YORK TIMES
“The Wrong Man For the C.I.A.”
Gregory D. Johnsen
…President Obama now has a chance to appoint a new C.I.A. director. Unfortunately, one of the leading candidates for the job is John O. Brennan, who is largely responsible for America’s current flawed counterterrorism strategy, which relies too heavily on drone strikes …For all of the technological advances America has made in a decade of fighting Al Qaeda, it still needs all the old tricks it learned in the days before spy satellites and drones. More and better human intelligence from sources on the ground would result in more accurate targeting and many fewer civilian casualties. That would be a Yemen model that actually worked and a lasting and more effective counterterrorism legacy for Mr. Obama’s second term.