Because Rogues Love Carrots and Sticks

The Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post carry op-eds discussing the Mideast peace talks this morning. Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) writes in the Journal that the negotiations are “doomed” as “long as Iran remains a menacing actor on the world stage.” He doesn’t “claim to know” how to get a deal between the Israelis and the Palestinians, he says, but “now is the time to ratchet up the pressure” on Tehran.

Institute for Palestinian Studies fellow George Bisharat compares the situation in the Levant to South Africa. He says in the Post that the talks will “inevitably” fail, and the question everyone should be asking is “Where is the Israeli de Klerk?” And, Bisharat writes, the two sides should just formalize their “de facto one-state reality” based on “equal rights,” because a one-state solution based on “ethnic privilege” (Israel as a “Jewish state”) is similar to “Jim Crow laws and South African apartheid.”

Turning to other topics, Post columnist Charles Krauthammer savages President Obama’s leadership and his speech last Tuesday. Krauthammer calls the president’s military leadership “scandalous” because of the administration’s consideration of domestic politics in its Afghan policy. He thinks Obama “may not like being” a wartime leader, but—unfortunately for him—that is what “History” has decided. Krauthammer wishes the commander in chief had laid out his vision of “his larger foreign policy,” including what to do in Pakistan, the rise of al-Qaeda in Yemen and al-Shabab in Somalia, and “the threat of renewed civil war” in Sudan.

John Prednergast, cofounder of the Enough Project, is also irritated by Obama’s silence on Sudan. He writes in the Journal that the “absence of presidential clarity” has brought glee to the Sudanese regime and “left allies confused.” So what’s Prendergast’s big solution to the problem? “A deft combination of carrots and sticks,” he says.