Friday, June 26, 2009

Obama's Courage on the Israeli Settlements Issue and Sunni v. Shia realpolitik by Thomas Barnett

FRONT PAGE: "New Focus on Settlements: Obama Pressures Israelis Over West Bank, But Effort to Stop Growth Faces Hurdles," by Ethan Bronner, New York Times, 6 June 2009.

A description of how Obama has changed an essential past aspect of the U.S.-Israeli relationship, one that's gone on for a very long time and yielded nothing but more violence.

Says a former leftist Israeli minister: "Obama may have found the soft underbelly of Israel, because ending settlements is a consensus issue in the world, among American Jewry and even among a majority of Israelis."

Another example of the mix of intelligence and practical courage that Obama brings to the job, not on everything by any stretch, but on a host of tough subjects.

WORLD NEWS: "Saudi Arabia's Renewed Political Clout Counters Iran," by Margaret Coker, Wall Street Journal, 12 June 2009.

The Saudis are feeling confident after buying themselves a nice defeat of Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Fine by me, because it beats the alternative.

The roll-up of Iranian regional influence begins in earnest.

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