Israel is not North Korea

Just a bit of perspective on the comparison, now gaining traction, between the U.S. reaction to the Gaza flotilla assault and the Chinese reaction to the Cheonan sinking, which Dan Drezner was the first to raise: The Obama administration has reacted to this incident in remarkably similar ways to China’s reaction to the Cheonan incident — with a call for more information. It bears noting that the U.S. and South Korean reaction in the immediate aftermath of the Cheonan sinking were along the same lines. The difference is that China’s reaction comes after a thorough, multilateral investigation has provided pretty […]

The international crisis resulting from Israel’s interdiction yesterday of a humanitarian aid flotilla heading toward the blockaded Gaza Strip could have several consequences, few of them good for the United States, the Middle Eastern peace process, and many other parties. First, the crisis could disrupt the indirect peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians that only just resumed a few weeks ago, after roughly 17 months of false starts and frustrated expectations. Many observers have noted that the Gaza flotilla confronted the Israeli government with a no-win situation. The same could be said for the choices now facing the Obama White […]

Iraq is moving toward a resolution of the messy political jockeying that followed its March 7 parliamentary elections. But despite some surprises, and the torturous process itself, the likely outcome remains a continuation of the status quo ante. The previous government was dominated by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and the so-called Quartet Coalition, formed in 2007 after the collapse of Maliki’s initial coalition. It included Maliki’s own Shiite Islamist Dawa Party, rival Shiite Islamist party the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI), and the two main Kurdish parties. Sunnis and secular Shiites were in the opposition. Shiite and Kurd leaders […]

Israel & Gaza Flotilla: First Thoughts

Israel’s forceful interdiction of a humanitarian aid flotilla destined for the Gaza Strip has understandably provoked shock and outrage. Part of the shock reflects a global audience’s difficulty comprehending how the Israeli government blundered headlong into an obvious and avoidable trap. I would argue that the shock is misplaced, since the incident is ultimately consistent with Israel’s recent behavior at least since the Lebanon War of 2006, which has very obviously prioritized the operational advantage conferred by liberty of action over the political costs exacted by international isolation. Dan Drezner goes so far as to compare Israel’s diplomatic isolation to […]

Showing 35 - 38 of 38First 1 2 3