Foreign Policy

John Kerry Could Revive Peace Talks, but Don't Count on It

The U.N. now represents the best hope for a Palestinian state

The Obama administration has pursued a strategy of talk for its own sake that, in retrospect, appears to have been feckless.

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You used to be able to find critics of Israel in the Republican Party. Former senators Charles Mathias and Chuck Percy and Representative Paul Findley come to mind. But the Democrats, and particularly liberal Democrats, stood squarely behind whatever the Israeli government was doing. Over the last decades, however, as Israel’s governments have become more conservative, and as the occupation has persisted, the polarities have begun to reverse.

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Speak Loudly and Carry a Small Stick

Obama has turned Teddy Roosevelt's famous maxim on its head

Obama hasn't just forgotten Teddy Roosevelt's famous maxim. He's spun it on its head

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How the president made such a mess in Syria.

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Why he needs a deal in Iran or Israel/Palestine.

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The grim morality of our realpolitik stance on Syria

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In a creeping sign that Politico-ish news coverage has migrated to the international pages, The New York Times ran several articles over the past week about how the government shutdown, which resulted in President Obama cancelling his trip to Asia, marked a big victory for China. The premise of these pieces is that the United States and China are in some sort of competition for prestige and allies in Asia, and that each step backward by America means a step forward for China. Let's grant that this somewhat simplistic analysis has a grain of truth to it.

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Imagine if the Democrats in 2007, having just regained control of the Congress, had decided to go to the mat against the Bush tax cuts. Imagine that they voted repeatedly to repeal them. They tried to delay implementation. They linked repeal to debt ceiling legislation. And while most of them knew better than to shut down the government over marginal tax rates, for a group critical to Nancy Pelosi’s majority, repeal had become a matter of religion.

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1. Syria Is Going to Become Al QaedastanOf all the reasons for the international community’s skittishness about ending the regime of Bashar Al Assad, perhaps the biggest is the fear of a fanatical, Al Qaeda–linked government rising in its place. Voices as ideologically disparate as Russia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Sergey Lavrov, former Representative Dennis Kucinich, and Senator Ted Cruz have raised this concern.

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