Monday, December 3, 2012

Commentaries, Opinions, And Editorials -- December 3, 2012

Letter From Syria -- Thomas Friedman, New York Times

THE scene is almost biblical. You step down through tall reeds, cross the Orontes River from Turkey in a small rowboat and are received by a local contingent of the Free Syrian Army, outside the Syrian town of Darkush. One of them shows you the picture on his cellphone of a Syrian girl who was just taken across the river to Turkey with what turned out to be fatal wounds from a Syrian Army helicopter attack on her village. The helicopters, the rebel soldiers say, dropped barrels with nails and explosives on her house. Meanwhile, over here in the mud are three fresh graves with bodies that just floated down the river. Some days it’s just an arm or leg that washes up. Although this is “liberated” territory, in the background you can hear the low drumbeat of shells slamming into some town over the hills. I ask the rebel local commander, Muatasim Bila Abul Fida, how he thinks all of this will play out. His answer strikes me as very honest. “Without the help of Iran and Hezbollah, he would be gone by now,” he says of the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad. But even after he goes, there will be a great sorting out. “It will take five or six years,” he adds, because the Islamist parties “want Shariah, and we want democracy.”

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Commentaries, Opinions, And Editorials

Middle East conflict: it's time for Europe to suggest its own path to peace -- Ian Black, The Guardian

Where is the Middle East going? -- Barry Rubin, Jerusalem Post

Arabs ponder: Is it the gun or the law? -- Rami G. Khouri, The Daily Star

Three good things that came from the Palestinian statehood vote -- Doug Saunders, The Globe and Mail

Has Israel's settlement expansion crossed a 'red line'?
-- Arthur Bright, Christian Science Monitor

The Steep Price of American Disengagement -- Max Boot, Commentary

Young, Educated and Jobless in France -- Steven Erlanger, New York Times

What Ails You, Putin?
-- Masha Gessen, New York Times

Scotland's bid for independence just a lot of hot air -- Gwynne Dyer, New Zealand Herald

Outgoing Mexican president defends legacy in wake of drug war -- Catherine E. Shoichet, CNN

Obama should send thank-you note to Chávez
-- Andres Oppenheimer, Miami Herald

Obama making up drone rules as he goes -- Allyson Mitchell, Washington Times

What you need to know about the Pentagon's new spy service -- Marc Ambinder, The Week

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