Ron Reagan and Ron Christie discuss clashing portrayals of Ronald Reagan -- Perlstein's smart, shrewd charmer (The Invisible Bridge) and Cannon's under-informed raconteur (Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime). Consensus: he was a shrewd fabulist. And on the 40th anniversary of Nixon's resignation, both Rons lament the Watergate-ization of politics but disagree who's the better president -- RN or BO.
With or without an infusion of massive amounts of international aid, clearing away the mess of this war will take years. Streets can be cleaned, but the wounds, both physical and mental, will not soon heal, nor will the survivors easily erase the feelings of helplessness, despair and anger with which they have been left.
The decision of the Palestinian leadership to sign the Rome Protocols for the International Criminal Court will impress on all, including Israel, that decision making is independent and is aimed at addressing the interests of the Palestinian people. If this becomes truly a Palestinian policy, then this could be marked as the biggest success, despite the horrible results in Gaza, which cannot be ignored.
Contrary to what Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu believes, the main existential threat facing the country is not a nuclear-armed Iran. The real peril is to be found at home: the corrosive effect of the Palestinian problem on Israel's international standing. The devastation caused by Israel's periodic asymmetrical confrontations, combined with the continuing occupation of Palestinian lands and the ever-growing expansion of settlements, has fueled a growing campaign to undermine Israel's legitimacy.
A Greater Israel cannot be anything but an apartheid state, and exclusionary ethnic nationalism of this sort is not sustainable in the 21st century. Israel's Arab subjects will eventually demand equal rights, and as former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert warned back in 2007, once that happens, "the state of Israel is finished."
This is the fifth major assault in nine years. When and how it will end is unclear, but here's what we know for certain: No good will come from this madness; there will be no winners; and when the dust settles and the tears dry, Palestinians and Israelis will be more embittered and will feel less secure.
Much to Netanyahu's dismay, the United States has to now work with Iran to combat ISIS advances in the Middle East. The US and Iran share a common enemy in Al Qaeda and ISIS. The US can no longer view Iran as the greatest threat to world peace or be spending so much diplomatic capital nursing the peace process.