Saturday, March 24, 2012

Egyptian Etch-A-Sketch, fear in -huville, etc.

In case you're finding the pickings lean on Twitter this weekend, a few good reads:

Egyptian Etch-A-Sketch -- in a good way. The Times reports that the Muslim Brotherhood, in a policy shift, is pressing Hamas to reconcile further with Fatah and present a united front to Israel.  The Brotherhood's Reda Fahmy explains the imperatives of power:  “Any movement of the size of the Muslim Brotherhood, when it is in the opposition it is one thing and then when it comes to power it is something completely different.”

Great writing, great marketing: What a riveting trope David Maraniss chooses to showcase his forthcoming Obama bio (though "old man" jars a bit):

William Jefferson Blythe III and Barack Hussein Obama II were the namesakes of fathers they did not know. Billy’s dad, a traveling salesman from Texas, was killed in a car crash before his son was born. Barry’s old man, a traveling student from western Kenya, also died in a car crash. His son was 21 then but had never lived with his father. Both boys’ mothers created myths about their fathers to ease the pain; in truth, the sons were almost certainly better off without them.

GOP Rx: If David Frum never advanced any policy ideas of his own and confined himself to diagnosing Republican pathology, he'd be my sage for the age.  After detailing how right wing pressures have driven the Romney campaign off the rails, Frum refuses to speculate on the 2016 field:
I think it's a big mistake to imagine the Republican question is a question about "who?" It's a question about "what?" What should a modern conservative party stand for, under the circumstances of our time?

Liberal Zionist at length: Haaretz's Chemi Shalev gruffly, skeptically queries "archliberal Peter Beinart" at length about his attempts to waken American Jews' consciences about West Bank settlement.

The past isn't past: Fallows presses Goldblog:  Fallows can't bring himself to believe that any rational government in the shoes of Netanyahu & co. would seriously contemplate attacking Iran.  Goldblog explains that in -yahuville, it's essentially all Holocaust, all the time:
What people don't understand is that Netanyahu and many other Israelis view the Iranian regime, which is committed ideologically to Israel's destruction and seems to be seeking a weapon of mass destruction, as an extinction-level threat. The entire ethos of Israel is: "In every generation, someone rises up who wants to murder the Jewish people, but this time, we're not going down without a fight." That's in the DNA of the military and the political leadership....The problem with much of the analysis of Israel's actions in this area is in the mirror-imaging: Many people outside Israel wonder why the country would take the military, political and diplomatic risks associated with attacking Iran's nuclear program. But what they don't remember is that the worst thing, from Israel's perspective, has already happened: The murder, 70 years ago, of one out of every three Jews on the planet.
And we are pleased in this country to speculate whether the Iranian government is capable of rational action.

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