Thursday, May 8, 2008

Remembering Some Real Issues

If you care about foreign affairs (including, but not limited to Iraq), you've probably had to work pretty hard lately to find some fresh news.

The media has been intensely obsessed with the Presidential race the past few weeks - particularly with a small subset of issues of relatively low importance including gas tax proposals that will never become law, flag pins and incendiary pastors.

Nevertheless, despite the lack of significant media attention, the real world is moving on. And, ironically, it is moving in ways that may very well affect the election in November far more than anything the press is being covering today.

David Ignatius made this argument yesterday in the Washington Post.

The 2008 campaign has been so mesmerizing that it's easy to forget what's going on out in the real world that could disrupt, once again, the certitudes of the pollsters and strategists. The campaign in recent weeks has focused on pocketbook issues because of worries about a deep recession. But as these economic anxieties fade a bit, we are likely to return to the ground zero of the Middle East, and to the themes of war and peace that will be interwoven through the remainder of this campaign.

I disagree with Ignatius that our economic anxieties will subside by November. If anything, I think they will probably get worse.

Nevertheless this article is worth reading if you want to spend time on some of the issues that we should be considering when choosing our next leader. Ignatius discusses the possibility of war with Iran (and the shocking wish of some Saudis that it happen), a possible peace between Israel and Syria and the role that diplomatic intermediaries (such as Turkey) could and should play in the region. (Incidentally, I wrote on a similar idea last year).

You can read the article here.

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