So it turns out that Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and, before a group of leading Senate Republicans decided that she was evil incarnate, a top contender to replace Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, had nothing to do with formulating the White House’s response to the fatal attacks last year at the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya.
Here is the genius of Qatar, the peanut-sized Persian Gulf state that provides material support to Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood and possibly some of Syria’s jihadist rebel groups, in a single image: A two-cheeked kiss, in public, between Qatar’s second-most powerful man, the prime minister (and foreign minister), Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani, and Haim Saban, the Israeli-American billionaire who funds, among other things, the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution.
Well, Bashar, now you’ve done it. We’ve seen that killing tens of thousands of your fellow Syrians with conventional weapons is more or less acceptable to the civilized world, as evidenced by the fact that the civilized world hasn’t stopped you from killing tens of thousands of your fellow Syrians with conventional weapons.
A few days ago, the chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces, Benny Gantz, pushed back against the idea -- which has recently gained much currency among Iran- watchers -- that it was too late for his country to act alone against Iran’s nuclear facilities, should sanctions, subterfuge and diplomacy fail.
Several months ago, not long before the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, I asked Dan Gross, the president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, why his group refused to argue for amending the Second Amendment.
The Boston Marathon bombing is a quick-moving story (a frenetic one, if you’re following on Twitter). And the facts, as CNN has learned, shift with seeming abandon. But certain patterns and questions are making themselves fairly obvious. So here goes:
Ten years ago, a Palestinian suicide bomber detonated himself at a cafe in the German Colony neighborhood of Jerusalem. Seven people were killed, including David Applebaum, an American-born emergency-room doctor who had treated countless victims of previous attacks. Applebaum was visiting the cafe, called Cafe Hillel, that evening with his daughter Nava, who was to be married the next day. Nava was also killed.
As if to provide a warning to commentators, prognosticators, ax-grinders, think-tankers and television analysts about the dangers of petty speculation, the New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof posted this thought on Twitter a few minutes after today’s apparent bomb attack in Boston: “explosion is a reminder that ATF needs a director. Shame on Senate Republicans for blocking apptment.”