Editorial voices from the U.S., elsewhere

April 11, 2014

Excerpts from recent editorials in newspapers in the United States and abroad as compiled by the Associated Press:

Savannah (Ga.) Morning News

In 1979, Hamid Abutalebi was among the Iranian radicals who illegally seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and held 52 Americans for 444 days.

Today, he wants a U.S. visa so he can enter this country and serve as Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations. This request is an insult to America.

Many younger Americans weren’t alive when Iranian demonstrators burst through the doors at the American embassy and took everyone inside hostage. Some were beaten and tortured. Others were forced to undergo mock executions or play Russian roulette.

Not surprisingly, Abutalebi argues he was an interpreter and negotiator. Not someone who had a pistol or rifle in his hand. But there’s no difference between these roles. He was a terrorist who was part of this criminal mob. He has no business in this country.

Abutalebi’s selection as Iran’s envoy to the U.N. is an obvious slap in this country’s face. President Obama must return the favor.

Chicago Tribune

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry sounds frustrated and exhausted. No wonder. He has shuttled time and again to the Middle East to meet a self-imposed late April deadline for a “framework” that could lead to an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.

But the talks are on the verge of collapse. Let them.

“There are limits to the amount of time and effort that the United States can spend if the parties themselves are unwilling to take constructive steps in order to be able to move forward,” Kerry told reporters last week. We’re at those limits.

Kerry also said the peace process needs a “reality check.” We’d say it also needs the U.S. to substitute tough love for denial of the obvious. What would happen if Kerry told the Israelis and Palestinians, Call us when you’re ready to make the serious compromises necessary for a deal. Otherwise, we have pressing issues elsewhere in the world.

Secretary Kerry, let’s say exactly that.

Everyone knows the broad outlines of a deal – the necessary land swaps and security arrangements. And everyone knows the formidable obstacles.

The U.S. has devoted enough energy to trying, at least for now. Whether it’s a quest for peace in the region, or for history’s warm smile, or for ultimate credibility as diplomats, American presidents and secretaries of state have been mesmerized, and ultimately disappointed, reaching for this elusive goal. Time to step back.

China Daily

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel started his first visit to China since taking office on Monday.

Describing his three-day trip as a journey to boost trust, openness and transparency between Beijing and Washington, Hagel said the Chinese are his “friends,” stressing the United States’ “pivot to Asia” is “not a contain-China strategy.” But in an interview with Japan’s Nikkei newspaper, Hagel criticized China’s Air Defense Identification Zone over the East China Sea calling it provocative and unilateral, and laying misplaced blame on China for rising tensions in one of the most geopolitically sensitive areas.

As the new defense secretary, Hagel has to be informed of some basic facts.

China’s establishment of an ADIZ is a legitimate move, which conforms to the U.N. Charter and is aimed at ensuring stability, while the escalating tension was initially ignited by Tokyo’s illegal “nationalization” of China’s Diaoyu Islands in 2012.

In fact, the growing assertiveness of Japan can be partly attributed to the United States, as the irresponsible remarks by some U.S. politicians have emboldened the rightist forces in Japan.

As the world’s two largest economies, China and the U.S. have a shared interest in a stable environment to facilitate economic prosperity. Neither country, nor the global economy, can afford confrontation or conflict.



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