Ilan Berman in The New York Times on China's enabling of Iran The International Atomic Energy Agency published a report yesterday providing evidence of Iran's ambition to build a nuclear weapon. "But as Iran nears the nuclear threshold, the best way to stop it may be by punishing the Chinese companies that supply Tehran and enable its nuclear progress," writes Berman, vice president of the American Foreign Policy Council. Berman describes the sanctions in place against Iran's energy sector, and details the evidence that Chinese financial institutions are averting those rules and Chinese diplomats are making nuclear regulation more complicated. He makes a case that a crackdown on Chinese enabling would effectively prevent Iran's nuclear program. He writes, "[T]he last, best hope of peacefully derailing Iran's nuclear drive lies in convincing Beijing that 'business as usual' with Tehran is simply no longer possible."
Margaret Carlson in Bloomberg View on the unlikely Republican front runners By supporting unrealistic candidates for president, Republican voters have been reenacting the "myth" of movies like "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" in which political upstarts outperform career politicians. "It's hard to imagine a gang less suited to the responsibilities of high office," writes Carlson. She describes the many reasons Cain was already ill-equipped to be the party's nominee, even before his sexual harassment allegations. Still unready to embrace Mitt Romney, the party could move on to another unlikely candidate, returning to the well-financed Rick Perry or even the improbable "rookie" Newt Gingrich. "For the moment, Gingrich is in a sweet spot between being written off for dead and serving as the repository for all the hopes, grievances, dreams and death wishes of Republican activists," Carlson writes.