By Rob Cox
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.
President Barack Obama delivered a speech Wednesday night designed for an American public that has been losing confidence in its commander in chief. Much of his address was about attitude — we are tough, we will act, we will prevail, but we will do all this with airpower, not boots on the ground (or not many) and in cooperation with friends and allies. This mission will not be a repeat of Afghanistan or Iraq (President George W. Bush’s wars), Obama promised, but will be more like Obama’s campaigns against al Qaeda — don’t forget he killed Osama bin Laden! — and the continuing strikes against radical Islamists in Somalia and Yemen.
Readers of a romantic bent, perhaps Scots or descendants of Scots, may think that it would be cool for Scotland to vote for independence from the United Kingdom next Thursday.
“We are now living in what we might as well admit is the Age of Iraq,” New York Times op-ed columnist David Brooks recently wrote. There, in the Land of the Two Rivers, he continued, the United States confronts the “core problem” of our era — “the interaction between failing secular governance and radical Islam.”
When President Barack Obama makes the case for military action against Islamic State militants on Wednesday night, it won’t be hard to convince Americans to get involved in the conflict. The hard part will be explaining how we get out.
Scotland will soon be suffering from a monumental hangover. There will be a lot of hurt heads, a lot of tears and, without a doubt, an immense amount of anger that will last who knows how long — weeks, months, maybe even years — if Alex Salmond’s dream of independence comes true.
Tim Cook has had his first Steve Jobs moment.
With Tuesday’s introduction of the new iPhone 6 line, Apple Pay and Apple Watch, the company’s CEO escaped the public shadow of his revered predecessor. Now the question is: Can he deliver in the same impressive fashion?
1. Cancer money:
The Stand Up to Cancer telethon -- simulcast Friday night on all four major broadcast networks and 28 cable channels, and live-streamed on Yahoo and Hulu (available on YouTube here) -- reminded me of a story I have long wanted to read: How much money is being spent on cancer research, where is it going and how well is it being spent?
Pity the female athlete in Saudi Arabia. Once again, the country is sending an all-male team to the Asian Games in South Korea — justifying its decision on the grounds that its women don’t quite make the grade. Officially, the line is that they’re not competitive enough. But how can anyone be a competitor in a country where just getting out to work out is almost impossible?
Last week, Israel announced that it was appropriating nearly 1,000 acres of private Palestinian land near Bethlehem. The seizure, which one anti-settlement group called the largest in 30 years, was condemned by Palestinians, the United Nations, and criticized by the United States.