US response to ISIS; American's response to mass shootings; Japanese and North Korean relations
This week's round-up of commentary from around the world addresses America's response to ISIS in Iraq, the US 'insipid' response to mass shootings, and the need to allow Japan to negotiate with North Korea.
London / The Economist
Regional actors deal with ISIS
“Whatever policy emerges on dealing with ISIS [Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant], it’s clear that America’s long-term strategy for the Middle East has to be oriented towards letting local powers settle the geopolitical balance themselves,” writes M.S. in a “Democracy in America” column. “Iran, Turkey, and other regional players will have to take the lead in backing the Iraqi government and combating ISIS, because America lacks the expertise, the political will, and ultimately the capacity to do that job.”
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates / The National
Where is the response from the US?
“The apparently leisurely response of both Nouri Al Maliki and Barack Obama to this extraordinary crisis is astonishing...,” states an editorial about the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant militants in Iraq. “[The threat] has already touched the lives of the thousands of Iraqis, and one with the potential to affect this region directly. And still the United States, which has a greater military presence in the Middle East than any other single country, dithers over what to do.”
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia / The Star
American response to mass shootings
“US President Barack Obama’s assertion that he would make gun control a central issue of his second term was a welcome one, but over and over he has crashed against the part of the American psyche that gets up in arms about the possibility of not being able to get up in arms,” writes columnist Hari Raj, who resides in Australia, in regard to the way Americans respond to the news of mass shootings. “As usual, more people are buying guns to protect themselves from more people buying guns – it’s an insipid, internalised parody of the Cold War, played out on a smaller scale and with hugely tragic consequences.”
Seoul, South Korea / Korea JoongAng Daily
Japan negotiates with North Korea on its own
“Japan has managed to do what [South] Korea and the United States have never been able to. The Obama administration’s North Korean policy is supposed to be all about ‘strategic patience,’ but it’s actually all about ‘nonstrategic nonaction...,’ ” states an editorial about Japan’s resolve to get answers from North Korea about its 17 citizens allegedly abducted between 1977 and 1980 to become informants. “When North Korea launches a special committee to reinvestigate the abductees issue, Japan will lift some sanctions on North Korea. That will be nothing less than a fatal blow to the Korea-U.S.-Japan united front against the North’s nuclear threat.... It is significant that the Pyongyang-Tokyo agreement indicates Japan’s will to realize normalization of diplomatic ties with the North.... Engaging the recalcitrant regime in an in-depth conversation is a significant accomplishment.”