Online Opinion Outpost: July 28

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The Opinion Outpost features opinions and commentary on the latest hot topics from national news sources. As much as you love hearing from The Universe, we thought you might like to hear from journalists around the nation.

South Sudan

Nicholas Kristof, New York Times

President Obama will be focusing on the South Sudan civil war in his trip starting Thursday night to Kenya and Ethiopia, both neighbors to South Sudan. The war is not only a military crisis but also a humanitarian catastrophe, which makes it all the more important to step up efforts to bring about peace.

You might think that what’s needed to end a famine is food. Actually, what’s essential above all is an international push of intensive diplomacy and targeted sanctions to reach a compromise peace deal and end the civil war. Yes, Obama has plenty on his plate already, but no other country has the leverage America does.

Iran

Benjamin Weinthal, Fox News

The U.S. nuclear deal with Iran that allows the infusion of massive amounts of cash into Iran’s coffers permits Tehran and its proxies to continue their war against the United States, Europe, and Israel. And Iranian dissidents in Europe and within the Islamic Republic are endangered because of the nuclear deal.

Lisa Daftari, Washington Times

And now that the deal has been announced, this should not be a baptism for the Iranian government that has continued with its sky-high rate of executions and human rights abuses against journalists, bloggers, dancers, musicians and others, in addition to holding three Americans in prison: Pastor Saeed Abdini, Marine Amir Hekmati and Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian with possible information about special operations agent Robert Levinson, who remains the longest held in American history.

Joshua Fattal, Washington Post

Paradoxically, my distrust of the Iranian government is why I think a nuclear deal is the best avenue for the United States government. A nuclear deal would ensure international monitoring of Iranian centrifuges. Without a deal, we are left with the Iranian government acquiring and enriching nuclear material at will. Without a deal, the American government’s options to regulate Iran’s nuclear program are unattractive: war or sanctions. War is an obvious disaster as exemplified in Iraq and Afghanistan. Sanctions failed to stop their nuclear program after decades of application and have caused untold misery for ordinary Iranians.

R. James Woolsey and Peter Vincent Pry, Washington Times

Because a single nuclear weapon could achieve “Death to America” by EMP attack, the Iran nuclear deal must be airtight and absolutely sure the mullahs cannot acquire — and do not now have — even one nuclear weapon. Congress should challenge the Obama Administration’s claim that they have, essentially, “slam dunk” intelligence that meets this impossible standard.

Planned Parenthood

Kirsten Powers, USA Today

It’s a measure of how damning the video is that Planned Parenthood’s usual defenders were nowhere to be found. There was total silence from The New York Times editorial board and their 10 (out of 11) pro-abortion rights columnists. Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi — both  recipients of Planned Parenthood’s highest honor, the Margaret Sanger Award — have been mum. But a few loyalists took up the cause, including Washington Post columnist Petula Dvorak, whose column was headlined: “Planned Parenthood deserves to be supported, not attacked.” Actually, it’s fetuses who are under attack. By Planned Parenthood.

Sandra Bland

Danny Cevalos, CNN

Every driver who has been pulled over by the police has faced the same Hobson’s choice: Be brave and argue with the officer about your asserted constitutional rights, or shut up and try to avoid any trouble. Most of us take the latter option, because it’s really no choice at all.

Charles M. Blow, New York Times

“Bland disclosed on a form at the jail that she previously had attempted suicide over that past year, although she also indicated she was not feeling suicidal at the time of her arrest, according to officials who attended the Tuesday meeting with local and state leaders investigating the case.” Shouldn’t they have known it was a suicide risk?

Alyssa Rosenburg, Washington Post

At other moments, we’re being captured by private home security systems derived from the one patented in 1969 by Albert and Marie Brown, an African American couple who invented the setup because, as Marie Brown told the New York Times, “it takes considerable time to dial the police and get action in an emergency.”

But the real difference is less in the number or the quality of the images we capture today, but what, if anything, they inspire us to do. If the photography of the Civil Rights movement helped further the idea that the North was good and the South was fallen, maybe we can hope that the videos and photos of the movement now at hand can end the myth of regional superiority and the idea that racism is someone else’s problem.

Shootings

Harpreet Singh Saini, New York Times

This is an opportunity for South Carolina to lead, and the other four states to follow, in enacting laws that could help to deter another tragedy like the ones in Oak Creek and Charleston. An act of hate should always be counted and we must have laws in every state to protect Americans from these heinous acts of violence.

Nicole Gelinas, New York Post

Dylann Roof killed black people because he hated them. Islamist terrorists kill people for similar motives of hatred or revenge.

And while you’re maybe more likely to embrace these ideologies if life is not going great for you, the world is full of people with serious problems — from unemployment to loneliness — who would never dream of harming a soul.

Joshua Horowitz, CNN

A society whose citizens can no longer peaceably attend church, see a movie or study in school is a society that can no longer call itself free. To state the obvious, James Madison and our Founders did not ratify the Second Amendment so that men such as John Russell Houser could obtain guns, legally or otherwise. Preventing killers like this from arming to the teeth is imperative if we are to “insure domestic Tranquility” as envisioned by our Constitution.

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