How Israel’s War Went Wrong | Washington’s Ability to Pressure Maduro is Limited | What the Western Media Gets Wrong About Taiwan, and more

To avoid crossing the far right, Netanyahu won’t allow for any serious planning for the war’s end. The necessary parts of any plan — adopting a concrete and achievable vision for victory and a realistic vision for a postwar order — would necessarily infuriate Religious Zionists and likely cause them to quit the coalition, thus throwing the country to new elections that Netanyahu will likely lose. The prime minister is very literally putting his own interests above the nation’s — something that Natan Sachs, the director of the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, says “wouldn’t be the case with many other [Israeli] leaders.”
“This specific individual,” he adds, “is a constant politician — even in the worst of times.”
“You couldn’t have had a worse government to respond to a worse moment,” says Dov Waxman, the director of UCLA’s Center for Israel Studies. “People like to separate the war from the government that’s running it, but I think you can’t.”

Measles: A Deadly Disease That Can Be Prevented  (Zulfikar Abbany, DW)
Measles is highly contagious and potentially deadly, but there is no specific treatment. So prevention through vaccination is seen as the best way to stop it spread.
But, then, the COVID-19 pandemic put a dent in those efforts, and we’ve seen a spike in cases as a result.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) writes that about 61 million doses of measles vaccine were postponed or missed during the first two years of the pandemic.
That tallies with other data from the WHO that states an estimated 128,000 people died due to measles in 2021, and most were unvaccinated or insufficiently vaccinated children under the age of 5 years.

Turkish Police Arrest an Islamic State Suspect Who Worked at a Nuclear Power Plant, Reports Say  (AP)
Counterterrorism police in Turkey have arrested an Islamic State group suspect who was working at a nuclear power plant being built in the country’s south, local media reported Tuesday. The Russian national had been working at the Akkuyu nuclear facility under false identity papers, the Ihlas News Agency and other media reported. The $20 billion power plant is being built by Russian state-owned energy giant Rosatom in Mersin province on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast. It was inaugurated last April and is expected to start producing electricity next year. The suspect was brought before a court and jailed pending trial. Two alleged IS militants are accused of fatally shooting a man at the Roman Catholic Saint Maria Church in Istanbul last month. Dozens of suspects were detained in relation to the attack, including the two alleged gunmen. Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya last week said 147 people suspected of having ties to IS have been arrested across Turkey.

Washington’s Ability to Pressure Maduro is Limited  (David Smilde and Isabel Rowan Scarpino, Foreign Policy)
The events of recent weeks suggest that while U.S.-Venezuela negotiations have provided a solid push for progress, their impact on Venezuela’s return to democracy will be limited. This is part of a broader historical trend.
Our research has revealed that a wide range of U.S. initiatives have had no clear effect on the direction of Maduro’s anti-democratic slide over the past decade. A more decisive factor, in contrast, has been the Venezuelan opposition’s ability to mount a viable challenge to Maduro’s hold on executive power.

What the Western Media Gets Wrong About Taiwan  (Clarissa Wei, Foreign Policy)
In recent years, as tensions between China and Taiwan have reached historic highs, foreign journalists have flocked to Taiwan to capture life inside a geopolitical flash point. In January, more than 200 journalists from 28 countries arrived to cover the 2024 presidential election. Yet many of these short-term, visiting journalists distort the reality on the ground. They depict the island as the centerpiece of a drama that they’ve already made up their minds about, often inflating tensions and asking leading questions for heightened effect. And the fixers are brought on as the stagehands, charged with providing the backdrop for pre-written narratives.
Because Taiwan is commonly framed as the flash point of potential world war, most television producers want access to a shooting range, a bomb shelter, or a military base. Many fly to the outlying islands of Kinmen or Matsu in hopes of hopping on a boat to catch a glimpse of the Chinese shore.

What the Ukraine War, Taiwan, and Gaza Have in Common  (Paul Heer, National Interest)
Washington thus bears some accountability for the historical origins of what has been happening in these three places. The United States, of course, must push back forcefully against Putin’s barbarism, Xi’s saber-rattling, and Hamas’ terrorism. Yet, pursuing long-term solutions to the predicaments that are playing out in Ukraine, Taiwan, and Gaza—or even finding ways to de-escalate and manage them—will require acknowledging and confronting their multiple sources. And those sources include the role played by the United States in contributing to each situation.
Moreover, Washington’s denial—or revisionism—about U.S. policies that helped to fuel current or potential crises only makes them more intractable by ignoring a core element of each crisis and thus inhibiting an honest and objective understanding of its nature. This obstructs or closes off the potential for reassessing U.S. policies, which might be vital to identifying solutions. Washington, for example, could be reconsidering the idea of an alternative European security architecture that does not revive a new Cold War.

China’s Rush to Dominate A.I. Comes with a Twist: It Depends on U.S. Technology  (Paul Mozur, John Liu and Cade Metz, New York Times)
Many in China openly admit this: Even as the country races to build generative A.I., Chinese companies are relying almost entirely on underlying systems from the United States. China now lags the United States in generative A.I. by at least a year and may be falling further behind, according to more than a dozen tech industry insiders and leading engineers, setting the stage for a new phase in the cutthroat technological competition between the two nations that some have likened to a cold war.
“Chinese companies are under tremendous pressure to keep abreast of U.S. innovations,” said Chris Nicholson, an investor with the venture capital firm Page One Ventures who focuses on A.I. technologies. The release of ChatGPT was “yet another Sputnik moment that China felt it had to respond to.”