Syndicated Columns

Opinion: Rebels may push Mideast diplomacy
May 4, 2015
U.S. and Iranian officials have been insisting the last several years that they wanted to resolve the nuclear issue before discussing the sectarian wars that are raging across the Middle East. Not anymore. As the battles have escalated in recent months, so has talk about regional diplomacy.
Opinion: Help Sunnis take on Islamic State
May 4, 2015
When Islamic State jihadis poured into Iraq from Syria in June and attacked Sheikh Abdullah al-Yawar’s compound, he urged the Iraqi government to fly weapons to a nearby airfield so his Sunni tribesmen could hit back.
Opinion: Pastor urges education, involvement
May 3, 2015
On the Thursday before Baltimore burned, Mr. Lee went to Washington. He didn’t have far to go. Rev. Tony Lee is the 46-year-old pastor of Community of Hope, an AME church housed in a shopping mall in Hillcrest Heights, Md., just minutes from the D.C. line. Under the auspices of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, a Washington-based advocacy group, he led a delegation of 200 African-American men to Capitol Hill. They went to their capital to talk to their legislators about issues that impact their lives: racially stratified policing, education reform, voting rights and more.
Opinion: Lusitania sinking didn’t alter history
May 3, 2015
Owning a fragment of history — a Gettysburg bullet, a Coolidge campaign button — is fun, so in 1968 Gregg Bemis became an owner of the Lusitania. This 787-feet-long passenger liner has been beneath 300 feet of water off Ireland’s south coast since a single German torpedo sank it 100 years ago Thursday. It contains the 4 million U.S.-made rifle bullets and other munitions that the ship had been carrying from neutral America to wartime Britain.
Opinion: Is Bush too reasonable for GOP?
May 2, 2015
For a Republican who once called himself a “head-banging conservative,” Jeb Bush has said some surprisingly nice things about President Obama lately. He endorsed Obama’s proposed trade deal with Asia. He praised Obama’s tough policies on terrorism, including the National Security Agency’s collection of bulk data. He called on balky Republicans in Congress to confirm Obama’s new attorney general, Loretta Lynch. He even applauded Obama for tightening sanctions on Iran, although he also criticized the president for making concessions in nuclear negotiations.
Opinion: History distorted in brilliant drama
May 1, 2015
“Wolf Hall,” the Man Booker Prize-winning historical novel about the court of Henry VIII — and most dramatically, the conflict between Thomas Cromwell and Sir Thomas More — is now a TV series (presented on PBS). It is maddeningly good.
Opinion: Graham, Clinton eye Citizens United
April 30, 2015
Lindsey Graham once said his road to Congress ran through a coronary clinic because it involves so many South Carolina barbecues. Today, as a senator, he thinks he sees a path to the Republican presidential nomination. He has many strengths, but two substantial problems.
Opinion: Racial injustice: What can we do?
April 30, 2015
Tracy is tired. She was tired even before Baltimore burned this week. I received an email from her on April 12. She wanted me to know she is a 55-year-old white lady from Austin, Texas, who is tired unto tears by incident after incident of police violence against unarmed African-American men — including a 2013 shooting in her own hometown. “What can be done?” she asked. “What can I do? I’m sincere in this question. I want to DO something. What can that be? I’m embarrassed to have to ask; I feel like I should KNOW what to do, but I don’t.”
Opinion: Pope will have unusual clout in Cuba
April 28, 2015
When Pope Francis goes to Cuba in September, he will have a larger-than-usual influence over the Cuban government: He has been a champion of dialogue with the island’s regime and strong critic of the U.S. trade embargo since he authored a little-known book on Cuba in 1998.
Opinion: U.S. in dire need of election reform
April 28, 2015
Let’s take a poll. All those who believe there is a dire need for election reform in this country please hold up your hands. I see, nearly 100 percent. Now do the same if you do not believe that such an overhaul, including significant limits on time and money will ever take place — at least in your lifetime. Hmm. A huge majority for “all those of little faith.”
Opinion: Kurds in Iraq need more U.S. help
April 27, 2015
Fifty yards from my hotel, in the largely Christian neighborhood of Ainkawa, a car bomb went off last Friday. You can still smell the acrid smoke where the Nili cafe was shattered, killing two young men who had stepped out for a smoke not far from the U.S. consulate (which the terrorists didn’t reach).

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