Syndicated Columns

Opinion: Evaluating U.S. mistakes in Iraq
May 22, 2015
Ramadi falls. The Iraqi army flees. The great 60-nation anti-Islamic State coalition so grandly proclaimed by the Obama administration is nowhere to be seen. Instead, it’s the defense minister of Iran who flies into Baghdad, an unsubtle demonstration of who’s in charge — while the U.S. air campaign proves futile and America’s alleged strategy for combating the Islamic State is in freefall.
Opinion: Capital punishment on its way out
May 21, 2015
Without a definitive judicial ruling or other galvanizing event, a perennial American argument is ending. Capital punishment is withering away. It is difficult to imagine moral reasoning that would support the conclusion that an injustice will be done when, years hence, the death penalty finally is administered to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the Boston Marathon terrorist who placed a bomb in a crowd and then strolled to safety. Sentencing to death those who commit heinous crimes satisfies a sense of moral proportionality. This is, however, purchased with disproportionate social costs, as Nebraska seems to be concluding.
Opinion: Writers miss point on police violence
May 21, 2015
Maybe some people didn’t understand the question. It was posed in this space a few weeks ago by Tracy, a self-described 55-year-old white woman from Texas who is sick and tired of the mounting litany of police violence against unarmed African-American boys and men. She wanted to know what actions she, as an average person, might take to help bring about change. “What can I do?” she asked.
Opinion: Ramadi a setback for Iraq strategy
May 20, 2015
The capture of Ramadi last weekend by Islamic State fighters is a significant setback for U.S. strategy in Iraq and shows that, nearly a year after the extremists overran Mosul, the U.S. still doesn’t have a viable plan for protecting the country’s Sunni areas.
Opinion: Enough blame for ISIS to go around
May 19, 2015
On May 23, 2003, I attended the Baghdad news conference at which the U.S. viceroy, Paul Bremer, announced he was dissolving the Iraqi army. I thought of that day when I read of Wednesday’s confrontation between 19-year-old student Ivy Dietrich and Jeb Bush, who had been blaming President Obama for the rise of the jihadis. She told the former Florida governor, “Your brother created ISIS.”
Opinion: Santorum builds on runner-up status
May 18, 2015
A near miss can be a sharp spur, so Rick Santorum wants to say something to those who profess condescending puzzlement about his persistence in pursuing the Republican presidential nomination: You probably have no idea how close I came to defeating Mitt Romney in 2012.
Opinion: ACA now a sturdy 5-year-old
May 18, 2015
After a rough incubation, birth and infancy, the Affordable Care Act is a sturdy 5-year-old, showing increasing signs of achievement and acceptance. But growth could come to a sudden halt if the Supreme Court throws out the subsidies that enable more than 8 million Americans to pay their health insurance.
Opinion: Insurance choice leads to charity plea
May 17, 2015
Luis Lang would like you to send him some money. He has taken to GoFundMe (gofundme.com/s78e9w ), the crowd-funding website, trying to raise $30,000. Lang, who is 49 and lives in Fort Mill, S.C., is slowly losing his eyesight to diabetes. Without surgery, he’ll go blind. Those grim facts notwithstanding, some may not find Lang the most sympathetic candidate for charity.
Opinion: Wreck highlights infrastructure needs
May 17, 2015
Regardless of any human error, it didn’t have to happen. That’s the takeaway from the Amtrak 188 catastrophe. Even if evidence suggests that the engineer caused the train to travel 106 mph in a 50 mph zone, technology has existed for years that could have prevented this accident. But like so much of our needed infrastructure repairs, it’ll be a day late and dollar short.
Opinion: U.S.-Arab summit has upbeat ending
May 16, 2015
President Obama’s meeting with Arab leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council at Camp David ended with surprisingly upbeat statements and an “unequivocal” U.S. commitment “to deter and confront” any future aggression from Iran.
Opinion: Trade deal vital to America’s future
May 15, 2015
That free trade is advantageous to both sides is the rarest of political propositions — provable, indeed mathematically. David Ricardo did so in 1817. The Law of Comparative Advantage has held up nicely for 198 years.

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