National Columns

Opinion: Trump opens door for Islamic State

By acquiescing to Turkey’s invasion of northeastern Syria on Wednesday, President Trump has opened the door to what could become a genuine nightmare for the United States and its allies: the revival of the deadly terrorist organization that called itself the Islamic State. The danger lies ...

Opinion: One-way forgiveness is a problem

Here’s the thing about forgiveness. It’s not just something you extend to someone else. It’s also a gift you give yourself, permission to lay down the heavy burden of grudges and rage. And if you’re a Christian, it’s an obligation — albeit a hard one — of faith. One can ...

Opinion: College diversity tinkering: What a tangled web

Washington — The judge took 130 pages to explain that Harvard’s “holistic review” admissions policies — which include ascribing particular attributes to certain ethnicities, such as Asian Americans, and assessing the value to Harvard of those attributes — are, considering 41 years ...

Opinion: A plea to stand by our Kurdish allies

Washington — The commander of Syrian Kurdish forces didn’t use the word “betrayal.” But with U.S. troops withdrawing from the Turkish-Syrian border and Turkish troops poised to attack, he warned Monday morning that a bloodbath could be ahead — and pleaded for continued U.S. ...

Opinion: Biden’s most important ‘endorsement’

Let’s repeat it together three times: Preprimary polls testing would-be presidential nominees have all the permanence of numbers written with a stick in the wet sand at the ocean’s edge just before the high tide comes in. Recent history confirms the unreliability of such polls. In October ...

Opinion: Trump allies complicit in moral decay

Washington — When it comes to Donald Trump, it is increasingly difficult to distinguish between a political strategy and a nervous breakdown. His tweeted trash talk, his meandering stream of consciousness press availabilities and his shameless embrace of sleaziness are not the signs of a ...

Opinion: President’s enablers bear a lot of responsibility

We’re all familiar by now with the reasons advanced for why elected Republicans shrivel like dry houseplants whenever they are asked to distance themselves from the president. They fear primary challengers. They dread his Twitter wrath. They like the judges. All true as far as it goes. And we ...

Opinion: Trump settling scores through Ukraine

Washington — Through all of President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, he has rarely focused on the job for which he was elected — steering the foreign policy of the United States. Instead, for Trump, Ukraine has been a continuing story of personal resentment and political opportunism. A ...

Opinion: How the times have changed

You may, if you are old enough, recall a TV actor named Foster Brooks. He was a guest star on such classics of boomer kitsch as “The Monkees,” “The Munsters” and “The Mod Squad.” But if you do remember him, it’s likely for one thing only: his imitation of inebriation. Brooks ...

Opinion: Court to decide if ‘sex’ includes orientation

Washington — The beginning of the Supreme Court’s term this week includes momentous oral arguments on Tuesday in two cases that illustrate clashing theories about how statutes should be construed. If properly decided, the cases will nudge Congress to act like a legislative body. At issue ...

Opinion: What follows Trump’s menacing rhetoric?

Washington — The rhetorical intensity of Donald Trump’s anti-impeachment campaign, measured on a scale of one to 10, has begun at 11.25. The whistleblower is “almost a spy” who may be guilty of “treason.” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., should be ...

Opinion: Ways to get testimony, documents

After Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s angry refusal Tuesday to allow State Department officials to testify before a House of Representatives committee about Ukraine, congressional Democrats face a newly urgent question: What legal tools does Congress have to compel the Trump administration ...

Opinion: Trump raises spectre of civil war

“If Democrats are successful in removing the president from office (which they never will be), it will cause a Civil War like fracture in this Nation from which our Country will never heal.” — Donald Trump, roughly quoting Robert Jeffress, a conservative Dallas preacher What if he’s ...

Opinion: Korean Peninsula: A dangerous neighborhood

Seoul, South Korea — In 1950, when Han Sung-joo was 10, shrapnel from an artillery shell lodged in his hip. This happened as Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s troops, fresh from the bold Incheon landing, were retaking this city — it would be lost and retaken again — after North Korea’s June ...

Opinion: Khashoggi’s horrifying final seconds

Washington — At 1:14 on the afternoon of Oct. 2, 2018, a special-operations team waiting for Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul was told he had arrived. Just 25 minutes later, the Washington Post contributing columnist was dead, and a noise that Turkish authorities later ...

Opinion: Trump seeks to normalize nationalism

Washington — One of the puzzling aspects of Donald Trump’s hyper-nationalism is its consistent denigration of the nation itself. In a 2017 Oval Office conversation between Trump, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, the president did more than boast ...

Opinion: Impeachment: how fast, how far?

Washington — The dilemma facing House Democrats is captured by one of the most internally contradictory phrases in American legal history. In the very muddy language of the Brown v. Board of Education decision, they need to proceed “with all deliberate speed.” Goldilocks rules again: ...

Opinion: Trump may not even understand corruption

Speaking to the “enemies of the people” at the United Nations last week, President Donald Trump demonstrated that he may not understand what corruption is. Seriously. Trump’s favorite gambit is to accuse others of what he himself has done — self-dealing, lying, sexual misconduct. And he ...

Opinion: Trump is resembling Capt. Queeg

Only the ball bearings were missing. The reference, for those who don’t know, is to Humphrey Bogart’s performance as the emotionally unstable Captain Queeg in the 1954 film “The Caine Mutiny.” In a pivotal scene, Bogart vividly etches the captain’s mental disintegration, rambling on ...

Opinion: Best antidote for bad election is better election

Washington — If Donald Trump were to tweet that 9 is a prime number, that Minneapolis is in Idaho, and that the sun revolves around the Earth — “Make Earth Great Again!” — would even five Republican senators publicly disagree with even one of the tweets? This matters in assessing the ...