WASHINGTON -- Drone strikes, by their nature, are bound to kill innocent civilians. It is all too easy to ignore this ugly fact -- and the dubious morality of the whole enterprise -- until the unfortunate victims happen to be Westerners.
Only then does "collateral damage" become big news and an occasion for public sorrow. President Obama ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- In a sane world, the Republican-led Senate would have confirmed Loretta Lynch as attorney general months ago. But sanity hasn't been seen around here in some time.
No one has raised the slightest question about Lynch's qualifications. No one disputes that she has been a tough, effective U.S. attorney and a strong manager. No one ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- That was quick. Strike up "Happy Days Are Here Again" and cue the balloon drop. Better yet, Democrats could skip the whole primaries-and-convention thing and let Hillary Clinton get to work on picking a running mate.
Barring the political equivalent of an asteroid strike, it's over. The slick video Clinton released Sunday was both...Read more
WASHINGTON -- You thought, perhaps, that we were making this stuff up? That the whole "Black Lives Matter" thing was probably overblown? That the idea of African-American men having to fear routine encounters with the police was being exaggerated by self-serving activists?
Let's go to the videotape.
In North Charleston, South Carolina, last ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- The framework agreement over Iran's nuclear program dramatically changes the Middle East. Hard-liners and hawks may complain all they want, but things will never go back to the way they were.
I believe the change is clearly -- perhaps historically -- for the better. In that part of the world, however, there is always the ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- The only purpose of the "religious freedom" laws in Indiana and other states is to assert that discrimination against gay people is acceptable. The only way to "fix" such measures is to repeal them.
As events this week have shown, the nation is becoming intolerant of intolerance. Indiana Gov. Mike Pence insisted that the absurdly ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- As gung-ho "experts" press President Obama to do this, that or the other in the Middle East, keep a simple rule in mind: Whatever the avid interventionists suggest probably won't work -- and surely will have unintended consequences.
Obama's overall policy toward the region has been modest, cautious, incremental and situational. ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- We don't need to know the political or religious views of Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Gunter Lubitz to call his crashing of a crowded airliner into a mountainside an act of terrorism. And we don't need any further evidence to recognize a cruel irony: Legitimate fear of potential terrorist attacks apparently made this tragedy ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- With Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas becoming the first A-lister to throw his hat in the ring for president -- in his case, I'm picturing a Napoleonic bicorn rather than a fedora -- it's time to handicap the race for the Republican nomination. I see it as Jeb Bush vs. the field, and I'm not ready to put my money on Bush.
Some may write off...Read more
WASHINGTON -- It's been just a few weeks since Republicans took full control of Congress, but already it is safe to say they have no earthly idea of what they want to accomplish.
What we're seeing is not just a bit of sputtering before the GOP machine cranks up and begins to systematically fulfill its governing plan. There is no plan. ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- See, I keep telling you that old-fashioned racism is alive and well in this country. After the fraternity bus sing-along at the University of Oklahoma, do you hear me now?
Frankly, the happy-go-lucky bigotry of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) fraternity brothers -- captured on video and shown to the world -- shocked even me. And I ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- The Hillary Clinton email controversy is a reminder of one inescapable fact: She comes with baggage. Not the kind that fits in the overhead bin, either. I'm talking steamer trunks.
How could anyone serve four years as secretary of state with no official email account, instead conducting business from a private address with its own...Read more
WASHINGTON -- The worst moment of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to Congress, at least for me, came when he used Elie Wiesel, a great moral hero, as a Hollywood-style prop. Presidents giving State of the Union addresses have the right to tug at our heartstrings by saluting honored guests in the gallery. Foreign leaders taking...Read more
WASHINGTON -- House Speaker John Boehner needs to decide whether he wants to be remembered as an effective leader or a befuddled hack. So far, I'm afraid, it's the latter.
Boehner's performance last week was a series of comic pratfalls, culminating Friday in a stinging rebuke from the House Republicans he ostensibly leads. Boehner wasn't asking...Read more
WASHINGTON -- President Obama is clearly right -- and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is wrong -- about the Iran nuclear negotiations. But the broader and more consequential question of Iran's place in the world is much more complicated.
As I've written, I don't fault Netanyahu for aggressively defending Israel's interests as he sees ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Jeb Bush's highly anticipated speech on foreign policy reminded me of the joke in which two senior citizens are complaining about a restaurant. "Terrible food at that place," says one. "Yes," says the other, "and such small portions!"
Bush's speech, which he gave Wednesday in Chicago, consisted of empty platitudes doled out in ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- The House of Representatives seems to be trying mightily to make itself irrelevant, with Speaker John Boehner leading the effort. I can't help but think of the old proverb: "The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on."
The caravan, in this case, consists of President Obama, the Senate and the American people. It's still early, but ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- President Obama's request to Congress for authority to use military force against the Islamic State explains his view of why to fight this war. But it doesn't really tell us how.
Obama has asked to be liberated and constrained at the same time. He wants no geographical boundaries placed on his ability to go after the Islamic State...Read more
WASHINGTON -- There is no doubt that President Obama's remarks about Christianity at the National Prayer Breakfast last week were historically accurate. But they were also -- let's face it -- glib, facile and patronizing.
I must immediately dissociate myself from the bombastic critics, mostly Republicans, who have accused Obama of grievously ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Bang. Bang. Crash. That was the sound of the Republican majority in Congress shooting itself in both feet, then tripping over them.
At a moment of heightened concern that terrorists in the Middle East might stage or inspire attacks on U.S. soil, the GOP-controlled House and Senate are unable to agree on a bill to fund the ...Read more