NEW YORK -- Vladimir Putin has been able to act forcefully in Syria not because he's bolder or more decisive than Barack Obama but because he has a clearer strategy. Putin has an ally, the Assad government. He has enemies, the opponents of the government. He supports his ally and fights those enemies. By comparison, Washington and the West are ...Read more
NEW YORK -- I am not a Christian. But growing up in India, I was immersed in the religion. I attended Catholic and Anglican schools from ages 5 to 18, at which we would sing hymns, recite prayers, and study the Scriptures. And the words and actions of Pope Francis have reminded me what I, as an outsider, have always admired deeply about ...Read more
NEW YORK -- Donald Trump's presidential bid is centered on the promise of his personal talents. He says he's the "most successful person ever to run for the presidency, by far." (George Washington and Dwight Eisenhower, sit down!) But if there is an idea animating his candidacy, it is that America is being badly beaten by its economic ...Read more
MUNICH -- Of the 4 million Syrian men, women, and children who have fled their country, the Obama administration wants the U.S. to take in 10,000 over the next year. Britain has promised that it will revise its policy and resettle up to 20,000 over the next five years. And then there is Germany, where an estimated 800,000 asylum-seekers will ...Read more
NEW YORK -- As 17 Republican candidates try to get noticed, and 16 of them struggle to compete with The Donald, perhaps we should not be surprised to hear crazy rhetoric and outlandish ideas. In recent days, Chris Christie has proposed that all legal visitors to the United States be tracked every minute, like FedEx packages. Mike Huckabee has ...Read more
NEW YORK -- While we have been watching the Islamic State and discussing Iran, something much bigger is happening in the world. We are witnessing a historic fall in the price of oil, down more than 50 percent in less than a year. When a similar drop happened in the 1980s, the Soviet Union collapsed. What will it mean now?
Nick Butler, the ...Read more
NEW YORK -- Dear Sen. Schumer,
When you announced your decision to vote against the nuclear agreement with Iran, you explained your reasons in a nearly 1,700-word statement that is thoughtful in substance and civil in tone. And yet, in the end, I found it unpersuasive.
I believe that the agreement is flawed. But it is the most intrusive, ...Read more
NEW YORK -- Many critics of the nuclear deal with Iran believe that the problem lies in the very disposition of the president. "A very, very naive man who does not know how the world works," says Rick Perry. "Dangerously naive," notes Lindsey Graham. In fact, Obama is not naive, but disposition does matter. Obama is an optimist -- about the ...Read more
Jackie: The Adventures of a Little Boy Trying to Grow UpJohn Tammela
"Jackie..." is the story of a little boy dealing with the ups and downs of growing up in the late '30's and early 40's. Young readers will discover how youngsters spent their holidays freely in contrast to children today. Many will relate to Jackie's situation as being the youngest with 2 ...
NEW YORK -- Since 9/11, America has responded aggressively to the danger of terrorism, taking extraordinary measures, invading two countries, launching military operations in many others, and spending over $800 billion on homeland security. Americans have accepted an unprecedented expansion of government powers and invasions of their privacy to ...Read more
NEW YORK -- Let's imagine that the opponents of the nuclear agreement with Iran get their way. The United States Congress kills it. What is the most likely consequence? Within one year, Iran would have more than 25,000 centrifuges, its breakout time would shrink to mere weeks, and the sanctions against it would crumble. How is this in America's ...Read more
NEW YORK -- In selling the nuclear deal with Iran, the Obama administration has been careful to point out that it is just an agreement on nuclear issues. "[The deal] solves one particular problem," President Obama explained in his news conference on Wednesday. And supporters and critics alike are quick to suggest that this move is quite ...Read more
NEW YORK -- A meeting this past Tuesday near Pakistan's capital city of Islamabad could possibly mark the beginning of the end of America's longest war -- the conflict in Afghanistan, which will enter its 15th year this fall. A delegation from the Afghan government met with members of the Taliban -- with Pakistani, Chinese and U.S. officials ...Read more
SINGAPORE -- In January 2007, not long after George W. Bush announced his surge of troops into Iraq, I happened to be having lunch with a Chinese friend who is a well-connected member of the Communist Party. I asked him how the news was being received in Beijing. He replied in words to the effect of: "We would hope that you would send the entire...Read more
NEW YORK -- In thinking about America's enduring racial divide, I found myself intrigued by some lessons from an unlikely source -- Singapore. To help prepare for a trip there next week (as a guest of the National University of Singapore, I asked the country's deputy prime minister, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, what he regarded as the country's ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- I am an optimist, both by temperament and observation. But I maintain my hopeful outlook partly because I know that less optimistic people will regularly see problems and challenges and sound the alarms -- to which we will respond. Pope Francis has issued just such a warning with his encyclical on the environment.
The document is ...Read more
NEW YORK -- Of the many unnerving aspects of the future of the Middle East, a nuclear arms race would top the list. And it is to feed that unease that Saudi Arabia has been periodically dropping hints that, if Iran's nuclear ambitions go unchecked, it might just have to get nuclear weapons itself. Last week, the Saudi ambassador to London made ...Read more