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What Six Years of 'Reset' Have Wrought

WASHINGTON -- On September 5, 2014, Russian agents crossed into Estonia and kidnapped an Estonian security official. Last week, after a closed trial, Russia sentenced him to 15 years.

The reaction? The State Department issued a statement. The NATO secretary-general issued a tweet. Neither did anything. The European Union (reports The Wall ...Read more

The Immigration Swamp

"This was not a subject that was on anybody's mind until I brought it up at my announcement."

-- Donald Trump, on immigration, Republican debate, Aug. 6

WASHINGTON -- Not on anyone's mind? For years, immigration has been the subject of near-constant, often bitter argument within the GOP. But it is true that Trump has brought the debate to a ...Read more

The Racing Form, Third Edition

WASHINGTON -- Both presidential nomination contests having been scrambled by recent events -- the FBI taking control of Hillary Clinton's private email server and a raucous, roiling GOP debate -- the third edition of the Racing Form is herewith rushed into print.

Legal disclaimer: This column is for betting purposes only. What follows is ...Read more

Just Who is Helping Iran's Hard-Liners?

WASHINGTON -- The latest Quinnipiac poll shows that the American public rejects the president's Iran deal by more than 2-to-1. This is astonishing. The public generally gives the president deference on major treaties. Just a few weeks ago, a majority supported the deal.

What happened? People learned what's in it.

And don't be fooled by polls ...Read more

Among the Ruins, a Case of Righteousness

WASHINGTON -- Christianity, whose presence in the Middle East predates Islam's by 600 years, is about to be cleansed from the Middle East. Egyptian Copts may have found some respite under Abdel Fatah al-Sissi, but after their persecution under the previous Muslim Brotherhood government, they know how precarious their existence in 90 percent ...Read more

It's An Ugly Scene

"Thank you Planned Parenthood. God bless you."

-- Barack Obama, address to Planned Parenthood, April 26, 2013

WASHINGTON -- Planned Parenthood's reaction to the release of a clandestinely recorded conversation about the sale of fetal body parts was highly revealing. After protesting that it did nothing illegal, it apologized for the "tone" of ...Read more

Worse Than We Could Have Imagined

WASHINGTON -- When you write a column, as did I two weeks ago, headlined "The worst agreement in U.S. diplomatic history," you don't expect to revisit the issue. We had hit bottom. Or so I thought. Then on Tuesday the final terms of the Iranian nuclear deal were published. I was wrong.

Who would have imagined we would be giving up the ...Read more

Pluto and Us

WASHINGTON -- We need a pick me up. Amid the vandalizing of Palmyra, the imminent extinction of the northern white rhino, the disarray threatening Europe's most ambitious attempt ever at peaceful unification -- amid plague and pestilence and, by God, in the middle of Shark Week -- where can humanity turn for uplift?

Meet New Horizons, arriving ...Read more

The Worst Agreement in U.S. Diplomatic History

WASHINGTON -- The devil is not in the details. It's in the entire conception of the Iran deal, animated by President Obama's fantastical belief that he, uniquely, could achieve detente with a fanatical Islamist regime whose foundational purpose is to cleanse the Middle East of the poisonous corruption of American power and influence.

In pursuit...Read more

On Lowering the Flag

WASHINGTON -- After a massacre like the one at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, our immediate reaction is to do something. Something, for politicians, means legislation. And for Democratic politicians, this means gun control.

It's the all-purpose, go-to, knee-jerk solution. Within hours of the massacre, President Obama was lamenting the ...Read more

A New Strategy for Iraq and Syria

WASHINGTON -- It's time for a new strategy in Iraq and Syria. It begins by admitting that the old borders are gone, that a unified Syria or Iraq will never be reconstituted, that the Sykes-Picot map is defunct.

We may not want to enunciate that policy officially. After all, it does contradict the principle that colonial borders be maintained no...Read more

The Racing Form, Second Edition

WASHINGTON -- The Republican nominating race is a mess: a strong field, but with 10 declared candidates and a half-dozen more to come, we need a bouncer to keep order.

I've given myself the job. Rope lines separate the four categories.

(A) Top tier:

1. Jeb Bush. Solid, no sizzle. Sizzle may be in less demand than eight years ago, but ...Read more

Why Doctors Quit, Chapter 2

WASHINGTON -- I rarely do follow-up columns. I'm averaging one every 10 years. And while my last such exercise resulted in a written apology from the White House (for accusing me of making up facts over its removal of Churchill's bust), today's is not a complaint. It's merely a recognition that the huge response elicited by last week's column, "...Read more

Why Doctors Quit

WASHINGTON -- About a decade ago, a doctor friend was lamenting the increasingly frustrating conditions of clinical practice. "How did you know to get out of medicine in 1978?" he asked with a smile.

"I didn't," I replied. "I had no idea what was coming. I just felt I'd chosen the wrong vocation."

I was reminded of this exchange upon receiving...Read more

Speculations and Stretches for Hypotheticals

WASHINGTON -- 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...Read more

Save Obama (On Trade)

WASHINGTON -- 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.

Nor is this abstract theory. We've lived it. The free-trade regime created after World War II precipitated the ...Read more

Free Willy!

WASHINGTON -- We often wonder how people of the past, including the most revered and refined, could have universally engaged in conduct now considered unconscionable. Such as slavery. How could the Founders, so sublimely devoted to human liberty, have lived with -- some participating in -- human slavery? Or fourscore years later, how could the ...Read more

 

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