This is not a call for deeper U.S. involvement in Iraq and Syria. But if degrade-and-destroy is really the goal, I don’t see how deeper involvement will be avoided.
For a government official to try to intimidate or censor speech from the pulpit, or any other form of communication, is clearly unconstitutional and this effort by Houston’s mayor should not survive a single court challenge.
Let’s make a deal: We’ll all promise not to panic about Ebola if the experts — especially those at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — agree to get their stories straight.
Last weekend at a conference of donor nations held in Cairo, Egypt, to discuss rebuilding Gaza, following the latest exchange of rockets between Hamas and Israel, Secretary of State John Kerry pledged an additional $212 million in U.S. aid for the project, nearly doubling the total U.S. commitment (so far). The Palestinian Authority claims rebuilding could cost $4 billion.
The Obama administration needs to be much better at communicating a simple fact: Right now, you and I are essentially in no danger of contracting Ebola. But if we don’t act, there will be a danger — and it won’t go away.
Sometimes it seems the priority of our elected officials and experts is self-protection rather than the protection of the public, which they are supposed to serve. We only know what they tell us. We presume they have access to accurate information, but we only get their version of the truth.
Put a taller fence around the White House complex and lock the doors. Then get rid of the dry rot in the Secret Service bureaucracy, restore staffing to reasonable levels, adopt the latest technology and develop new protocols to replace the ones that didn’t work. But don’t use the recent shocking lapses in presidential security as an excuse to further separate Americans from the symbols of their government.
College freshmen are completing their first month on campus. According to the website The Other Freshman 15, “The first 15 weeks of college can be the riskiest for sexual assault. … One out of five students experience rape or sexual assault while they are in college, and in the great majority of cases (75-80 percent), the victim knows the attacker.”
The speech Obama gave in Cairo in 2009 and the address he gave at the United Nations on Wednesday can be seen as bookends. In the heady months after his election, Obama hoped to be remembered as the president who forged a new peace between the Western and Islamic worlds. Now, while not completely abandoning that hope, Obama says there first must be war against jihadist “killers” who understand no language but “the language of force.”
Jack Ma is the founder of the Chinese Internet retailer Alibaba. According to The New York Times, Alibaba is “the world’s largest Internet commerce company, with 231 million active buyers using its site, 11.3 billion annual orders and $296 billion in annual merchandise sales.”
President Obama is adamant that the war against the Islamic State will not escalate to the use of U.S. ground troops. But the more I see and hear of his strategy, the more I fear that “mission creep” — even if the president resists it — is baked in from the start.
Prior to his annual steak fry, retiring Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) said this about Hillary Clinton to Dan Balz of The Washington Post: “…she is much more progressive in her thoughts and her inclination than most people may think.”
In his Islamic State speech, President Obama said many of the right things. Most importantly, he finally got the mission right: degrade and destroy the enemy. This alone will probably get him a bump in the polls, which have dropped to historic lows. But his strategic problem remains: the disconnect between (proclaimed) ends and means.
President Obama has committed the United States to another open-ended Middle East war in which the potential for doing harm rivals the possibility of doing good.
The soap opera that played out in Richmond these last weeks and ended with the convictions of former Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, on multiple counts of fraud and conspiracy charges is a tragedy for them, their children and the voters of Virginia.
Letters to the Editor
- ROBINSON: Stepping into the morass?
- THOMAS: Houston pastors fight censorship challenge
- ROBINSON: On Ebola in US, candor needed
- THOMAS: Rebuilding Gaza for the next attack
- ROBINSON: We are all Liberians now
- THOMAS: ISIS, Ebola — Americans can handle the truth
- ROBINSON: Secure the people’s house
- THOMAS: Combating campus sexual assaults
- ROBINSON: Bookends of a presidency
- THOMAS: What Jack Ma can re-teach America