All Commentary

  • The Monitor's View In praise of the OSCE as Ukraine's friend

    An unsung international body, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, has helped many countries become secure and democratic. Now Ukraine needs the OSCE to help resolve its tensions and hold a fair election.

  • Global Viewpoint After Boko Haram kidnapping: What does the US stand for?

    It took three weeks for President Obama to publicly address the crisis of more than 250 Nigerian school girls kidnapped by Boko Haram. Evidence is mounting that, beyond its strategic self-interest, the US does not have an operating philosophy on defending human rights.

  • The Monitor's View How Nigerians can thwart Boko Haram

    Foreign help for Nigeria to rescue the girls abducted by Boko Haram only highlights the government's failings, notably corruption. To dry up support for such militant groups, Nigerians must put an end to graft in high places.

  • Readers Respond Readers Write: The ongoing debate over e-cigarettes

    Letters to the Editor for the May 12, 2014 weekly magazine:Some studies have shown that electronic cigarettes deliver 'little if any' nicotine to the bloodstream and that nicotine, absent tobacco, is a relatively weak drug, similar to caffeine.With e-cigarettes, high-profile cigarette use is back on TV. What does that say about their acceptability, especially when the world is still debating whether they are safe?

  • The Monitor's View An answer to Ukraine's pro-Russia vote on 'self rule'

    The pro-Russia votes on 'self rule' in eastern Ukraine are illegal by any measure but they reflect a legitimate challenge to the nation's identity. The interim government in Kiev has responded well with offers that reflect a civil spirit of democratic unity.

  • Good government: the happiness factor

    Over the centuries governments have been feared, revered, and made the butt of jokes. The best governments do one thing right: they add to the balance of human happiness.

  • Europe's brush with its past

    However the crisis in Ukraine plays out, it has had a profound affect on the thinking of European leaders. Overnight, a continent that seemed to be on a holiday from history has had to grapple with the question of what it stands for.

  • Partners in war, and in ending it

    The inclusion of women in front-line combat operations is a belated recognition of their already-substantial role in the US military. 

  • Teaching that's tailored to learners

    A classroom revolution is under way that harnesses technology to allow students to learn at the pace best suited to them -- and changes the role of teacher from "sage on the stage" to mentor and coach.

  • The Monitor's View How China, Russia help spread democracy

    Nations not in secure alliances of democracy take note when Russia annexes a piece of Ukraine and China shoots water guns at Vietnam's ships in a claim on the Paracel Islands. Security pacts based on common civic values can be strong deterrents.

  • Opinion How to loosen Boko Haram’s hold on Nigeria (+video)

    Boko Haram’s depredations, while horrific, are symptomatic of longer-term problems. With US support, Nigeria must curb political corruption to improve security, ensure religious freedom, and begin the process of reconciliation among its people.

  • The Monitor's View Negotiate with Boko Haram to release girls?

    Nigeria rules out talking with Boko Haram until the girls are released. But it also welcomes US assistance in hostage negotiation. It must draw on the experience of other countries in how and when to negotiate with terrorists.

  • Readers Respond Readers Write: Heroin and America's spiritual void; Hypocrisy on Putin's Ukraine move

    Letters to the Editor for the May 5, 2014 weekly magazine:Consumerism and technology are constantly trying to convince us of the self-evident absurdity that we can 'have it all'. In truth, we not only can't have it all, we really don't want it!The look at heroin addiction in American suburbia brings attention to the paucity of spiritual control in our YOLO ('you only live once') society.If, to protect itself from potential threats, the US can justify invading countries near the Russian sphere of influence, how can the US deny Russia the same justification with Crimea?

  • Global Viewpoint Gordon Brown: US, Britain, and Nigeria must not let Boko Haram act with impunity

    The US and Britain must lend surveillance and other technology help locate the girls kidnapped by Boko Haram in Nigeria. By doing so, they are sending a message that friends of Nigeria will not stand by if the terrorist campaign continues. A new 'safe schools' initiative must also be put in place to reassure worried parents that schools are secure.

  • Opinion Why I won't be voting for Mandela's party in South Africa this time

    After the African National Congress was un-banned, my family returned to South Africa after years of exile. In 1994, I voted proudly for the ANC in the first democratic elections. While I will forever love the movement that freed us, I recognize that it, too, needs its powers checked.

  • The Monitor's View Liberator's hubris and the South African election

    Like many parties that liberated their country, South Africa's ANC expects to win every election. But examples in other countries show why the ANC should, and can, reform itself rather than cling to past glory.

  • Opinion Europe’s lost generation? Not yet.

    Mention European youth, and most people think about unemployment and a bleak future. To get the stories behind the stats, we talked to youth in 14 countries. What we found is two-fold: Yes, they are suffering. But they also have the power to save Europe – if they will engage.

  • The Monitor's View Supreme Court puts wings on public prayers (+video)

    In a ruling that allows public prayers before a town meeting, the Supreme Court points to their spiritual purpose in guiding lawmakers while also setting down constitutional bumpers against an abuse of public prayer.

  • The Monitor's View One Moscow voice for healing in Ukraine

    As violence escalates in Ukraine, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church appears to distance himself from President Putin, calling for healing and reconciliation. Churches that align with the state often learn the hard way that Caesar has his own kingdom.

  • Opinion We talk a lot about weddings – when we should be talking about marriage

    When you’re standing at the altar, you are taking a colossal leap of faith. No matter how well you know each other, you really have no idea what’s up ahead. It doesn’t have to be this way. We married couples could do a better job of sharing our stories from the front lines.