All Opinion

  • How to put US voters back in charge of their democracy

    The Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United unleashed an era of unprecedented pay-to-play politics. Thankfully, steps can be taken to curb the outsize influence of big donors and super PACs and restore voters' trust in their political institutions.

  • Central African Republic needs UN peacekeepers now

    The UN must work to prevent the escalation of violence and preserve what progress has been made in the Central African Republic. With key support from the US, the Security Council should increase its efforts to deploy a better equipped, larger UN peacekeeping mission to CAR.

  • The time to regulate e-cigarettes is now

    Swift regulation by the FDA will help preserve America's hard-won anti-smoking victory and help ensure that parts of the US economy do not, once again, become dependent on nicotine.

  • Human rights progress took a winding road in 2013

    Though the past 65 years have brought clear progress, a close-up look at the status of human rights today isn’t as encouraging. But change takes time. From this view, 2013 brought some notable advances.

  • How US can join El Salvador in combating international gangs

    Key security threats plaguing Central America, especially gang violence and organized crime, affect the US as well. That's why American support is crucial for new initiatives such as the one in El Salvador that combats gangs by addressing social ills and rehabilitating gang members.

  • The upside of a Boston snowstorm: meeting your neighbors

    After the storm hit, power outages and snowy streets put the regular urban hum on hold. During the pause, as hardy New England neighborhoods pulled out their shovels, communities were being built. People you didn’t know were suddenly your compatriots. And the ties endured.

  • US educators: Engage China, but defend freedom

    While some US universities with Chinese partnerships have spoken out in the wake of ill-treatment of Chinese academics, too many have been silent. Foreign universities underestimate their leverage in supporting academic freedom in China even as they hurt their own reputations.

  • Success of Iran nuclear deal – and Rouhani – depends on Iran's working class

    To achieve a long-term deal with the P5+1, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani must also win the battle against his critics at home. His real challenge is to convince the poor that they stand to gain from a rapprochement with the West. If life gets more difficult for them, this will be a hard sell.

  • A vital link for US interests and allies – Azerbaijan – needs more support

    The US must take a stronger role in addressing three key challenges in Azerbaijan: energy development, with support for a new natural gas pipeline to Europe; democratic reforms, especially those that ensure free speech; and peace with Armenia over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.

  • Despite setbacks, UN ushered in 65 years of progress on human rights

    The UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted 65 years ago paved the way for decades of progress. The picture of human rights today is hardly as encouraging. But changing norms takes time and doesn't follow a linear path. From this view, 2013 brought some notable advances.

  • Does art make kids smart?

    We spent many a Sunday with the kids at the Cleveland Museum of Art. At first all they wanted to do was slide down the marble banisters. Then, thanks to a stroke of genius and a dollar bill, five art critics – and lovers – were born.

  • Nelson Mandela: prisoner, president...gardener?

    Nelson Mandela and his extraordinary life will enrich the great moral debates on war and peace for generations to come. For the moment, however, at the news of his death, I am thinking about tomatoes – in my garden in South Africa and in Mandela's prison garden.

  • Iran deal validates nuclear blackmail and hurts Israeli-Palestinian peace process

    The six-month deal with Iran gives the regime in Tehran exactly what it wants, thanks to nuclear blackmail, and reflects a blurred distinction between allies and foes in the region. Moreover, now the US has little moral authority to pressure Israel on an agreement with the Palestinians.

  • Thanksgiving Day Proclamation 2013 from President Obama

    The Thanksgiving 'tradition reminds us that no matter what our background or beliefs...at our core we are first and foremost Americans....This Thanksgiving Day, let us lift each other up and recognize, in the oldest spirit of this tradition, that we rise or fall as one Nation, under God.'

  • Why Netanyahu is wrong about Iran nuclear deal

    Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu warns that the nuclear deal with Iran increases Iran’s chances of building nuclear weapons. He’s exactly wrong: With this deal in place, it will be much harder for Iranian hardliners to make the case that Iran should tear up its agreements and build a bomb.

  • Iran nuclear deal: Just a piece of paper for now

    World powers have reached a historic six-month nuclear with Iran, but not everyone is cheering. Just as the 'anti-deal' crowd is wrong to burn diplomacy in the womb, so too is the 'pro-deal' crowd wrong to crow with gleeful triumphalism. The only sensible reaction: hopeful but healthy scrutiny.

  • Morocco's suppression of Western Sahara could fuel regional instability

    King Mohammed VI is seeking US backing for Morocco’s claim to the disputed territory of Western Sahara where the Sahrawi people await a vote on independence. Suppressing this option for the Sahrawis could push younger generations to violence, further destabilizing North Africa.

  • US must pressure African governments for access to Kony's LRA safe havens

    With the help of US military advisers, African forces have made progress in the push to apprehend Joseph Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army, but challenges remain. The US, UN, and African Union must pressure the region's governments to allow access to LRA safe havens.

  • Make no mistake, America: Sanctions didn't force Iran into nuclear talks

    As the third round of talks on Iran's nuclear program begins in Geneva, the US must realize it was the election of Hassan Rouhani, not sanctions alone, that brought Iran to the negotiating table. Continuing sanctions will undermine the new government's efforts for a peace deal.

  • After NSA spying revelations, US must reform rules on secrecy and data

    The US should make two key reforms. First, the over-designation of material as classified makes it is harder to protect the few real secrets; this must be change. Second, the FISA court must become a gatekeeper for NSA access to communications data.