All Opinion

  • Does President Obama fulfill MLK's dream?

    For all the meaning that will be on display when President Obama commemorates a seminal moment in US history today, it will be a largely symbolic moment that does not bring the change that the March on Washington demanded. This may have to be enough.

  • How US can use aid to nudge Egypt

    American influence in Egypt is dwindling. But the US could still support democracy there by temporarily freezing military aid during the transitional period to be reinstated if the transition includes the Muslim Brotherhood and the new constitution protects minorities.

  • Five reasons the Arab Spring has not failed

    Given the fissures in Middle Eastern society, it is tempting to think that democracy is bound to fail there. Pessimists argue that the Arab Spring countries will revert to rule by “strongmen.” The Arab Spring may appear to have failed, but in five key respects the Arab world has changed irrevocably.

  • In juvenile justice, kids need protection from false confessions

    A third of false confessions come from youths under 18. Youths are more easily intimidated and less adept at understanding the ramifications of their statements than adults. They should not be treated as adults in the criminal justice system.

  • Johnny Depp's Tonto aside, sidekicks deserve praise

    Johnny Depp’s exaggerated performance as sidekick Tonto in the 'The Lone Ranger' serves as a useful reminder that being a good No. 2 is harder than it looks, and that humble second bananas often perform a useful role in entertainment, literature, and politics.

  • Did the Arab Spring fail? Three views from Monitor readers

    In light of an op-ed by Ayaan Hirsi Ali ('Why the Arab Spring hasn't failed in Egypt and Middle East), we asked our readers on Facebook: “Do you think the Arab Spring has failed?” See some of their most thoughtful responses here.

  • Views of Palestinians give reason for hope in Mideast peace talks

    Skeptics see Palestinians as committed to violent resistance and unwilling to recognize the state of Israel. In fact, more than 20 years of polling data strongly refute these perceptions, and give leaders in Ramallah substantial room to maneuver in the ongoing peace talks.

  • After reported gas attack in Syria, US must weigh intervention in light of history

    Bashar al-Assad's alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria today will likely raise the volume of calls for American intervention – but also the stakes of such a move. History suggests US intervention in Syria would be unpredictable at best, disastrous at worst.

  • Wise up, Israelis. Prolonged civil war in Syria is bad news for you.

    Some Israelis have suggested that continuing conflict in Syria is good for Israel, as its enemies are occupied fighting each other. This view is morally reprehensible, but also shortsighted. Ending the bloodshed in Syria is in the best interests of all, including Israel.

  • GOP isn't dying, but it will have to reach moderate voters to survive

    Obituaries for the GOP are premature. But Republicans must reconnect with their base, move away from far-right fringe elements, and reach out to moderates and independents to re-establish themselves as a broad-based national party. The good news: The numbers are on their side.

  • Japan's tribute to war criminals threatens regional ties

    Every Aug. 15, Japan's politicians pay tribute to its war dead (including convicted war criminals) at the Yasukuni Shrine. These visits ignite painful East Asian memories of Japanese aggression, support revisionist history, and erode prospects for regional cooperation. They should be avoided.

  • GOP's anti-Obama stance hurts its shot at foreign policy comeback

    A voice of principled realism that clearly outlined a philosophy for American intervention could return Republicans to foreign policy ascendancy. But before they get there, they have to acknowledge that the path forward brings them closer to President Obama, not further away.

  • The urgency of addressing mental health for Syrian refugees

    Horrific crimes against humanity are a daily reality in Syria. The international community must better ensure that skilled, appropriate mental health care reaches Syrians. One way is to increase contributions to the UN Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture.

  • To stop elephant and rhino poachers, dissuade buyers in China and Vietnam

    Elephant and rhino populations in Africa are being decimated for ivory and rhino horn. In a vicious cycle, buyers in China and Vietnam fund terrorists in Africa who rely on crime groups and poachers. A social media campaign in Asia must make buying these products abhorrent.

  • After A-Rod doping penalty, don't expect meritocracy in baseball

    Doping sanctions leveled against A-Rod and 12 others don't mean that meritocracy has returned to baseball. The field is already tilted. In sports, as in life, some people get terrific coaching and instruction from the time they can walk. Nobody calls that 'cheating,' but it's also not 'fair.'

  • Muslims should welcome a new, modern perspective on prophet's sayings

    The end of Ramadan this week marks a good time for Muslims to consider Turkey's new, modern version of the Hadith – which records the sayings and customs of the prophet Muhammad. The multi-volume set moves away from literal interpretation and embraces the inspired meaning.

  • A modest proposal for Zimbabwe's Mugabe

    A flawed election in Zimbabwe has Robert Mugabe preparing for his seventh inaugural. Typical of Africa, the opposition could not unseat him. But here's a way forward: Appeal to his concern with legacy so that he swears off running again. This can lead to an open succession.

  • Objection! Americans' opinion of Supreme Court can't keep dropping

    For the first time in nearly 30 years, the favorability rating of the US Supreme Court has fallen below 50 percent. Lack of public confidence undermines the legitimacy of the court's rulings. Chief Justice Roberts has yet to project an image of a court that stands above politics.

  • Republicans hold key to progress in Washington

    The US government was never intended to function with the extreme levels of partisan rancor of the Obama years. Reagan would be remembered as a failure had he faced from Democrats the obstructionism of today's tea party-beholden GOP. But signs of hope also lie with the Republicans.

  • A rare opportunity to influence Hamas

    As talks between Israelis and Palestinians get underway, the international community has a window of opportunity to pressure an increasingly isolated Hamas to reconcile with the Palestinian Authority – a move that would help Gazans, support a peace deal, and stabilize the region.