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The effect of Western sanctions may cause historians of the future to look upon the conflict in Ukraine as a net defeat for Russia. In terms of the military struggle itself, however, Russia is winning. Watching American and European news coverage, you might ask yourself, how can that be? It comes down to war aims.... Read More
A friend and I were at a bar when someone opined that France didn't resist the German invasion in 1940. "It's true, France lost fast," my friend replied. "But they fought hard. They lost 90,000 troops in six weeks. It was a bloodbath. We lost 58,000 over a decade in Vietnam but we're still whining... Read More
"He that filches from me my good name robs me of that which not enriches him, and makes me poor indeed," Iago tells Othello in William Shakespeare's play. The belief that defamation is serious, and that the perpetrator of libel or slander deserves to be punished, is a standard trope in popular culture. The Hollywood... Read More
As the COVID-19 pandemic has made painfully clear, our health care system is a disaster; 12% of Americans are uninsured and 21% are underinsured. Many counties have zero or just one health care plan on offer through their local Affordable Care Act marketplace, so there is no price competition whatsoever. Due to the lack of... Read More
Team Politics has gone international! Who cares if you can't find Ukraine on a map? Festoon your home with Ukrainian flags! Change your Twitter avatar to a heart-shaped Ukrainian flag! Tattoo your entire body blue and yellow! It's all about Ukraine — until the next war or the Azov Battalion gets caught doing something awful,... Read More
Like a lepidopteran Charlie Brown drawn to Lucy van Pelt's flaming football, congressional progressives keep falling for corporate Democrats' pathetically predictable, and transparently self-serving, pleas for unity. Support our priorities, the centrists keep urging, and we'll get around to your stuff later. How much later? We'll tell you later. "Progressives have grown increasingly accustomed to... Read More
"Find a way to be against the war in Ukraine, please." That was the subject line of one of my recent hate emails. "If you look through Mr. Rall's cartoons for the past month, there isn't a single one condemning Russia's invasion of Ukraine," an anonymous online commenter chided. "There's plenty of ones based around... Read More
Even the wars that historians judge to have been noble and beneficial rely on popular support marketed and sustained by lies. Contrary to what the English government told its people during World War I, German soldiers didn't bayonet Belgian babies in their cribs. The "cocaine" U.S. troops claimed to have found in Panamanian dictator Manuel... Read More
I have won two Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards, been a Pulitzer Prize finalist, published more than 20 books and have seen my political cartoons and columns appear in hundreds of newspapers and magazines. So why do I have Russian state media as one of my clients? I'm on Sputnik News' website — as a... Read More
Maybe it's time to change the flag on your social-media avatar. To the extent that objective guideposts exist in international relations, the United States has no legal obligation to defend Ukraine. Ukraine, a U.S. strategic partner, is neither an ally nor a member of NATO. Nor is it in our neighborhood. Much as the Monroe... Read More
American media outlets characterize Russia's invasion of Ukraine as, variously and concurrently, the bloodthirsty act of a Hitlerian madman, part of an attempt to reconstitute the former Soviet Union and, predictably continuing the silently debunked Russiagate narrative of the last six years, an assault on the concept of democracy motivated by President Vladimir Putin's supposed... Read More
Franklin D. Roosevelt, scion of one of the wealthiest families in American history, was worth about $67 million in today's dollars. He attended the prestigious Groton boarding school, Harvard College and Columbia Law. He was relatable to the masses despite his privileged background. In the words of a PBS documentary, he was "a patrician who... Read More
Scrolling through the comment sections under news stories about Sarah Palin's defamation lawsuit against the New York Times — dismissed by a judge while a non-sequestered jury was still deliberating and no doubt next heading to an appeals court — provides ample evidence of the dismal state of political tribalization in this country. With few... Read More
How easy should it be to sue a newspaper or other news outlet for defamation? Thanks to a 1964 Supreme Court decision and the proliferation of constitutionally dubious "anti-SLAPP" laws, it's virtually impossible for someone who accuses a media company of lying about him or her to get to trial, much less win a damage... Read More
Nearly a decade ago, the Edward Snowden revelations prompted a national debate about data security. Polls show that a growing number of Americans take data security precautions such as choosing different passwords for online accounts and using encrypted communications platforms such as Signal. Eight out of 10 people believe companies should be required to obtain... Read More
Parents teach their children: You make a mess, you clean it up. Twenty years ago, the United States government transformed its naval base at Guantanamo Bay into a legal, moral and foreign-policy disaster. It's time for President Joe Biden to fulfill his promise to complete the task his predecessors didn't have the wisdom or desire... Read More
"We know where they are," Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said in March 2003 about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. "They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat." We found nothing. Rumsfeld knew nothing. A year after the invasion, most voters believed the Bush administration had lied America... Read More
One of my complaints about mainstream media is that they recruit reporters from inside the establishment: Ivy League colleges, expensive graduate journalism programs, rival outlets with similar hiring practices. Some staffs develop admirable levels of gender and racial diversity. But they all come from the same elite class. Rich kids believe in the system and... Read More
In line with other surveys taken in the run-up to the anniversary of the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol Hill riot, a new NPR/Ipsos poll finds that 32% of Republicans and 22% of Democrats say that political violence is sometimes justified. The media is going nuts — as usual. Fearful expressions that we might lose our... Read More
Student loans, long a nonissue that ruined countless lives, have finally become a political flashpoint in the conflict between progressive and moderate Democrats. Yielding to lefties' pressure after Sen. Joe Manchin torpedoed Build Back Better, President Joe Biden has extended former President Donald Trump's pandemic relief to 43 million federal borrowers by pausing payments another... Read More
Shutting down businesses and schools felt to many people like a natural response to the COVID-19 pandemic. But the extended coronavirus lockdown of 2020 did not follow any widely accepted standard strategy. Lockdowns were sporadic and short-lived during the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, the most recent historical parallel. Encouraging and coercing tens of millions of... Read More
As if we needed reminding that Americans don't trust the news media, a recent report by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford found that the United States ranks dead last in news consumer confidence out of 46 countries surveyed. One major criticism is that too many journalists appear to reside in... Read More
Democrats need to stop playing cute about the president's reelection plans. Asked in March whether he's going to run in 2024, President Joe Biden's answer was, shall we say, less than unqualified: "The answer is yes. My plan is to run for reelection. That's my expectation." He added: "I'm a great respecter of fate. I've... Read More
Just a few decades ago, it was still possible for the left to find space on corporate-owned airwaves. Progressive talkers like Tom Leykis, Lynn Samuels and Phil Donahue found wide audiences until they got pushed off the air by the corporate powers that be. I worked talk radio in Los Angeles and San Francisco until... Read More
A national constitution ought to reflect a society's fundamental values by defining a set of legal principles that can be periodically adjusted in order to reflect a society's changing mores, culture and technology. By that standard, our Constitution is woefully out of date. From the electoral college to gun rights to the hilariously archaic right... Read More
Far be it from me to carry water for the Biden administration or to downplay the impact of inflation on working families as White House officials did in June when they dismissed rising prices as merely "transitory." When 87% of Americans say they are very or extremely worried about higher prices, and one out of... Read More
"At a certain point, we have to trust one another," Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vermont, said Nov. 5 as he left a meeting of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Progressives had just acquiesced to President Joe Biden's pleas that left-leaning House members sign off on the $1 trillion infrastructure spending bill they'd been holding up in order... Read More
Another election, another shellacking. Democrats are returning to the political reality that predated the quantum singularity of Biden's anti-Trump coalition: adrift, ideologically divided and, as always, arguing over whether to chase swing voters or work hard to energize their progressive left base. At the root of the Democrats' problem is rightward drift. The 50-yard line... Read More
Youth culture lives. But some women are aging against the machine. It means more than you think. Girls can go gray as young as age 13. Teens who go prematurely silver are abandoning what would have been the standard shame-based response of the past: racing to buy hair dye. Now gray-haired teens and 20-somethings are... Read More
If Colin Powell's life has meaning, it is as a cautionary tale about the perils of going along to get along. Rarely has history offered such a stark example of a human being offered a clear existential choice between right and wrong. Hardly ever has so much hung in the balance for humanity and for... Read More
Activists harass White House officials and senators as they eat dinner at restaurants. Another senator was recently stalked into the ladies' room, where her pursuers shouted derision at her stall. Many other politicians have suffered protest demonstrations at their homes. Now that they're beleaguered, this may be the perfect time to convince lawmakers to act... Read More
The British tabloid The Daily Mail is taking small-arms fire for publishing an article bearing the headline: "It's the trendy Taliban! Young fighters accessorize their traditional clothes with sunglasses, stylish trainers and own-branded baseball caps — while cracking down on Western dressing." Though the piece took note of the brutal comportment of Afghanistan's new and... Read More
Congress, the media and many voters are asking military officials this week: How did we lose the Afghanistan War? I've been reading a book, "The Afghanistan Papers," by Washington Post reporter Craig Whitlock, that shows how America messed up its longest war. (Every now and then, corporate media hypes something that's actually worth reading.) What... Read More
Journalism needs a new rule. Are you reporting about a human rights violation in another country? If the United States commits the same offense, you should be required to refer to that fact in your article or broadcast. Criticizing how a nation treats its prisoners or responds to internal dissent implies that the behavior being... Read More
President Joe Biden is taking heat from Democrats, not for his decision to withdraw from Afghanistan — that's popular — but for his haphazard pullout that, self-serving Rumsfeldian "stuff happens," "wars end messily" platitudes aside, could have been executed more efficiently. They blame George W. Bush for starting America's longest war, arguing that what he... Read More
If crisis creates opportunity, we couldn't possibly have squandered the possibilities presented by 9/11 more spectacularly. We certainly couldn't have failed its tests more completely. Twenty years after 9/11, it is clear that the United States is ruled by idiots and that we, the people are complicit with their moronic behavior. "We had to do... Read More
Taxes are the price we pay for government. But a government that doesn't provide basic bureaucratic services is no government at all, and it doesn't deserve our tax dollars. Afghan translators and others who worked for the U.S. military, American journalists and nongovernmental organizations aren't Americans and don't pay taxes, but the U.S. government's failure... Read More
How will the Taliban govern Afghanistan? It may be up to us. The U.S. is out, but what the Biden administration and its Western allies do in the weeks and months ahead will have a big influence on whether the Central Asian country reverts to the insular, medieval barbarism of the 1990s or modernizes in... Read More
Thousands of dead Americans, tens of thousands of dead Afghans, $2 trillion down the toilet, a Taliban victory that leaves America's international reputation in shambles. This disaster didn't happen by itself. Political and military leaders, aided and abetted by the news media, are responsible and should be held accountable. Voters let themselves be led by... Read More
You're going to read a lot of Afghan War postmortems in the coming days. Some have already been published. Don't listen to anyone who was ever in favor of occupying Afghanistan. They were wrong for thinking that the United States could have won. They were stupid to think that invading Afghanistan would prevent another 9/11,... Read More
Better late than never: Most Americans now believe that invading Afghanistan was a mistake. But what good does it do to recognize a screw-up unless you learn from it? Failure to understand what went wrong and why sets you up for doing the same thing later. That's what happened after Vietnam; rather than face the... Read More
Americans are politically fractured, but they agree that our longest war was a mistake. Seventy-seven percent of Americans, including many Republicans, told a recent CBS News poll that they agree with President Joe Biden's decision to withdraw from Afghanistan. That's a reversal from the conflict's early days, when between 85% and 90% of Americans supported... Read More
Concern-trolling over the dismal plight of women in Afghanistan is powerfully appealing to liberals who look for reasons for the United States to maintain a military presence there. If and when the Taliban return to power, the warmongers argue, the bad, old days of stonings, burqas and girls banned from school will come back —... Read More
Now that President Joe Biden has pulled the U.S. military out of Afghanistan, it's clear that we have little to show for more than $2 trillion and thousands of soldiers killed over two decades of occupation. We will soon be back where we were on Sept. 10, 2001, when the Taliban governed Afghanistan. Afghan government... Read More
President Joe Biden deserves nothing but praise and support for his decision to honor America's commitment, which was negotiated between the Trump administration and the Taliban, to finally withdraw from Afghanistan. After more than 20 years of wasted lives, endless property damage and the squandering of billions of U.S. tax dollars that would have been... Read More
When you crank out five editorial cartoons and a couple of opinion essays a week, not to mention opining on the radio about this issue and that, it is easy to forget about the basics. The big issues. The stuff that really matters to you. It's just as easy to forget to ask: What are... Read More
Progressive Democrats have long been among the most fervent advocates of ranked choice voting. Many believed, though scientific data has yet to be proffered in support of their thesis, that it would have been harder for corporate Democrats in the Democratic National Committee to cheat Bernie Sanders in 2016 had the party's primaries been conducted... Read More
The "Central Park Karen" is suing her former employer for firing her. I hope she wins. Karening is gross. But it's not your boss's business. Amy Cooper became the object of an internet "two minutes hate" last year when she called 911 on a Black bird-watcher who asked her to leash her dog, per the... Read More
During last year's campaign, Joe Biden promised to "listen to the scientists." He repeatedly said his coronavirus-response policy would be "informed by science and by experts." On issues from the environment to teaching evolution in public schools to the public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic, liberals often accuse conservatives of putting emotions ahead of... Read More
Your opinion doesn't matter — not by itself. No matter how heartfelt or important to you personally, your thoughts about Gaza or legal weed or the war on skinny jeans don't mean anything merely because they reside inside your brain. Your opinion matters only if you express it. Expression of an opinion doesn't change anything... Read More
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