Where are the war protesters?
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WASHINGTON — There was a moment in the last quarter-century when the Congress of the United States made the nation proud. It did so across all its usual lines of division: Republican and Democratic, conservative and liberal, hawk and dove.
In launching two previous wars in Iraq, the United States assembled formidable coalitions of dozens of countries. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria and Oman were among the Arab states that deployed substantial ground forces during the 1991 Persian Gulf War. Though derided by some as a “unilateral” U.S. action, the 2003 invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq was supported by troops from 39 countries, nine of which deployed more than 1,000 soldiers.
Organic tax break should not be considered
It’s ironic that the uproar over Ray Rice’s brutal beating of his now-wife and the NFL’s shamefully lenient response is occurring exactly 20 years after Congress enacted the Violence Against Women Act. The legislation was designed in part to bring public recognition and more government resources to the problem of domestic violence.
The Tyrannosaurus rex had a pretty impressive reign for 65 million years or so. King of the dinosaurs, most-visited museum exhibit — you get the idea.
As he offered to the nation his prescription for the most recent Middle East crisis, President Barack Obama reminded me of Michael Corleone in “The Godfather: Part III.” “Just when I thought I was out,” sighed the young mob boss about his efforts to leave the family business, “they pull me back in.”
The Ferguson, Mo., city council last week took its first official actions following the police shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown. Among them: easing various municipal fines and fees.
Mahalo to the PUC and HECO
WASHINGTON — Tucking into a dish of Scottish haggis is not a task for the fainthearted. There are various haggis recipes, but basically it is sheep’s pluck — the heart, lungs and liver — cooked together, then mixed with suet and oatmeal and boiled in a sheep’s stomach, then served, sometimes drenched with Scotch. People who pour whisky on oatmeal are not shrinking violets. Remember this on Thursday when Scotland votes on independence from the United Kingdom.
President Barack Obama promised Wednesday night to meet the terrorist threat in Iraq and Syria “with strength and resolve.” His commitment to “ultimately destroy” the Islamic State was bold and necessary. But it was also incomplete.
WASHINGTON — It was just like the good old days.
For the first time since Russia annexed Crimea six months ago, the European Union has surprised President Vladimir Putin instead of the other way around. Despite a cease-fire in eastern Ukraine, and despite Russia’s apparent withdrawal of troops from the region, the EU decided Thursday morning to impose new sanctions on Russia, starting Friday.
WASHINGTON — The most compelling and encouraging parts of President Barack Obama’s Islamic State speech — his intention to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the enemy, his pledge to hunt down its fighters and deny them “safe haven,” his moral clarity on their “acts of barbarism” — also sounded least like Obama. Everyone — and I mean just about everyone on the planet — knows that he was more comfortable declaring that America had moved “off a permanent war footing” and that the war on terrorism, “like all wars, must end.”
Teachers need noninstructional time