The New York Times Editorial Board has, for the second time in two months, called for an accelerated withdrawal from Afghanistan in Big Decision on Afghanistan:
One only has to read the Pentagon’s progress report on the Afghanistan war effort released last Monday to understand how pointless it is to keep 68,000 American troops there any longer. The mounting evidence makes it clear that they should be pulled out as soon as it can be done safely, instead of waiting until the end of 2014, the date set by the United States and NATO.Paul Krugman at The New York Times had to repeat his long-standing lecture because some people just don't get it in That Terrible Trillion:
We do indeed have a big budget deficit, and other things equal it would be better if the deficit were a lot smaller. But other things aren’t equal; the deficit is a side-effect of an economic depression, and the first order of business should be to end that depression — which means, among other things, leaving the deficit alone for now.Chemi Shalev at Haaretz ponders The American malignancy and the slaughter of the innocents in Connecticut:
And you should recognize all the hyped-up talk about the deficit for what it is: yet another disingenuous attempt to scare and bully the body politic into abandoning programs that shield both poor and middle-class Americans from harm.
Perhaps, when President Barack Obama was shedding a tear, he grieved not only as a parent who thinks of his own children but also as a president who cries for his beloved country. These unthinkable but nonetheless recurring bloodbaths by shooting are peculiarly, if not exclusively, American, a stain on its image that gets brutally bigger as time goes by.Ruth Whippman at The Independent writes Even the slaughter of six year olds won't alter the twisted logic of the US gun lobby:
It is this combustible mix of angry American young men, often disturbed and usually white, spurred on by the pervasive and always growing presence of limitless violence in popular American culture, together with the easy-access, open market of guns and ammo, which together produce these shooting slaughters with such sickening regularity.
To non-Americans it seems incomprehensible that the murder of 20 first-graders wouldn’t be enough of an emotional jolt to propel a radical change of the gun laws. I fear however, that not even the slaughter of six-year-olds makes it more likely to happen.George Skelton at the Los Angeles Times says It's time to target gun violence:
The problem is that here in the US the issue of gun control is not a symmetrical debate between two opposing points of view. Politics is about telling the right stories, and, somehow, the gun lobby has taken firm ownership of the narrative of what it means to be an American.
What I don't get is anyone's need for—or obsession to possess—a magazine that holds more than 10 rounds. Neither do I get the objection to registering guns or licensing owners. Or requiring a license to buy ammunition, for that matter—not when a slight inconvenience could save lives.Richard Aborn at the New York Daily News demands Ban killer weapons and do it right now:
Does anyone still think that the Nazis or Commies are going to march into America, grab the documents, seize all our weapons and occupy us? If so, these warped people really should not be allowed to own guns.
Newtown. Oak Creek temple. Aurora. Tucson. Fort Hood. Virginia Tech. Columbine. The Long Island Rail Road. The list goes on like the names of battlefields from far-off wars.The Hartford Courant Editorial Board writes 'We Have To Change' — It's About Time:
But it is the war at home. Mass shootings, year in, year out. Doubt that we are at war? More Americans have been killed in our country within in the last year by guns than all U.S. soldiers killed in all of the years of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Everyone must express their outrage in every manner known. Ignore the nonsense that says there is nothing we can do. When to act? Tomorrow morning. How? For starters, the President can state that he will sign the ban on assault weapons and large capacity magazines. Congress — embarrassed into action by the public, which is who they work for — can feel a pang of responsibility and reinstate the ban.
To get guns under control, we start with laws. Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Sen.-elect Chris Murphy acknowledged Sunday that "people want us to do something." Correct. The Connecticut delegation should introduce a bill to go after the relatively obvious and reasonable steps: assault weapons ban, universal background checks, no high-capacity magazines. The National Rifle Association leaders will object. To hell with them. The right to public safety trumps the right to own an arsenal.The Los Angeles Times Editorial Board writes Stricter gun laws could be effective, if Congress would pass them:
When it comes to gun control, though, that brings up two profound questions: Are there really laws that would stem mass shootings—which seem to have reached epidemic proportions in the United States—and is there any chance of getting them approved at the federal level? The answer to the first question is, probably yes. To the second, probably no.The Baltimore Sun Editorial Board writes in The death of innocence:
Before these victims are forgotten, before the last young innocent is lowered into his or her grave, America needs to examine, as one sportscaster so infamously said during a recent Kansas City Chiefs football game, its "gun culture." It's time our elected leaders found the guts to challenge the National Rifle Association and the political status quo on this important issue.Joseph A. Califano Jr., at the Washington Post writes about Gun control lessons from Lyndon Johnson:
If ever there were a moment for President Obama to learn from history, it is now, in the wake of Friday’s shootings at the elementary school at Newtown, Conn. The timely lesson for Obama, drawn from the experience of Lyndon B. Johnson — the last president to aggressively fight for comprehensive gun control — is this: Demand action on comprehensive gun control immediately from this Congress or lose the opportunity during your presidency.