Sunday, February 7, 2016



Opinion - Columns

  • Columns | January 12, 2014

    The attack on Volgograd and the Olympics

    The recent terrorist attacks on the main train station in Volgograd, followed two days later by one on a bus,  killed at least 28 and wounded 34 people, some critically..  Both bombers are believed to have been women; known in Russia as “black widows.” 

  • Columns | January 10, 2014

    An evening conversation: At the podium

    Sc -- magazine mug.phatch

    The plan was to step up, grab a cordless microphone for easy wandering, check some notes and begin a friendly, post-lunch discussion. But before anything could happen, a lady tugged at my sleeve. She was smiling but determined to speak. “We really think you should

  • Columns | January 05, 2014

    Germans pull off a first: A female defense minister

    Dale R. Herspring Contributing Writer       To most observers it looked like Thomas de Maziere, son of one of Germany’s most famous post-World War II generals, would remain the country’s defense minister.  Most specialists on Germany would agree that he

  • Columns | December 31, 2013

    An evening conversation: It’s been awhile…

    Yes, I’m going to a party tonight – and thanks for asking. Unless you’re going to be listening to the same band and crowding in for precious floor space, you probably don’t care where I’m going or why. Fair enough. But there

  • Columns | December 28, 2013

    Trying to calm Russian concerns

    One of the most difficult things about dealing with the Russians is that they tend to see everything as a zero-sum game.  Furthermore, in many ways they are still captive to mind set of the Cold War.  By that, I mean everything we

  • Columns | December 26, 2013

    An evening conversation: Take the day off!

    Sc -- magazine mug.phatch

    If you lived in Great Britain instead of eastern Kansas, you wouldn’t have had to work today. You’d probably like fish and chips, too, and wonder if dour Prince Charles actually will become king. But those are preferences to discuss another time, along

  • Columns | December 24, 2013

    An evening conversation: Hello darkness, my old friend

    Sc -- magazine mug.phatch

    Perhaps we should start with a bit of historical perspective as we wait on the tow truck to come and drag away my car. No, it’s not stuck in a snow bank. Somehow, after surviving a blind, slippery drive home around midnight on Saturday,

  • Columns | December 24, 2013

    The meaning of Christmas

    In 1963, some 50 years ago, my husband Michael and I were living in Beirut, where he was doing his research for his PhD. His Palestinian family lived in Jordan, and like many, we wished to go home for the holidays. A friend of mine once asked

  • Columns | December 22, 2013

    The East China Sea heats up

    A verbal dispute among Japan, South Korea and China over a little known string of uninhabited islands in the East China Sea is threatening to blow up in our faces.  Directly or indirectly, it involves six countries, four of which possess nuclear weapons. 

  • Columns | December 20, 2013

    An evening conversation: I take it all back

    Sc -- magazine mug.phatch

    Several years ago, I stopped in a convenience store on my way home from work. I wanted a six-pack of Diet Coke. It was a quiet little shop in central Illinois. I’d been there many times and barely noticed another soul. But on that


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