Fliers Could Have Been Facing Much More Than Pat-Downs

As you slog through security lines this holiday weekend, wondering if you should join the ranks of the anonymously naked observed by an unseen TSA agent or go eyeball to eyeball with one who pats you down, and pats you up, and pats sideways and roundabout with a little probing here and there—and there!—just remember it could have been so much worse.

Better Angels and Killer Angels

Obama should realize what Lincoln understood: that there may be better angels in the nature of some people, but there are others who are willing to weaken, even destroy a nation to serve their own self-righteous self-interest, and they will do it in the name of the Constitution.

Mood Music for Terrorists

There's such an uproar every time terrorists fail to carry out a serious attack on the United States, you have to ask what's going to happen if, or when, they finally succeed. The printer-cartridge parcel bombs discovered on their way to Chicago are just the latest example. In each case the American rabid right, much of the supine American press, and the terrorist propaganda machine acted as if the bad guys had scored big.

Could Dominique Strauss-Kahn Run France?

Dominique Strauss-Kahn is on top of the world right now, but maybe that’s not where he really wants to be. Almost by default, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund keeps accruing power in the midst of crisis.

Extremists in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and the U.S. Exploit WikiLeaks Documents

Reading the WikiLeaks documents on Iranian support for attacks in Iraq, even an arrant pacifist would have to wonder just how much provocation is necessary before the United States decides to strike back with a vengeance. Extensive reports in the Iraq war logs describe the Iranian role working with members of Lebanon's Hizbullah to train Iraqi guerrillas to ambush American soldiers.

Americans Grow Apathetic Over Foreign Policy

Americans have forgotten the rest of the world. Nothing could make that clearer than the candidates running for election to the U.S. Congress and the Senate right now. If you watch the campaign ads, listen to the debates or the candidates themselves, Afghanistan barely figures, Iraq is history, the Middle East peace process a yawn.

Time To Worry

After nearly a decade, the men and women fighting off terrorist attacks on the homeland are tired and worried. Take a recent breakfast I had with an old friend: I'd asked him why all the alerts and warnings of late (including the one reaffirmed on Thursday by the State Department) have centered on Europe. Not the United States? "Because we're missing something," he said as we waited for our coffee in a diner last week. "Because we're blind."

Why Bin Laden Isn't on Twitter

The recent State Department “travel alert” for Europe proves once again that Osama bin Laden can rely on his enemies to help spread his message of fear and hate.

Eat, Pray, Hate

The threat to burn Qurans in Florida is a perfect example of the way America’s own Christian Taliban are creating, promoting, and exploiting our national paranoia.

What an Irish Terrorist Teaches Us About Tolerance

The terrorist history of a Catholic priest in Northern Ireland—and the magnanimous reaction of his victims—ought to serve as a lesson about how to overcome bigotry. It's particularly instructive in light of the so-called Ground Zero mosque.

Sarkozy Is Courting Right-Wing Extremists

French President Nicolas Sarkozy is looking pretty weak before the election. So he's returning to his old law-and-order pose. Problem is, in his effort to exploit public fears, Sarkozy is courting extremists.

Not Enough Electricity in Afghanistan and Iraq

American troops might have had a real shot at winning hearts and minds if they’d just been able to deliver the basic service in Iraq and Afghanistan: electricity. Instead, they furnished an object lesson in superpower incompetence.

Sarkozy Sparks Summer of Scandal in France

It’s become a scandalous summer in France. Allegations are mounting that the octogenarian heiress to the billions of the L’Oréal cosmetics fortune, Liliane Bettencourt, may have had some unseemly dealings with the current minister of labor, Eric Woerth, long a key fundraiser for President Nicolas Sarkozy’s party. The principals deny any mischief and, in fact, most of the connections are murky, at best. But infamous political scandals usually stem from public perceptions as much as legal convictions.

Why Obama Isn't Talking to America's Enemies

Obama came to office evincing what seemed like a deeply held belief that he could negotiate even with America’s enemies. Now that it’s time to engage our foes, including terrorists, his administration is making that job harder all the time.

U.S. Forces Abroad Should Copy British Colonialism

The invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan will come back to haunt us if we don’t improve life for the their populations. There’s a model—dated but still full of potential—for how to do that well: British colonialism.

Iran: Censorship and Satellites

A battle for the future of Iran is shaping up in outer space, and it’s not about missiles or nuclear weapons. It’s about information—the ability to jam the signal that brings the news to the Iranian people via satellite television. And for the moment, it’s a fight the Iranian government appears to be losing.

Immigrants Actually Reduce Crime

Despite what some raving pundits have claimed, immigrants aren't responsible for a violent crime wave in the Southwest. In fact, cities with large immigrant populations are actually safer places to live.

Burqas and Bikinis and Muslims and Miss USA Contests

Do clothes make the Muslim? The French cabinet approved a draft law this week that would make it illegal for women to veil their faces so that only their eyes—and sometimes not even their eyes—are visible. Wearing what are called burqas or niqabs, the women in question keep their bodies cloaked and their hands gloved even in the heat of summer. They say this is their religious duty and their civil right.

Noriega, Karzai, and the Sleazebags We Cultivate

The bent, shuffling figure in a porkpie hat shown on the news being hustled to an Air France plane by U.S. marshals on Monday was impossible to recognize as Manuel “the Pineapple” Noriega, the Panamanian dictator I used to know.

El Baradei: Egypt on the Edge

One of the greatest challenges of driving in Egypt is knowing when to stop at a stoplight. Cars flood past the red signals as if they weren't there, and earlier this month on the way to see Mohamed ElBaradei, the man of the moment in Egyptian politics, I asked my taxi driver what the trick was. "You stop when you see the police," he said, as if that ought to be obvious.For generations, Egypt and virtually all other countries in the Arab world have been ruled as if that same principle applied to every aspect of society: the people are bent on chaos and only the iron hand of a police state can impose order. The result, after decades under the all-seeing eye of the security services, is a pervasive atmosphere of political intimidation—and stagnation. "The government makes people feel they should be thankful they are being governed," says ElBaradei, best known for winning the Nobel Peace Prize as head of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna. "I would be happy if I could stir...