AFGHANISTAN

Following 9/11, President George W. Bush sent American troops into Afghanistan when the Taliban refused to turn over Osama Bin Laden. Twenty years later, we’ve all but pulled out. Have we learned anything? The Twin Towers turned rubble, Bush made countless mistakes. Defeating the Taliban was easy. But he refused to send American troops after…

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PRECAUTION, NOT PANIC

“These are the times that try men’s souls,” Thomas Paine wrote as America struggled to birth itself. Now, we face the coronavirus pandemic. To strengthen our souls, looking back may offer a clearer picture of the future. Is the sky falling? Gray clouds have gathered and they’re darkening. According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of…

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ROOTING AGAINST OURSELVES

A column by Nick Hoppe in Monday’s San Francisco Chronicle reflected on his father Art, a longtime Chron columnist, writing in 1971 against the Vietnam War. In effect, Art Hoppe rooted against his own country. That poses some interesting questions. We lost. Withdrawing our last combat troops in 1973 enabled North Vietnam to overrun the south and…

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HAUNTED BY HISTORY

Old newsreels and propaganda films of World War One can be difficult to relate to. Camera vibrations and slower frame speeds produce herky-jerky images in black and white. But Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies) has completed a documentary that brings the Great War to life. It’s haunting. The trailer for They Shall Not…

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IL DUCE LIVES

In 1900, Theodore Roosevelt, then governor of New York, wrote in a letter what became his presidential philosophy: “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” If only Donald Trump had the judgment to heed TR. Trump wants to hold a grand military parade in Washington. The U.S. last held one in 1991 after a U.S.-led…

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