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Articles filed under Cohen, Richard

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  • The shame of General Motors Apr 2, 2014 5:01 AM
    Columnist Richard Cohen: We now learn from both The Washington Post and The New York Times that GM was aware it had a problem, yet it responded not just with engineers but with lawyers as well. Claimants were threatened with countersuits, and in one case, GM lawyers argued that the new General Motors that had come out of bankruptcy was not responsible for what the old GM had done. Two of the suits were settled confidentially, which meant that the public was not informed — and neither were the people still obliviously driving Cobalts and other GM models.

  • One can be the deadliest number Mar 26, 2014 5:01 AM
    Columnist Richard Cohen: The 20th century settled the question of whether one man can alter history. Of course he can. Hitler did. Stalin did. Churchill put steel in Britain’s backbone and Roosevelt saved the snarling American free enterprise system by housebreaking it. Gavrilo Princip had his moment too. On a day almost 100 years ago,

  • The charter conspirators Mar 19, 2014 5:01 AM
    Columnist Richard Cohen: In the war between the rich and the poor, I’m enlisting on the side of the underdog — the rich. What a drubbing they’ve been taking! Across the nation, but particularly in cities such as New York and Washington, the rich are incessantly accused of being slyly manipulative and self-serving. For instance, they support charter schools.

  • History’s repeating acts Mar 11, 2014 5:01 AM
    Columnist Richard Cohen: Pardon the cliché — I think we have come upon a teachable moment. I am referring to the crisis in Ukraine and not just what it teaches us about the future but also what it teaches us about the past. Vladimir Putin has turned us all into Neville Chamberlain. The umbrella, please.

  • Losing his head in Crimea Mar 5, 2014 5:01 AM
    Columnist Richard Cohen: By taking one stupid step after another, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin has managed to let much of Ukraine slip from the Russian orbit — to which, if the Ukrainians have anything to say about, it will never return. Putin can pound his chest all he wants, but the sound emitted is just plain tinny.

  • Susan Rice’s false choice Feb 26, 2014 5:01 AM
    Columnist Richard Cohen: Susan Rice ought to stay off “Meet the Press.” The last time she was on she misrepresented what led to the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi. On Sunday, she was back, this time misrepresenting critics of the Obama administration’s Syria policy. Last time her misrepresentation was unintentional. This time it wasn’t. I prefer it, though, when she doesn’t know what she’s talking about.

  • In Syria, limited options Feb 19, 2014 5:01 AM
    Columnist Richard Cohen: The Obama Doctrine in Syria does not seem to be working. The country has fallen apart. Matters have gone from bad to worse. The secretary of state suggests that things are so bad that Barack Obama has asked for “options.” Three years into the war and the president wants a plan.

  • Isolationism’s high price Feb 5, 2014 5:00 AM
    Columnist Michael Gerson: This being the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I, I have plunged into several books on the subject, most of them relating to what started it, and I have come up with the following conclusion: mustaches. Most of Europe’s leaders had either a mustache or a beard — the German kaiser, the jejune Wilhelm II, had the most resplendent mustache of them all, “fixed into place every morning by his personal barber,” Margaret McMillan tells us in her new history of the road to war. This confirms what I always thought: The Germans started the war.

  • Our quagmire in Afghanistan Jan 29, 2014 5:00 AM
    Columnist Richard Cohen: In the movie theater, I watched two films at once — “Lone Survivor” on the screen and Vietnam in my head. On the screen as in reality, men fought and died — and, as with Vietnam, I no longer knew why. One man survived the battle. The rest were lost — as is the reason for the war itself.

  • Industry of health horrors Jan 22, 2014 5:00 AM
    Columnist Richard Cohen: Tobacco is about the only product you can think of that, when used as directed, can kill you.

  • What the boycotts tell Israel Jan 15, 2014 5:00 AM
    Columnist Richard Cohen: Yet another academic group is mulling censuring Israel. This time it is the Modern Language Association. Just recently, it was the American Studies Association, which called for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. Before that, similar resolutions were passed by European academic associations, much concerned with Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.

  • Make a deal with Snowden Jan 8, 2014 5:00 AM
    Columnist Richard Cohen: Is Edward Snowden a traitor? The question has vexed me ever since he leaked some of America’s most valued secrets to various news organizations, including The Washington Post. It soon became obvious, though, that he was giving Americans information that maybe we should have had all along and he was getting nothing in exchange — no baubles, no dames and, much less cinematically, no Eurobonds. If this is the case, then as a traitor Snowden is something of a flop.

  • Hillary Clinton’s unlucky year Dec 31, 2013 5:00 AM
    Columnist Richard Cohen: It is incumbent on me as a columnist to do one of those year-end things — the 10 best of this, the 10 worst of that or, as you will see, who had the worst year in politics. That distinction goes, with some reluctance on my part, to Hillary Rodham Clinton. As has sometimes happened in her life, events got away from her.

  • The traffic jam that may tie-up Chris Christie Dec 18, 2013 5:00 AM
    Columnist Richard Cohen: The toll for the George Washington Bridge during peak hours for passenger cars is $11 (with an E-ZPass), but certain types of large trucks can pay as much as $84. That’s high, but it’s nothing compared to the toll Christie may pay for the lane closings.

  • The open wound that is Israel Dec 11, 2013 5:00 AM
    Columnist Richard Cohen: In Israel, nothing is easy, which is why the subtitle of Ari Shavit’s book is “The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel.” One does not balance the other — and both are true.

  • The Hillary alternative Dec 4, 2013 5:00 AM
    Columnist Richard Cohen: A recent issue of the New Republic had Elizabeth Warren on the cover with the headline “Hillary’s Nightmare?” It was one of a spate of such stories, all of them saying that the Democratic Party was moving to the left (and away from Hillary Clinton and yes, Barack Obama) to which I, in uncharacteristic silence, vowed a solemn, “Oh, no, not again.” Warren, like the old saying about second marriages, could well be the triumph of hope over experience.

  • It’s the future to fear Nov 27, 2013 5:00 AM
    Columnist Richard Cohen: For those who think that history is about the past, consider what’s before us today. Iran has agreed to an itsy-bitsy deal that will slow its march toward a possible nuclear weapons program, but Tehran will not, on the basis of its own history, take orders from the West. Israel, in the person of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has emitted an anguished howl that history’s most awful crime is about to be repeated. For both countries, the past is not behind them. It’s right around the corner.

  • The JFK in my mirror Nov 20, 2013 5:00 AM
    Columnist Richard Cohen: So much did not get done. But there remains — there will always remain — the undocumented journey of those who set out for Washington (or for some Godforsaken Peace Corps hut) because John Fitzgerald Kennedy beckoned.

  • Christie’s Tea Party problem Nov 13, 2013 5:00 AM
    Columnist Richard Cohen: The day after Chris Christie, the cuddly moderate conservative, won a landslide re-election as the Republican governor of Democratic New Jersey, I took the Internet Express out to Iowa, surveying its various newspapers, blogs and such to see how he might do in the GOP caucuses, won last time by Rick Santorum, neither cuddly nor moderate. Superstorm Sandy put Christie on the map. The winter snows of Iowa could bury him.

  • What art says about the past Nov 5, 2013 8:45 AM
    Columnist Richard Cohen: “12 Years a Slave” is art at its highest, not just on account of mastery or talent but because of what it makes yesterday say about today. We obscured, we covered up — we made the past conform to the present and insisted that hurt or pain had no right to persist, as if family tales told at the kitchen table dissipate when the silverware is put away. As a nation, we like to look pretty, but sometimes we weren’t. The grave obligation of art is to show us what we look like.

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