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President Barack Obama speaks to reporters in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, Oct. 2, 2015. President Obama is rejecting Russia's military campaign in Syria, saying it fails to distinguish between terrorist groups and moderate rebel forces with a legitimate interest in a negotiated end to the civil war. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

The cipher in the White House

- The Washington Times

Perhaps it’s not fair to blame Barack Obama for the mess he’s making. The Middle East is where chaos was invented, after all, and perhaps not even the collection of incompetents and boobs the president has installed in the White House could make things this bad. Maybe it’s someone else’s fault. He blames the Jews.

Illustration on Putin's moves in Syria by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Fast-roping toward war in the Middle East

The Russians are rapidly reinforcing their bridgehead in Syria, adding ground troops to their air, marine and naval forces. It is a classic air, land and sea intervention by a military establishment that understands how combined arms build synergies and broaden capabilities.

Responsible Immigration Laws Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Facing the agonizing immigration duty

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that no nation can sustain open borders. Even the wealthiest, most popular “nations of immigrants” such as the United States cannot possibly accept everyone who wants to immigrate or even qualifies to do so.

Illustration on Putin's actions in Syria by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Beware Putin and his ‘anti-Hitler coalition’

Contrary to the principles of American foreign policy of the last 70 years, President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry tacitly invited Russia to “help” monitor things in the Middle East. Now they are learning that there are lots of Middle East scenarios far worse than the relative quiet Iraq that the Obama administration inherited in January 2009 — and soon abandoned.

Illustration on the call for a better armed society by William Brown/Tribune Content Agency

Ban gun-free zones

Would you put a sign outside your house saying, “Doors unlocked,” or “We’re not home”?

Illustration on developing Romania's tourist industry by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Ongoing flux in East-Central Europe

For nearly a century, East-Central Europe has been a perennially unsettled region. Pragmatic deals cut after World War I, with more following World War II, have kept the area in an unending state of flux.

Illustration on Putin's Middle East intentions by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

‘Pravda’ on Russia in Syria

Pravda is the most abused word in the Russian language. Though it means “truth,” we learned it as the name of a Soviet-era, government-controlled newspaper that printed everything except the truth.

Illustration on the impact of Syrian mass migration to Europe by Schrank, The Independent on Sunday, London, England

Paralysis over Syria

There is turbulence in the eurozone and its disquieting genesis lies in the protracted Syrian civil war, some 750 miles to the east.

Illustration on the position of the D.C. Metropolitan police under Chief Lanier by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Integrity versus loyalty

Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier is often portrayed by an admiring media as an almost uniquely popular and effective law enforcement leader, who has made the District safer than ever by putting together one of the most effective big city police departments in the country.

Illustration on FDIC targeting of the payday loan industry by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

When bureaucrats rule personal preference

Ours is a nation of laws, not men. Our Constitution requires the concurrence of majorities in both houses of Congress and the signature of the president in order to create those laws.

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FILE- In a June 17, 2014 file photo, protesters rally for an increase in the minimum wage on the Great Western Staircase at the Capitol, in Albany, N.Y. The minimum wage goes up Jan. 1 in several states, including Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, and Rhode Island.  (AP Photo/Mike Groll, File)

A Hail Mary for wage growth

As Pope Francis makes his way to adoring crowds this week, I'm reminded of a late-1970s character from "Saturday Night Live," Father Guido Sarducci. Played by Don Novello, Sarducci was known as the rock critic for the Vatican newspaper.

Illustration on the ending of the Ex-Im Bank by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Killing the Ex-Im Bank won't cost jobs

Let's say you've been letting your child watch too much TV. You decide, quite sensibly, to cut down on his viewing time. Think he'll realize it's for the best and take it without a fuss?

Illustration on pruning back government by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Carly Fiorina: Major leaguer

To invoke a baseball metaphor, Carly Fiorina has been called up from the minors to the major leagues. After her widely praised debate performance last week, she can expect "fastballs" to be thrown at her head, not only by some of her Republican opponents, but by Democrats. It has already started.

Illustration on virtues of Estonia's e-government system by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Why Estonia is a country for the future

Estonia is arguably the most advanced country in the world when it comes to use of the Internet and related technologies. Estonia is a most improbable success, in that a mere quarter of a century ago it was still under domination of the Soviet Union as a very poor backwater on the Baltic Sea.

In this Sept. 16, 2015, file photo, Pope Francis speaks during the weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia, File)

Angling for a piece of the pope

- The Washington Times

Everybody wants a piece of the pope. Fidel Castro and his little brother in crime applaud Pope Francis' assault on the very idea of capitalism, and Barack Obama wants to use the pontiff as a recruit in his war on what he perceives to be the "social injustice" of thwarting the Obama agenda and threatening the Obama legacy.

illustration on Chinese cyber-espionage by M. Ryder/Tribune Content Agency

A new version of an old spy game

According to a recent report, "Chinese hackers are using information gained from the breaches of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, as well as intrusions into the Anthem and CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield health insurance networks, to build a complete profile of federal employees."

Illustration on determining the true conservative candidate by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Conservative solutions to the nation's challenges

As the former chairman of the American Conservative Union, I have watched, with pride, the structural growth of the movement. When William Buckley, Stanley Evans and other founders created ACU 52 years ago as our country's first conservative organization, they embarked on a mission that has been joined by dozens of other important conservative groups, publications and social media outlets.

Carly Fiorina (Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times)

How Carly Fiorina dominated the debate

And the race is on. I've been generally open-minded about the Republican candidates this time around. We all know what it's like to have a favorite early on, only to have the chaos of campaigns spin everything around to the point where we're chanting "There's no place like home, there's no place like home" by the end of the night.

Union Interference in the Workplace Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

The misguided fight against workplace 'freedom'

Labor unions are fighting hard to maintain the power to force people to join unions as a condition of work. In June, Gov. Jay Nixon, Missouri Democrat, vetoed a bill banning forced union membership and forced union dues payments in the workplace, and the legislature just upheld his veto.

Putin and the United Nations Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Putin is coming to New York -- what will he say?

Many analysts who believe Russia's Vladimir Putin has developed into an implacable foe of the United States are convinced that when the Russian president comes to speak at the United Nations, we can expect an even harsher speech than the attack on U.S. foreign policy he delivered in Munich back in 2007 and which continues to reverberate among foreign policy analysts around the world.

Coulter owes U.S. an apology

As an American first and a Democrat second, I have had it with Ann Coulter. Yes, she has every right to express herself, but really, where in a decent society does she get off with her "f---ing Jews" tweet during the second GOP presidential debates ("Ann Coulter accuses GOP candidates of pandering to 'fing Jews'; ADL responds," Web, Sept. 17)?

A visit by Pope Francis

This is a big week for foreign visitors. Pope Francis, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church, arrives and no sooner leaves Washington than the leader of China comes to town for a state visit. Pomp and circumstance were never so abundant. It's a good week to stay out of the tangle of blocked streets the visits will make of downtown traffic.

President Barack Obama, top, walks behind Chinese President Xi Jinping as they enter a room before a meeting after participating in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit at the Zhongnanhai leadership compound in Beijing. (Kim Kyung-Hoon/Pool Photo via AP, File)

Mr. Xi's bluffing hand

The state visit of Xi Jinping to the United States this week will include a lot of the usual pomp and nothing much else, given the circumstance. There's little expectation that the lengthy list of critical issues between Washington and Beijing will be addressed in a substantive way.

Trump no 'Lonesome Rhodes'

Pointing an accusatory finger always points three fingers back ("Trump is 'Lonesome Rhodes,'" Web, Sept. 14). Columnist Cal Thomas is also a prime violator of Ronald Reagan's "11th commandment" not to speak ill of fellow Republicans.