Unfiled

Are we really any better off without Saddam Hussein?

By DAN K. THOMASSON

Ever wonder what the state of the world would be if Saddam Hussein still ruled Iraq with an iron fist? A few late-night comedians have braved potential patriotic wrath by suggesting perhaps he should be brought back, a shuddering thought given his propensity for mass graves.

Abandoning our public schools is not the answer

By JOHN M. CRISP

Roger Moran would like for more of us to withdraw our children from the public schools and teach them at home. A member of the executive committee of the Southern Baptist Convention, Moran believes that public schools are places where God is ridiculed, where drugs and alcohol are rampant, and where promiscuous — even homosexual — lifestyles are encouraged.

Tony Blair calls it quits

By DALE McFEATTERS

The Bush administration has few allies in the world, and it is now going to lose the staunchest of them.

Facing a growing revolt in his own party, British Prime Minister Tony Blair announced last week that he would step down within the year, well before the 2010 statutory date for the next election.

The real axis of evil that destroyed America

Five years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the United States of America lies beaten, battered and defeated – not by an enemy of extremists who hide in caves in Afghanistan but by its own government and leaders who sold out their nation for power and politics.

No return to normal

By DALE McFEATTERS

The immediate aftermath of 9/11 produced a phrase that quickly became a cliche: "the new normal." It was a tacit acknowledgement that we would never return to the status quo that existed before that brilliant September morning, when four hijacked airliners came careening out of the sky.

A real lesson from the paranoia of Sept. 11, 2001

By TOM HAYS

They were different men going in different directions — one a visiting Egyptian student on scholarship, the other an ex-cop in a dead-end job as a hotel security guard. But an aviation radio left in a high-rise hotel brought Abdallah Higazy and Ronald Ferry together in an unfortunate footnote to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

So much hot air, so little news

By DALE McFEATTERS

The mystery of who leaked the name of CIA agent Valerie Plame has been solved. It was former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage who owned up after special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald released him from a vow of confidentiality.

Much grief would have been spared if Armitage had spoken up — and Fitzgerald allowed him to — at the outset of this overblown affair three years ago.

Corruption becomes a major campaign issue

By STANLEY GREENBERG and JEREMY ROSNER

What do the victory of Hamas in the Palestinian Authority, the defeat of Silvio Berlusconi, Italian prime minister, and the indictment of Tom DeLay, former U.S. House majority leader, all have in common?

Corruption. Having worked on electoral campaigns around the world, we are struck by the number of countries in which corruption has become a top-tier issue that mobilizes voters, decides elections and shapes the agenda of nations. Public anger over corruption is particularly intense in countries that are less developed or undergoing transitions from communist or autocratic rule to more open systems. Across 20 transitional and developing countries in Latin America, Central Europe, Asia and Africa, where our firm has conducted surveys over the past five years, corruption is the third-strongest public concern, cited by 21 percent on average as one of their top two national problems. Higher shares are focused on unemployment (48 percent) and poor living conditions (34 percent).

Armitage admission raises new questions

By MATT APUZZO

For three years, Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald knew the answer to one of the biggest questions in Washington: Who leaked the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame?

Now that former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage acknowledged this week that he was the leaker, the new question is what Fitzgerald has been looking for during a quest that rattled the White House and sent a reporter to jail.