Robert Koehler: This country — the one defined by “actual Americans” endlessly needing to defend themselves against some lesser aspect of humanity — is not the country I believe in, but it’s the one I live in, at least for the moment.
Robert Koehler: The parallels are so naked, so obvious: When you define particular people as the enemy and arm yourself against them, you also dehumanize them.
Robert Koehler: There’s a hell of a lot of history this country has not yet faced, but the Trump administration, with its blatant disregard for political correctness, is making it front-page news.
Robert Koehler: National security is always seen, in the corridors of power, as a matter of striking back against some enemy or other, an attitude that strikes me as both stupid and cowardly.
Robert Koehler: A recent study by the Missouri attorney general’s office shows that black drivers are at least twice as likely — in some towns, much more than that — to be stopped by police as white drivers.
Robert Koehler: Here in the U.S., we have a military budget pushing a trillion dollars annually, which is a hell of an investment in nonexistence. But we also have a growing peace consciousness that cannot and must not stop until it changes the world.
Robert Koehler: Politics should not be a pursuit disconnected from the heart; it should be, as everything should be, an expression of the heart. Where fear has been harnessed for political purposes, let’s now harness the power of love.
Robert Koehler: The world is organized the way it is right now thanks to Europe’s nearly 500 years of invasion, conquest and colonization.
Robert Koehler: At the refugee camps, the musicians made music with children and performed again the beautiful folk songs from the region.
Robert Koehler: Unavoidably, a line of connection runs straight from the yearbook photo to the worst of American history: lynching, slavery, genocide.
Robert Koehler: Apparently what’s under assault is war itself, or so the Establishment believes, in the wake of the shocking announcement by the president that he plans to withdraw all 2,000 U.S. troops now deployed in Syria and 7,000, or half, the U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
Robert Koehler: The bombs that dismembered several dozen Yemenis were built by Raytheon, part of the American military-industrial complex and a major supplier of jobs.
Robert Koehler: Why, suddenly, do we live in nations as opposed to cultures? And maybe, most gallingly, why do we care about and feel the need to protect only “American citizens”?