Dana Milbank in The Washington Post on kids being used in the gun debate The moment we bring children into the gun debate is the moment we can no longer rationally talk about guns, Dana Milbank argues. And both the NRA and Obama are guilty of crossing that line, with the pro-gun organization calling out the President's daughters in a new ad and Obama quoting children in his emotional signing of 23 executive actions aimed at quelling gun violence. "Is it really necessary for both sides to put them on the front lines in this political fight?" Milbank asks. "There’s an argument to be made that the horrific nature of the carnage justifies reminding the public that children are vulnerable, but partisans on each side will only dig in deeper if they perceive that the other side is using kids as props."
Fred Kaplan in Slate on Mali Should we be concerned about the intervention in Mali? French President Francois Hollande has called for American back-up in the mission to stop Islamist rebels from taking more Western hostages and wreaking further terror in their drive towards the south. But would American participation bring about another intractable and unwinnable war on terror? Not necessarily, argues Fred Kaplan. But we'd have to follow the "Obama Doctrine" here, which means—yes—"leading from behind." Kaplan writes, "One lesson we should have learned in the last decade (and in much of the half-century before that) is that, in these sorts of cases, where we’re so in the dark, we should keep a low profile, if we get involved at all."