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April 9, 2009

Bail out journalism

This will be my last column for the L.A. Times. After four years, I'll soon be starting a stint at the Pentagon as an advisor to the undersecretary of Defense for policy.

March 5, 2009

Bush's big lies

How did they ever get away with it?

February 26, 2009

How Mom sent a guy to Gitmo

My mother is a terrorist!

February 19, 2009

We need a bailout too

Brother, can you spare $22 billion?

February 12, 2009

Wall Street's crybabies

You "can never be too rich or too thin," said the Duchess of Windsor, who was wrong on both counts.

February 5, 2009

'Finish the job' in Afghanistan? Where do we begin?

Is it finally time to "finish the job" in Afghanistan?

January 29, 2009

Obama's bold first week

Barack Obama ended four wars during his first week as president. With just a few words and strokes of his pen, the president ended the war on terror, the war on Islam, the war on science and the war on women.

January 15, 2009

Bush was a uniter after all

Admit it -- you're gonna miss him.

January 8, 2009

The Gaza blame game

How to be Stupid....

January 1, 2009

Israel can't bomb its way to peace

It's a new year in an old and bloody world.

December 18, 2008

Bush and the New Soft Shoe


December 11, 2008

Blagojevich's corruption: a warning for Democrats

How dumb can you get?

December 4, 2008

'War on terror' -- an exercise in folly

The Mumbai metropolitan area is home to an estimated 19 million people, but it took just 10 men to shut the city down.

November 27, 2008

Bush: forget the pardons

Don't pardon those turkeys, Mr. President.

November 20, 2008

Bush's land mines for Obama

You knew that W & Co. wouldn't go gently into that good night, didn't you?November 13, 2008

If Dubai sneezes, who gets a cold?

So enough about the struggling middle class. In this global financial crisis, how are the really rich holding up?

November 6, 2008

Obama and the world

Hello, World!

October 30, 2008

Bush's booby traps for Obama

Ever since Joe Biden suggested that the world would "test" Barack Obama if he becomes president, the McCain campaign has been hoping to make political hay out of the remark.

October 23, 2008

The 'real' America, really

Will the "real" America please stand up?

October 19, 2008

Obama's no troop-hater

Is Barack Obama a dishonorable troop-hater?

October 16, 2008
Liberals haven't had so much fun in decades.

October 9, 2008
'What don't you know, and how will you learn it?"

October 2, 2008
We established its basic contours in 1789, half forgot about it until the Civil War and Reconstruction, practically abolished it during the Gilded Age, remembered it again during the Depression and then, during the reign of Reagan the Great Communicator, forgot about it once more.

September 25, 2008

Once upon a time, a politician took campaign contributions and favors from a friendly constituent....

September 18, 2008
Dear United States, Welcome to the Third World!

September 11, 2008
Call them the forgotten victims of the economic slump.

September 4, 2008
That John McCain -- he's such a maverick!

August 28, 2008
Rejoice, Democrats. 

August 21, 2008
So you haven't liked the last couple of decades? Been longing for a simpler time, before text-messaging, Hannah Montana, the Global War on Terror and other total bummers?

August 14, 2008
The Georgians have now been punished enough, declared Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday. Or maybe not.

August 7, 2008
The president's military commissions were inaugurated with the loftiest rhetoric.

July 31, 2008
Even war criminals have fan clubs.

July 24, 2008
He looks like a cross between Santa Claus and a New Age guru, and he calls himself an alternative healer.

JJuly 17, 2008
I want Ritalin!

July 3, 2008
'The Constitution is not a suicide pact." After 9/11, that old saw -- originally coined by Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson -- was dusted off.

June 26, 2008
You've come a long way, baby.

June 19, 2008
No one wants to be the first candidate to invoke Sept. 11. 

June 12, 2008
Glug, glug, glug.

June 5, 2008
'It's the economy, stupid," said James Carville, summing up Bill Clinton's 1992 win over George H.W. Bush.

May 29, 2008
So here's the latest mystery media meme: If Hillary Rodham Clinton doesn't become the Democratic presidential nominee, "women" will be upset.

May 22, 2008
Unsolved mysteries of the universe: Where did matter come from? Why did all those ships vanish in the Bermuda Triangle? Is there really a Loch Ness Monster?

May 15, 2008
Can you forgive her?

May 8, 2008
Is it finally time for Hillary Rodham Clinton to give up?

May 1, 2008
'God damn America," declared the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. in 2003. But if that got you worried that Wright was somehow not a true American, this week's events ought to set your mind at rest. With multiple televised performances, Wright has now definitively proved he shares that most quintessential of all American traits: a profound desire to hog the airwaves and proclaim, "It's all about me." Next stop: "American Idol"!

April 24, 2008
Thank you, Pennsylvania! What an incredible margin of victory you gave me! Ten percentage points over Barack Obama. Count 'em! Ten!

April 10, 2008
Haven't been paying close attention lately?

April 3, 2008
Can this marriage be saved?

March 27, 2008
Mothers of America, Disney wants to destroy you.

March 20, 2008
Happy anniversary, War! I can hardly believe we've been together for five years now ... that's a fifth of the way to our silver anniversary!

March 13, 2008
Deja vu?

March 6, 2008
Hillary? Hillary?

February 28, 2008
Another 100 years of U.S. troops in Iraq?

February 21, 2008
The white house scramble for Africa came to an end this week -- symbolically, at least. 

February 14, 2008
They're baack!

February 7, 2008
'We can end a war. ... We can save the planet. ... We can change the world."

January 31, 2008
Is endorsing Barack Obama the new cool?

January 24, 2008
Whether you loved them or hated them, Bill and Hillary Clinton were always a twofer.

January 17, 2008
Happy Frankenstein Month!

January 10, 2008
Even the dimmest media bulbs have noticed that there's something a little different about this year's crop of Democratic presidential candidates.

January 3, 2008
As the U.S. election season shifts creakily into higher gear, our leaders are enthusiastically lionizing slain Pakistani politician Benazir Bhutto.

December 20, 2007
'Something there is that doesn't love a wall," wrote the poet Robert Frost. But lately, that "something" hasn't been the U.S. military.

December 13, 2007
Who done it?

December 6, 2007
It's getting harder and harder to keep track of the bad guys.

November 29, 2007
Peace in our time?

November 15, 2007
Oh, George. Why do you hate America?

November 8, 2007
Remember that golden, innocent time -- the 1980s and '90s -- when the phrase "political litmus test" was associated with the debate about abortion rights, and torture was associated with the Spanish Inquisition?

November 1, 2007
Maybe it was in honor of the Halloween season.

October 25, 2007
Forget impeachment. Liberals, put it behind you. George W. Bush and Dick Cheney shouldn't be treated like criminals who deserve punishment. They should be treated like psychotics who need treatment.

October 18, 2007

October 11, 2007
Score one more for the White House, which may keep its secrets to the bitter end.

October 5, 2007
Christopher Hill, U.S. assistant secretary of State, stunned reporters Wednesday by announcing that North Korea has agreed to disable its nuclear facilities -- and by attributing the breakthrough to a "a previously unknown but surprisingly effective" method of foreign relations recently discovered by U.S. officials, which Hill dubbed "diplomacy."
September 28, 2007

September 21, 2007
WAR FOR SALE -- CHEAP! Somewhat tarnished but still offers significant profit-making opportunities for the entrepreneurial. Inquire at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., Washington, D.C..

September 14, 2007
IT HURTS to be an American!

September 7, 2007
THE PRESIDENT is a lonely man.

August 31, 2007
WHAT? YOU WANT us pundits to stop complaining about what a mess the Bush administration has made in Iraq, and say something constructive for a change?

August 24, 2007
RE-INVADE Vietnam!
August 3, 2007
'EVERYONE'S A HERO, everyone's a star," sings Jon Bon Jovi on his 2005 album, "Have a Nice Day." It's an insipid song, but a fitting anthem for what has become a thoroughly insipid age.

July 27, 2007
THE PRESIDENT'S recent executive order allows the CIA to detain anyone the agency thinks is a terrorist -- or a terrorist's kid. 
July 20, 2007
REALITY mugs us all, in the end.
July 13, 2007
TIME'S up.

July 6, 2007
THE MEDIA'S Stockholm syndrome finally seems to be wearing off.

June 29, 2007
'THE IMPACT of immigration — legal and illegal — on jobs, schools, healthcare, the environment, national security, are all very serious problems," insists Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.), a man famed for his extreme anti-immigration views. "But more serious than all of them put together is this threat to the culture. I believe we are in a clash of civilizations." Tancredo's right about that last bit.

June 22, 2007
AFTER MUCH trumped-up suspense, Hillary Clinton's campaign announced this week — via a YouTube spoof of the last episode of "The Sopranos" — that the votes are in.

June 15, 2007
YOU KNOW YOU'VE got a problem when only the Albanians welcome you with open arms — and even then you need to take your watch off to keep them from stealing it.
June 8, 2007
WHAT'S in a word?

June 1, 2007
SOMETHING WAS missing from my local Memorial Day parade.
May 25, 2007
LAST WEEK, in a news cycle dominated by Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales' latest woes, the conviction and sentencing of Lt. Cmdr. Matthew M. Diaz made hardly a ripple.

May 18, 2007
IT WASN'T AN edifying spectacle: a group of middle-aged white guys competing with one another to see who could do the best impersonation of Jack Bauer, torture enthusiast and the central character on Fox's hit show "24."
May 11, 2007
LIKE PIRATES, terrorists are supposedly hostis humani generis — the "enemy of all mankind." So why is the Bush administration letting one of the world's most notorious terrorists stroll freely around the United States?

May 4, 2007
POOR BILL O'REILLY! Members of the vast left-wing conspiracy really can't stand him. They denounce him, they mock him, and now the final indignity: They study him as a lab specimen.

April 27, 2007
ARE WE A NATION of irrational wimps? Rudy Giuliani thinks so.

April 20, 2007
FIVE DAYS after the Virginia Tech massacre, the friends and families of the victims are grieving — and despite the relentless glare of the media spotlight, their pain is still private. It belongs to them, not to the rest of us.

April 13, 2007

April 6, 2007
FACED WITH congressional bills setting timelines for the redeployment of combat troops from Iraq, the president and his dwindling band of supporters have been complaining bitterly about lawmakers' efforts to "micromanage" the war.

March 30, 2007
THANK HEAVENS for the media. How else would we make sense of our lives?

March 23, 2007
BARACK OBAMA is learning — the hard way — that no good deed goes unpunished. Hillary Clinton's campaign has already gone after him with charges of negative campaigning. But in case that doesn't work, they're also going after him for being … too polite.

March 16, 2007

March 9, 2007
ON TUESDAY — to ritualized hoots of derision from around the globe — the U.S. Department of State released its 2006 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. The annual reports detail "the status of internationally recognized human rights" in virtually every country in the world — except, of course, the U.S. itself.

March 2, 2007
IF YOU HATED IT the first time, you might like the sequel better.

February 23, 2007
IT WAS MUCH LIKE the usual Nigerian e-mail scam, but it had a dispiriting twist.

February 16, 2007
ACCORDING TO the defense lawyers at his trial, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby didn't lie to investigators about his role in outing covert CIA agent Valerie Plame. He was just so darn busy with pressing national security matters that he kept forgetting the chummy chats about Plame he'd had with NBC's Tim Russert and Time magazine's Matt Cooper ....

February 9, 2007
POLITICIANS USED TO kiss babies, but in these days of terrorism and war, babies have gone out of style. Today's most coveted political accessory? An active-duty member of the American military. "Our troops" are the new babies.

February 2, 2007
CAN YOU SAY "smoke and mirrors"? Instead of accepting mandatory caps on greenhouse gas emissions, the Bush administration now proposes to combat global warming through the deployment of giant mirrors that reflect sunlight back into outer space.

January 26, 2007
I COULD MAKE nothing of it until I got to the bit about Baby Einstein.

January 19, 2007
'HOW SHARPER than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child!" complained Shakespeare's King Lear. But Lear didn't know from ingratitude. Think it stings to have a thankless child? Just try the sting of a thankless occupied nation!

January 12, 2007
IF YOU THINK the growing similarity between Iraq and Vietnam is tragic but inadvertent, you're not being cynical enough.

January 5, 2007
BURIED IN THE NEWS last week was one of the most potentially significant stories of recent years. The Military Times released its annual poll of active-duty service members, and the results showed something virtually unprecedented: a one-year decline of 10 percentage points in the number of military personnel identifying themselves as Republicans.

December 22, 2006

December 15, 2006
SO WHY not Barack Obama?

December 8, 2006
Natural-born citizens should take the new naturalization tests for immigrants -- and be deported if they fail.

December 1, 2006
CONDITIONS IN IRAQ grow more appalling each day, and a substantial majority of Iraqis now believe that the continued presence of U.S. troops is a major cause of the ongoing carnage ...

November 24, 2006
IN 1789, GEORGE Washington issued the first national Thanksgiving proclamation ...

November 17, 2006
THEY GOT HUMBLE on Nov. 8 — and stayed that way for four whole days, until President Bush announced that he was resubmitting the nomination of John "Mustache of Death" Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations ...

November 10, 2006
WELCOME TO the new era of sweetness and light! 

November 3, 2006
SINCE John Kerry "botched" a joke and implied that those without education "get stuck in Iraq," political leaders from both parties have been piously describing U.S. troops as valiant young Einsteins in desert camouflage ...

October 27, 2006
UNLIKE HIS DAD, whose apparent befuddlement over a supermarket checkout scanner helped lose him the presidency, George W. Bush is one tech-savvy guy ...

October 20, 2006
HAS HILLARY CLINTON been watching too many episodes of "24," or is she just determined to prove that she really is entirely without principles? ...

October 13, 2006
THERE WAS good news and bad news for authoritarians this week ...

October 6, 2006
THE FAMOUSLY effective GOP messaging machine has broken down ...

September 29, 2006
ARE YOU A Bush hater, so blinded by "primal" loathing for the president that you automatically dismiss everything he says or does? ...

September 22, 2006
WE DON'T torture detainees, President Bush has repeatedly insisted; we just make use of lawful "alternative procedures" of interrogation ...

September 15, 2006
WITH SEPTEMBER upon us, it's time to reflect on that perennially popular back-to-school activity, Bash the Professors ...

September 8, 2006
FIVE YEARS after 9/11, the Bush administration has run out of troops, ideas and political capital. But there's still plenty of Kool-Aid in the White House fridge.

September 1, 2006
Critics of the Jewish state find themselves accused of anti-Semitism, or worse.

August 25, 2006
IT'S BEEN a good week for the media, and a bad week for parents.

August 18, 2006
Bummed out by the Middle East? Turn that frown upside down!

August 11, 2006
WHAT DO YOU have to do to get a little peace and quiet around here? It used to be possible to adopt an antiwar platform and be left entirely alone by most mainstream Americans ...  

July 28, 2006
LET'S pretend ...

July 21, 2006
THINGS FELL APART so quickly ...

July 14, 2006
What is the administration's real view on detainees and the law? As one official said, 'Under the law of war, the president is always right.'

July 7, 2006
ACCORDING TO the media, Republican strategists hope to make the fight against terrorism a "campaign cornerstone" in the run-up to the November elections ...

June 30, 2006
THE SUPREME Court on Thursday dealt the Bush administration a stinging rebuke, declaring in Hamdan vs. Rumsfeld that military commissions for trying terrorist suspects violate both U.S. military law and the Geneva Convention ...

June 23, 2006
REMEMBER Somalia? ...

June 16, 2006
FINALLY! The Bush administration has a plan for Iraq ...

June 9, 2006
ARE AMERICANS good people? ...

June 2, 2006
Letting a tired baby cry isn't a horrible thing. But if Mom and Dad become sleep-deprived, watch out.

May 26, 2006
The administration's reckless politicies help jack-up the cost of oil.

May 19, 2006
IN 1998, Francis Fukuyama published a short article in Foreign Affairs called "Women and the Evolution of World Politics." He began with a gruesome tale of violence ...

May 12, 2006
ALL I NEED to know about international relations, I learned in kindergarten ...

May 5, 2006
MOVE OVER, battered women! There's a new syndrome in town ...

April 28, 2006
Russia's dangerous double game with Israel and Iran could easily spark a Middle East conflict, with dire consequences for the U.S.

April 21, 2006
WHEN SIX recently retired generals criticized Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's handling of the Iraq war and urged his resignation, the Bush administration reacted as if the generals had announced an impending military coup ...

April 14, 2006
OVER THE LAST few weeks, it's become obvious that the immigrant community is seriously out of the American cultural mainstream ...

April 7, 2006
AT LAST, there's consensus on who's to blame for the mess in Iraq: the Iraqis! ...
March 31, 2006
IN HER MUCH-DISCUSSED new book, "Mommy Wars," Leslie Morgan Steiner likens the tensions between working mothers and stay-at-home mothers to "a catfight." Personally, I think it's more like dueling roosters: a cockfight ...
March 24, 2006
I USED TO BELIEVE in the theory of evolution, but these days I'm having my doubts ...
March 17, 2006
HERE'S AN IDEA for a reality TV show. Call it "Aliens." The contestants will be drawn from the U.S. Congress.

March 10, 2006
Democrats are mired in smallness. How hard can it be to craft a message of passion?

March 3, 2006
Forget terrorists. The greatest threat to the U.S. from the ports deal may be to good taste.

February 24, 2006
HIS PICTURE has been on my office bulletin board for almost a decade now: a skinny little boy, almost 7 or 8, his ears sticking out. He's wearing a filthy sweatshirt that declares jauntily, "I'M A TOYS-R-US KID!" ...

February 17, 2006
IT'S BEEN A rough couple of weeks ...

February 10, 2006
IT'S TIME TO TAKE a stand against civility, decency, and appopriateness.

February 3, 2006
SOMEDAY, IN AN alternate universe ...

January 27, 2006
NAOMI WOLF has found Jesus!

January 20, 2006
ON MONDAY, my constitutional law class will meet for the first time this semester, and I don't have the slightest idea what to tell the students about the subject we'll be discussing for the next 13 weeks.

January 13, 2006
We've all gone ape over e-mail and Web surfing. But is it progress or punishment?

January 6, 2006
SO YOU THOUGHT all good things came from Santa's workshop in the North Pole? Give the other pole some credit too. This week a little good news came from Antarctica, where Sen. John McCain is getting an update on climate change from scientists.

December 30, 2005

December 16, 2005
THE WHOS down in Who-ville were a tolerant lot ...

December 9, 2005
ON MONDAY, I'll be giving a final exam to 80 law students, and judging from their e-mail messages, they're worried about grades. But this term, I'm even more worried about their grades than they are.

December 2, 2005
SO THERE I am in a hideous strip mall somewhere in the suburbs, in one of those big, impersonal superstores, and I'm feeling happy.

November 25, 2005
Even hardened terrorists can be made to talk, but we pay a high price for information that can't be trusted.

November 18, 2005
DID SOMEONE designate November as Repudiate-Your-Iraq-War-Vote Month? Or maybe just Quagmire month, or Let's-Get-The-Hell-Out-Of-There Month?

November 12, 2005 
Democrats should be wary of jumping to conclusions in the wake of Democrat Timothy Kaine's Virginia gubernatorial victory ...

November 5, 2005
'WE WILL bury you,' Nikita Khrushchev told U.S. diplomats in 1956 ...

October 29, 2005
THE YOUNG MAN with the missing arm was walking down the street with his head down ...

October 22, 2005
Journalists need some protection for their sources. But a proposed law would shelter criminals as well.

October 15, 2005
SMURFS ARE those darling little blue elves from the 1980s animated children's series of the same name ...

October 8, 2005
WANT FURTHER proof that the Bush star is waning? ...

October 1, 2005
IT'S OFFICIAL: Too much religion may be a dangerous thing ...

September 24, 2005
ARE THE ANTI-WAR protests getting you down, with all those picture of empty boots lined up to symbolize the 1,911 (as of Friday) American soldiers killed in Iraq?

September 17, 2005
THE HARSH overhead lights in the Senate hearing room were unkind to his bald spot, and by Day 2, his baby blues were visibly bloodshot ...

September 10, 2005
FOR THE PRESIDENT and his merry bandits, the message of Hurricane Katrina can be easily summed up: Bedtime fellas. We're tired and we don't want to hear another word out of you ...
 September 7, 2005
The media's focus on Katrina's victim's has washed away the wall...

September 3, 2005
NERO FIDDLED while Rome burned ...

August 27, 2005
SOMETIMES IT seems like secular intellecutals just can't win ...

August 20, 2005
Cindy Sheehan deserves to meet with the president as much as those forking over the big bucks.

August 13, 2005
Getting progressives into uniform can close the military-civilian culture gap.

August 6, 2005
AN AWFUL SUSPICION has begun to dawn on me: My 3-year-old daughter may possess genuine athletic talent ...

July 30, 2005
Jane Fonda announced Monday that she's heading to Iraq for an anti-war tour in a bus powered by vegetable oil ...

July 27, 2005
Supreme Court justice David Souter must be ruing the day he joined the majority opinion in Kelo vs. City of New London ...

July 23, 2005
In Iraq, television entrepreneurs have been trying out an American innovation: reality TV. But there's a local twist ...

July 20, 2005
With all the hullabaloo about Tuesday's nomination of federal appeals court Judge John G. Roberts Jr., it's easy to start imagining that the country's entire future depends on the makeup of the Supreme Court ...

July 13, 2005
The reason for the dearth of women columnists is a function of gender (we're just not that conservative) and timid editors.

July 10, 2005
Around the world justice is finally catching up with abusers of human rights. In the U.S., leaders should pay attention.

July 6, 2005
In the midst of the media's love-fest for Judith Miller, 1st Amendment Martyr, it's easy to forget that Miller's questionable journalistic ethics left her in the dog-house only a year ago ...

July 2, 2005
The deaths of five female soldiers in Iraq this month have fueled a new surge of opposition to allowing women to serve in the military in combat roles ...

June 26, 2005
Done Chernobyl? Now vacation at Gitmo or in Iraq.

June 22, 2005
Summer's here, and for most American children, school's out ...

June 19, 2005
Not content with trouncing Amnesty International for its "gulag" gaffe or unleashing John Bolton on Kofi Annan, the Republicans have gone out looking for some more do-gooders to turn into punching bags ...

June 13, 2005
Despite his well-earned reputation as a bully and a blow-hard, John Bolton, the guy who says, "it is a big mistake for us to grant any validity to international law," seems poised to become the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

June 9, 2005
Pity Barbara Walters who got herself on the wrong side of the breast-feeding police by remarking that she felt uncomfortable sitting next to a breast-feeding woman on a plane ...

May 29, 2005
Immediately after 9/11, the hand-wringing began ...