Robert C. Koehler

Robert Koehler is an award-winning, Chicago-based journalist and nationally syndicated writer. His new book, Courage Grows Strong at the Wound is now available. Contact him at koehlercw@gmail.com or visit his website at commonwonders.com.

Articles by this author

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Thursday, October 16, 2014 - 6:15am
Our Souls Turned into Weapons
“During basic training, we are weaponized:our souls turned into weapons.” Jacob George’s suicide last month — a few days after President Obama announced that the US was launching its war against ISIS — opens a deep, terrible hole in the national identity. George: singer, banjo player, poet, peace...
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Friday, October 3, 2014 - 6:45am
The Cancer of Violent Extremism
“As we look to the future, one issue risks a cycle of conflict that could derail so much progress. And that is the cancer of violent extremism that has ravaged so many parts of the Muslim world.” The cancer of violent extremism . . . I listen to the president’s words and stare into the void. All I...
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Thursday, September 18, 2014 - 9:15am
The God of War is on the Verge of Another Victory
Barack Obama’s central dilemma last week, when he tried to sell a new war to the American public on the eve of the thirteenth anniversary of 9/11, was to speak convincingly about the wisdom and effectiveness of U.S. foreign policy over the last decade-plus while at the same time, alas, dropping the...
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Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 2:00pm
Fast-Draw Morality: Stalled in a State of Endless Embattlement
“So you want to disarm cops LOL yeah that’s an intelligent thing to do the gang bangers would love that surely they will unilaterally disarm too.” I’m used to semi-anonymous sarcasm by now, like this Huffington Post comment beneath a recent column I wrote on the militarization of the police and the...
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Thursday, September 4, 2014 - 8:00am
A Future That Values Everyone
“I think if we had a gun we would have been shot immediately.” This is as good a place to start as any, at the logical limits of violent self-defense. The speaker is Andres Gutierrez of Nonviolent Peaceforce, a nonprofit organization that has engaged in peacekeeping work in troubled regions of the...
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Thursday, August 28, 2014 - 7:45am
The Courage to Disarm
The Ferguson tragedy, like all those that preceded it and all that will follow — involving the trivial and panicky use of lethal force, by the police or anyone else — stirs up questions the social status quo doesn’t dare face. My sister, Sue Melcher, put it this way: “I find myself also nauseated...
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Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 6:45am
Deep Justice in Ferguson
Black ’hood, white cops. “Get the fuck on the sidewalk.” And so it begins, and begins, and begins. An African-American boy dies for walking in the street — for yet one more insanely small transgression. Protesters cry for justice. The legal bureaucracy hunkers down, defends itself, does what it can...
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Thursday, August 14, 2014 - 10:00am
Iraq and Endless War
Our kills are clean and secular; theirs are messy and religious. “In their effort to create a caliphate across parts of Iraq and Syria,” CNN tells us , “ISIS fighters have slaughtered civilians as they take over cities in both countries. “In Syria, the group put some of its victims’ severed heads...
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Thursday, August 7, 2014 - 7:45am
Hatred in the Nuclear Era
Before nuclear weapons, after nuclear weapons . . . “The latter era, of course,” writes Noam Chomsky, “opened on August 6, 1945, the first day of the countdown to what may be the inglorious end of this strange species, which attained the intelligence to discover the effective means to destroy...
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Thursday, July 31, 2014 - 9:30am
The Water of Life: Thirsting for Justice in a World of War
I’m thirsty. Indeed, I’m overwhelmed by thirst, thinking about those who lack access to clean water. I’m thirsty for a different world. “In Gaza, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians lack water, including those living in hospitals and refugee camps,” Sarah Kendzior wrote in Al-Jazeera last week. “...
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