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, February 5, 2015 - 6:15am
War and Perpetual Adolescence
The urgency I feel isn’t any longer to stop a particular war but to interrupt endless war: to interrupt the narrowly focused geopolitical conversation, conveyed to us over and over by media stenographers, in which lethal intervention — wherever — is always the first and only choice. The uncertainty...
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Thursday, January 29, 2015 - 6:30am
Healing the Criminal Justice System
“It’d be really hard to have a higher recidivism rate than we have in Cook County.” Maybe this is the place to start a brief meditation on changing the world, or at least Chicago . . . known to some of its residents as “Chiraq.” The speaker is Elena Qunitana, executive director of the Adler...
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Thursday, January 22, 2015 - 6:45am
We're Killing Us: On a War in Two Directions
“Sometimes they have drug and alcohol problems and when they feel that the VA is ignoring them, not answering the phone, failing to return calls for assistance or there are long wait times, they get more and more disgruntled. The VA is ripe for a mass killing but no one is listening to us.” The...
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Thursday, January 15, 2015 - 6:30am
Partners in Terror
“Je suis Charlie. Tout est pardonné.” Muhammad in tears adorns the new cover of Charlie Hebdo: “I am Charlie. All is forgiven.” This is bigger than satire. I take a deep breath, uncertain how to write about last week’s insane shooting spree in Paris. My daughter and her husband live there. “Things...
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Thursday, January 8, 2015 - 7:15am
Turning Our Backs (on a Broken World)
Oh, the moral force of a snub. Several hundred cops turn their backs on New York’s mayor as he eulogizes one of their own, killed in the line of duty, and the media have another us-vs.-them story to report. Bill de Blasio’s in trouble, accused of playing politics with the lives of heroes. And, of...
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Thursday, January 1, 2015 - 8:00am
Afghanistan: Skulking Away from a Failed War
“The only good Talib is a dead Talib.” These words, uttered half a decade ago by the head of intelligence for the NATO coalition force in Afghanistan, summon a far earlier American savagery. As the American empire affects to close the door on its war with Afghanistan, the words also serve as a sort...
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Thursday, December 25, 2014 - 10:30am
Refusing To Wage War
And so we grieve over another national tragedy. Two New York City police officers, Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, were shot — assassinated — as they sat in their patrol car this past weekend. Let the needlessness of their deaths rip our hearts open. Let the humanity come first. “Now is a moment for...
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Sunday, December 21, 2014 - 12:30pm
Abolishing the CIA
The shock resonating from the Senate Intelligence Committee’s CIA torture report isn’t due so much to the revelations themselves, grotesque as the details are, but to the fact that they’re now officially public. National spokespersons (except for Dick Cheney) can no longer deny, quite so glibly,...
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Thursday, December 11, 2014 - 7:00am
The Militarized Divide
This shattered nation. “Eric Garner was overweight and in poor health. He was a nuisance to shop owners who complained about him selling untaxed cigarettes on the street. When police came to arrest him, he resisted. And if he could repeatedly say, ‘I can’t breathe,’ it means he could breathe.” And...
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Friday, December 5, 2014 - 5:45am
Beyond M.A.D.: Reviving Nuclear War
“Some of the key technocrats and scientists of the Cold War say the nation has become overly confident about its nuclear deterrence. The nuclear enterprise, they say, ‘is rusting its way to disarmament.’” Let’s meditate on this irony — that disarmament, finally, means no more than growing old and...
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