Robert C. Koehler

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

"In America, the horrors of poverty go on and on." (Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images) Views
Thursday, February 15, 2018
War and Poverty: A Compromise With Hell
It’s so easy to paper over the real American security void with verbiage about strength vs. weakness and the endless need to upgrade the military. Here’s Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, for instance, quoted the other day in The Guardian : “It is incumbent upon us to field a more lethal force if...
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The paradox of reaching beyond war, as I noted in the wake of the Iraq invasion, is that doing so disrupts “the mobilized public at its level of deepest bonding” and “sews doubt in the psychic well of patriotism.” (Photo: Cleo Leng/flickr/cc) Views
Thursday, February 08, 2018
The Other Superpower?
“I’m so honored to be alive at such a miraculous time in history. I’m so moved by what’s going on in our world today.” This was 2003. The words were those of Robert Muller — the other one, the one from Costa Rica, former assistant secretary general of the United Nations — who was speaking just...
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"This is a man-made crisis." (Photo: Reuters) Views
Thursday, February 01, 2018
Yemen’s Crisis Belongs to All of Us
What’s a little cholera — excuse me, the worst outbreak of this preventable disease in modern history — compared to the needs of a smoothly functioning economy? A week before he was kicked out of British Prime Minister Theresa May’s cabinet for allegedly having watched pornography on his government...
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"It’s so much easier to blame some designated “other” than to look within." (Photo: Ian Crowther/flickr/cc) Views
Thursday, January 25, 2018
Governing By Scapegoat
Got a problem? Simplify and project. When you have a country to govern and you have no idea what to do — and, even more to the core of the matter, you also have a crony-agenda you want to push quietly past the populace — there’s a time-proven technique that generally works. Govern by scapegoat!...
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The Atlantic, in an article about the Hawaii false alarm, quoted one scholar’s tweet of a possible scenario: “POTUS sees alert on his phone about an incoming toward Hawaii, pulls out the biscuit, turns to his military aide with the football and issues a valid and authentic order to launch nuclear weapons at North Korea. Think it can’t happen?” Views
Thursday, January 18, 2018
Nuclear Annihilation and the Wisdom of Mass Salvation
Incoming! Incoming! Uh . . . pardon me while I interrupt this false alarm to quote Martin Luther King: “Science investigates,” he says in T he Strength To Love , “religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge, which is power; religion gives man wisdom, which is control. Science deals mainly with...
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 "It’s the default plot of the country’s entertainment and gaming industries, where the violence is always consequence-free." (Photo: flickr/cc) Views
Thursday, January 11, 2018
The Sanctity of Life
Breathe deeply, suck in your fear, value life. Some psycho-pranksters have made this national conversation unavoidable. The game is called “swatting”: Call the cops, report a terrifying emergency — “they’re holding my mother hostage!” — and wait for the fun to start. A SWAT team swings into action...
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"In our contemporary mythology, the defining gods, especially here in the “developed world,” are hulking, dangerous entities called nations, which stomp across the planet endlessly pursuing their interests."(Photo: Adam Fagen/Flickr/cc) Views
Thursday, January 04, 2018
The Button, The Wall And The Myth Of Nations
“Mr. Kim may be partly motivated by an intense need to roll back sanctions that, by all accounts, have begun to bite.” Whoa and ouch. This was my wakeup paragraph. I was sitting at Starbucks, reading the New York Times , feeling confusing old emotions wash over me on the first day of the New Year,...
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"What’s clear is that this is a moment of social change. I believe we should value everyone who is a participant in it, willingly or otherwise. Real social change leaves no one out." (Photo: Michael Reynolds/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock) Views
Thursday, December 21, 2017
Turning Perpetrators into Healers
Al Franken the serial groper. Al Franken the scapegoat. History proceeds clumsily. Innocent people — or “innocently guilty” people, like the junior senator from Minnesota — often get unfairly hung out to dry. Should he have to resign? As far as I can tell, his alleged sexual wrongdoings over the...
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"The 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty called on the nuclear powers to “pursue nuclear disarmament,” apparently at their own leisure. Half a century later, nukes are still the bedrock of their security. They’ve pursued nuclear modernization instead." (Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images) Views
Thursday, December 14, 2017
Peace On The Far Side Of Nuclear Weapons
“. . . real security can only be shared . . .” I call it news in a cage: the fact that the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons has been awarded this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. In other words, how nice, but it has nothing to do with the real stuff going on across Planet Earth, like...
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Rally in Washington DC against Trump's initial "Muslim Ban" enacted in early February. (Photo: Lorie Shaull/flickr/cc) Views
Thursday, December 07, 2017
Rebuilding Jim Crow Nation
Dred Scott lives! With the Supreme Court’s declaration that President Trump’s third version of a Muslim travel ban is now enforceable, even as legal challenges against it proceed, the court and the country reopen the racism that permeates American history. “The question is simply this: Can a negro...
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