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By CNN | Smart takes from CNN Opinion

Opinion: Putin, lies and 'little green men'

Vladimir Putin lies. Blatantly. Publicly. And, apparently, without chagrin. But a year since the annexation of Crimea, what does that mean for the West's ability to deal with him regarding Ukraine?

In February 2014, "little green men" -- the Ukrainian term for professional soldiers wearing Russian …


Opinion: How U.S. is making Iraq worse

Iraqi forces appear to be slowly closing in on an important tactical victory against ISIS. But as they press forward in their attempt to retake the city of Tikrit from ISIS insurgents, there is an important question that the United States and its allies should be asking: Could this victory actually …

Middle East

Opinion: Will Netanyahu win seal Iran deal?

Notwithstanding the polls, the valiant efforts of the Obama White House, a new unity on the Israeli left and a controversial term, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party appears to have swept to victory in Tuesday's Israeli elections.

For many in Israel, the election turned on …

Middle East

Opinion: Foolhardy to jeopardize Iran talks

Fortunately, the intensive diplomatic efforts to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran and another war didn't stop after 47 Republican senators, led by freshman Sen. Tom Cotton, appeared to try to goad Iran's leaders into forgoing a diplomatic solution to the nuclear dispute. Neither have they stopped since …

Middle East

Opinion: Why are these NFLers retiring early?

Four years ago I was laughed out of the room when I said to a group of friends: "Pretty soon guys are going to decide their lives are more important than playing in the NFL. And they are going to stop playing." My friends accused me of going soft, being an elitist, being overly PC.

Today, I'm …

Patrick Willis

Maria Shriver: Women can wipe out Alzheimer's

I was deeply moved watching Julianne Moore win the Oscar for "Still Alice," a movie I was proud and privileged to be an executive producer on. Julianne gives a harrowing performance as a brilliant 50-year-old college professor who loses her brain and herself to early-onset Alzheimer's disease. This …

Maria Shriver

Pease: Hillary Clinton's authenticity problem

Hillary Clinton worked hard last week to put the "dead end" sign on the State Department email story by announcing there was nothing to find. But in her rush to control the narrative, Clinton may have (once again) missed the bigger picture: In politics as much as in business, authenticity …

Hillary Clinton

Former Mets VP: Sports needs women execs

As you move ahead in a career, it's tempting to imagine the world into which you've stepped as a perfect reflection of merit. Especially if you've advanced quickly and been successful, you don't want to feel as if you've succeeded "in spite of" your gender, or race, or any other characteristic. You …

Women's Sports

Ghitis: Why has Putin gone missing?

Vladimir Putin is not a self-effacing man. That's why when the Russian president suddenly disappeared from view people took notice. When Russian officials tried to trick the public by passing off old photos as new appearances, speculation about Putin's whereabouts went viral.

Hashtags such as …

Vladimir Putin

Opinion: Wooden-headed week in politics

For those who hoped that the coming presidential election would usher in the dawn of a new, more inspiring politics, this past week has been deeply discouraging. In two key moments, leaders from both sides of the aisle have acted like the Bourbons of France, who famously remembered nothing and …


Where 'dawg fights' pay the bills (Opinion) - CNN.com

LZ Granderson is a CNN contributor, a senior writer for ESPN and a lecturer at Northwestern University. He is a former Hechinger Institute fellow, and his commentary has been recognized by the Online News Association, the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Lesbian and Gay …


Opinion: Liberals should get behind marriage

The collapse of marriage in our poorest communities -- and its tragic impact -- is a familiar story. But increasingly, marriage is becoming a marker of class privilege in America, something increasingly reserved for the affluent. If progressives want to tackle the scourge of inequality, then the …


Sutter: Frats 'a form of American apartheid'?

When it comes to the U.S. fraternity and sorority system, it's a disturbing truth: Life is largely segregated by race, money and power; and, yet, most of us find that unsurprising.

This week, however, we got more evidence this callous status quo needs to change.

The push came in the form of a …

Race & Ethnicity

Bergen: New glimpse of bin Laden's decline

Newly released al Qaeda documents, including letters to and from Osama bin Laden in the year or so before his May 2011 death, show an organization that understood it had severe problems resulting from the CIA drone program that was killing many of the group's leaders in Pakistan's tribal regions …


Miles O'Brien: My life, lost and found

Winston Churchill once said, "If you're going through hell, keep going." That quote has always resonated with me, but never more so than during this past year. Since I lost my arm in a freak accident in February 2014, I have tried mightily to put those words into action, constantly focusing on …

Sanjay Gupta

Cupp: What Hillary Clinton left out

Hillary Clinton made it clear Tuesday that when it comes to her emails, which traveled through a private server during her time at the State Department, we'll all just have to trust -- and she'll verify.

Using strong language, the former secretary of state insisted that despite concerns from both …

Hillary Clinton

Ghitis: Hero worship may break your heart

Are your heroes disappointing you? You're not alone. Most people yearn for role models, for someone to admire and emulate. But then sometimes: Crash!

Unless the superheroes perform their awe-inspiring work in the comic books or the movies, they eventually slide off the pedestal; or perhaps they get …

World Politics

Larry David's 'Fish' and Asian American 'Boat'

This weekend marked the official opening of "Fish in the Dark,"  the Broadway debut of Larry David of "Seinfeld" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm" fame.

Of course, the odd conventions of live theater mean that "Fish" wasn't quite fresh-to-table at its premiere: It's been playing for several weeks now to …

Larry David

UCLA student a victim of campus anti-Semitism

The story of the Jews in the United States is a testament to "American exceptionalism" and stands in contrast to a long history of discrimination and pariah status in Europe and Muslim lands. In fact, the economic prosperity and social standing of America's Jews shows that generally they have fared …


Opinion: Elephants aren't made for the circus

After enduring about four days at sea under stressful conditions, Tyke, an African elephant, escaped during a circus performance, crushing her trainer to death and injuring dozens of others while storming through the streets of Honolulu. Tyke suffered a slow and painful death after being hit by a …


Opinion: Are you ignorant about the world?

The world is spinning so fast that it can be hard to keep track of everything that is going on. Yet despite the fact that we can feel like we are being increasingly overloaded with information, it's not clear that we're doing a very good job of making sense of all that data we're receiving.

Don't …

Hans Rosling

Opinion: Artifact destruction security issue

The sack and pillage of the Mosul museum by the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria displayed a violence rarely seen since the destruction of the Buddhas of Bamyian. The bulldozing of the archaeological site of Nimrud marked a new step in the cultural cleansing underway in Iraq. These acts …

Middle East

Opinion: ISIS's warped take on morality

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is making headlines again. On Wednesday, images began circulating from the city of Raqqa in Syria of a man being thrown off a building, allegedly after a conviction for a homosexual act.

The scene is sickening and horrifying. And it's meant to be, because ISIS is …


Opinion: Shocking reminder of Korea tensions

The attack on Mark Lippert, the U.S. ambassador to South Korea, allegedly by a knife-wielding Korean progressive activist at a breakfast meeting in Seoul, was a rare and shocking reminder of the ongoing conflict that continues to divide the Korean Peninsula.

Despite the ever-present backdrop of …


Opinion: Why Iran's rise is a good thing

In September 2002, then-former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a U.S. congressional committee "there is absolutely no question whatsoever" that Saddam Hussein's Iraq was developing nuclear weapons at "portable manufacturing sites of mass death." Once Hussein had nuclear weapons, …

Middle East

Opinion: Goodbye to artificial colors?

When food giant Nestle USA (to which I am, alas, not related) last month announced plans to remove all artificial flavors and colors from its chocolate candies, it understandably made headlines. According to the company, by the end of 2015, none of a group of 250 chocolate products including …


Opinion: Murky truth about the death penalty

The case of a Georgia woman, whose execution was postponed for a second time Monday, is once again shining the national spotlight on one of the most fundamental questions we as a nation face: When do we put our own citizens to death?

But it's an issue on which this country is all over the place.

"As …

Death Penalty

Opinion: Did Netanyahu make the case?

CNN Opinion asked a range of contributors to assess the impact of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to Congress. The opinions expressed in these commentaries are theirs.

Ana Navarro: Obama administration fumbled

The Obama administration effectively has had a six-week public tantrum …

Middle East

Opinion: Bush must speak truth to GOP voters

When Jeb Bush spoke last week at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, the likely GOP presidential hopeful did better than expected.

Of course, that could have been because expectations were so low.

You remember "Bush Derangement Syndrome." When George W. Bush was …

Republican Party