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Doyle McManus — Old echoes in America’s new Middle East policy

Here’s the nightmare scenario that kept Obama administration officials awake at night this summer as they watched the black-masked guerrillas of Islamic State sweep across Iraq: First, the insurgents could invade Baghdad, toppling Iraq’s government and forcing a Saigon-style evacuation of the U.S. Embassy. Then they could move into Jordan, a close U.S. ally that has maintained a peaceful border with Israel for a generation. From there, they could even threaten Saudi Arabia, the linchpin of the world’s oil markets.

Jay Ambrose — Amendment threatens free speech

By recently voicing full-hearted approval of a bill eviscerating the First Amendment guarantee of free speech, Senate Democrats showed themselves to be among the most extreme, irresponsible, self-serving and historically ignorant establishment politicians of this era. If they should actually get their way — and they conceivably could short of voter outrage — we could someday see a once strapping American spirit hopelessly hobbled when imperiousness comes its way.

Christine Flowers — Ray Rice episode being irresponsibly simplified by ratings-hungry media

I’ve never been a victim of domestic violence, but I’ve loved people who have been. I say “people” because some of the victims have been men, despite the general “Burning Bed” stereotype of the muscled brute beating the living daylights out of the 100-pound female. Violence is violence, victims are victims and abusers are abusers regardless of gender, color, religion, and affluence. This is an equal opportunity horror.

Rekha Basu — U.S. grants Guatemalan woman sanctuary … from abusive husband

Five years ago, a federal immigration judge refused to grant political asylum to a Guatemalan woman who had fled to America after years of severe battery by her husband. The judge didn’t doubt her story, but said she couldn’t claim membership in a particular social group that had a well-founded fear of persecution in her homeland, as asylum claims require. The judge deemed the ongoing abuse of Aminta Cifuentes to be arbitrary criminal acts by her husband.

Christine Flowers — Journalists’ deaths serve reminder of freedoms enjoyed back home

Often, when I write something that is in the vaguest of terms controversial (as in, we shouldn’t change the names of our local train stations) I’ll get at least a few emails telling me to consider another “career.” There is the presumption that I’m a journalist, and not a very good one at that. One recent reader took umbrage at a column I wrote on immigration and sent me a not-so-veiled threat. Others have used every four letter word in their rich vocabularies to tell me how much I’m appreciated.

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Tal Abbady: Facebook: Talk politics and see how long your ‘friends’ last

Shortly after Israel invaded the Gaza Strip in 2009, a close Muslim friend I’d known since elementary school suddenly disappeared from my Facebook feed. She’d been excoriating Israel in her posts, and I’d said nothing. Then I posted a statistic showing the number of Hamas-fired missiles landing in southern Israel, where my husband has family. That same day, I noticed my friend had written “OMG!!” under my post. And then she was gone.

Joshua Keating — What you need to know about the likely new American intervention in Iraq

While the world’s attention has been mainly focused on the war in Gaza, the deteriorating situation in eastern Ukraine, and the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the Islamic State’s campaign of terror in both Syria and Iraq has continued. In Syria, fighting between ISIS and Bashar Assad’s forces has led to some of the bloodiest days of the conflict so far.

Information wars’ roots go back a century

One hundred years ago this month, after German troops marched into Belgium, Britain declared war and scarcely an hour later it sent its cable ship Alert into the English Channel. By dawn, amid heavy rain and wind, the crew had severed Germany’s five most important Atlantic cables. For the duration of the war, Berlin’s ability to communicate abroad, even with many of its embassies, was impaired.