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John Rash

Editorial writer and columnist | Opinion
Phone: 612-673-4301

John Rash is an editorial writer and columnist. His Rash Report column analyzes media and politics, and his focus on foreign policy has taken him on international reporting trips to China, Japan, Rwanda, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Lithuania, Kuwait and Canada.

Rash's commentary can be heard on WCCO-AM on Friday mornings at 8:10 a.m. and on Wednesdays on "Playing Politics," a podcast from the Editorial Board. He lives in St. Louis Park with his wife, two children and a dog..
Recent content from John Rash
FILE - Russian opposition activist Vladimir Kara-Murza is escorted to a hearing in a court in Moscow, Russia, Feb. 8, 2023. A court in Moscow on Monda

Many governments worldwide failing to protect press freedom

As Reporters Without Borders' World Press Freedom Index details declines across continents, the Pulitzer Prizes highlights the need for great reporting.
Fiona Hill, the former top Russia and Europe expert on the National Security Council, testifies during the open hearing of the House Intelligence Comm

Ukraine aid vote is a domestic and geopolitical inflection point

Renowned Russia expert Fiona Hill reflects on the Kremlin's propaganda program, what President Vladimir Putin is thinking and how U.S. divisions impact international issues.
A scene from "The Movie Teller," one of 238 films representing 70 countries and cultures that screen through April 25 at the 43rd Annual Minneapolis S

Film festival shows the transformative power of art

At the 43rd Annual Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival, movies like "Sing Sing" and "The Movie Teller" reflect "how cinema or art in general moves us."
Leadership representing Norfolk-based NATO headquarters salute as the Swedish flag is raised outside of NATO Allied Command Transformation in Norfolk,

NATO's strength in numbers makes U.S. more secure

The transatlantic alliance, now up to 32 members, has protected the West for 75 years.
FILE - In this May 24, 2018, file photo, Chair of the Republican National Committee Ronna McDaniel appears on the "Fox & friends" television program i

McDaniel mess suggests a more profound pundit problem

The "revolving door" of the political media industrial complex hurts journalism and democracy.
“To get people to buy into public health again isn’t quite as difficult as trying to move the Grand Canyon to southwest Minnesota, but it’s damn

Osterholm: As politics infect science, new tactics critical

The widening partisan divide may make responding to the inevitable next pandemic even more difficult.
A picture shows stories in Britain's national newspapers, about the altered mother's day photo released by Kensington Palace on March 10, of Britain's

Photo flap a tempest in a (royal) teapot compared to coming AI era

Photoshop fails are more easily detectable than the insidious artificial-intelligence images that may threaten society and democracy itself.
Headshots of former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden.

The complexities of age and ethics in the presidential race

The numbers voters may mostly focus on aren't economic metrics, but Biden's age and Trump's indictments.
Ukrainian emergency employees and police officers evacuate injured pregnant woman Iryna Kalinina, 32, from a maternity hospital that was damaged by a

Film shows what doing 'whatever the hell they want' looks like

Oscar-nominated documentary "20 Days in Mariupol" depicts the results of an unrestrained Russia and Vladimir Putin.
Group of people marching for human rights in New York City.

The global impact from local human-rights activism

New U exhibit explores how Minnesota-based organizations often have had a worldwide influence in the enduring struggle for human rights.
Jeffrey Ettinger, a former DFL congressional candidate who previously worked as CEO of Hormel Foods, interviews before the University of Minnesota Reg

Higher education takes a tough test

The University of Minnesota and other institutions face campus controversies, concern over cost and value from an increasingly skeptical public.
Dean Phillips held an election eve rally in his New Hampshire campaign headquarters Monday, Jan. 22, 2024  Manchester, New Hampshire   ] GLEN STUBBE �

Why Dean Phillips continues against-the-odds quest

The Minnesota Democrat, who acknowledges a "steep slope ahead," has focused more on politics than policy while largely being ignored by the national news media.
Signs for Republican presidential candidates are seen outside of the Horizon Event Center, a caucus location, on Caucus Day in Clive, Iowa, on Monday,

Presidential candidates should run everywhere, for everyone

Biden, by bypassing Iowa and New Hampshire, reinforced Democratic drift from rural America.

The link between global connectedness and geopolitical outlook

Two new Pew Research Center reports reflect the value of international travel.
Peace Corps Director Carol Spahn (center in white pants) is joined by former Peace Corps volunteers at the Minnesota International NGO Network Annual

In war-torn world, the Peace Corps endures

"Do whatever is in your sphere of influence," Peace Corps director Carol Spahn tells attendees at a summit of internationally involved Minnesotans.
The world’s largest aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford, was dispatched toward Israel following a large-scale assault from Hamas.

U.S. is at peace, but Biden is increasingly a wartime president

Crises in the Mideast, Eastern Europe and elsewhere reflect the possibilities, and limits, of being commander-in-chief.
A Palestinian carries a child pulled out of a building hit in the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip in Rafah, Sunday, Oct. 22, 2023. (AP Photo/Hat

Ukraine, Israel inspire clashing reactions in foreign lands

President Joe Biden legislatively and geopolitically tied the wars between Russia-Ukraine and Hamas-Israel together, but much of the world may see it differently.
A friend of Reuters videographer Issam Abdallah who was killed by Israeli shelling mourns over his body during his funeral procession in his hometown

Casualties, including truth and truth-tellers, keep mounting in the Mideast

A wave of mis- and disinformation and the deaths of journalists imperil the ability to get verifiable information about the war in Gaza.
Paul Dano stars as Keith Gill in “Dumb Money.”

A new film right on the (Dumb) Money

A comedy about 2021's GameStop stock-frenzy dramatically shows the inequity in equity markets — and the rest of society.
Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre, pointing to a map, joined U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and moderator Tom Hanson at an event at Norway

A Minnesota lens: Defending democracy in Ukraine and beyond

At a Twin Cities event, Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre and Sen. Amy Klobuchar reflected on today's key geopolitical divide.
Elon Musk, billionaire and chief executive officer of Tesla, at the Viva Tech fair in Paris, France, on Friday, June 16, 2023. Musk predicted his Neur

Elon Musk shouldn't command Ukraine decisions

Governments, not individual citizens, should make — and be held responsible for — military policies.
Republican presidential candidates at the debate hosted Wednesday by Fox News (from left): former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson; former New Jersey Gov.

John Rash: Respect voters by improving debates

Fox News and former President Donald Trump should show more regard for the electorate as the debate schedule rolls on.
A stack of the latest weekly edition of the Marion County Record sits in the back of the newspaper’s building, awaiting unbundling, sorting and dist

With newspapers, don't try that in a small town

A police raid on a Kansas newspaper galvanizes press advocacy organizations and everyday citizens to defend the First Amendment.
The sun sets behind a smokestack in the distance in Kansas City, Mo.

John Rash: As heat broils the planet it may roil geopolitics, too

The effects of climate change can spur migration — and subsequent political — crises that endanger democracy.
Cillian Murphy stars in “Oppenheimer.”

Oppenheimer-era blast radius still reverberating

The threat of nuclear war — and of silencing scientists — is more dangerous than ever.
Ukrainian youth soccer team playing in the USA Cup

Ukrainian soccer team returns to USA Cup, U.S. 'family'

For the squad's head coach, it's a respite from the war yet an opportunity to share "what's going on in Ukraine."
Drawing out — and calling out — Vladimir Putin

Drawing out — and calling out — Vladimir Putin

Graphic novel "Accidental Czar: The Life and Lies of Vladimir Putin" examines and explains the Russian president.
G7 leaders, from left to right, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, U.S. President Joe Biden,

U.S., Biden approval ratings on the rise — abroad, at least

New Pew poll in 23 countries across continents shows increasing international support for America and its commander in chief.
Top, undated handout photo shows Titan, the submersible that vanished on expedition to the Titanic wreckage. Bottom, a fishing boat carrying migrants

Why one tragedy at sea eclipsed another

The search for the submersible Titan generated a level of media coverage far beyond the attention paid to the Adriana and the deaths of hundreds of migrants.
Former President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in a combined image.

In Ukraine and the U.S., a reckoning on classified information

When secrets are "divulged through whatever means, you are literally putting people's lives in danger," said a top defense expert.
SOUTH CHINA SEA (May 20, 2022) Sa Sailor stands watch aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) while underway w

Carleton students attempt virtual peacemaking in War College exercise

The U.S. Army War College's International Strategic Crisis Negotiation Exercise focused on the South China Sea.
Military personnel raise the flag of Finland during a ceremony on the sidelines of a NATO foreign ministers meeting at NATO headquarters in Brussels,

Finland strengthens, and is strengthened by, NATO

Finland's ambassador to the U.S. shares his views on his nation, NATO ascension, Russian aggression and tighter ties with Minnesota.
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Feb. 8 visits the city center destroyed by the earthquake in Kahramanmaras, southern Turkey.

2023's most important election

Just months after devastating earthquakes, Turks head to the polls for a vote that has global implications.
Chief Justice Warren Burger administers the Oath of Office to President Gerald Ford while Betty Ford looks on.

Gerald Ford, an extraordinary 'ordinary man'

A new biography of America's 38th president offers a lesson for today's leaders contending with a riven nation.

'Discord Leaks' sows an evolving surveillance era

Discord, the online site popular with video gamers, is where classified U.S. government documents were initially posted.

International film festival seeks to 'unite, inform and transform'

Close to 200 short and feature films from around the world will screen between April 13-27 at the 42nd annual Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival.
The Wall Street Journal journalist Evan Gershkovich is shown in this undated photo. The State Department says Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged

Russia must free reporter Evan Gershkovich

"Wrongfully detained" Wall Street Journal correspondent shows the severity of Russia's repression of media freedom — and ultimately the truth.
In this June 12, 1987 file photo U.S. President Reagan acknowledges the crowd after his speech in front of the Brandenburg Gate in West Berlin, where

Campaigns past and present reflect on Reagan's legacy

Allegations about the 1980 campaign surface as the GOP's top 2024 candidates veer from Reagan's resolute stand against totalitarianism.
A man in Tehran holds a local newspaper reporting on its front page the China-brokered deal between Iran and Saudi Arabia to restore ties, signed in B

China's unexpected diplomatic coup changes the Mideast puzzle

A Beijing-brokered deal between Iran and Saudi Arabia alters regional, and maybe even geopolitical, dynamics.
Left, anti-government demonstrators protest against recent reforms pushed by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to the country’s electoral law th

U.S. must be a beacon for democracy for Mexico, Israel

As protests roil its two allies, America needs to live up to its own democratic ideals.
Egyptian president Anwar Sadat, US president Jimmy Carter, and Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin are shown on the north lawn of the White House, s

An exemplary post-presidency. (And a pretty good presidency, too.)

Belying public (and often pundit) perceptions, Jimmy Carter had an often consequential and constructive White House tenure.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine speaks from a screen at the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany on Feb. 17.

Avoiding 'Munich' at the Munich Security Conference

World leaders gathering at the annual meeting seem resolute in rejecting further appeasement of Russia.
Lyndon B. Johnson meets with Sen. Richard Russell in December 1963.

In a new documentary, as in life, LBJ looms large

"Turn Every Page: The Adventures of Robert Caro and Robert Gottlieb" focuses on the 50-year collaboration between the legendary writer and editor.

In tank debate, all was not quiet on the German front

Oscar-nominated "All Quiet on the Western Front" reminds why Germany's history plays a role in present-day politics, too.
An idled snow cannon in the village of Davos Wiesen, Switzerland, on Jan. 8. MUST CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by Francesca Volpi

Geopolitical, global-warming angst in the Alps

The climate crisis is the type of challenge meant for the business and political leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
President Vladimir Putin speaks in a recording of his annual televised New Year’s message on New Year’s Eve after an awarding ceremony during his

On black swans, gray rhinos and white doves

Geopolitical experts consider the conflicts and top risks of 2023.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Time's 'Person of the Year,' channels Chaplin as much as Churchill

Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Time's 'Person of the Year,' channels Chaplin as much as Churchill

In a compelling profile, the Ukrainian comedian-turned-statesman lauds unconventional voices against totalitarianism.
A still from an ad for Sipsmith Gin.

At the Walker Art Center, the best of Britain's (deeply) moving images

The annual Arrows Awards screening, featuring the best of British advertising, begins its holiday-season run.
People pose for a photograph with a sign reading in English” Fifa World Cup, Qatar 2022” at the corniche in Doha, Qatar, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022.

World Cup in Qatar is an 'own goal' by FIFA

Soccer's governing body, as well as the International Olympic Committee, should live up to ideals in awarding events.
U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., with U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn, in March. Both signed a letter to President Joe Biden from the Congressional Pr

Democracy on the ballot — Ukraine's democracy, that is

A campaign focused on domestic dynamics may have major global implications.
A child receiving life-saving RUTF (ready-to-use therapeutic food) in Somalia.

Starvation stalks the Horn of Africa

Concurrent crises across the world have meant less attention on a looming human catastrophe.
Beatrice Fihn of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, ICAN, arrives for a press conference at the headquarters of the International

Nuclear threats prove prescience of former Peace Prize laureate

2017 Nobel winner Beatrice Fihn and ICAN continue to push for the U.N. Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
In this image made from a video released by the Russian Presidential Press Service, Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses the nation in Moscow, R

The West calls out Putin's imperialism

After world leaders mourn a queen, but not the British Empire, they warn of the Kremlin leader's drive to resurrect a Russian Empire.
FILE - Parents and children wait outside the Riverside Public School in Elmira, N.Y., on July 1, 1953, to get the polio vaccine, due to the rise in in

Yet another crippling 20th-century scourge makes a comeback

Polio, which along with extremism was foretold and forewarned by novelist Philip Roth, re-emerges.
Author and historian David McCullough in 2005. McCullough, who was known to millions as an award-winning, best-selling author and an appealing televis

McCullough, Mar-a-Lago and the enduring search for historical truth

Histrionics, not historical context and method, marked the rush to judgment about the FBI search of former President Donald Trump's home.
On May 1, 2011, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, along with with members of the national security team, receive an update on the m

White House photographer witnessed, and captured, history

Pete Souza, in Minneapolis for a Wednesday evening event, sees similarities between former Presidents Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama.
Pastor Rudolph Balazhynets, coach of the FC Minaj team from Ukraine.

From Ukraine to Blaine: A soccer team's journey to the USA Cup

Two Minnesotans and a minister from Ukraine help a team get "out of the trauma and see there is some normalcy in the world."
 Krisjanis Karins, Latvia’s prime minister.

Latvian prime minister's clear-eyed view of Russia

Krisjanis Karins, visiting Minnesota, says that Putin "will go as far as he is allowed to go."
Dmitry Muratov, editor-in-chief of the influential Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, speaks to attendees during auctioning of his 23-karat gold medal o

Russian Nobel laureate's noble act for Ukraine

Journalist Dmitry Muratov auctions his 2021 Peace Prize to aid UNICEF's efforts on Ukrainian refugees.
President Joe Biden talks to reporters before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, Friday, June 17, 2022, in Washington. (AP Phot

Amid enduring challenges, U.S. journalists remain resilient

A new Pew poll shows that despite an increasingly difficult media, political and social environment, most would choose the career again.
Left, John Dean at the Senate Watergate hearings, in 1973. Right, Caroline Edwards, the first Capitol Police officer injured in the riot, testifies at

Similarities, differences between Watergate and Jan. 6 eras

The political, social and media environments have changed in the half century between the two scandals.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy appears via remote during the opening ceremony of the 75th international film festival, Cannes, southern Fran

Ukraine needs arms — and hearts and minds, too

As the war endures, so must support and attention from Americans and citizens of other countries.
Activists dismantle Ukraine's biggest monument to Lenin at a pro-Ukrainian rally in the central square of the eastern city of Kharkiv, Ukraine, Sunday

'The Long Breakup' gives context to conflict in Ukraine

Filmmaker Katya Soldak will attend Sunday's Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival screening of her documentary about her country's turbulent post-Soviet era.
Clarissa Ward reports in Ukraine in a screenshot on CNN.

Elon Musk, CNN+ and the Times headline latest media tumult

How the new direction of social media and news organizations are received will tell a lot about where media — and democracy — is headed.
Cartoons of the war.

Ukrainian, Russian political cartoons draw upon antiwar sentiment

New exhibit at the Museum of Russian Art showcases satirists' work — and its unflinching support of Ukraine.
Cows walk around a destroyed farm after a Russian attack near Brovary, on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, on March 28.

World food supply may be the next war casualty

Along with other destabilizing disruptions, Russia's attack on Europe's breadbasket producing "alarming cascading effects," according to the U.N.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks to the U.S. Congress by video to plead for support as his country is besieged by Russian forces, at the

Neighbors at war, two presidents a world apart

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's communication acumen and motivating message are a sharp contrast to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Ukrainian emergency employees and volunteers carry an injured pregnant woman from a maternity hospital damaged by shelling in Mariupol, Ukraine, on Ma

The consequences — and clarity — of calling Putin a 'war criminal'

President Joe Biden, "speaking from his heart," calls out the heartless Russian president for atrocities in Ukraine.
President Joe Biden greets Col. Matthew Jones, Commander of the 89th Airlift Wing, as he arrives on Marine One to board Air Force One at Andrews Air F

Playing Politics: Biden heads to Europe

The president looks to advance allied unity on Ukraine. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's D.J. Tice and John Rash.
A woman looks at a computer screen watching a dissenting Russian Channel One employee entering Ostankino on-air TV studio during Russia's most-watched

Putin's propaganda hurts the world, but harms Russians most

What Russians read, hear and see — and what they don't — props up the Russian president, but at times the truth seeps through.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy appeared via video before Congress on Wednesday at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center Congressional Auditorium.

Playing Politics: Zelenskyy's address to Congress

The Ukrainian president's speech is analyzed by WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's Scott Gillespie and John Rash.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey spoke at a news conference last week.

Playing Politics: Report roasts Minneapolis riot response

Mayor Jacob Frey and other leaders failed to follow protocols. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's Patricia Lopez and John Rash.
Russian howitzers are loaded onto train cars at a station outside Taganrog, Russia, near the border with Ukraine, on Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022.

Playing Politics: The invasion — and sanctions — begin

The U.S. and Western allies react to Russian aggression in Ukraine. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's D.J. Tice and John Rash.
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a meeting with Russian Emergency Ministry staff via videoconference in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Feb.

Playing Politics: Russia-Ukraine crisis

The status of Russian forces and communication between the U.S. and Ukrainian presidents is analyzed on "Playing Politics" with WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's Denise Johnson and John Rash.
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) throws during NFL football practice Feb. 9, in Los Angeles. The Cincinnati Bengals play the Los Angeles

Super Bowl belies smaller ratings for big events

Fractured TV ratings reflect a fragmented nation, with ever fewer shared cultural experiences.