US Press: pick of the papers

The ten must-read opinion pieces from today's US papers.

1.SOPA protest: The Net strikes back (Politico)

Internet companies ratcheted up their fight against anti-piracy bills in Congress on Wednesday, says Tony Romm

2.Would today's GOP elect Reagan? (Chicago Tribune)

Even Ronald Reagan would have a hard time getting nominated in today's GOP race, claims Clarence Page

3.What Mitt Romney's father could teach him about economic fairness (Washington Post)

George Romney exemplified a lost species of American business leaders, says Matt Miller

4.Burning America's future (Los Angeles Times)

An energy policy outlined by the head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in which we use all of the nation's coal, gas and oil is beyond dumb, writes Bill McKibben

5.Plastic Man's perils (Chicago Tribune)

Mitt Romney lunges rightward. Is he moving in the wrong direction? asks Paul Begala

6. For God So Loved the 1 Percent (New York Times)

In recent weeks Mitt Romney has become the poster child for unchecked capitalism, a role he seems to embrace with relish, says Kevin M Kruse

7.Newtering Obama's re-election strategy (Washington Times)

Failure of Gingrich's anti-capitalism attacks doesn't bode well for the president, writes Dr. Milton R. Wolf

8.Mitt Romney's tax return problem (Politico)

For Mitt Romney, the choice is stark. He can stop equivocating and cough up the tax returns that his rival Republicans and reporters are clamoring for, claims Reid J. Epstein

9.Iran sanctions won't work (Washington Times)

Effectiveness of economic restrictions always erodes over time, says Ivan Eland

10.Offering a path to legalization for illegal immigrants could mean a local tax windfall (Houston Chronicle)

A report by the Greater Houston Partnership estimated that legalizing Houston-area undocumented workers would generate about $1.4 billion annually in tax revenue, argues this editorial

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Munich shootings: The bloody drama where everyone knows their part

A teenage gunman murdered nine people in Munich on Friday night. 

At time of writing, we know only certain facts about the gunman who shot and killed nine people and wounded many more at a shopping centre in Munich.

He was 18 years old. He was German-Iranian. He was reported to have shouted: "I am German." After murdering his innocent victims he killed himself.

We don't know his motive. We may never truly understand his motive. And yet, over the last few years, we have all come to know the way this story goes.

There is a crowd, usually at ease - concertgoers, revellers or, in this case, shoppers. Then the man - it's usually a man - arrives with a gun or whatever other tool of murder he can get his hands on. 

As he unleashes terror on the crowd, he shouts something. This is the crucial part. He may be a loner, an outsider or a crook, but a few sentences is all it takes to elevate him into the top ranks of the Islamic State or the neo-Nazi elite.

Even before the bystanders have reported this, world leaders are already reacting. In the case of Munich, the French president Francois Hollande called Friday night's tragedy a "disgusting terrorist attack" aimed at stirring up fear. 

Boris Johnson, the UK's new foreign secretary, went further. At 9.30pm, while the attack was ongoing, he said

"If, as seems very likely, this is another terrorist incident, then I think it proves once again that we have a global phenomenon now and a global sickness that we have to tackle both at source - in the areas where the cancer is being incubated in the Middle East - and also of course around the world."

On Saturday morning, reports of multiple gunmen had boiled down to one, now dead, teenager. the chief of Munich police stated the teenage gunman's motive was "fully unknown". Iran, his second country of citizenship, condemned "the killing of innocent and defenceless people". 

And Europe's onlookers are left with sympathy for the victims, and a question. How much meaning should we ascribe to such an attack? Is it evidence of what we fear - that Western Europe is under sustained attack from terrorists? Or is this simply the work of a murderous, attention-seeking teenager?

In Munich, mourners lay flowers. Flags fly at half mast. The facts will come out, eventually. But by that time, the world may have drawn its own conclusions.