Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

Latest Article from Judith Miller

The Ballad of Huma and Bad, Bad Anthony Weiner

May 26, 2016  •  Tablet

"Shit!" says Anthony Weiner, the most improbable of candidates for New York mayor in 2013. "This is the worst."

Former Congressman Weiner is having a bad day. He was destined to have lots of them, having been caught for a second time in two years texting photographs of his Wiener to female fans. Filmmakers Josh Kriegman, Weiner's former chief of staff on Capitol Hill, and co-producer Elyse Steinberg record them all, as the man who would be mayor watches his quixotic campaign crash and burn in this riveting, powerful documentary.

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Latest Article from Clifford May

National security reforms for the next president

May 26, 2016  •  The Washington Times

"National security" is a highfalutin phrase for a problem that can be stated quite simply: We have enemies. What do we do about them? Since this is a matter of life and death, it's worth asking: What national security policies can we expect the next commander in chief to implement?

Let's acknowledge that we can only make educated guesses. Presidential candidates have been known to say what they think voters want to hear and then, after winning election, go off in an entirely different direction.

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Latest Article from Michael Rubin

Who Is Stopping Kurdish Leaders From Visiting the U.S.?

May 24, 2016  •  Newsweek

There's something strange going on at the State Department. Civil war continues unabated in Syria, peace talks and "ceasefire" notwithstanding. In Iraq, meanwhile, the fight against the Islamic State remains hampered not only by political chaos in Baghdad, but also by corruption both there and in Iraqi Kurdistan.

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Latest Article from Soeren Kern

Austrian Freedom Party: Victory in Defeat
Austrian Presidential Elections Reveal Deeply Divided Country

May 24, 2016  •  Gatestone Institute

Norbert Hofer of the anti-immigration Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ) has been narrowly defeated in his bid to become Austria's next president.

Alexander Van der Bellen, former leader of Austrian Greens party, won 50.3% of the vote, compared to 49.7% for Hofer. The margin of victory was 31,026 out of nearly 4.5 million votes cast.

European political and media elites have been quick to hail the election of Van der Bellen, who campaigned on a pro-immigration, pro-EU platform. They seem to believe his razor-thin win validates their uninterrupted pursuit of European multiculturalism.

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Latest Article from Asaf Romirowsky

Learning from Mistakes: Lessons for Obama from Israel

May 18, 2016  •  The National Interest

As we approach the end of the Obama administration, we may look back over the past eight years, which has been responsible for more foreign policy debacles and misguided presidential decision making, especially in the Middle East, than we have seen in previous administrations. In response to Jeffrey Goldberg's piece in the Atlantic, Josef Joffe correctly summarized the Obama doctrine and the Commander and Chief himself as "an isolationist with drones and special-operations forces" and—above all—not a realist. A clear example of this is the decline in American deterrence and power in the Middle East and elsewhere.

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Latest Article from Michael Freund

Poking a gaping hole in the Palestinian narrative

May 19, 2016  •  Jerusalem Post

Fifty-one years ago this week, the youthful Jewish state proposed a peace plan that could have altered the course of Middle East history and settled the Arab-Israeli conflict once and for all, had it not been soundly ignored by the Arab states and the Palestinians.

And while it might seem pointless to look that far back, it is precisely now, when Israel is coming under increasing international pressure and criticism, that we need to remind the world – and ourselves – about the real underlying cause of the dispute with our neighbors.

It was May 17, 1965, when Levi Eshkol, Israel's third prime minister, ascended the podium in the Knesset to lay out a remarkably detailed plan for regional harmony.

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Latest Article from Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi

The Jihadi Threat on Israel's Northern Border

May 15, 2016  •  Middle East Review of International Affairs

This article seeks to explore the dynamics surrounding the various Sunni jihadi groups in the south of Syria near the border with the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights, examining whether they pose a significant and imminent threat to Israel's security. It is based on a presentation given by the author at a Rubin Center for Research in International Affairs symposium, "Israel in a Changed Middle East," in honor of the late Prof. Barry Rubin in February 2016.

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Latest Article from Ilan Berman

Morocco's Islamic Exports

May 13, 2016  •  Foreign Affairs

At first glance, Madinat Al Irfane seems like an odd location from which to launch a global war of ideas against Islamic radicalism. The upscale middle-class suburb of Rabat is packed with nondescript office buildings and recently built apartment blocks, telltale signs of the widening prosperity of Morocco's capital. But nestled behind these structures is a marker of a very different sort: a multimillion-dollar academic campus that houses the kingdom's premier religious training academy, formally known as the Mohammed VI Institute for the Training of Imams. Launched in late 2015, the institute is the central "professionalization" school for religious education in the country, subsuming other official training programs that had previously been carried out elsewhere. But it is also much more. The facility, and the ideas it promotes, lies at the center of the complex counterterrorism effort that Morocco has erected over the past decade and a half - one that has put the North African state on the frontlines of the intellectual struggle against radical Islam.

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Latest Article from Jeff Stier

FDA went way too far on e-cigarettes:
But Congress can fix it.

May 6, 2016  •  USA Today

The FDA wasn't wrong to regulate e-cigarettes. It was wrong to effectively ban, by its own estimate, up to 98.5% of the e-cigarettes on the market today.

E-cigarettes, Public Health England says, are about 95% less harmful than smoking, are not a gateway to smoking, and could help smokers quit.Now, the FDA wants to put an end to this less harmful alternative to smoking.

It's very simple: Cigarette smokers who switch to e-cigarettes dramatically reduce their risk, as the Royal College of Physicians put it in a landmark report last month, by using "nicotine without smoke."

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Latest Article from Jonathan Schanzer

The Sunni-Shi'ite Proxy War Heats Up

March 2016  •  Defense Dossier

Beneath the recent ferment of a highly volatile Middle East lies the region's deepest geopolitical fault line: the decades-long rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia. This modern-day contest, rooted in centuries of sectarian enmity, has been best described as the "new Middle East cold war." The U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 made that competition a defining feature of the region's geopolitics. It has since been spurred on by the so-called "Arab Spring" and the ensuing civil wars in Yemen and Syria. And as unrest has spread, both sides have supported their sectarian allies, elevating previously local conflicts to zero-sum grudge matches in a series of increasingly dangerous proxy wars.

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Latest Article from Tevi Troy

How GOP Intellectuals' Feud With the Base Is Remaking U.S. Politics

April 19, 2016  •  Politico

One of the most spectacular fissures of this already dramatic political season has been the messy, public divorce of the Republican intelligentsia from the party's suddenly energized populist voter base. As Donald Trump grips crowds and racks up delegates with a blunt nationalist message of jobs, protectionism and "winning," true-believing conservatives—from dean of the conservative commentariat George Will, to Pete Wehner, who has worked for every GOP administration since Ronald Reagan, to Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol—have peeled off in anti-Trump directions. When National Review, the flagship magazine of modern conservative thinking, devoted an entire issue to rejecting the GOP front-runner, it felt like a separation being finalized. Trump, of course, was unfazed, saying, "You have people that are in National Review—they're eggheads. They're just eggheads."

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