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Latest Article from Michael Rubin

Failed Nuclear Negotiations With North Korea Should Be A Lesson For The US On Iran

October 21, 2014  •  Business Insider

Today marks the 20th anniversary of the Clinton administration's signing of the Agreed Framework with North Korea. The lead up to the agreement and its aftermath should be a "teachable moment" for all those in the Obama administration intent on reaching a nuclear deal whatever the costs. After all, just as in 1994, the White House has committed itself to reach a deal with a rogue state with nuclear ambitions, regardless of the cost. White House actions suggest a belief that a bad deal would be better than no deal. Indeed, when researching my book on the history of American diplomacy with rogue regimes—research that took me to Korea—what became clear was that the Clinton negotiating team knew they had a bad deal but didn't care. Communist regimes were collapsing around the globe, and so negotiators confided in private that they needn't worry about the details, because just how long could the North Korean dictatorship last? In hindsight, the diplomatic process with North Korea was a disaster. After all, it has been against the backdrop of engagement and negotiated agreements with North Korea that the communist state has developed nuclear bombs and ballistic missiles capable of reaching the United States. Far from ending the threat from North Korea, it has been against the backdrop of often-desperate diplomacy that the threat became worse.

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Pundicity

Latest Article from Tevi Troy

Ebola Isn't a Messaging Problem

October 19, 2014  •  The Wall Street Journal

Much public skepticism about the government's response to Ebola stems from the dogmatic pronouncements of Obama administration officials. In a video message early last month on stopping the virus, for example, President Obama asserted that "we know how to do it." He was wrong.

The world has learned that dealing with Ebola in remote African villages is a very different challenge from confronting an unfamiliar virus in large cities and modern hospitals.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, despite a rocky beginning, now recognizes that containing Ebola presents unexpected challenges of technique and execution. The White House, for its part, apparently thinks it is a messaging problem.

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Pundicity

Latest Article from Judith Miller

Surveillance-Proof

October 17, 2014  •  City Journal

Law enforcement officials in New York and Washington criticized technology superpowers Google and Apple this week for selling cell phones and other devices that cannot be accessed by the government, warning that such technology jeopardizes public safety. In his first major policy address, FBI director James B. Comey called on Congress and the Obama administration to counter the expanding use of such devices, which he and other law enforcement officials assert endanger efforts to prevent terrorism and fight crime. Without lawful government access to cell phones and Internet devices, Comey warned, "homicide cases could be stalled, suspects could walk free, and child exploitation victims might not be identified or recovered."

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Pundicity

Latest Article from Soeren Kern

Germany: Holy War Erupts in Hamburg

October 15, 2014  •  Gatestone Institute

Parts of downtown Hamburg, the second-largest city in Germany, resembled a war zone after hundreds of supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State [IS] engaged in bloody street clashes with ethnic Kurds.

The violence—which police say was as ferocious as anything seen in Germany in recent memory—is fuelling a sense of foreboding about the spillover effects of the fighting in Syria and Iraq.

Some analysts believe that rival Muslim groups in Germany are deliberately exploiting the ethnic and religious tensions in the Middle East to stir up trouble on the streets of Europe.

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Pundicity

Latest Article from Michael Freund

The last Simhat Torah in the Warsaw Ghetto

October 15, 2014  •  Jerusalem Post

It was the fall of 1942, and for the remaining Jews in Warsaw, the future looked bleak.

In July of that year, the Germans had begun carrying out large-scale deportations from the ghetto, dispatching more than a quarter of a million Jews to the death camp at Treblinka.

Adam Czerniakow, who had served as chairman of the Warsaw Judenrat (Jewish council), had committed suicide on July 23, swallowing a cyanide pill in his office rather than comply with Nazi demands to collaborate in the effective liquidation of the ghetto. The final entry in Czerniakow's diary stated simply, "I am powerless, my heart trembles in sorrow and compassion. I can no longer bear all this."

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Pundicity

Latest Article from Clifford May

The demise of 'responsibility to protect' at the U.N.

October 14, 2014  •  The Washington Times

Remember R2P? Not to be confused with R2-D2 (a robotic character in the "Star Wars" movies), "Responsibility to Protect" was an international "norm" proposed by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan following the genocide in Rwanda in 1994 and the mass murders in the Bosnian town of Srebrenica a year later. The idea was for the "international community" to assume an obligation to intervene, militarily if necessary, to prevent or halt mass atrocities.

Why has R2P not been invoked to stop the slaughters being carried out in Syria and Iraq? Why isn't it mentioned in regard to the Syrian-Kurdish city of Kobani, which, as I write this, may soon be overrun by barbarians fighting for what they call the Islamic State?

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Pundicity

Latest Article from Jonathan Schanzer

Time To Kick Turkey Out Of NATO?

October 10, 2014  •  Politico Magazine

The Kurdish town of Kobane in western Syria is under siege by the Islamic State. A U.S.-led coalition has hit at the jihadists sieging Kobane—with 13 strikes on Wednesday and Thursday—but bombs alone may not suffice. It is the Turkish military, whose tanks are currently sitting on the Syrian border, that may be in the best position to save stave off a mass slaughter. But the Turks refuse to join the fight, even though the Turkish Parliament voted on Oct. 2 to deploy the Turkish army to fight in Iraq and Syria, and to allow foreign troops on Turkish soil. A week after the vote, Turkey has not participated in any U.S.-led operations against the Islamic State.

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Latest Article from Jeff Stier

Calling for a different approach to tobacco and nicotine regulation

August 24, 2014  •  EuroActiv

Cigarette smoking is the most harmful form of tobacco use. Alternatives to smoking that supply users with, yes, addictive, but not particularly harmful nicotine, are significantly less dangerous.

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Latest Article from M. Zuhdi Jasser

I was bullied for criticizing Hamas

August 23, 2014  •  AZ Central

What happens in Syria, Egypt, Iraq or Gaza has an impact every day right here in the Valley.

Even in America, leading Muslim organizations and clerics bully with threats of ostracism those Muslims who dare to dissent. Old-guard ideologues, too, used to monopoly control, make it crystal clear to their Muslim critics: Take us on and we will make an example of you as a traitor to the Muslim community (the ummah).

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Latest Article from Timothy Spangler

Dictatorial dynasty in the making?

August 22, 2014  •  The Orange County Register

A dynasty is in the works in troubled Zimbabwe, rather than the comprehensive change that is much needed. This week, the wife of long-standing President Robert Mugabe was appointed to a high-profile, senior position in the ruling Zanu (PF) party. Grace Mugabe was appointed secretary of the party's Women's League, which entitles her to a seat on the party's governing politburo. The women's group also endorsed her husband, president since 1987, as their preferred candidate for the 2018 elections.

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Latest Article from Steven Emerson

The President's True Colors Finally Revealed

August 17, 2014  •  Jerusalem Online

When I first glanced at the headline on today's Jerusalem Online and reports in the Jerusalem Post and other Israeli newspapers, I thought they must have been a satire: "Washington officials have told Egypt that the US will guarantee Israel's commitment to any agreement signed." But it was not a satire. This was deadly serious, confirmed by other Israeli newspapers and sources in Cairo.

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Latest Article from Asaf Romirowsky

Gaza: How we got here and what next?

August 15, 2014  •  YNet News

Despite the conviction in Israel that its military actions against Hamas in Gaza are justified, the notion that this third Gaza war in the past six years has been a consequence of the failure to conclude a peace agreement with the Palestinian Authority is widely accepted across the globe.

For Palestinians, the argument continues, there is no choice but resistance and confrontation since diplomacy and non-violence have not ended the occupation. For that reason, many Palestinians claim that Hamas is fighting not simply to lift the blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip but also to give them their freedom.

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Latest Article from Ilan Berman

Cutting The Caliphate Down To Size

August 14, 2014  •  National Review Online

Is America headed back to Iraq? On August 7, President Obama took the first step in that direction when he authorized the use of air strikes to prevent the further advance of the militant Islamic group once known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams (ISIS) and now known as the Islamic State. Since then, the U.S. military has commenced a limited bombing campaign against Islamic State detachments in northern Iraq and added 130 military advisers to the 300 already stationed in the country. The decision reflects a stark reality. In recent weeks, the Islamic State has cut a bloody swath across Iraq, capturing and holding territory at an unprecedented rate. As a result, the Washington Post reports, the group "now controls resources and territory unmatched in the history of extremist organizations." The current effort, however, appears to be as far as the White House is willing to go — at least for the moment. Having staked its political legitimacy on an exit from Iraq, the Obama administration is leery of doing much more. As a result, a true strategy for rolling back the Islamic State's advance is still sorely lacking.

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