Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

Latest Article from Michael Freund

Obama and the war on air-conditioning

July 28, 2016  •  Jerusalem Post

Buffeted by two raucous political conventions, most Americans may not have noticed that their government last week declared war on home appliances.

In remarks that may very well go down in the history of indoor refrigeration, US Secretary of State John Kerry equated the environmental effects of electronic cooling machines with the threat posed by Islamic jihadist terrorism to Western civilization.

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Latest Article from Clifford May

The dark dilemma of modern globalism

July 27, 2016  •  The Washington Times

"Americanism, not globalism, will be our credo." That line from Donald Trump's long and emphatic speech to the Republican National Convention last Thursday jumped out at me. I think I know what he meant: that he prioritizes America's national interests above those of the wider world.

If so, most Americans probably agree. I'd be among them. But there are complexities here that are worth unpacking.

For one, globalism is a term the media often use but seldom define. The academic literature strikes me as confusing — or perhaps just confused. From a recent tome on the subject:

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Latest Article from Soeren Kern

Germans Debate Use of Force against Jihadists

July 24, 2016  •  Gatestone Institute

A 17-year-old Afghan asylum seeker brandishing an axe and shouting "Allahu Akbar" ("Allah is the greatest") seriously injured five people on a train in Würzburg, Bavaria. The assailant was shot dead by police after he charged at them with the axe.

The teenager, who had claimed asylum after arriving in Germany in June 2015 as an unaccompanied minor, had been placed with a foster family just two weeks before the attack as a reward for being "well integrated."

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Latest Article from Tevi Troy

What Are the Best Books to Catch Up on This Summer?

July 22, 2016  •  National Review Online

Summer is a great time for reading, but then again, so is the rest of the year. One of my recent favorite recent books was Karl Rove's Triumph of William McKinley, which closes with a compelling analysis of how the 19th-century president's experience in politics is relevant even today. Also relevant for recent events is Operation Thunderbolt, by Saul David, which tells the story of Israel's 1976 raid on the hijackers holed up at Uganda's Entebbe airport. The book includes all sorts of good information that I did not get from late 1970s TV movies such as Raid on Entebbe: Yoni Netanyahu, the raid's leader and only Israeli soldier to die on the raid, was a fan of the Mission Impossible TV show; U.N. Secretary General — and former Wermacht solder — Kurt Waldheim condemned the raid as "a serious violation of the national sovereignty of a United Nations member state"; and the hijacked Air France plane lingered on the tarmac at Entebbe, deteriorating, for decades after the raid.

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Latest Article from Soner Cagaptay

Inside Turkey's Failed Coup: What Happened? Why? What Next?

July 22, 2016  •  The Washington Institute for Near East Policy

For most people who were born in Turkey or study the country, the most difficult image to see during last week's events was Ankara -- a city that had not been attacked or occupied since the fifteenth century -- being bombed by Turks. Ultimately, the July 15 plot proved to be a counterfeit coup. Although it was meant to look like a full-fledged coup carried out by the military's top brass, it was in fact a factional uprising within the military. Only about 20 percent of the country's generals were involved; they hoped to harness enough critical mass among top officers to subsequently mount a full coup, but they lacked widespread support. Their only significant backing came from the air force and gendarmerie -- there was no real support in the army, which comprises 65 percent of the armed forces. In fact, their nefarious plot began to unravel when the commander of the 1st Army went on television and declared, "This is not a coup."

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Latest Article from Ilan Berman

Turkey's Coup Attempt Has Played Straight Into Erdogan's Hands

July 20, 2016  •  National Review Online

Back in 2008, at the height of the global economic meltdown, Rahm Emanuel, President-elect Obama's designee for chief of staff, summed up his guiding political philosophy. "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste," he told the Wall Street Journal. "Things that we had postponed for too long, that were long-term, are now immediate and must be dealt with." It looks like Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan was listening. In the aftermath of last week's botched military coup, Erdogan has launched a far-reaching purge of political enemies, both real and imagined.

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Latest Article from Judith Miller

How Mike Pence worked to protect freedom of the press

July 19, 2016  •  Fox News

Donald Trump's choice of Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his running mate brought a smile to my face. And not for the reason you may think. When I heard Pence described as a Tea Party acolyte, a "movement conservative" and "evangelical favorite" intended to shore up Trump's Republican base, I recalled that Pence had not always faithfully towed his party's line.

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Latest Article from Jonathan Schanzer

The Fight Against ISIS Will Suffer Because of Turkey's Coup

July 19, 2016  •  New York Times

The failed coup in Turkey will set back global efforts to combat the Islamic State.

For one, trust between Ankara and Washington is at an all-time low. A Turkish minister charged on TV that the United States was behind the attempted coup. The State Department fired back, stating that, "claims about any role by the United States in the failed coup attempt are utterly false and harmful to our bilateral relations."

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Latest Article from Michael Rubin

Erdogan Has Nobody to Blame for the Coup but Himself

July 15, 2016  •  Foreign Policy

This is not what President Recep Tayyip Erdogan meant when he said he wanted to transform Turkey. The tanks and gunfire in the streets of Ankara mark the fifth time since 1960 that the Turkish military has attempted to stage a coup. Even if this one proves unsuccessful — and the elected government now seems likely to come out on top — it calls into question the stability of Erdogan's political movement. How exactly did a leader who began his rule 13 years ago with such promise derail so badly?

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Latest Article from Jeff Stier

New EPA emissions report threatens Alabama industries

July 5, 2016  •  Mobile Press-Register

The Environmental Protection Agency's latest report on greenhouse gas emissions demonstrates shrewd political strategy -- and a wanton disregard for objective science.

Using a new methodology that seems to have been designed to produce exactly the conclusion it did, the EPA has now found that the nation's methane emissions have been dramatically higher in recent years than previously thought. And for the EPA, this is a story with a villain: In a major departure from earlier studies, this year's report claims the oil and gas industry is the nation's chief methane culprit.

Green activists were quick to trumpet the new findings as proof that the oil and gas industry is behind all of our environmental ills.

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