Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

Latest Article from Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi

Fawj Maghawir al-Badiya: A Military Intelligence Branch Militia

August 30, 2016  •  Syria Comment

Emblem of Fawj Maghawir al-Badiya, with the militia's name itself inscribed on the bottom. On top: "Military Intelligence Branch" (indicating the affiliation of the group). In the centre is the emblem of the Syrian Arab Republic, as well as the Syrian and Ba'ath Party flags.

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Latest Article from Tevi Troy

The Federal Government Is Ill-Equipped to Handle Natural Disasters

August 29, 2016  •  National Review Online

Hurricane Katrina killed more than 1,800 people in 2005 and caused more than $148 billion in damages. The storm and attendant floods left 600,000 families homeless, undercut power to 3 million homes, and damaged or destroyed 1.2 million others. It painted an indelible picture of government helplessness, as images of suffering residents went around the country and around the world. It also reshaped the landscape of New Orleans: Nine years later, the city still has only 78 percent of its pre-storm population.

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Latest Article from Ilan Berman

Iran's Ahmadinejad Is Betting On A Comeback

August 26, 2016  •  The National Interest

Does anyone remember Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? Until recently, the Islamic radical and former military officer who served as Iran's sixth president could be considered something of a political footnote.

During his two terms in office (2005–09 and 2009–13), Ahmadinejad's anti-Western bombast and political brinkmanship helped transform Iran into an international pariah, while his ruinous economic policies exacerbated the country's mounting fiscal woes. By the end of his tenure, Ahmadinejad was deeply unpopular at home, roundly blamed for a major decline in both domestic prosperity and global standing. He had also fallen out with his one-time protector, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, leaving him all but politically neutered.

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Latest Article from Michael Freund

Waking up Angela Merkel in Wonderland

August 24, 2016  •  Jerusalem Post

Anyone looking for compelling proof that European civilization is hurtling inexorably towards its own self-inflicted demise need only listen to the utterly inane remarks made last week by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Speaking at a campaign event in northern Germany, Merkel insisted – apparently with a straight face – that the recent upsurge in Islamic jihadist terrorist attacks that has left many Germans on edge had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the flood of over a million refugees from Syria and the Middle East that have overrun her country over the past year.

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Latest Article from Clifford May

The Soros smear effect

August 24, 2016  •  The Washington Times

Washington is not an easy-going town. You come here to argue policy with the big boys — you should expect some rough-and-tumble. But you also should expect clean fights — no biting, no spitting, no hitting below the belt. Whatever else divides us, we all value free speech and edifying debate, right?

Not exactly. Left-wing "activists" — often posing as journalists — have a habit of targeting and trolling those who deviate from the "politically correct" line.

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Latest Article from Michael Rubin

Will Erdogan Airbrush Atatürk From Turkish Life?

August 19, 2016  •  Newsweek

The Anıtkabir, the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, is a monumental structure that sits amidst parkland on a hill overlooking central Ankara, Turkey's capital. School children, conscripts, professional societies and groups of tourists pay homage to Turkey's secularist leader, watch the changing of the guard, and tour its grounds, parks, and exhibits.

Along with the room where Atatürk passed away in Istanbul's Dolmabahçe Palace, it is the most prominent memorial to Atatürk in modern Turkey. This is something that likely chafes at Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey's dictatorial president, every single day.

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Latest Article from Soeren Kern

A Month of Islam and Multiculturalism in Germany: July 2016
"Islamist terrorism has arrived in Germany."

August 17, 2016  •  Gatestone Institute

July 1. A court in Bavaria ruled that a law that prohibits Muslim legal trainees from wearing headscarves is illegal. The district court in Augsburg ruled in favor of Aqilah Sandhu, a 25-year-old law student who filed a lawsuit against the state for barring her from wearing the headscarf at public appearances in court while performing legal training. The ruling said there was no legal basis for the restriction and "no formal law that obligates legal interns to a neutral worldview or a religious neutrality." Bavarian Justice Minister Winfried Bausback, arguing that legal officials as well as trainees in the court needed to present the appearance of impartiality, said he would appeal the ruling.

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Latest Article from Asaf Romirowsky

How US states can promote Israeli-Palestinian peace

August 8, 2016  •  The Hill

The growing number of laws and resolutions approved by US states, designed to block anti-Israel boycotts, divestment and sanctions efforts have sent shock waves through many organizations concerned with the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

Take the case of the Oakland-based Jewish Voice for Peace, whose executive director, Rebecca Vilkomerson, is an advocate of the BDS campaign. While the desire to persuade the Israeli government to change its policies is legitimate, she and the BDS movement make the demise of the two-state solution ever more likely.

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Latest Article from Judith Miller

Of Modesty and Melania

August 5, 2016  •  The Weekly Standard

There's nothing to be embarrassed about," Donald Trump spokesman Jason Miller told CNN when asked about his boss's reaction to the New York Post's publication of nude photos of his wife, Melania. "She's a beautiful woman."

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Latest Article from M. Zuhdi Jasser

After Qandeel Baloch's murder, is the world finally waking up to 'honor killings'?

August 5, 2016  •  Asia Times

The case of Qandeel Baloch, the "Kim Kardashian" of Pakistan, has rightly captured international headlines. A social media phenomenon, Baloch was known for posts that were provocative in the context of her home culture, even if they would be considered rather benign to many in the West, and certainly in the United States.

Honor-based violence – a type of violence in which families, sometimes with the help of the broader community, punish a victim (usually female) for a perceived social or sexual indiscretion, has long been a plague. This is certainly true in Pakistan – most especially in more insular communities where a more regressive interpretation of Islam is enforced.

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Latest Article from Jonathan Schanzer

Bogus foreign-policy debates: How we're helping our enemies fool us

August 4, 2016  •  New York Post

World news has become complicated lately.

Or has it? Consider these headlines:

Abu Mohammed al-Julani, the leader of the Syrian al Qaeda affiliate group known as Jabhat al-Nusra, announced last week that his organization will henceforth be known as Jabhat Fath Al-Sham, and it will splinter from the al Qaeda constellation of terrorist organizations.

Don't be fooled. This isn't an acrimonious divorce; it's a gentlemen's agreement about how to put the best possible face on jihadist violence in Syria's chaotic civil war.

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