Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

Latest Article from Tevi Troy

Ed Koch, Ten Years Gone
How stands his name today?

February 2023  •  Commentary

It takes real skill to pick the right fight in politics. Doing so is a high-risk enterprise, since many spats descend into bombast or bitterness that blackens the names of both combatants. The politician who takes the exchange too seriously can come across as nasty and unpleasant. For others, endless squabbling can limit their ability to compromise or achieve great things. Ed Koch, who died 10 years ago this month, showed us how to do it.

Koch loved to do battle. Over the course of a 45-year career as congressman, mayor of New York, and columnist, he engaged in significant disagreements, tiffs, spats, and outright hostilities with some of New York's and America's most famous people and politicians.

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Latest Article from Clifford May

Soldiers of misfortune: Putin's Wagner Group isn't playing

February 1, 2023  •  The Washington Times

The Wagner Group is not, as the name might suggest, a club for lovers of epic German operas. Its members are often called mercenaries but that's imprecise because these soldiers of misfortune are not for hire by just any old tyrant or wannabe revolutionary. They fight, kill, and not infrequently get killed in the service of Vladimir Putin and his imperialist ambitions.

The U.S. government last week designated the Wagner Group as a "significant transnational criminal organization," guilty of mass executions, rape, child abductions, and other atrocities. Sanctions are to be imposed on individuals and companies linked to it.

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Latest Article from Judith Miller

I just got back from Ukraine. Don't underestimate its people's determination to defeat Russia

January 30, 2023  •  Fox News

No Russian missiles or bombs were falling on Uzhhrod when I visited this city of 120,000 in western Ukraine three weeks ago. But there were plenty of fresh graves. The remains of 39 men from this city, ages 21 to 54, reside in this cemetery, all killed since Russia's invasion in February.

An older part of the cemetery contains the bodies of men and women from this city, some of the more than 14,000 Ukrainians killed since Russia's first invasion of Ukraine and seizure of Crimea in 2014. "For us," said Anatoly Sukhalov, who takes care of the cemetery, "this war has been going on for a long time."

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Latest Article from Ilan Berman

Western Business Is Still Sustaining Russia's War

January 30, 2023  •  The Hill

How is Russia still fighting in Ukraine? Nearly a year into the "special military operation" against its western neighbor, Russian President Vladimir Putin's military misadventure has exacted enormous costs on the country's armed forces and transformed Moscow into a global pariah with precious few dependable international partners. Over time, knowledgeable observers have predicted, this state of affairs will dramatically impoverish the Russian state. For the time being, however, many have puzzled over precisely how the Kremlin has managed to sustain its war of choice. Part of the answer lies in energy. The country's current account surplus hit a record high of $227 billion last year in spite of Western pressure, as a result of continued oil and gas exports abroad and a reduction in imports. Quite simply, Moscow has managed to stay afloat, at least so far, by selling its energy to willing consumers (like China), while bringing in fewer goods from abroad. As a result, it still has money to burn on its war machine. But another significant reason for this continued solvency has to do with Russia's commercial ties with the West. That's because, despite extensive international sanctions and widespread commitments from politicians and corporate leaders, only a tiny percentage of Western firms have actually ceased doing business in the Russian Federation.

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Latest Article from Michael Freund

Joe Biden's condescension toward Israel

January 13, 2023  •  Jerusalem Post

Reports of an impending visit to Israel by a US secretary of state should normally give cause for diplomatic delight, highlighting as they do the strong and profound bilateral relationship that exists between the two countries.

As perennial allies with shared values and common strategic and national interests, it is only natural that a huddle by senior American and Israeli officials would be expected to bolster the bonds of fraternity.

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Latest Article from Jonathan Schanzer

It's not just the EU that needs to scrutinize Qatar's influence campaigns

December 19, 2022  •  Politico Europe

Last weekend, Belgian police arrested European Parliament Vice President Eva Kaili. They are now investigating at least 10 other European Union employees and officials, and authorities have further confiscated up to €750,000 in cash, which EU officials reportedly accepted as bribes.

All this reportedly stems from efforts by the tiny Gulf emirate of Qatar to buy influence in Brussels. But this EU scandal is hardly the only indication of Qatar's efforts to do so worldwide.

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Latest Article from Soeren Kern

Will Tehran's 'Strategic Outpost' in Germany Finally Be Closed?

November 18, 2022  •  Focus on Western Islamism

Germany's parliament, outraged by the Iranian government's deadly crackdown on anti-regime protesters, has called for the permanent closure of a controversial mosque in Hamburg that is used by Iran's theocratic regime to export its Islamic Revolution to Europe.

The Islamic Center of Hamburg (Islamischen Zentrum Hamburg, IZH), described by German intelligence officials as a leading "propaganda center" of the Islamic Republic in Europe, is well known for spreading anti-Western, anti-Semitic, and anti-Israel extremist ideology.

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Latest Article from Asaf Romirowsky

The Hijacking of Middle East Studies

November 4, 2022  •  Tablet

Few trends in academia are more depressing than the continued domination of Middle Eastern studies departments by postcolonial professors whose shtick involves recycling cliched attacks on the United States as the "Great Satan" and Israel as the "Little Satan." The results of this trend are evident in faculty antipathy toward Israel, which is increasingly playing out in their support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

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Latest Article from Clare M. Lopez

The Role of Biological Warfare in China's Drive for Global Hegemony

October 31, 2022

In July 2021, Congressman Mo Brooks (R-AL) issued a Press Release that, to date, stands out for its courage and honesty. Rep. Brooks wrote about a meeting he'd attended with Dr. Li-Meng Yan, a Chinese medical doctor, Ph.D. virologist, and whistleblower, who fled to the U.S. from Hong Kong in 2020 after being threatened with being "disappeared" for speaking out about the origins of the SARS-CoV-2. Her mission since then has been to warn America and the world about the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)'s offensive Biological Warfare (BW) program.

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Latest Article from Henry I. Miller M.D.

A Biotech Bureaucratic Bonanza
How Biden's attempt to boost the "bioeconomy" could do the opposite

October 13, 2022  •  City Journal

Half a century ago, biotechnology became a marketing buzzword for the products and processes that used then-new techniques of genetic modification, such as recombinant DNA technology, or "gene splicing." Today, that term has given way to "the bioeconomy," the economic output from biotechnology, which President Biden's September 12 "Executive Order 14081 on Advancing Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing" seeks to grow with new industrial policy.

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