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inFOCUS Quarterly

Winter 2015

Ideas for a New Congress

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The U.S. as 'Pindostan'

by Shoshana Bryen
January 30, 2015 | American Thinker

It is a mistake to belittle Vladimir Putin. Dislike and distrust him, fine. Believe he is a monomaniacal empire-builder determined to restore Russia's former colonies and holdings, OK. To snicker at his bare-chested antics, particularly with animals, is probably unavoidable. But for all that, Putin is a man with a plan that should be understood by the American government, and in particular by Victoria Neuland, assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs. Instead, Ms. Neuland glibly poked at RT (Russia Today) while assuring Putin of the peaceful intentions of the U.S. and the West.

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Iran Doesn't Need Nuclear Weapons

by Shoshana Bryen
January 24, 2015 | American Thinker

In his State of the Union address, President Obama forcefully announced he would not accept "a nuclear-armed Iran." This reflects his view that the only objectionable element of Iran's behavior would be acquisition and possible use of such weapons. This is conveniently narrow.

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The West Bank Army of the "State of Palestine," Thanks to the United States

by Shoshana Bryen
January 21, 2015 | Gatestone Institute

Last week, officials from the U.S. Consulate in East Jerusalem attended a Palestinian protest over Israel's removal of olive trees illegally planted in the West Bank. Coordinated with the Palestinian Authority [PA] but not Israel, the Consulate personnel ended up clashing with Israelis living nearby. It was, perhaps, the quietest international almost-incident you never heard of.

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Israel: An Asset for Africa

by Gabriel Scheinmann
January 19, 2015 | The National Interest

President Obama's absence aside, last Sunday's parade of world leaders in Paris has spawned endless red-carpet commentary. Did Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu push his way to the front, which the opposition Labor party turned into a 1990s Frogger-like computer game, or was his prominent spot long reserved? Commentators agreed that former French president Nicolas Sarkozy's attempts to slide into the front row were decidedly gauche, spawning a series of images with Sarko present throughout key moments in world history. Another video mocked Turkish prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu for being the only leader who did not receive the customary French bise from French president Francois Hollande. Finally, an ultra-orthodox Israeli newspaper photo-shopped out German chancellor Angela Merkel and other female leaders from their front page. In the spirit of Charlie Hebdo, an Irish newspaper returned the favor and eliminated all male leaders from its photograph. Satire lives on.

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Back in Iraq: What Happened to AfPak?

by Shoshana Bryen
January 4, 2015 | American Thinker

The horrific attack on a school in Pakistan by Taliban gunmen that killed 132 people, mainly children, returned that unhappy country to the news headlines for a few days. ¬†But only a few ‚Äď it's gone again.

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Does Saudi Arabia Rule the World?

by Shoshana Bryen
December 30, 2014 | Gatestone Institute

Saudi Arabia does not control the price of oil, but it is trying to manipulate the current, temporary, price decline for its own purposes -- and it should be careful.

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Copernicus and America's Blame Israel Problem

by Gabriel Scheinmann
December 26, 2014 | The National Interest

Prussian astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus was a rebel and he knew it. Well aware how theologically radical and politically mutinous his ideas on heliocentrism were, he equivocated as to whether he should publish them. When he did so in 1543, he acknowledged his expected ostracism in a letter to the Pope: "when I considered in my own mind how absurd a performance it must seem to those who know that the judgment of many centuries has approved the view that the Earth remains fixed as center in the midst of the heavens, if I should, on the contrary, assert that the Earth moves; I was for a long time at a loss to know whether I should publish the commentaries which I have written in proof of its motion." Whatever hesitation he might have had in launching an assault on the Catholic Church's monopoly on scientific thought, he persevered. Shortly before his death, he published his seminal Revolutions of the Heavenly Bodies, asserting that the sun, not the earth, was at the center of the universe around which all other celestial bodies revolved.

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Cuba and the 'State of Palestine'

by Shoshana Bryen
December 21, 2014 | American Thinker

They arrest you for having an opinion ‚Äď any that isn't theirs. ¬†They arrest you for demanding elections; the last thing they want is to know you want different leadership. ¬†They arrest you for having a Facebook page that is out of step, or you don't have Facebook at all. ¬†Demanding accountability, transparency, clean government is certainly grounds for arrest. ¬†Reading the wrong books. ¬†Talking to the wrong people. ¬†Propaganda passing for news, often anti-American. ¬†They sponsor terrorism, provide intelligence for terrorism, condone and approve of terrorism. ¬†They have a heavy fist.

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History Tells a Tale Regarding Agreements with Iran

by Shoshana Bryen and Stephen Bryen
December 3, 2014 | American Thinker

A movement is afoot on Capitol Hill to "force" President Obama to submit any agreement between the United States and Iran to lawmakers, even if it isn't a treaty that requires ratification. The administration, not surprisingly, says there is no reason to do so.  It is also not terribly surprising that the president -- a half-term Senator -- is not conversant with the 1972 Case Act (1 U.S. Code § 112b - United States international agreements; transmission to Congress). It is more surprising that those who disagree with the president in this case don't appear to have looked it up.

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inCONTEXT Blog

U.S. National Killed During Attack in Libya

by Michael Johnson
January 29, 2015 at 5:13 pm

Nine people were killed, including a U.S. security contractor, during an attack on a luxury hotel in Tripoli, Libya earlier this week. As one of the worst acts of violence against foreigners in the Mediterranean country since the 2011 overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi the assault highlights the growing reaches of Islamic State's ideology outside of Iraq and Syria.

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Two IDF Soldiers Killed Near Lebanon Border

by Michael Johnson
January 28, 2015 at 2:45 pm

Two Israeli soldiers were killed Wednesday afternoon near the Lebanon border after their vehicle was hit by an anti-tank missile. At least seven other IDF troops were injured during the attack at Mt. Dov, making it the most violent confrontation between Hezbollah and Israel since the summer 2006 war.

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Yemeni President Resigns Following Rebel Demands

by Michael Johnson
January 22, 2015 at 4:53 pm

Yemen's embattled president agreed to a series of concessions to Iranian-supported Houthi rebels on Wednesday, before resigning late Thursday evening local time. The country's leader, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, had remained under de facto house arrest in the presidential residence since fighters surrounded government buildings in the capital, Sanaa, on Monday.

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Five Guantanamo Detainees Transferred

by Michael Johnson
January 15, 2015 at 4:25 pm

Five men held at the U.S. detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba were transferred to foreign governments, the Pentagon announced on Wednesday. Oman took four of the Yemeni nationals, with a fifth inmate traveling to Estonia. All of the prisoners had suspected links to al-Qaeda and had been incarcerated since 2001 or 2002, according to military documents previously published by WikiLeaks.

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Trial Against PLO Opens in Manhattan

by Michael Johnson
January 14, 2015 at 4:06 pm

Opening arguments in a lawsuit against the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Palestinian Authority (PA) began in a Manhattan federal courtroom on Tuesday. Over the next eight weeks, a jury will consider whether the two Palestinian leadership organizations should be held financially responsible for supporting terrorist attacks in Israel against U.S. citizens and interests between 2002 and 2004.

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Hamas Operative Sentenced to Life

by Michael Johnson
January 6, 2015 at 11:58 pm

An Israeli military court sentenced Hamas operative Hossam Qawasmeh to three terms of life in prison for his role in the kidnapping and murder three Israeli teenagers last summer. The tribunal, which convicted Qawasmeh last week, also ordered the 40-year-old to pay each of the three victims families $63,000 in compensation.

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