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inFOCUS Quarterly

Winter 2015

Ideas for a New Congress


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Articles by the JPC

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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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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The Hollow Coalition

by Gabriel Scheinmann and Raphael Cohen
November 5, 2014 | Foreign Affairs

Three months since U.S. bombs first struck Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) targets in Iraq, the Obama administration has touted its 62-country coalition as a crowning achievement. Although this number might seem impressive, however, it is misleading. Of the 62 nominal allies for Operation Inherent Resolve (as the campaign is now called), only 16 have actually committed military forces, and only 11 have conducted offensive operations to date. Many appear willing to pay lip service to U.S. President Barack Obama's condemnation of ISIS, only to ignore his subsequent call to arms.

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Iran Leads at Halftime: Game Over?

by Shoshana Bryen
October 31, 2014 | Gatestone Institute

A deal that is not a capitulation requires two conditions: the parties must equally value the process; and there has to be a compatible endgame. The West invested the process with much more value than did Iran, providing the mullahs with instant leverage, but most important, there was no agreed-upon endgame. The P5+1 wanted to negotiate the terms of Iran's nuclear surrender; Iran was negotiating the conditions under which it would operate its nuclear program.

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The Enemy of My Enemy…

by Gabriel Scheinmann
October 31, 2014 | Moment Magazine

At the United Nations in early fall, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that "a broader rapprochement between Israel and the Arab world" could not only help defeat the twin threats of a nuclear Iran and Sunni jihadism but could also help "facilitate an Israeli-Palestinian peace." Given the perceived regional dominance of Sunni Arabs, such an approach appears tempting. After all, in the Middle East, the Arabs are king‚ÄĒin some cases literally, as with the royal families of Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Jordan. All but five modern Middle Eastern states have Sunni Arab majorities. Historic opportunities for collaboration do certainly exist.

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Chemical Weapons Revelations in the Middle East

by Shoshana Bryen
October 17, 2014 | American Thinker

Two chemical weapons-related stories this week should be considered separate, not necessarily interchangeable, parts of a whole.

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Support Allies, Not Terrorists

by Shoshana Bryen
October 15, 2014 | Gatestone Institute

Fighters in Kobani found desperate ways to slow down ISIS over the weekend, but lack serious weapons and intelligence to advance their position. Under the circumstance of immediate and critical fighting, Kerry's international party should have been trying to aid the Kurds, our friends and the mortal enemy of ISIS, instead of trying to lavish more international funds on Hamas and Fatah -- two sides of a movement dedicated to the destruction of Israel.

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