The Great Debate

Vladimir Putin and Benjamin Netanyahu in the top 10 most admired in U.S. Why?

By Neal Gabler
January 9, 2015

Vladimir Putin rides with enthusiasts during his visit to a bike festival in the southern Russian city of Novorossiisk

When Gallup issued its annual poll of the men Americans most admired in 2014, it featured two improbable names at No. 10: Russian President Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. All things considered, 2014 wasn’t a terribly good year for either.

Will France fall into the trap of pitting ‘Islamism’ vs. ‘Nativism?’

By Carlo Invernizzi Accetti
January 8, 2015

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The brutal attack that took place in Paris Wednesday on the headquarters of the satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo, leaving at least 12 dead and more than 20 injured, could lead to dreadful consequences. 

The IAEA can’t guarantee any nuclear program is peaceful

By Yousaf Butt
January 8, 2015

An Iranian operator monitors the nuclear power plant unit in Bushehr

Having failed to reach an agreement on a comprehensive nuclear accord in November, Tehran and the six world powers set a new deadline — July 1, 2015. The diplomats are to meet again on Jan. 18, though prospects for a rapid breakthrough remain thin. One big roadblock is that the International Atomic Energy Agency has set for itself the impossible goal of verifying the “purely peaceful” nature of Iran’s nuclear program.

World’s cartoonists respond to the attack on ‘Charlie Hebdo’

By Jason Fields
January 7, 2015

The outpouring in reaction to the killing of 12 in an attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris — known for its cartoons that took on politicians and religious figures, including the Prophet Mohammad — was spontaneous and pointed. Below is a sampling of some of the cartoons that are being shared on Twitter, most with the hashtag #jesuischarlie — I am Charlie.

Syrian war and Israeli spies mean hard times for Hezbollah

By Tom Rogan
January 7, 2015

A view shows the wreath offered by Iranian Parliament Speaker Larijani at the grave of assassinated Hezbollah military commander Imad Moughniyeh inBeirut

Drained and delegitimized by the Syrian civil war, penetrated by Israeli intelligence and separated from traditional allies, the Lebanese group Hezbollah’s self-proclaimed glory days of 2006, when it went to war with Israel, have never seemed so distant.

Vladimir Putin’s economic plan: Bread and vodka

By William E. Pomeranz
January 7, 2015

Russia's President Putin gestures as he watches the launch of the newest heavy-class Angara-A5 rocket at Plesetsk cosmodrome in Arkhangelsk region

President Vladimir Putin needs two years to fix Russia’s current economic mess. At least that is what he gave himself at his December end-of-year news conference.

Why the Palestinian Authority may never take Israel to court

By Salma Karmi-Ayyoub
January 6, 2015

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas gestures as he speaks during the opening ceremony of "Jerusalem in Memory" exhibition in the West Bank city of Ramallah

The Palestinian Authority has finally applied to join the International Criminal Court, after months of threatening to do so. But will the PA use the court to hold Israel to account for potential war crimes?

Time to end special privileges for Cuban immigrants

By Susan Eckstein
January 6, 2015

Cuban refugees hold up empty jugs as they beg for water while floating on the high seas in home-made..            

President Barack Obama has taken initial steps toward overhauling the broken U.S. immigration system and failed Cuba policy. It is also time to bring Washington’s Cuban immigration policy in line with other foreign-born people. Cubans enjoy unique immigration privileges that are no longer justifiable.

If the Internet becomes a public utility, you’ll pay more. Here’s why.

By Grover G. Norquist and Patrick Gleason
January 6, 2015

An illustration picture shows logos of Google and Yahoo connected with LAN cables in Berlin

The Federal Communications Commission is in the middle of a high-stakes decision that could raise taxes for close to 90 percent of Americans. The commission is considering whether to reclassify broadband as a telecommunications service and, in doing so, Washington would trigger new taxes and fees at the state and local level.

from Edward Hadas:

The oil price is just plain wrong

By Edward Hadas
January 5, 2015

The price sign outside Costco in Westminster, Colorado, shows gas selling for $1.81.9 for the first time in years

The oil price is still too high, often too low and much too volatile. In other words, this is a market that doesn’t work well for anyone.