Michael Rubin
Michael Rubin
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review
 

Latest Articles

Learning to Love the Unlovable Saudis

April 15, 2016  •  Newsweek

Let's face it: It's hard to like the Saudis.

It's an autocracy. Their princes behave badly. Saudi diplomats race through the streets in foreign capitals oblivious to public safety, and sometimes drunk. In the Middle East, they have a reputation as rude, entitled, lazy, and brutal. They consider women second-class citizens. Up until a few years ago, there was hardly a Sunni Islamist terror group that the Saudis did not bankroll privately if not officially. Most of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudi and the still classified portion of the 9/11 Joint Congressional Report reportedly suggests at least some official Saudi complicity.

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Pakistan on the Mediterranean

March 28, 2016  •  The Washington Free Beacon

On March 18, European and Turkish diplomats signed off on a comprehensive deal on migrants pouring from Syria, Iraq, and elsewhere in the Middle East through Turkey and into the European Union. Under the terms of the deal, for every illegal migrant the E.U. returns to Turkey, Turkey would send one refugee for resettlement in Europe. Additionally, Turkey and Europe agreed to re-open discussions concerning the Muslim country's efforts to join the E.U., and Europe agreed to allow Turks visa-free travel throughout the Schengen zone.

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Will There Be a Coup Against Erdogan in Turkey?

March 24, 2016  •  Newsweek

The situation in Turkey is bad and getting worse. It's not just the deterioration in security amidst a wave of terrorism. Public debt might be stable, but private debt is out-of-control, the tourism sector is in free-fall, and the decline in the currency has impacted every citizen's buying power. There is a broad sense, election results notwithstanding, that President Recep Tayyip Erdo─čan is out-of-control. He is imprisoning opponents, seizing newspapers left and right, and building palaces at the rate of a mad sultan or aspiring caliph. In recent weeks, he has once again threatened to dissolve the constitutional court. Corruption is rife. His son Bilal reportedly fled Italy on a forged Saudi diplomatic passport as the Italian police closed in on him in an alleged money laundering scandal. His outbursts are raising eyebrows both in Turkey and abroad. Even members of his ruling party whisper about his increasing paranoia which, according to some Turkish officials, has gotten so bad that he seeks to install anti-aircraft missiles at his palace to prevent airborne men-in-black from targeting him in a snatch-and-grab operation.

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Colin Powell Should Disavow His Hateful Aide

March 18, 2016  •  Newsweek

The 2016 Election Campaign will go down in the history books. The Ku Klux Klan has managed to insert itself into both the Republican and Democratic debate. The press has criticized Donald Trump especially for being too slow to denounce the hateful rhetoric of some of his supporters. It should be a no-brainer for any mainstream politician to reject racial and religious hatred and the wild conspiracy theories that breed them. But, unfortunately, wavering and silence in the face of hate isn't new.

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Social Welfare Is Killing Refugees

March 7, 2016  •  National Review Online

The Syrian refugee crisis continues unabated. Millions have fled the country to refugee camps in Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan, and millions more take enormous risks to reach refuge in Europe. In both the United States and Europe, the response to the refugee flow is often discussed in a humanitarian framework: The refugees should not be forced to return to Syria, where they would face torture, imprisonment, and death. Last week, at the Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi, Dutch-Ghanaian activist Manuella Appiah argued that international law requires the West to embrace Syrian refugees. And none other than Pope Francis sought to rationalize the Arab influx into Europe as just one among many migrations to Europe that have enriched the continent throughout its history. Policymakers, diplomats, and elite journalists preach that the West, if it is to remain true to its liberal values, has a responsibility to shelter and protect the refugees; meanwhile, nativism is rising as the general public revolts against such sanctimony.

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Books by Michael Rubin

Cover of Dancing with the Devil Cover of Eternal Iran Cover of Into the Shadows

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