Essays

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Essays

 
“Trickle Down” Theory and “Tax Cuts for the Rich”

This essay unscrambles gross misconceptions that have made rational debates about tax policies virtually impossible for decades.


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Courage Under Fire

When physical disability from combat wounds brought about Jim Stockdale's early retirement from military life, he had the distinction of being the only three-star officer in the history of the navy to wear both aviator wings and the Congressional Medal of Honor. His writings have been many and varied, but all converge on the central theme of how man can rise with dignity to prevail in the face of adversity.


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In Retreat

Russell A. Berman explains how the US withdrawal from the Middle East could have long-term consequences, as other states come forward to fill the gap. He details how the retreat began and how the reduction of the US commitment has, in turn, set off a wave of repercussions.


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Israel and the Arab Turmoil

Itamar Rabinovich is president of the Israel Institute. He served as Israel’s ambassador to Washington and chief negotiator with Syria and was president of Tel Aviv University. He is a professor emeritus of Middle Eastern history at Tel Aviv University, distinguished global professor at New York University, and a distinguished senior fellow at the Saban Center at the Brookings Institution. His most recent book is The Lingering Conflict: Israel, the Arabs, and the Middle East 1948–2011 (Brookings Institution Press, 2012).


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Reflections on the Revolution in Egypt

The author offers insights on Egypt’s failed revolution: how it happened and why it did not succeed. Samuel Tadros raises long-unanswered questions about Egypt’s revolutionaries, focusing on who they were, where they came from, and much more.


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Syria, Iran, and Hezbollah

Marius Deeb, an Oxford-educated authority on Middle Eastern politics and history, in a detailed sequel to his authoritative Syria’s Terrorist War on Lebanon and the Peace Process, details how the coalition of Syria, Iran, and Hezbollah has used assassination, terrorism, and force against the peaceful and liberal democratic Cedar Revolution, trying to undermine its success in pushing the Syrian Army out of Lebanon and in winning the parliamentary elections of 2005 and 2009.


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The Consequences of Syria

Lee Smith analyzes the current US administration’s stance on Syria, questioning whether it will build the foundations of a new Middle East or usher in an era of instability that will affect the entire world. The author contends that the many apparent shifts in the administration’s Syria policy were part of a messaging campaign intended to camouflage President Barack Obama’s determination to stay out of the Syrian conflict.


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The Struggle for Mastery in the Fertile Crescent

Fouad Ajami analyzes the struggle for influence along the Fertile Crescent--the stretch of land that runs from Iran's border with Iraq to the Meditterranean--among three of the regional powers who have stepped into the vacuum left by the West: Iran, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia. He explains that, of the three powers competing for influence, Saudi Arabia and Iran are in it for the long haul. Each of those powers has a sense of mission and constituencies that enable them to stick it out and pay the price for a sphere of influence. Ajami details each country's prospects for supremacy and asserts that Iran must ultimately be reckoned to be the strongest.


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The Weaver's Lost Art

Looking beneath the surface of strategy, policy, and daily operations, the author uses the analogy of weaving to review the United States’ historical responsibility maintaining international peace and security. He shows why we must marshal all possible elements in the Middle East, and supporters from without, to defeat the enemies of order in the region.


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The Ideological Struggle for Pakistan

This assessment of the struggle for Pakistan's identity, from its birth in 1947 to the present day, provides a political and cultural understanding of the role and use of Islam in its evolution. The author, a Pakistani scholar, shows how Pakistan's viability as a state depends in large part on its ability to develop a new and progressive Islamic narrative.


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Islamism and the Future of the Christians of the Middle East

This is a sobering account of the ordeal of Christian Arabs of the Middle East in this era of Islamist radicalism. Although those Christians are leaving their homelands in record numbers, the author laments, the powers of the West have shown little interest in their fate.


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Saudi Arabia and the New Strategic Landscape

Joshua Teitelbaum evaluates Saudi foreign policy in the Persian Gulf and in the Arab-Israeli peace process and provides a shrewd assessment of the Saudi-U.S. relationship. He debunks the traditional view of Saudi foreign policy that emphasizes the Saudi concern with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and explains how the true concern of Arabia's rulers is the ideological battle that has been opened up by Iran's push into Arab affairs.


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Why Government Is the Problem

Friedman discusses a government system that is no longer controlled by "we, the people." Instead of Lincoln's government "of the people, by the people, and for the people," we now have a government "of the people, by the bureaucrats, for the bureaucrats," including the elected representatives who have become bureaucrats.


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Syria through Jihadist Eyes

With field notes accumulated in a Syrian environment not generally hospitable to research and inquiry, Nibras Kazimi provides a unique view of the Syrian regime and its base at home, filling a void in our understanding of the intelligence barons and soldiers who run that country. He offers a look at the tactical, propagandists and strategic ingredients required, in jihadist eyes, for a successful jihad—and whether those ingredients are available in Syria.


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