Resisting the Islamic State from Within

Heroes in obscurity.

Perhaps the best book I ever read was Natan Sharansky’s Fear No Evil, a memoir of his time in Soviet custody and an explanation of how he outwitted his KGB interrogators as they sought to break him. Almost every activist imagines that he is speaking truth to power, but to do so when power is overwhelming takes both courage and skill. But while the KGB sought totalitarian control, they could be subtle. That is one adjective that cannot be applied to the Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL, Daesh).

19
Shares
Google+ Print

Resisting the Islamic State from Within

Must-Reads from Magazine

Do Arabs Back Israel in a Clash with Iran?

Reality beckons.

After issuing a rare rebuke of Iran’s repeated calls for Israel’s destruction on Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov added that Moscow also opposes “attempts to view any regional problem through the prism of fighting Iran.” Unfortunately for him, that’s precisely the way most of the Middle East does view many regional problems, as revealed by a stunning informal poll which an Al Jazeera talk show host conducted among his tens of thousands of Arabic-language Twitter followers on February 10. Asked which side they supported in a recent Israeli-Iranian clash in Syria, fully 56 percent–12,800 people–said they backed Israel.

0
Shares
Google+ Print

The Russian Meddling Was in Our Hearts

Podcast: How serious was Russia's intervention in 2016?

Robert Mueller’s special counsel’s office issues a series of indictments that establish the facts of Russia’s efforts to influence the political process in 2016, which are incontrovertible and disturbing but also objectively underwhelming. The COMMENTARY Podcast hosts explore the renewed debate over Russian meddling and the ongoing campaign to secure new gun laws in the wake of the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida.

2
Shares
Google+ Print

Overwrought Democrats Blew It on Tax-Code Reform

Apocalypse, later.

Until recently, the first year of Donald Trump’s presidency seemed like an eerie mirror-image reflection of Barack Obama’s first year in office.

10
Shares
Google+ Print

Embarrassing Persistence of Campus Speech Codes

Talk about an "embarrassment."

In the late 1980s, numerous colleges and universities designed and adopted speech codes to curtail racist and other discriminatory speech. You can’t say they weren’t provoked. The University of Michigan, for example, adopted its code in the wake of a number of incidents including the distribution of fliers peppered with disgusting racial slurs that declared an “open season” on blacks. But at least at public universities, which must respect the First Amendment as agents of the state, these speech codes have been constitutional losers.

12
Shares
Google+ Print

Can Trump Have a Bad Week Anymore?

They're with him.

Donald Trump traveled to Florida on Friday at the end of a nightmarish week for the nation. The shooting deaths of 17 people, many of them teenagers, has sent the nation reeling into an increasingly routinized cycle of grievance and recrimination. The familiar debate over what federal response, if any, could have prevented this atrocity or interdict future episodes of mass violence has, however, largely bypassed the president. Trump tweeted condolences, and he briefly addressed the nation, but his presence in the post-Parkland shooting national debate was almost apparitional. The response to this event has largely focused on the Republican majority in Congress. That is instructive; after a year of near ubiquity, Donald Trump might be relinquishing the hold he has had on the national imagination.

29
Shares
Google+ Print