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Clifford D. May

Clifford D. May

Clifford D. May is president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and a columnist for The Washington Times.

Articles by Clifford D. May

Illustration on the failure of commercial reform of criminal regimes by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Criminal regimes against the rest of us

Imagine you live in a nice, quiet town and aim to keep it that way. You own a business. Your customers are friendly. Your vendors are honest. People respect one another. They abide by the rules. Then, one day, criminals move into the neighborhood. Do you welcome the thugs, thieves and murderers, conduct business with them and attempt to integrate them into your village? Published September 18, 2018

Illustration on Islamist extremism by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Extremism and fragile states

Last year, Congress asked the U.S. Institute of Peace, a government-funded think tank, to develop "a comprehensive plan to prevent the underlying causes of extremism in fragile states in the Sahel, Horn of Africa, and the Near East." Published September 11, 2018

Illustration on America's lack of awareness about Islamist terror by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

The 'Long War' is not getting shorter

Seventeen years ago next week, out of a clear blue sky, Americans were massacred on a scale unprecedented since Pearl Harbor. Published September 4, 2018

Illustration on BDS by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

The sparkling waters of the West Bank

In this topsy-turvy world, if you'd like to see Palestinians living in peace, gainfully employed, with access to quality medical care and reason to believe tomorrow will be brighter than today, you're denounced as anti-Palestinian. Published August 28, 2018

Illustration on China as a rival to the U.S. by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

The China syndrome

Pollsters at the Pew Research Center recently asked an intriguing question: Who is the "most important partner for American foreign policy?" Published August 21, 2018

Illustration on the EU's euphoric view of Iran's intentions by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Imagining the Islamic Republic

Last week, the European Union issued a statement on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the nuclear weapons deal concluded with Iran's rulers, from which President Trump withdrew three months ago. Published August 14, 2018

Illustration on elections in Turkey and Pakistan by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

In Turkey and Pakistan, discouraging elections

Not so long ago, freedom and democracy seemed to be on the march in the world, with Turkey and Pakistan, two strategically important Muslim-majority nations, near the front of the parade. That turns out to have been an illusion. Elections recently held in these countries have, paradoxically, made that clear. Published July 31, 2018

Illustration on freedom of religion by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Advancing freedom of religion globally

Twenty years ago, President Clinton, with bipartisan support, signed into law the International Religious Freedom Act. The intention: To enshrine religious freedom as a core component of American foreign policy, and spread the blessings of religious liberty around the world. Published July 24, 2018

Preservation of the NATO Treaty Illustration by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Making NATO great again

NATO's first Secretary General, Lord Hastings Lionel Ismay, articulated the military alliance's mission succinctly: "Keep the Soviet Union out, the Americans in, and the Germans down." Published July 17, 2018

Illustration on dealing with Iran by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Iran's greedy demands

Britain, France and Germany are three of America's closest allies, but they don't always act like it. Last week in Vienna, their foreign ministers met with the foreign ministers of China and Russia, strategic adversaries of the U.S., as well as the foreign minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran, a regime whose rallying cry for almost 40 years has been "Death to America!" Published July 10, 2018

Illustration on Israeli/Palestinian amity by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Palestinians have mail

For years, smart and well-meaning "peace processors" have worked hard to find a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. They've never come close. Published July 3, 2018

Nikki Haley illustration by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Nikki Haley, a woman for our times

President Ronald Reagan's 1981 appointment of Jeane Kirkpatrick as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations did not meet with universal approval. Never before had a woman held that position. And this woman happened to be a member of the opposition party. Nevertheless, Mr. Reagan chose her as his envoy to the global institution and included her in his cabinet. Published June 26, 2018

Illustration on Trump's 4-minute video by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Trump's bunker buster video blockbuster

Decade after decade, one U.S. president after another, Democrat and Republican alike, knew that the tyrants who rule North Korea were slowly but surely developing the means to incinerate American cities. Those presidents did nothing, or at least nothing effective. Published June 19, 2018

Ronald Reagan's freedom agenda

Ronald Reagan was tough on totalitarians. On March 8, 1983, and to the chagrin of many of his advisers, he disparaged the Soviet Union as an "evil empire." On June 12, 1987, standing by the barrier designed to prevent East Germans from escaping into West Berlin, and again ignoring top deputies, he called on Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to "tear down this wall!" Published June 12, 2018

Illustration on pressuring North Korea and Iran by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Pushing North Korea and Iran to the brink

It's a simple question to ask: Do we have a vital national interest in preventing our self-declared enemies from acquiring deliverable nuclear weapons? Published June 5, 2018

Illustration on reassessing East/West relations by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Beyond Orientalism

Bernard Lewis, the incomparable scholar of the Middle East and Islam, died last week. I cannot claim to have known Professor Lewis well, but one didn't need to spend much time in his presence to recognize how extraordinary he was. So rather than mourn, I intend to continue learning from him — from his life, literature and legacy. I also plan to raise a glass to him on May 31, his 102nd birthday. Published May 29, 2018

Illustration on Hamas' goals towards Israel nby Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

For Hamas and its allies, the worse the better

There was a time when even inveterate haters of Israel refrained from making common cause with terrorists, jihadists and exterminationists. That time has passed. Published May 22, 2018

Illustration on nuclear negotiations by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Trump's art of the nuclear deals

Donald Trump inherited two deadly serious national security crises, one in the Middle East, one in the Far East. Look closely and you'll see that these crises are inseverable. Published May 15, 2018

Illustration on the preservation of good relations with Kazakhstan by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

A little pivot to Central Asia

Kazakhstan is one of the 10 largest countries in the world, yet most Americans couldn't find it on a map. It spans Central Asia, home to the world's most sophisticated civilizations in the Middle Ages, yet most Americans know nothing of the region's ancient cities, scholars and poets. Today, Kazakhstan is a secular and anti-Islamist Muslim-majority nation, yet most Americans have no idea we have friends here. Published May 1, 2018

Illustration on options in Syria by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Middle East missions to accomplish

Can we at least agree that President Trump's decision to strike three chemical weapons facilities owned and operated by Bashar Assad — vassal of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Russia — was consistent with American values? Published April 17, 2018