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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 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

Illustration on Syria's role in middle-east peace by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

What's at stake in Syria

Syria is a far-away land about which we know little. But we do know this: Over the past seven years, more than a half million people have been slaughtered there, with an estimated 150 murdered by chemical weapons just last weekend in a town outside Damascus. Published April 10, 2018

Illustration on American anti-globalism by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Give anti-globalism a chance

"Globalism" is one of those Humpty Dumpty words that seems to mean whatever those using it "choose it to mean — neither more nor less." Published April 3, 2018

Fair and Free Elections Illustration by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

The problem with promoting democracy

In a better world, I'd be enthusiastically in favor of democracy promotion and even nation-building — more correctly called state-building. But we don't live in a better world. Published March 27, 2018

Illustration on the political situation of Egypt by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

The Egyptian riddle

With presidential elections coming up on March 26, Egypt's capital is festooned with campaign billboards and posters. That's an encouraging sight in the Middle East, and yet I sense that something is amiss. It takes me a while to realize what: The posters and billboards all feature one candidate, incumbent President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. Other contenders are nowhere to be seen. Published March 20, 2018

Illustration on unity of the Coptic and Islamic faiths by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

A pope and an imam

Pope Tawadros II had planned to spend last week on retreat in a monastery near Alexandria. But then Mohammed bin Salman, on a three-day visit to Egypt, asked to see him. Published March 13, 2018

Illustration contrasting the fictional nation of Wakanda, home of the Black Panther, with the tragic realities of present day Africa by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Black lives in Africa

No nation in Africa is receiving more attention right now than Wakanda. And why not since, as Anthony Lane writes in The New Yorker, Wakanda is "a model of serenity," that also is "wisely ruled," in addition to being "an unplundered homeland, blooming from liberty rather than from bondage." Published February 27, 2018

Illustration on the complicated peace process in Gaza by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Hopeless in Gaza

Gaza has been an unhappy place for a long time but the situation is now reportedly growing desperate. Jobs are scarce, electricity is intermittent, drinking water is unsafe, and raw sewage released into the Mediterranean is washing up on Gaza's white sandy beaches. Published February 20, 2018

Illustration on obstacles to Middle East peace by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Why peace can't be processed now

Decade after decade, one administration after another has set in motion what has been called a "peace process." None has come close to ending the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Published February 13, 2018

Illustration on Russian meddling in U.S. affairs by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Russia's disinformation offensive

Just so there's no confusion: This column is not about Americans conspiring or colluding or coordinating with Russians. That's a separate controversy about which I don't have a lot to say at this moment. Published February 6, 2018

Illustration on nuclear threats to the United States by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Ranking America's enemies

High among President Trump's first-year achievements: Appointing James Mattis secretary of Defense. His experience, knowledge, dedication and just plain toughness qualify him, perhaps uniquely, for what he clearly sees as the most important mission of his life — ensuring that America's military forces are equal to the threats they will face over the years ahead. Published January 30, 2018

Illustration on Hezbollah by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

The terrorist A-Team

Fifteen years ago, deputy secretary of state Richard Armitage called Hezbollah the "A-Team of terrorists." He regarded al Qaeda as less capable, maybe a B-Team (though certainly not a JV-Team). Published January 23, 2018

Illustration on the need for a bipartisan immigration deal by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

The president's speech

Much of my so-called career as a foreign correspondent was spent in countries that could accurately be described with the scatological adjective allegedly uttered by President Trump last week. Published January 16, 2018

Europe's silence

It's tempting to say that Europe's leaders lack the courage of their convictions. But that would imply that they have convictions. The evidence suggests those days are gone. Published January 9, 2018

Illustration on the potential for Iranian popular revolt against the current regime by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Eruption in Iran

The revolution that transformed Iran in 1979 was a grand experiment. From that moment on, Iran would be ruled by an ayatollah, a man with deep knowledge of sharia, Islamic law. Published January 2, 2018

Illustration on Trump's national security strategy by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

The dangerous world of Donald Trump

A National Security Strategy is less a plan of action than an attempt to prioritize. Who, in the president's judgment, most threatens America? What means do we have and what capabilities must we develop to defend the homeland and protect our freedoms? Published December 26, 2017

Illustration on Mohammed bin Salman by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

The man who would be Saudi king

Mohammad bin Salman is a young man in a hurry. When I visited Saudi Arabia back in February he was only the deputy crown prince. Nevertheless, it was he — not 81-year-old King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and not the crown prince, 58-year-old Muhammad bin Nayef — who was the talk of the town. Published November 28, 2017

Illustration on territories liberated from ISIS by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

The battle for the lands of the caliphate

Soon after taking office, President Trump ordered his national security advisers to provide "a complete strategic review of our policy toward the rogue regime in Iran." Last month, based on that review, he announced a new strategy "to confront the Iranian regime's hostile actions," including its development of missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads, its support for terrorists, and its neo-imperialist aggressions. This month that strategy is facing its first serious test. Published November 21, 2017

Illustration on nostalgia for Communism by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Came the revolution

My political orientation has evolved slowly over decades. With one exception: I became anti-Soviet and anti-Communist overnight. More quickly than that, actually. Published November 14, 2017