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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 aggressors posing as victims by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Aggressors posing as victims

There are victims and then there are victims. Too often, I think, we worry about the wrong ones. Published February 3, 2015

Illustration on the need for sanctions against Iran by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

The case for deadline-triggered sanctions

Experienced negotiators know this: The side most willing to walk away from the table generally wins. The side that seems desperate for a deal loses. Yet President Obama is telling the entire world that he needs an agreement with Iran's rulers more than they need an agreement with him. Published January 20, 2015

From Salman Rushdie to Charlie Hebdo

Let's get a few things straight: The slaughter of eight satirical journalists in Paris last week was not a tragedy. It was an atrocity. While you may have been shocked by the attack on Charlie Hebdo, anyone who was surprised has not been paying close attention to the events unfolding over recent decades. Published January 13, 2015

Napoleon in Egypt Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Napoleon in the Middle East

A few pages into "Napoleon: A Life," historian Andrew Roberts notes that the great general regarded himself as "of the race that founds empires." Published January 6, 2015

Illustration on cyber threats to U.S. free speech by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Cyberwar on free speech: Whose job is it to defend the most basic of civil rights?

Last Friday, in his end-of-the-year press conference, President Obama scolded Sony Pictures. Canceling the theatrical release of "The Interview" following cyberattacks from North Korea, he said, was "a mistake." Two days later, on CNN, he added that North Korea had committed an act of "cybervandalism." Published December 23, 2014

Illustration on the need for enhanced interrogation for national security by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

America needs its rough men

In spring 2009, I was invited to debate "torture" with Jon Stewart on "The Daily Show." He gave me an opportunity to make a case with which he vehemently disagreed. He didn't spout prepackaged sound bites — he presented thoughtful counterarguments. Not many television talk show hosts are willing — or able — to do that. Published December 16, 2014

Illustration on coming to terms with Islamic extremism by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Why fighting extremists can't be politically correct

Rarely do so many distinguished members of the foreign policy community gather in a single room. But this was the Great Hall of the United States Institute of Peace: a Washington "institution established and funded by Congress to increase the nation's capacity to manage international conflict without violence." Published December 9, 2014

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan listens to Pope Francis during a meeting at the Presidential palace in Ankara, Turkey, Friday, Nov. 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici) ** FILE **

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the neo-Ottoman

Turkey should have been part of the solution. Instead, it's become part of the problem. The problem, of course, is the spread of jihadism throughout the Middle East, North Africa and beyond. Published December 2, 2014

Illustration on Middle East violence by Julius/Horsens Folkeblad, Horsens, Denmark

Slaughter in the synagogue

Executioners for the Islamic State use knives to cut the throats of Christians, Yazidis and "apostate" Muslims. Palestinian executioners last week used knives and a meat cleaver to slaughter Jewish worshippers at a synagogue in West Jerusalem. Published November 25, 2014

Illustration on The Economist's recent apologetic issue for Iran by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

The Economist misjudges Iran

"The revolution is over." When journalists at The Economist, one of the world's most influential publications, run that headline on a cover story, "a special report" on the "new Iran," you assume they have solid evidence to support their thesis. Published November 11, 2014

Topographic rendering of the Rawabi planned city                                           Rawabi Foundation image

Building a shining Palestinian city on a hill

Trust me on this: Reconciliation between Palestinians and Israelis will not be achieved anytime soon, no matter what the professional peace processors say or do. Here in Rawabi, though, modest progress toward that goal is at least possible to imagine. Published November 4, 2014

Illustration on concerted international efforts to demonize Israel by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Israel and the war of words

Last week, a terrorist drove his car into a crowd at a light-rail station, killing a three-month-old baby. Eight others were injured, including a 22-year-old woman who died a few days later. Published October 28, 2014

Illustration on the television show "Homeland" by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

'Homeland' under attack

Are the cast, crew and fans of "Homeland" — Showtime's television series about a brilliant but neurotic CIA agent — Islamophobes? Published October 21, 2014

Illustration on Iran's continued nuclear weapons development by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Iran taking advantage of the focus on ISIS

In his address to the United Nations General Assembly last week, President Obama called the conflict in the Middle East "a fight no one is winning." Published September 30, 2014

Illustration on Scotland's remaining in the British Union by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Why Scotland decided to keep the United Kingdom united

I imagine James Bond is relieved. After all, one can't very well be "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" if one is no longer Her Britannic Majesty's subject — which one would not be had a majority of Scots voted for independence, thereby severing the knot Scotland and England tied 307 years ago. Published September 23, 2014