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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. He can be reached at

Articles by Clifford D. May

Illustration on modern international challenges by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

How the United States and our allies should deal with enemies

David Kilcullen devotes much of his book to exploring how the dragons (Moscow and Beijing) and the snakes (Tehran, Pyongyang and non-state jihadi groups) have learned from each other, and become more dangerous in the process. Published March 10, 2020

Illustration on the persecution of Jimmy Lai by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

U.S. must demand that China release freedom fighter Jimmy Lai

Jimmy Lai was arrested last week. Conviction could mean five years in prison. Or more: "We have every reason to believe that the trial of traitors like Lai has only just begun," threatened an editorial in China's official Xinhua News Agency. Published March 3, 2020

Illustration on the U.N. Human Rights Council by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

United Nations Human Rights Council delegitimizes Israel

Last week, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, published a blacklist of 112 companies operating in the West Bank, 94 of them Israeli, six American and 12 from other countries. Published February 18, 2020

Illustration on the newest Middle East peace plan by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Two Palestinian dreams: Exterminate Israel and a real nation-state

Some Palestinians have long dreamed of creating, for the first time in history, their own nation-state. Others have long dreamed of exterminating Israel, the re-created nation-state of the Jewish people. The second dream has prevented realization of the first. Published February 4, 2020

Iranian regime's 'gray-zone' war tactics are the new norm

You heard it last week from smart people on both the left and right. President Trump's droning of Gen. Qassem Soleimani put America "on the brink of another war," wrote Martin Indyk, a distinguished fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. Echoed Fox News' Tucker Carlson: "It looked like we were on the brink there!" Published January 21, 2020

Illustration on U.S./Iranian relations by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Khamenei misjudges Trump and loses his leading terrorist

At 80 years of age, Ali Khamenei is an old man in a hurry. The ruler of the Islamic Republic of Iran regards himself as the leader of a global revolution, one that began years before the advent of al Qaeda, that jihadi-come-lately. Published January 7, 2020

Illustration on Nikki Haley by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Nikki Haley, all-American neo-Trumpian

From 2017 to 2019, Nikki Haley served as United States ambassador to the United Nations. She was a breath of fresh air -- proud of American achievements, unashamed of American power. Published December 31, 2019

. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

The war against Christians

Grinch that I am, in the days leading up to Christmas I immersed myself in "The Thirty-Year Genocide: Turkey's Destruction of its Christian Minorities, 1894-1924." Published December 24, 2019

The Jewish Question Illustration by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Anti-Semites suffer defeats in the U.K. and the U.S.

If you happen to be an anti-Semite, you've had a disappointing week. In Britain, the Labor Party suffered its worst defeat in decades. The election was a stunning rejection of Jeremy Corbyn, the party leader who has called members of Hamas and Hezbollah his "friends." Published December 17, 2019

Illustration on religious freedom by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Troubles between Congress and religious freedom

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom is a small government agency that has done good work in the past and may do good work in the future -- if it's not transformed into a politicized bureaucracy. Published November 26, 2019

Illustration on tyranny around the globe by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Sanders, Omar not concerned about world's most oppressive empires

At a rally for Bernie Sanders in Minneapolis on Sunday, Rep. Ilhan Omar told a cheering crowd that she was excited to campaign for a presidential candidate who "will fight against Western imperialism and fight for a just world." Published November 5, 2019

This file image made from video posted on a militant website April 29, 2019, purports to show the leader of the Islamic State group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, being interviewed by his group's Al-Furqan media outlet. (Al-Furqan media via AP, File)

The end of al-Baghdadi but the Islamic State marches on

The elimination of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is a battle won. But it is not, by any stretch of the imagination, the end of the "endless war." Islamism, in all its fury and diversity, goes marching on. Published October 29, 2019

Illustration on the Syrian Kurd situation by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

The Kurds are not angels

Angels don't make great soldiers. And the Kurds, with American training, assistance, advice and combat air support, were enlisted to fight the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, a barbaric enemy of Americans, Kurds and other civilized nations. Published October 22, 2019