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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 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

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