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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 Iranian manipulation of the U.S. by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

The new Persian empire

Eleven years ago, Henry Kissinger famously said that Iran's rulers must "decide whether they are representing a cause or a nation." If the latter, Iranian and American interests would be "compatible." As for the former: "If Tehran insists on combining the Persian imperial tradition with contemporary Islamic fervor, then a collision with America is unavoidable." Published September 19, 2017

Illustration on improving the U.N. by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Fixing the United Nations

The United Nations was created in the wake of World War II by the major Allied nations that had prevailed -- at an enormous cost in blood and treasure -- over the Axis powers. Its founders proclaimed ambitious goals: to "save succeeding generations from the scourge of war," "reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights" and "promote social progress." That the U.N. hasn't come close to succeeding should, by now, be obvious. Published September 12, 2017

Illustration on the 9/11 attacks by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Another grim anniversary

The approach of an anniversary of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 always concentrates my mind. It was, astonishingly, 16 Septembers ago that a team of foreign terrorists hijacked three American passenger planes and used them as weapons of mass destruction. Published September 5, 2017

In search of a grand U.S. strategy

Richard Nixon's rapprochement with China, the end of the Cold War, President Obama's outreach to "the Muslim world," the growth of the (largely American-funded) United Nations — weren't such developments supposed to lead to a safer world, one in which the "international community" would embrace "universal values" and pursue common interests — peace and security key among them? Published August 30, 2017

The Uphill Fight for Afghanistan Illustration by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Afghanistan and the war against the West

The conflict in Afghanistan is often referred to as "the longest war in American history." From that, you might infer that wars are normally brief. Not so. Published August 29, 2017

Replacing patriotism with tribalism

Just after last week's terrorist attack in Barcelona, a pro-Islamic State website posted video from the scene along with a message in Arabic saying, "Terror is filling the hearts of the Crusader in the Land of Andalusia." Published August 22, 2017

Illustration on the need for a U.S. comprehensive peace strategy by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

In search of a grand U.S. strategy

Richard Nixon's rapprochement with China, the end of the Cold War, President Obama's outreach to "the Muslim world," the growth of the (largely American-funded) United Nations -- weren't such developments supposed to lead to a safer world, one in which the "international community" would embrace "universal values" and pursue common interests -- peace and security key among them? Published August 15, 2017

Illustration on solving the immigration puzzle by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Not everyone can join the American nation

This is a peculiar moment in history, one in which we have come to expect the unexpected. Even so, I was surprised to see this: a reporter and a White House official debating poetry. Published August 8, 2017

Illustration on the violence pronounced from some Muslim pulpits by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Preaching violence from the pulpit

Imagine if a priest, minister or rabbi were to call for Muslims to be annihilated. It would be a scandal and it would spark a nation-wide controversy over Islamophobia, hate speech and incitement to violence. So why is that not the case when an imam calls for the annihilation of Jews? Published August 1, 2017

Illustration on the end of al Jazeera by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Does Al Jazeera deserve to die?

The Gulf Cooperation Council comprises six nations, all of them Arab, Muslim, ruled by royals, and fabulously wealthy thanks to vast reserves of petroleum. With so much in common, you might expect they'd be best friends forever. In recent weeks, however, the emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, has been the odd monarch out. Published July 25, 2017

Illustration on the dire results of nuclear proliferation by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

The proliferation problem from hell

On the surface, Iran and North Korea could hardly be more different. The former is a Middle Eastern theocracy, its ideology based on a bellicose reading of Islamic scripture. The latter is Asian and atheist, its ideology, Juche, loosely rooted in Stalinism. But scratch the surface, and you'll find significant similarities. Published July 18, 2017

Illustration on the cultural conflict between the West and Islam by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Celebrating the values of the West is right because they're the best

On various occasions and beginning decades before he was elected president, Ronald Reagan warned that "freedom is never more than one generation from extinction." He understood, and he wanted others to understand, that liberty is not an entitlement. It's a rare and precious commodity that "must be fought for." Published July 11, 2017

Illustration on the real beligerants in a coming Middle East war by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

The next Middle East war

Eleven years ago this month, Israel went to war with Hezbollah, Iran's Lebanon-based Shi'a proxy militia. The fighting began when Hezbollah fired rockets at Israeli villages and missiles at Israeli armored vehicles patrolling the border. Three Israeli soldiers were killed. Two were kidnapped and taken into Lebanon. Published July 4, 2017

Illustration on Qatar's funding of terrorism by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

The Qatar ultimatum

In the aftermath of the terrorist atrocities of Sept. 11, 2001, President George W. Bush drew a line in the sand. "Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make," he announced. "Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists." Since then, disappointingly if not surprisingly, more than a few nations have straddled that line, providing support to America and America's enemies alike. Published June 13, 2017

Illustration on Israel and the Six-Day War by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

The Six-Day War and the 50-year occupation

Fifty years ago this week, the young state of Israel faced the threat of extermination -- a second Jewish Holocaust in a single century. Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser stated candidly what he and other Arab leaders envisioned. "Our basic aim will be the destruction of Israel," he said. Published June 6, 2017

Illustration on Islamist threats to Britain and Egypt by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

The battles of Britain and Egypt

The slaughter of 22 concertgoers in Manchester last week was followed four days later by the murder of 29 Christians traveling by bus to a monastery in the desert south of Cairo. Published May 30, 2017

Illustration on the newly "elected" president of Iran, Hassan Rouhani by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Iran's latest unfree and unfair election

News must be new but it needn't be surprising. The decidedly unsurprising news out of Iran last week: There was an election (of sorts) and the winner was Hassan Rouhani, the incumbent president. Published May 23, 2017

Illustration on renewing border security by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Border security and immigration made simple

The nation-state is a relatively new idea -- scholars generally trace it back to the 17th century. It has its flaws, but has anyone come up with a better approach to world order? A nation-state enjoys sovereignty over its territory. Territories are separated by borders. Securing those borders may require barriers and controlled points of entry. Published May 16, 2017

Illustration on The Muslim Brotherhood and Qatar by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Fooling many of the people much of the time

"Hamas Drops Call for Israel's Destruction," headlined The Wall Street Journal last week. The New York Times told its readers: "Hamas Moderates Talk on Israel." And the United Kingdom's The Guardian concluded that Hamas had produced a document likely to "ease peace process." Published May 9, 2017

Illustration on the persecution of Christians as a human rights issue by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

The bolder attacks on religious freedom

"I believe that God has planted in every heart the desire to live in freedom." So said President George W. Bush in 2004. Leave for another day the debate over whether such a belief is more hopeful than realistic. What we do know: Tyrants and terrorists around the world are persecuting, torturing and slaughtering those whose hearts do desire freedom -- even the most basic. Published May 2, 2017