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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 Democrats cutting ties with Bernie Sanders by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Curb your socialism

Groucho Marx famously said he wouldn't join any club that would have him as a member. Bernie Sanders last week turned that on its head, saying he wouldn't remain a member of any party that wouldn't have him as its leader. Published August 2, 2016

Illustration on "globalism" and the realities of interdependence by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

The dark dilemma of modern globalism

"Americanism, not globalism, will be our credo." That line from Donald Trump's long and emphatic speech to the Republican National Convention last Thursday jumped out at me. I think I know what he meant: that he prioritizes America's national interests above those of the wider world. Published July 26, 2016

Erdogan and the Brotherhood Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

The jihadis in France, the Islamists in Turkey

Streets ran red with blood in both France and Turkey last week. A terrorist atrocity and an attempted coup are quite different events. But underlying both is this question: How are the most dynamic forces within the Islamic world shaping the 21st century? Published July 19, 2016

Illustration on the Iran Nuclear deal one year on by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Obama's Iran experiment

A hypothetical question: Suppose the Islamic State wanted to buy some American airplanes and promised not to use them to support terrorists. Would you be OK with that? I'm guessing not. Published July 12, 2016

Illustration on Islamic terrorism in Bangladesh by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

The Battle of Bangladesh

During the past 10 months, there have been more than 30 terrorist attacks in Bangladesh. Published July 5, 2016

Illustration on the Brexit outcome's effects on uncontrolled migration by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Rule Britannia

Whether you think the United Kingdom exiting the European Union is cause for alarm or celebration, you have to concede this: Britons engaged in an open, lively and mostly peaceful debate, they turned out in droves, they cast their votes freely and fairly and, by so doing, expressed their will and determined their future. That's called democracy. Is there a preferable alternative? Published June 28, 2016

Illustration on the BDS movement by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Terrorism and economic warfare

Tel Aviv's Sarona Market bills itself as the "heartbeat of Israeli culinary art." Dozens of small restaurants and shops offer cheese, wine, bread, fish, olives, pasta, burgers -- pretty much anything you can imagine and quite a bit that you probably cannot. Published June 14, 2016

Illustration on the dreams and realities of the Paris Middle-East peace process by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

French fried peace process

The French government last week initiated a new "peace process." Ignoring the butchery underway in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen, as well as the threat Iran now poses to the Middle East, their focus is the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Published June 7, 2016

Illustration positing the possible national security actions of the presidential candidates by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

National security reforms for the next president

"National security" is a highfalutin phrase for a problem that can be stated quite simply: We have enemies. What do we do about them? Since this is a matter of life and death, it's worth asking: What national security policies can we expect the next commander in chief to implement? Published May 24, 2016

Illustration on the death of Hezbollah commander Mustafa Badreddine by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

A death in Damascus, grief in Beirut

Five years ago, during the optimistically named Arab Spring, Syrians staged peaceful protests against the ruling dynasty that had long oppressed them. President Bashar Assad responded brutally: In May 2011, he sent tanks into the suburbs of Damascus, Deraa, Homs and other cities to crush his critics. Civil war followed. Published May 17, 2016

Illustration of Ben Rhodes by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Obama's 'boy wonder'

Among the most serious charges that President Obama and his supporters have leveled against President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney: They "cherry-picked intelligence." The phrase suggests that, while in office, they sorted through the information provided by America's spy agencies, selecting the tidbits that supported their policies while discarding anything that might cast doubts on their conclusions. Published May 10, 2016

Observations along the road to ruin

People think early European immigrants to America were seeking religious freedom. In fact, they sought escape from religious persecution. Not quite the same thing. Published May 3, 2016

Share the Neighborhood Illustration by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

The Mr. Rogers Doctrine

Barack Obama last week visited Saudi Arabia, an unusual nation with which the United States has had a relationship that can be accurately characterized as both strategic and strange -- and one that is now severely strained. To understand how we got to this juncture requires at least a smattering of modern history. Published April 26, 2016

Illustration on examining the real nature of collecting intelligence through extraordinary rendition by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

A spy's story

After a long and extraordinary career, Gen. Michael Hayden has written "Playing to the Edge: American Intelligence in the Age of Terror." Both a memoir and a primer on modern espionage, it also attempts to correct the historical record and maybe settle a few scores. Nothing wrong with that, if you ask me. Published April 19, 2016

Illustration on the course of America during the next presidency by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Can America change course?

As you watch the circus that is the 2016 presidential campaign, which candidate strikes you as having a coherent vision of national security for the post-Obama era? Who has told you what he (or she) will do about the rise of jihadi regimes and groups in the Middle East and well beyond? Published April 12, 2016

Illustration on Obama's monetary enticement strategy to blunt Iranian aggression by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Obama's dollar deal

President Obama's critics charge that he's never developed a strategy to defeat terrorism, the weapon of choice for those waging what they call a global jihad. The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg, the journalist whose ear Mr. Obama most likes to bend, says that's wrong -- that the president does have a strategy. "He is, after all, killing jihadists at a frenetic pace." Published April 5, 2016

Our man in Havana

''I have come here to bury the last remnant of the Cold War in the Americas." That was Barack Obama's "historic" announcement in Cuba last week. But was it true? What is the Castro regime if not a vestige of communism's 20th century struggle against the capitalist enemy — also known as the Free World? And, self-evidently, President Obama had come not to bury the Castros but to normalize relations with them. Published March 29, 2016

Real Free Speech College Illustration by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

When universities become day care centers

Back in 1993, Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a New York Democrat, warned against "defining deviancy down." He was talking specifically about crime, about our getting used to it and not taking serious measures to fight it. But over the years since, is there any realm of American or European life where acceptance of ever-increasing deviancy has not become "the new normal"? Published March 22, 2016

Illustration on ISIS' genocide against Christians by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Call it a genocide of Christians

In the Yemeni port city of Aden earlier this month, Islamists attacked a Catholic home for the indigent elderly. The militants, believed to be soldiers of the Islamic State, shot the security guard, then entered the facility where they gunned down the old people and their caregivers, including four nuns. At least 16 people were murdered. Published March 15, 2016

Illustration on so-called Iranian moderates by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

The search for elusive Iranian moderates

Elections at the end of February have apparently bolstered the position of President Hassan Rouhani. Though sophisticated and pragmatic, "Rouhani is not a moderate, he is a hard-liner." Those words were recently spoken by Wendy Sherman, former undersecretary of state who served as President Obama's lead negotiator on the Iran nuclear agreement, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Published March 8, 2016