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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 America's radical Islamist enemies by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Defeating the mortal enemies

"The enemy has to be defeated," U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter last week told American forces stationed in the Middle East. That is a simple truth, one that, regrettably, is not heard often from officials in the current administration. Mr. Carter then added: "It will be, because the barbarians are always defeated by civilization." That is a comforting sentiment -- one that, regrettably, is not supported by historical evidence. Published July 28, 2015

Scuttle Obama's Iran deal, or surrender

The fundamental flaws in President Obama's deal with Iran have become well known. Among them: Iran's rulers will have the power to delay or even prevent inspections of suspected nuclear weapons facilities; Iran's rulers will receive tens of billions of dollars that they can spend as they please, including on terrorist groups; Iran's rulers will have several paths to nuclear weapons -- they have promised only not to rush. In the past, such promises have hardly been ironclad. Published July 21, 2015

Iran Tablet Launcher Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

The deal of the century

On Friday, large crowds in Tehran and other Iranian cities burned American flags and chanted "Death to America!" On Saturday, Iranian media outlets reported that Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei had instructed university students to "continue the struggle against arrogant powers" -- with the United States at the top of that list. On Tuesday, President Obama announced a historic agreement between Iran and the United States. Published July 14, 2015

Illustration on the losing strategy of U.S. negotiations with Iran by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Desperately seeking diplomatic defeat

Imagine if, on Sept. 12, 2001, I had written a column predicting that within less than 15 years, the president of the United States would be offering the world's leading sponsor of terrorism a path to nuclear weapons and tens of billions of dollars. You'd have thought me a lunatic. But that's what President Obama means to do. Published July 7, 2015

Illustration on building peace between Israel and the Palestinians by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Men of peace in a realm of war

Last week, I paid a couple of visits to the West Bank or, as Israel's enemies call it, "the illegally occupied Palestinian territories." Israelis who live and work there are more likely to use the biblical name: Judea and Samaria. Published June 30, 2015

Illustration on the folly of pressuring for an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

How to worsen the Palestinian-Israeli conflict

JERUSALEM - The "peace process" between Israelis and Palestinians has ground to a halt. What should American and European leaders do? Try not to make the situation worse. Published June 23, 2015

Illustration on Obama's fantasist thinking on a nuclear Iran by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

The road to historic chaos

Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn served 33 years in the U.S. Army. Being named President Obama's director of the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2012 was the culmination of his career. He thought his job was to relate facts, not fables. It soon became clear that his superiors didn't agree. Published June 16, 2015

Illustration on violent Islamist poetry by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

The rhyme and reason of jihad

You probably didn't know it, but Osama bin Laden was a poet. In fact, according to Yale's Robyn Creswell and Princeton's Bernard Haykel, "Of all jihadi poets, bin Laden was the most celebrated, and he prided himself on his knowledge of the art." Published June 9, 2015

Troubled waters

''Creating facts on the ground" means changing reality through actions rather than diplomacy. China's rulers have gone further: Over the last 18 months they have been creating ground: over 2,000 new acres of islands more than 600 miles from China's coast, many built atop rocks and reefs claimed by their neighbors, including the Philippines, an important American ally. In recent days, the Chinese have been installing landing strips, helipads, harbors, radar installations, artillery pieces and other weapons. Published June 2, 2015

Illustration on the anti-semitism of the BDS movement by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Resisting the longest hatred

Robert S. Wistrich, who died suddenly last week, was considered the foremost scholar of anti-Semitism, which he called "the longest hatred," one that appears to be metastasizing in the current era. Published May 26, 2015

The summit that wasn't

I'd venture to guess that most of what you heard about President Obama's summit last week was wrong. To start, it wasn't a "summit." That term, coined by Winston Churchill, implies a meeting of heads of government. However, the most important Arab leader invited by Mr. Obama, King Salman of Saudi Arabia, stayed home, as did the rulers of the United Arab Emirates and Oman. King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa of Bahrain decided his time could be spent more productively at the Royal Windsor Horse Show outside London. Published May 19, 2015

Illustration on Islamist threats to free speech by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

The broad shield of the First Amendment

Rights are like muscles. If not exercised, they atrophy. Freedom of speech, a right guaranteed by the First Amendment, is the most fundamental of rights. Without it, how do you even defend your other rights? Published May 12, 2015

Illustration on the suave approach taken by Iranian nuclear negotiators by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

The 'suave' manner of a terrorist

Tehran's largest cemetery, Behesht-e Zahra, contains the graves of thousands of Iranians killed in battle. There's also a polished stone monument bearing this inscription: "To the memory of two Muslim Lebanese youths who on the morning of Sunday October 23, 1983, in two simultaneous martyrdom operations, with trucks carrying explosives, attacked the headquarters of American occupiers (in South Beirut) and headquarters of French occupiers (in West Beirut) killing 241 American Marines and 48 French paratroopers. Their names we do not know, but we will continue their path." Published May 5, 2015

Illustration on remembrance of the Turkish genocide against Armenians 100 years ago by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Recalling the lessons of Armenia

Displayed outside the Turkish embassy in Washington last week was a large banner reading, "Armenian genocide is an imperialist lie." That claim might be amusing were the subject not so dreadful. Published April 28, 2015

Illustration on the dangers and illegalities of the Iran nuclear deal by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

To run toward the breach — or to run away

Members of Congress are facing the test of their political lives. America's national security is about to be imperiled. American sovereignty is about to be surrendered. The U.S. Constitution is about to be compromised. Published April 21, 2015

Illustration on reformation for Islam by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

The case for Islamic heresy

By now, you should be familiar with the name Ayaan Hirsi Ali. You should know at least this much about her: She is brilliant, beautiful, black and she has been banned near Boston. Published April 14, 2015

Illustration on the untrustworthy Iranian leadership by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

The win-win delusion

"The West Capitulates." That was the headline on an article by Ibrahim al-Amin, editor of the Lebanese daily al-Akbar. He elaborated: "Victors and vanquished. This is the truth of conflicts in the world since ancient times. Only those who live with their eyes closed believe conflicts end with compromises." Published April 7, 2015

Illustration on Iran's greater ambitions in the Middle East by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Satrapy fishing in the Yemen

Three years ago, film-goers were treated to "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen," which critic Kenneth Turan called a "pleasant fantasy" about the Middle East. Today, of course, Yemen is the hub of a bloody conflict, one which President Obama persists in viewing with equal unreality. Published March 31, 2015

Illustration on media distortion of Netenyahu's policy statements by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

What Netanyahu didn’t say

What is it about Israel in general and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in particular that leads to so much careless reporting and tendentious commentary? Published March 24, 2015

A farewell to arms control treaties

Philosopher-comedian Lily Tomlin used to say, "No matter how cynical you get, it is impossible to keep up." Has that ever been truer than it is in Washington right now? Published March 17, 2015