Clifford May
Clifford May
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

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The case for deadline-triggered sanctions

January 21, 2015  •  The Washington Times

Experienced negotiators know this: The side most willing to walk away from the table generally wins. The side that seems desperate for a deal loses. Yet President Obama is telling the entire world that he needs an agreement with Iran's rulers more than they need an agreement with him.

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From Salman Rushdie to Charlie Hebdo

January 13, 2015  •  The Washington Times

Let's get a few things straight: The slaughter of eight satirical journalists in Paris last week was not a tragedy. It was an atrocity. While you may have been shocked by the attack on Charlie Hebdo, anyone who was surprised has not been paying close attention to the events unfolding over recent decades.

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Napoleon in the Middle East

January 7, 2015  •  The Washington Times

A few pages into "Napoleon: A Life," historian Andrew Roberts notes that the great general regarded himself as "of the race that founds empires."

How odd that sounds to modern ears. Of course, in the past, people viewed the world differently. Most of us get that. In the present, not everyone sees the world the same way, but many of us don't get that.

Secretary of State John F. Kerry responds to Russian President Vladimir Putin's seizure of Ukrainian territory by exclaiming, "You just don't in the 21st century behave in 19th-century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped up pretext.

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America needs its rough men

December 17, 2014  •  The Washington Times

In spring 2009, I was invited to debate "torture" with Jon Stewart on "The Daily Show." He gave me an opportunity to make a case with which he vehemently disagreed. He didn't spout prepackaged sound bites — he presented thoughtful counterarguments. Not many television talk show hosts are willing — or able — to do that.

At one point, I suggested that if CIA interrogators should be regarded as war criminals for having waterboarded three al Qaeda commanders to make them reveal information that could save American lives, then surely President Truman should be regarded as a war criminal for dropping atomic weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Mr. Stewart said he agreed.

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Why fighting extremists can't be politically correct

December 10, 2014  •  The Washington Times

Rarely do so many distinguished members of the foreign policy community gather in a single room. But this was the Great Hall of the United States Institute of Peace: a Washington "institution established and funded by Congress to increase the nation's capacity to manage international conflict without violence."

The occasion was PeaceGame 2104: a "scenario-based, multi-media" approach to developing "new ideas for coping and defusing extremism worldwide" organized last Friday by Foreign Policy magazine in partnership with the USIP and funded by the United Arab Emirates.

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