Clifford May
Clifford May
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

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Men of peace in a realm of war

July 1, 2015  •  The Washington Times

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.

I spoke with three people — two Palestinians and one Israeli — whom I regard as men of peace. Let me tell you a little about them.

Salam Fayyad is an economist and politician with a professorial mien and a reputation for integrity. In 2007, at the urging of Western diplomats tired of seeing their aid money go astray, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas appointed Mr. Fayyad his prime minister.

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How to worsen the Palestinian-Israeli conflict

June 24, 2015  •  The Washington Times

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.

That will be a challenge. Many in the West believe that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is relatively easy to solve — certainly not on a par with the much bloodier wars being waged by Sunni and Shia jihadis in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Libya.

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The road to historic chaos

June 17, 2015  •  The Washington Times

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.

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen chairs the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa. Ted Deutch is the ranking member. Last week, they invited Gen. Flynn to testify. They — and anyone else concerned about the threats facing America and her allies — should think hard about what he told them.

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The rhyme and reason of jihad

June 10, 2015  •  The Washington Times

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."

They add (in the June 8 edition of The New Yorker): "A large part of bin Laden's charisma as a leader was his mastery of classical eloquence." Here, for example, he elegizes the mass murderers of Sept. 11, 2001: "Embracing death, the knights of glory found their rest. They gripped the towers with hands of rage and ripped through them like a torrent."

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Troubled waters

June 3, 2015  •  The Washington Times

"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.

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