Clifford May
Clifford May
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review
 

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The end of Turkey's democratic experiment

April 19, 2017  •  The Washington Times

On the grounds of the Turkish Embassy facing Massachusetts Ave. in Washington, D.C. is a statue of Mustafa Kamal Ataturk, father of the Republic of Turkey, the nation-state he built from the rubble of the defeated Ottoman Empire and Islamic caliphate.

He is wearing a three-piece suit that would look stylish today but he is steely-eyed in a way that is peculiar to early 20th century revolutionaries. He appears to be gazing into the future — a future in which Turkey would be modern, prosperous, secular and democratic.

If truth in advertising applied to governments, that statue would now be removed.

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A limited mission accomplished in Syria

April 11, 2017  •  The Washington Times

If you're still unsure about whether President Trump did the right thing when he launched 59 cruise missiles at Syria's Shayrat air base last week, consider the alternative.

He knew that Syrian dictator Bashar Assad had yet again used chemical weapons to murder Syrian civilians, women and children prominent among them. He knew that Iran and Russia had enabled this atrocity, as they have many others. He knew he had two choices.

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Letting freedom fade
Surrendering liberty has become the Western response to Islamist threats

April 6, 2017  •  The Washington Times

Whatever happened to Charlie Hebdo? For years, the French satirical magazine threw spit balls at polite society. Its writers and cartoonists particularly delighted in ridiculing religions and pieties. Some people found that amusing and thought-provoking. Others were appalled and offended. Such is life in a free country.

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A bloody day in London town

March 29, 2017  •  The Washington Times

"The Kafir's Blood Is Halal For You, So Shed it." That's just one of the catchier headlines in a recent issue of Rumiyah, a slick online magazine published by the Islamic State, also known as ISIS and ISIL.

A "kafir," of course, is a non-Muslim. "Halal" means religiously permissible. As for Rumiyah, that's Arabic for Rome, one of the Christian capitals that the leaders of the Islamic state hope to conquer. (The other great Christian capital, Constantinople, fell to soldiers of the caliphate in 1453. It's now called Istanbul.)

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Trump's pivot to North Korea

March 22, 2017  •  The Washington Times

America can do anything but America can't do everything, at least not within a four-year time frame. That suggests that the American president — any American president — needs to prioritize.

In 2011, President Obama decided that the Muslim world should no longer be a top American priority. Against the advice of key members of his national security team, he decided to withdraw all U.S. troops from Iraq and do nothing about the growing turmoil in Syria. He expressed confidence that coalition forces would soon "begin to draw down" in Afghanistan. As for al Qaeda, it was "on the path to defeat."

"So make no mistake," he announced, "the tide of war is receding." With those words, he began what was called his "pivot to Asia."

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