Clifford May
Clifford May
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review
 

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Terrorism and economic warfare

June 15, 2016  •  The Washington Times

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. I had a nice lunch there the other day. Exactly a week later, two Palestinian men sat down in a cafe, ordered dessert, pulled handguns from beneath their dark suit jackets and began firing at everyone in sight.

Four civilians were murdered and more than a dozen wounded before the killers were stopped — one shot by a security guard, the other arrested. The following day, the Sarona Market was up and running again.

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French fried peace process

June 8, 2016  •  The Washington Times

JERUSALEM — 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.

The French initiative could turn out to be a waste of time, one more round of diplomatic blather and posturing. Let's hope so. The alternative is that it will do further damage to both Israelis and Palestinians.

Envoys from 26 nations attended the opening "summit" in Paris last Friday. They agree that a "two-state solution" is the answer. They do not agree on the question. Is the problem that a Palestinian state does not exist? Or is the problem that a Jewish state does?

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National security reforms for the next president

May 26, 2016  •  The Washington Times

"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?

Let's acknowledge that we can only make educated guesses. Presidential candidates have been known to say what they think voters want to hear and then, after winning election, go off in an entirely different direction.

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A death in Damascus, grief in Beirut

May 19, 2016  •  The Washington Times

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.

Experts, not least those in the U.S. government, convinced themselves that the rebels would prevail. There were simply too many angry Syrian Sunnis and Mr. Assad, a member of the Alawite minority, had too few loyal troops. Before long, Sunni jihadis from abroad began streaming into Syria to support the rebels. Among them were branches of al Qaeda, one of which splintered into the Islamic State.

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Obama's 'boy wonder'

May 11, 2016  •  The Washington Times

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.

So what has been Mr. Obama's record in this area? Thanks to an incisive essay by David Samuels in last Sunday's New York Times Magazine, we now know.

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