Clifford May
Clifford May
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Academic PC at Brandeis silences Muslim dissident Hirsi Ali

April 16, 2014  •  The Washington Times

Remember when colleges prided themselves on the diligence and depth of their research? Frederick Lawrence, president of Brandeis University, apparently does not.

He offered an honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Then, at the last minute, he rescinded the offer because, he claims, he became aware of "past statements" by her "inconsistent with Brandeis University's core values." Hey, scholar-in-chief, ever hear of Google?

Ms. Hirsi Ali, of course, is an intrepid women's rights advocate who has focused on Muslim women, raising questions, as she has phrased it, on "the role of Islam in legitimizing" female genital mutilation, "honor killings," forced marriages, wife beating and other abuses.

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The Mideast peace process peters out

April 9, 2014  •  The Washington Times

Blessed are the peacemakers, but don't confuse peacemakers with peace processors.

The latter think they can persuade the lion to lie down with the lamb. The former are realistic enough to grasp how perilous that is unless the lion has just had a big dinner and a couple of stiff drinks.

Sad to say, Secretary of State John F. Kerry has proven to be a peace processor, one loath to acknowledge that the latest round of Palestinian-Israeli peace talks have come to a very dead end. Actually, they never moved off the starting blocks.

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How the U.S. put Latin America up for grabs

April 2, 2014  •  The Washington Times

TAMARINDO, Costa Rica — I'm not about to pretend that spending a few days in this rather funky little surfing village on the Pacific has given me great insights into Latin America's current political, economic and social reality. On the other hand, if one keeps an open mind — and a not excessively open mouth — one generally learns something.

Based on the evidence I've been able to gather, Costa Ricans — or "Ticans," as they refer to themselves — deserve the reputation they enjoy as friendly, good-natured and peaceable. The national slogan here is "pura vida," literally "pure life," but it is also used — with great frequency — to mean "all's well," "life is good" and "no problem."

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Obama the peacenik versus Putin the hegemon

March 26, 2014  •  The Washington Times

Russia's Vladimir Putin, seething over the collapse of the Soviet Empire, wants to become the hegemon of Eurasia — at least. Iran's Ali Khamenei, outraged by the decline of Islamic power, wants to become the hegemon of the Middle East — at a minimum.

President Obama wants to "end wars," "give diplomacy a chance," extend the hand of friendship to those who regard themselves as America's adversaries and enemies, and, most importantly, cast the United States as an equal member — and no more than that — of "the international community" in the 21st century, which he believes will not be nearly as bloody as were the 19th and 20th centuries.

I fear this is not going to end well.

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Middle East future shock

March 19, 2014  •  The Washington Times

Almost a hundred years ago, the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the last in a succession of Islamic caliphates stretching back more than a millennium, transformed the Middle East — first, into European protectorates, later into a collection of independent nation-states.

A second historic transformation — not just the blossoming of a sunshiny "Arab Spring" — is now underway.

Start with Syria which, as it enters the fourth year of a grueling civil war — 140,000 killed and 9 million refugees to date — has fractured into three de facto entities.

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