Clifford May
Clifford May
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

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Tracking freedom's enemies

August 17, 2016  •  The Washington Times

If I were to ask an intelligent person like you what happened in the 20th century, or the 19th or the 18th, you could probably sum up the most significant developments. But if I asked you what is happening in the 21st century, how would you reply?

Is the West in decline? Or is it just going through a rough patch? Is the rise of Islamic totalitarianism inexorable? Or will it hit a wall as did the atheistic totalitarianisms that preceded it? Is freedom in retreat or just pausing before its next advance? You see what I mean? It's not easy to describe the sea in which we swim.

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What does America owe Iran?

August 10, 2016  •  The Washington Times

An unmarked cargo plane filled with $400 million in cash lands in Tehran. Four American hostages held by Iran's rulers are set free. These revelations have sparked two controversies.

First: Did the Obama administration pay ransom to the Islamic Republic of Iran, the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism? White House spokesmen insist that's not what happened, there was no quid-pro-quo; Iranian officials say that's precisely what went down. Who is more credible? More importantly, whom do you think prospective hostage-takers around the world believe?

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Curb your socialism

August 3, 2016  •  The Washington Times

Groucho Marx famously said he wouldn't join any club that would have him as a member. Bernie Sanders last week turned that on its head, saying he wouldn't remain a member of any party that wouldn't have him as its leader.

Mr. Sanders decided to become a Democrat only last year and only so he could seek the Democratic presidential nomination. He went on to wage an energetic and occasionally entertaining campaign. In the end, which came at the Democratic National Convention last week, he endorsed Hillary Clinton. The next day, he told reporters he again considered himself an independent, not a Democrat.

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The dark dilemma of modern globalism

July 27, 2016  •  The Washington Times

"Americanism, not globalism, will be our credo." That line from Donald Trump's long and emphatic speech to the Republican National Convention last Thursday jumped out at me. I think I know what he meant: that he prioritizes America's national interests above those of the wider world.

If so, most Americans probably agree. I'd be among them. But there are complexities here that are worth unpacking.

For one, globalism is a term the media often use but seldom define. The academic literature strikes me as confusing — or perhaps just confused. From a recent tome on the subject:

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The jihadis in France, the Islamists in Turkey

July 20, 2016  •  The Washington Times

Streets ran red with blood in both France and Turkey last week. A terrorist atrocity and an attempted coup are quite different events. But underlying both is this question: How are the most dynamic forces within the Islamic world shaping the 21st century?

Jihadism is, as should be obvious, one of those forces. Those fighting what they call a holy war — al Qaeda, the Islamic State and the Islamic Republic of Iran among them — regard "others" as enemies who must submit or be conquered or be killed. Their goal, and they're candid about this, is to establish Islamic domination anywhere they can and, eventually, everywhere they can.

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