Clifford May
Clifford May
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

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The axis of oppression

May 15, 2019  •  The Washington Times

How do you kill a lion? Years ago in Kenya, the question arose (no doubt over too many Tusker beers) and someone gave me what sounded like an authoritative answer.

He said even a skilled tribal hunter, armed with only a spear, would be unlikely to survive such an attempt. So a strategy was developed. Several hunters would surround the beast, and whoever found himself behind it would step forward and stab it. When the lion turned, the hunter now at its rear would do the same. On and on until, sooner or later, bloodied and exhausted, the lion would succumb.

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China isn't what it used to be

May 8, 2019  •  The Washington Times

Last week, presidential contender Joseph Biden asked rhetorically: "China is going to eat our lunch? Come on, man!" He added: "I mean, you know, they're not bad folks. But guess what, they're not competition for us!"

As vice president and, before that, as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Mr. Biden met foreign leaders and voted on foreign policy legislation. On that basis, he fancies himself a foreign policy expert. But at least where China is concerned, he has not kept up.

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Vlad the conqueror

May 1, 2019  •  The Washington Times

Vladimir Putin wants to make Russia great again. He defines great as powerful, nothing more, nothing less. If you keep that in mind, everything he does makes perfect sense.

For example, last week he held a "summit" with North Korea's dynastic dictator, Kim Jong-un. The meeting produced no news or policy shifts but it allowed the Russian president to demonstrate yet again that whenever a high-stakes game is played, he gets a seat at the table.

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The Battle of Afghanistan

April 24, 2019  •  The Washington Times

Afghanistan is often said to be America's longest war, but that's imprecise. Afghanistan is the longest battle in what some of us insist on calling The Long War. When did the conflict begin?

In 1996, Osama bin Laden issued a "Declaration of War Against the Americans." Most analysts saw him as nobody a superpower enjoying a post-Cold War peace dividend need worry about.

In 1998, he signed a fatwa on behalf of the "World Islamic Front for Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders," proclaiming that killing "Americans and their allies — civilians and military — is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it."

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Socialist eras and errors

April 17, 2019  •  The Washington Times

Socialism is cool again, thanks not least to septuagenarian Sen. Bernie Sanders and millennial Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (aka AOC). Socialism has been cool before, of course, notably during the Great Depression and what became known as the Sixties, the era of Vietnam, the civil rights movement, hippies and the (old) New Left.

As a reporter for my high school newspaper in the later period, I interviewed Earl Browder, who had been general secretary of the Communist Party USA during the 1930s. He coined the slogan: "Communism is 20th century Americanism."

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