Clifford May
Clifford May
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The dubious deal of the century

March 4, 2015  •  The Washington Times

Remember when President Obama said that to prevent the Islamic Republic of Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapons capability, he would keep all options "on the table"? How long has it been since anyone took that warning seriously?

Remember when Mr. Obama said he didn't "bluff," that "when the United States says it is unacceptable for Iran to have a nuclear weapon, we mean what we say," adding: "We've got Israel's back." Does anyone think those statements are still "operative"?

Remember when Mr. Obama's spokesmen said that striking a bad deal with Iran would be worse than striking no deal at all, and that a good deal means Iran dismantles its nuclear weapons programs?

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Vladimir Putin's rule book

February 25, 2015  •  The Washington Times

Last week, two Russian long-range bombers skirted the southwest coast of England. British Typhoon warplanes scrambled from their base to "escort" the bombers away. Prime Minister David Cameron accused Moscow of "trying to make some sort a point."

Yes, probably so. Among other things, Vladimir Putin is reportedly angry over British Foreign Secretary Michael Fallon's warning that Russia now represents a "real and present danger." The Russian president, he fears, might do to one of NATO's Baltic members — Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania — what he has done to Ukraine.

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The ideology whose name presidents dare not speak

February 18, 2015  •  The Washington Times

Is there a "Bush-Obama approach" to talking about what drives and justifies terrorism? Michael Gerson says there is. I think he's right. He argues that this approach is preferable to other options. I think he's wrong.

Mr. Gerson, you'll recall, was one of President George W. Bush's top advisers and speech writers. Now a columnist for The Washington Post, he is smart, thoughtful and articulate. In his column last week he asserted that no president can be expected even to suggest a link between Islam and the kinds of attacks and atrocities taking place with increasing frequency in a growing number of countries — Denmark and Libya (also, with less publicity, Chad and Niger) most recently among them.

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Worse than no strategy

February 10, 2015  •  The Washington Times

It seems like only yesterday that President Obama was being criticized for having no strategy to counter the jihadi threat. In fact, it was about 10 days ago. Peggy Noonan's Feb. 1 Wall Street Journal column was headlined: "America's Strategy Deficit."

Since then, a different perception has been taking root: Mr. Obama does indeed have a strategy — a "secret strategy," one that is alarmingly misguided.

According to this theory, he believes that fighting terrorism requires accommodating the regime long recognized by the U.S. government as the world's leading sponsor of terrorism: the Islamic Republic of Iran.

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Aggressors posing as victims

February 4, 2015  •  The Washington Times

There are victims and then there are victims. Too often, I think, we worry about the wrong ones.

Start with some of the most powerful politicians of Argentina. They are feeling sorely aggrieved by Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida. He had the temerity to suggest that Secretary of State John F. Kerry support the creation of an "independent, internationally assisted investigation" into the case of Alberto Nisman, the prosecutor who attempted to bring to justice those responsible for the worst terrorist attack in Argentina's history. Mr. Nisman was found dead in his apartment the night before he was to deliver testimony implicating Argentina's president in a plot to cover up Iranian and Hezbollah involvement.

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