Clifford May
Clifford May
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

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The advance of illiberal world disorder

November 6, 2018  •  The Washington Times

You don't know much about history if you don't know this: "Until 1945 the story of humankind going back thousands of years was a long tale of war, tyranny, and poverty. Moments of peace were fleeting, democracy so rare as to seem almost accidental, and prosperity the luxury of the powerful few."

That quote is from the opening chapter of Robert Kagan's new book: "The Jungle Grows Back: America and Our Imperiled World." A few words about Mr. Kagan: He is a senior fellow at the liberal Brookings Institution, he writes a column for the liberal Washington Post, and the liberal New York Times recently called him a "conservative American thinker."

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Peace processing 2.0

October 31, 2018  •  The Washington Times

JERUSALEM, Israel - Tibetans would like a state of their own, as would Uyghurs. China's rulers do not intend to let those peoples go. The Kurds would like a state of their own. The governments of Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria remain determined to prevent them from establishing one. The Chechens would like a state of their own. Russian President Vladimir Putin will allow that when pigs fly.

Most famously, of course, the Palestinians would like a state of their own. They could have one. They've been offered one — on several occasions. But, in exchange, they'd have to agree to end their conflict with Israel, negotiate borders and security issues, and embrace peaceful coexistence with their Jewish neighbors.

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Killing Khashoggi

October 24, 2018  •  The Washington Times

This much we know for certain: Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi citizen, critic of the royal family, and columnist for The Washington Post, was killed by Saudi operatives inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

The dominant media narrative: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, MBS as he is known, dispatched a squad of Saudi agents to carry out an assassination. Leaks from Turkish intelligence and reports in the government-controlled Turkish media have provided the basis for this narrative. To say those are not reliable sources is an understatement.

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Trump's new counterterrorism strategy

October 9, 2018  •  The Washington Times

"We remain a nation at war." President Trump's new National Strategy for Counterterrorism (NSC) begins with that simple statement of fact. The 21st century is an age of conflict. That's unlikely to change any time soon.

We don't like that. It's more comforting to believe, as President Obama apparently did, that "the tide of war is receding," that eliminating Osama bin Laden was tantamount to defeating al Qaeda; that such terrorist groups as the Islamic State are merely "JV" teams; and that we have experts trained to "counter violent extremism."

"This war, like all wars, must end," President Obama instructed us in 2013. "That's what history advises. That's what our democracy demands."

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The life, times and foreign policies of Jimmy Carter

October 3, 2018  •  The Washington Times

Those elected to high office are stars, but the success of their shows often depends on supporting actors: Their advisers.

For nearly 50 years, Stuart E. Eizenstat has been a wise adviser to Democratic leaders. He served as President Clinton's ambassador to the European Union, and in senior positions at the Departments of State, Treasury and Commerce.

He cut his political and policy teeth earlier, in his 20s, working for Lyndon Johnson and Hubert Humphrey. In 1969, he signed on with Jimmy Carter, who was destined to become governor of Georgia and president of the United States.

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