Clifford May
Clifford May
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Betting on Iran

November 19, 2014  •  The Washington Times

Negotiations with Iran are set to conclude on Monday. What are the odds they will end with Iran's rulers agreeing to verifiably dismantle their illicit nuclear weapons program? I'd wager 100 to one against that outcome — but I doubt I'd find a bookie willing to take my bet.

If a good deal is out of the question, what are the other options? The first is a "final agreement" that gives Tehran a lot in exchange for a little, but which President Obama would present as a triumph of diplomacy.

More likely is a "framework agreement," a statement of principles that will be the subject of yet another round of talks. Such a deal could include another sweetener — e.g., billions of dollars of additional sanctions relief for Iran.

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The Economist misjudges Iran

November 11, 2014  •  The Washington Times

"The revolution is over." When journalists at The Economist, one of the world's most influential publications, run that headline on a cover story, "a special report" on the "new Iran," you assume they have solid evidence to support their thesis.

You assume wrong. What The Economist presents instead are unsubstantiated assertions: "The revolutionary fervor and drab conformism have gone."

And lame aphorisms: "Globalization trumps Puritanism even here."

And platitudes: "In a highly educated and well-informed society, only so much can be imposed from above."

And weird theories: "Pornography, although strictly banned, blazes a trail for freedom."

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Building a shining Palestinian city on a hill

November 5, 2014  •  The Washington Times

RAWABI, WEST BANK — Trust me on this: Reconciliation between Palestinians and Israelis will not be achieved anytime soon, no matter what the professional peace processors say or do. Here in Rawabi, though, modest progress toward that goal is at least possible to imagine.

A $1 billion planned city under construction in the rugged hills of the West Bank 15 miles north of Jerusalem, Rawabi is the "largest private-sector undertaking in Palestinian history." It is to offer homes, high-tech jobs in a thoroughly modern business district, shopping, entertainment and recreational facilities — including an enormous Roman-style amphitheater — for up to 40,000 upwardly mobile Palestinians.

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How the Jewish state is being demonized

October 29, 2014  •  The Washington Times

JERUSALEM | Last week, a terrorist drove his car into a crowd at a light-rail station, killing a three-month-old baby. Eight others were injured, including a 22-year-old woman who died a few days later. The attacker fled the scene pursued by police who fatally shot him.

Terrorists also have struck in Ottawa and New York in recent days. So Israelis are not alone. But many feel alone — perceiving that an increasing number of Europeans and Americans see them not as a tiny nation on the front lines in a global conflict against jihadism, but as bullies culpable for the war being waged against them.

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'Homeland' under attack

October 22, 2014  •  The Washington Times

Are the cast, crew and fans of "Homeland" — Showtime's television series about a brilliant but neurotic CIA agent — Islamophobes?

That's the implication of articles published this month in both The Washington Post and The New York Times. In the Times, Bina Shah, a Pakistani "contributing opinion writer," complains that "Homeland," much of which is set in Pakistan this season, demonstrates yet again that "the world sees us one-dimensionally — as a country of terrorists and extremists, conservatives who enslave women and stone them to death, and tricky scoundrels who hate Americans and lie pathologically to our supposed allies."

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