Clifford May
Clifford May
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

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In Turkey and Pakistan, discouraging elections

August 2, 2018  •  The Washington Times

Not so long ago, freedom and democracy seemed to be on the march in the world, with Turkey and Pakistan, two strategically important Muslim-majority nations, near the front of the parade. That turns out to have been an illusion. Elections recently held in these countries have, paradoxically, made that clear.

In Turkey, votes cast in June gave President Recep Tayyip Erdogan powers he has long coveted. He is now, effectively, head of state and government, the military and the judiciary. For quite some time now, he also has been censoring the media, instructing private industry and filling his jails with enemies and dissidents.

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Advancing freedom of religion globally

July 24, 2018  •  The Washington Times

Twenty years ago, President Clinton, with bipartisan support, signed into law the International Religious Freedom Act. The intention: To enshrine religious freedom as a core component of American foreign policy, and spread the blessings of religious liberty around the world.

This week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is hosting the first-ever Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom. The July 24-26 event brings together high-level officials, diplomats, religious leaders and activists from more than 40 countries "to discuss challenges, identify concrete ways to combat religious persecution and discrimination, and ensure greater respect for religious freedom for all."

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Making NATO great again

July 18, 2018  •  The Washington Times

NATO's first Secretary General, Lord Hastings Lionel Ismay, articulated the military alliance's mission succinctly: "Keep the Soviet Union out, the Americans in, and the Germans down."

More than a half century later, the mission of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is murkier. The declaration issued in conjunction with last week's summit in Brussels clarified matters not at all.

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Iran's greedy demands

July 11, 2018  •  The Washington Times

Britain, France and Germany are three of America's closest allies, but they don't always act like it. Last week in Vienna, their foreign ministers met with the foreign ministers of China and Russia, strategic adversaries of the U.S., as well as the foreign minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran, a regime whose rallying cry for almost 40 years has been "Death to America!"

Their mission: To undermine U.S. policy; to relieve the economic pressure that the Trump administration is attempting to bring to bear on Iran's rulers in order to change their aggressive and lethal behavior both at home and abroad.

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Palestinians have mail

July 3, 2018  •  The Washington Times

For years, smart and well-meaning "peace processors" have worked hard to find a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. They've never come close.

Commentators keen on being perceived as even-handed blame Palestinian and Israeli leaders alike. But ample evidence suggests that most Israelis long for peace and would toss out any leader who stood in the way of what they saw as a real deal. Palestinians don't have that freedom. The last time Palestinians voted for a president was 2005, and that election was hardly free and fair.

Yasser Arafat, father of the Palestinian nation, saw himself as a revolutionary and a conqueror. He never seriously considered ending the war against the Jewish state.

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