Clifford May
Clifford May
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Came the revolution

November 15, 2017  •  The Washington Times

My political orientation has evolved slowly over decades. With one exception: I became anti-Soviet and anti-Communist overnight. More quickly than that, actually.

The year was 1972. I was an undergraduate exchange student at the University of Leningrad. A Russian couple I'd come to know and trust invited me to meet a friend of theirs.

She was old and frail but her mind was sharp. Over strong coffee and countless cigarettes, we talked in muted tones, the radio playing in the background to (hopefully) diminish the effectiveness of any listening devices that might be in the room.

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Osama bin Laden's secret diary

November 8, 2017  •  The Washington Times

On May 2, 2011, a Navy SEAL team made a brief stop in Abbottabad, Pakistan where they terminated Osama bin Laden's life and then moved on to their second mission: collecting as much information as possible from within the al Qaeda leader's compound.

They carried off computers, memoranda, photos, audio files, even a 228-page handwritten diary — "the single largest collection of senior terrorists materials ever," a Pentagon briefer told reporters five days later.

Over the years since, what have we learned from this treasure trove? Almost nothing. Why not? Because President Obama promptly put almost all of it under lock and key.

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The 100-year-old promise
The international community enabled the birth of Israel

November 1, 2017  •  The Washington Times

In theory, who doesn't believe in self-determination, the idea, developed in the 19th century, that all nations have a right to sovereignty? By the early 20th century, President Woodrow Wilson was insisting that "National aspirations must be respected; people may now be dominated and governed only by their own consent." In theory, self-determination is today a fundamental principle of international law.

In practice, not so much. The Middle East's 35 million Kurds have long wanted their own nation-state. They're not about to get one anytime soon. The government of Spain is determined to quash the movement for Catalonian independence. China prohibits even discussions of Tibet's right to break free.

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The Kurdish test

October 25, 2017  •  The Washington Times

In a just world, the Kurds would have a state of their own. Their culture is ancient. They speak a distinctive language. They have a homeland, Kurdistan, ruled for centuries by Arabs, Turks and Persians — foreigners and oppressors all.

After the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in World War I, the victorious British and French created new Arab nation-states and put in motion a process that would lead to the restoration of a Jewish nation-state. But the Kurds — they got nothing.

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Trump's third way
Repairing Obama's nuclear deal with Iran is now within the realm of the possible

October 19, 2017  •  The Washington Times

President Trump made a tough call last week. European diplomats and an "echo chamber" in the mainstream media were insisting he "recertify" the nuclear weapons deal his predecessor concluded with Iran's rulers in 2015.

He didn't want to. He has said repeatedly that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) fails to do what it was meant to do: stop — not just delay — the acquisition of nuclear weapons by the rulers of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Instead and perversely, the deal legitimizes, enriches and emboldens a regime openly dedicated to the defeat of America and its allies. How could he now tell Congress that the JCPOA is "vital to the national security interests of the United States"?

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