Clifford May
Clifford May
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European Union declines to support oppressed Iranians

January 10, 2018  •  The Washington Timess

It's tempting to say that Europe's leaders lack the courage of their convictions. But that would imply that they have convictions. The evidence suggests those days are gone.

In particular, Europe's leaders have been conspicuously unmoved by the spectacle of Iranians, day after day, taking to the streets in dozens of cities and towns, risking arrest, torture and death to protest their oppression and impoverishment by a religious class that has been Iran's ruling class for almost two generations.

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Eruption in Iran
And it's not just the economy, stupid

January 4, 2018  •  The Washington Times

The revolution that transformed Iran in 1979 was a grand experiment. From that moment on, Iran would be ruled by an ayatollah, a man with deep knowledge of sharia, Islamic law. He would be the "supreme leader," a euphemism for dictator. He would merit that authority because he would be regarded, literally, as God's "representative on Earth."

The first supreme leader was Ruhollah Khomeini, a charismatic, fire-and-brimstone cleric, an unwavering proponent of jihad against America and the West. When he died in 1989 the title went to Ali Khamenei who in no way moderated the regime's ideology. On the contrary, he has called the Islamic Revolution the "turning point in modern world history."

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The dangerous world of Donald Trump

December 27, 2017  •  The Washington Times

A National Security Strategy is less a plan of action than an attempt to prioritize. Who, in the president's judgment, most threatens America? What means do we have and what capabilities must we develop to defend the homeland and protect our freedoms?

President Obama issued his last National Security Strategy (NSS) in 2015. It struck me then as an odd document and, in retrospect, it seems odder still. Regarding the threat posed by North Korea's nuclear and missile programs, it offered such boilerplate as: "Our commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula is rooted in the profound risks posed by North Korean weapons development and proliferation."

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Reimagining a more realistic 'peace process'

December 20, 2017  •  The Washington Times

"The peace process" is the name we've given to decades of attempts to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The reality: These diplomatic efforts have never made meaningful progress. Yet those involved — smart and well-meaning though they are — have been reluctant to entertain the possibility that they have misunderstood something essential about the conflict and what will be required to bring it to a conclusion.

That's one reason it was useful for President Trump to disrupt the status quo by recognizing another reality: The capital of the state of Israel is in Jerusalem. No conceivable "peace process" will induce the Israelis to pack up and leave. That's a reality, too.

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The man who would be Saudi king

November 29, 2017  •  The Washington Times

Mohammad bin Salman is a young man in a hurry. When I visited Saudi Arabia back in February he was only the deputy crown prince. Nevertheless, it was he — not 81-year-old King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and not the crown prince, 58-year-old Muhammad bin Nayef — who was the talk of the town.

The 32-year old MBS, as he is known, was regarded as the brains and energy behind Vision 2030, an ambitious plan to construct, by the aforementioned date, a dynamic and diverse Saudi economy, one not dependent on extracting and exporting petroleum. To achieve that, he appeared to understand, will require significant economic, social and religious reforms.

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