Clifford May
Clifford May
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

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Getting human rights right
Mike Pompeo is trying, to the chagrin of the human rights establishment

July 17, 2019  •  The Washington Times

At the State Department, human rights have generally been a not-so-high priority. The big kahunas tend to focus on war and peace, allies and adversaries, national security and global economics.

So it came as something of a surprise when Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last week launched a bipartisan Commission on Unalienable Rights. Its task, Mr. Pompeo wrote in The Wall Street Journal, "isn't to discover new principles but to ground our discussion of human rights in America's founding principles."

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Who's afraid of nationalism?

July 11, 2019  •  The Washington Times

Is a new "age of nationalism already upon us?" That premise will be debated in Washington, July 14-16, at the "kick-off event" of the Edmund Burke Foundation, a fledgling public affairs institute dedicated to "strengthening the principles of national conservatism in Western and other democratic countries."

Appearing on stage will be dozens of conservative luminaries from government, think tanks, media and academia. A sampling: National Security Adviser John Bolton, Sen. Josh Hawley, former National Security Council spokesman Michael Anton, Peter Theil, J.D. Vance, Tucker Carlson, Rich Lowry, Christopher DeMuth, Michael Barone and Amity Shlaes. (Full disclosure: I'm on one panel.)

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Palestinians' 'opportunity of the century'

July 3, 2019  •  The Washington Times

Abba Eban, who was serving as his country's foreign minister after Israel defended itself from Egypt, Syria and Jordan in the Six-Day War, is said to have lamented that Palestinians "never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity."

In Bahrain last week, Jared Kushner, President Trump's senior adviser, struck a similar note. The plan he and Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt have been working on for the past two years, he said, should not be seen as "the deal of the century." It should be seen instead as "the opportunity of the century."

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The freedom fighters of Hong Kong

June 26, 2019  •  The Washington Times

"God has planted in every heart," President George W. Bush famously said, "the desire to live in freedom," I've never been convinced that's true. But the desire to live in freedom has been planted in some hearts. In Hong Kong in recent days, we've been witnessing a bracing demonstration.

For 156 years, the bustling city on the southern coast of China was a British colony. Then, in July 1997, London handed it over to Beijing. The people of Hong Kong had no say; for them, there would be no right to self-determination.

The Chinese government did make a promise, however: "one country, two systems." In other words, Hong Kong was to retain its liberties, its legal system, its free market economy, its way of life, for 50 years.

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Socialism rises from the grave

June 5, 2019  •  The Washington Times

In 2002, Joshua Muravchik, a distinguished scholar, wrote a history of socialism which, he thought, might also be considered an epitaph for socialism.

Beginning in the 18th century, socialism had taken many forms in many countries throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. These experiments failed, in many cases spectacularly and tragically.

Surely, socialism was dead and buried. Yes, but like a zombie in a horror movie, it rose from the grave.

Mr. Muravchik's book was titled: "Heaven on Earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism." A new edition, published last month, carries the subtitle, "The Rise, Fall, and Afterlife of Socialism," and includes a long and edifying epilogue.

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