Clifford May
Clifford May
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

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A letter to J.D. Vance: Ukraine, Russia, and the American national interest

May 11, 2022  •  The Washington Times

Dear Mr. Vance,

Or may I call you J.D.? (You can call me Cliff! Or C.D.!) Congratulations on winning the Ohio Senate GOP primary! What an amazing American journey you're having!

Count me among the millions of readers inspired by "Hillbilly Elegy," the story of your escape from a dysfunctional subculture – not through government programs that encourage dependency but through your own agency, with help from a tough-loving grandmother and the discipline you internalized as a Marine.

I'm writing you today about a different subject. Statements you've made recently have left people with the impression that you're unmoved by Vladimir Putin's rape of Ukraine and that you're tending toward isolationism.

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Iran's rulers demanding too much even for Biden

May 4, 2022  •  The Washington Times

For months, the smart money has been betting that a nuclear deal between President Biden and Iran's rulers was a sure thing.

Mr. Biden had promised that any new agreement that would be "longer and stronger" than the deal President Obama concluded in 2015 and from which President Trump withdrew in 2018. But Iran's rulers refused to go along.

They demanded concession after concession, knowing that Mr. Biden's envoys would claim they'd prevented the Islamic Republic from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability – even if that claim was in stark contrast with reality.

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Biden's overdue National Security Strategy

April 26, 2022  •  The Washington Times

Dear President Biden,

I hope this note finds you well. You're a busy guy, so I'll get straight to the point. You've now been in office for over year, and you still don't have a National Security Strategy (NSS) which, as you may know, you're legally obliged to send to Congress. That's a tad pokey, don't you think?

Last March, you did issue a placeholder: "Interim National Security Strategic Guidance." That document was primarily concerned with "the climate crisis" and "those who argue that, given all the challenges we face, autocracy is the best way forward." As has since become apparent, the latter is the real crisis because the autocrats are not just arguing.

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The absence of an off-ramp
A diplomatic end to Putin's war is becoming unlikely

April 19, 2022  •  The Washington Times

Let's acknowledge that we're treading on dangerous ground. Russia is ruled by a thug who has launched a war intended to extinguish Ukraine as an independent nation.

In 1990, there was a similar crisis. Another thug, Saddam Hussein, invaded and occupied Kuwait which, he insisted, was not a real country but only a rogue province of Iraq.

"This will not stand!" pronounced President George H. W. Bush who then mobilized more than two dozen nations to participate in a military campaign to oust the aggressors.

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Cold War II and the new "new world order"

March 30, 2022  •  The Washington Times

These are confusing times and President Biden is not helping bring clarity. Last week, for example, he told the Business Roundtable that "there's going to be a new world order." What could he possibly have meant?

The old "new world order" was established by the U.S. following World War II. With the hopefully named United Nations at its core, the goal was to prevent or at least limit armed conflicts, promote human rights, and establish a body of international laws and norms.

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