Cliff_May_02-high_res-e1455772348388.jpg

Clifford D. MayClifford D. MayJune 15, 20178min359

In the aftermath of the terrorist atrocities of Sept. 11, 2001, President George W. Bush drew a line in the sand. “Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make,” he announced. “Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists.” Since then, disappointingly if not surprisingly, more than a few nations have straddled that line, providing support to America and America’s enemies alike. Is that because they sympathize with the goals of the terrorists or because they’re afraid of the terrorists or is there some other explanation? It’s not clear. What is: No nation has hedged its bets more egregiously than Qatar.


Cliff_May_02-high_res-e1455772348388.jpg

Clifford D. MayClifford D. MayJune 8, 20179min292

The slaughter of 22 concert-goers in Manchester May 22 was followed four days later by the murder of 29 Christians traveling by bus to a monastery in the desert south of Cairo. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for both attacks. In an internet video, a masked spokesman denounced the victims — many of them teenage girls, fans of pop singer Ariana Grande — as “crusaders.” As for Egyptian Christians, also known as Copts, they have been described in other Islamic State videos as “our favorite prey.”


Cliff_May_02-high_res-e1455772348388.jpg

Clifford D. MayClifford D. MayMarch 2, 20178min386

RIYADH – Saudi Arabia is changing. When government officials here tell you that, you take it with an oversized grain of salt. But when Saudi human rights activists say the same, you pay attention. “Baby steps,” is how one bright young woman phrases it. She has studied abroad and recently become an attorney, one of only about 120 women admitted to the bar in this gender-segregated country.


Cliff_May_02-high_res-e1455772348388.jpg

Clifford D. MayClifford D. MayFebruary 16, 201710min365

Al Qaeda does not value diversity and it’s not an equal opportunity employer. The same can be said of the Islamic State. And when the rulers of the Islamic Republic of Iran want to commit an act of terrorism — the bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983, to take just one example — they are likely to give the assignment to members of Hezbollah, a radical Islamic group of the Shia persuasion. They are highly unlikely to recruit Unitarians, Mormons or Baha’i. This is an uncomfortable reality for all of us but especially for the millions of moderate Muslims who are not our enemies and the smaller number of reformist Muslims who are our most valuable allies in the war that must be fought against ideologies that are supremacist, anti-Christian, anti-Jewish, anti-Hindu, anti-Buddhist, anti-LGBT, anti-women, anti-freedom, anti-democratic — I could go on.


Cliff_May_02-high_res-e1455772348388.jpg

Clifford D. MayClifford D. MayDecember 15, 20169min377

One man, one vote, one time: In 2005, Mahmoud Abbas was elected to a four-year term as president of the Palestinian Authority. He hasn’t bothered to run for re-election since. He also is president of Fatah, a political movement with past ties to terrorism and the dominant faction within the Palestine Liberation Organization. The PLO was founded in 1964 — three years before Israelis were in Gaza or the West Bank. Mr. Abbas is chairman of the PLO, too. What all this means is that despite Mr. Abbas’ declining popularity — two-thirds of Palestinians would like him to resign, according to a recent poll — no one has been able to successfully challenge his power on the West Bank.


AP16342827374324-1-e1481443995914.jpg

Tom RamstackTom RamstackDecember 13, 201611min487

Accused al Qaeda terrorists faced another pretrial hearing last week at the military detention center at Guantanamo, Cuba, in the kind of scene likely to increase dramatically soon. The hearings for dozens of Guantanamo detainees have dragged on for nearly five years at a cost to taxpayers approaching $1 billion when the price tag of their incarceration is included. Only eight of the cases have been completed. Three of the convictions were overturned and one partially overturned.


Cliff_May_02-high_res-e1455772348388.jpg

Clifford D. MayClifford D. MayNovember 24, 20168min428

First and foremost: Nothing is more pivotal to democratic governance then holding free and fair elections that lead to a peaceful transference of power. Over the past week, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama all demonstrated that they get that. This is an achievement that should not be taken for granted — an achievement that remains out of reach in too many of the world’s nations. Sadly, thousands of Americans are too ignorant to comprehend that. They have been not just protesting — that’s fine, that’s their right — but attacking Trump supporters, burning American flags and vandalizing property. Not without justification do Trump voters see this as confirmation that they made the right choice. The majority of those voters live in “flyover country,” the vast American heartland between the Acela Corridor and the Left Coast. Most pollsters and journalists, ostensible pulse-takers of the nation, had not a clue as to what they were thinking.