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Clifford D. MayClifford D. MayMarch 23, 201710min621

Pakistan was meant to be a model, an example for other nations to emulate. It was founded after World War II, as the sun was setting on the British Empire and India was preparing for independence. India’s Muslims, though glad to see the end of the Raj, were apprehensive about becoming a minority in a Hindu-majority land. They envisioned instead what might be called a “two-state solution”: the establishment of a homeland for the subcontinent’s Muslims in areas where Muslims were in the majority. Their new nation was to be free, pluralist and tolerant.


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Clifford D. MayClifford D. MayJanuary 5, 201710min351

Palestinian Islamic Jihad is, as its name suggests, an organization committed to jihad — against Israel most urgently, though not exclusively. So when the U.N. Security Council on Dec. 23 passed a resolution condemning Israel, PIJ spokesman Dawood Shihab was pleased. He called it a “victory.” He wasn’t wrong. Nor was Fawzy Barhoum, a spokesman for Hamas, another organization openly committed to Israel’s extermination, as well as to “a jihadi revolution” that will be a “prelude to the establishment of the future Islamic caliphate.” He called the resolution an “important evolution in international positions.” He expressed Hamas’ “appreciation.” Most deserving of their gratitude is Barack Obama who decided to spend his last days in office playing golf in Hawaii and throwing America’s most reliable ally to the wolves at the U.N., an organization that exhibits passivity when it comes to the ongoing carnage in Syria, the genocide of Christians, Yazidis and other minorities in the broader Middle East, the conflict in Yemen, failing states — the list goes on and on.


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Clifford D. MayClifford D. MayNovember 17, 20169min434

“He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.” This, as you may recall, was the slogan of the totalitarian state imagined by George Orwell in 1984, his classic novel. Today, various groups of Islamists — which we can define as those committed to Islamic supremacism — are operationalizing this concept, attempting to alter the historical record in support of their totalitarian ambitions. Six months before the attack of 9/11/01, Taliban leader Mullah Omar ordered the destruction of Afghanistan’s ancient Buddhas of Bamiyan. Why? Because those monumental statues were reminders of a time when the country was not Islamic.


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Clifford D. MayClifford D. MayOctober 6, 20169min517

Millions of people want to come to America. Actually, it’s tens of millions or perhaps hundreds of millions. Some Americans believe our borders should be open — that everyone has a “right” to live in the United States. That seems to me both mistaken and impractical. But I also disagree with those who would shut the doors to all refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants. Such people have enriched and enlivened the United States in the past and can do so long into the future. What lies between these two extremes is prioritization, considering what’s best for America and what most Americans want, and how many people from various corners of the world can be successfully welcomed and integrated into a modern welfare state, one that continues to add costly entitlements. Humanitarian concerns need to be taken into account, too, because most Americans are humanitarians.


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Clifford D. MayClifford D. MaySeptember 22, 20168min327

Barack Obama is now in his final days as president but, as he made clear on his visit to Asia last week, there are goals he still hopes to achieve before leaving office. Closing the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay was among the promises he made when first campaigning for the White House. He continues to insist that Gitmo is a “recruitment tool that clouds and sours” America’s image in the world. In 2008, that argument may have seemed plausible. But considering what’s happened since — e.g. the mass slaughters and even genocide of Christians and Yazidis by self-proclaimed jihadis in Syria and Iraq and various terrorist atrocities in Europe — can anyone really still believe that outrage over enemy combatants being held in Cuba rather than Colorado is boosting the ranks of al Qaeda and the Islamic State?


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Clifford D. MayClifford D. MaySeptember 11, 20167min309

The 15th anniversary of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 should be a time for mourning, commemoration, reflection — and strategic planning. But many people prefer to avoid thinking too much about how life was interrupted on that sunshiny Tuesday morning: mothers and fathers making one final phone call to their children; office workers who, an hour earlier, were deciding where to have dinner, now deciding whether to be consumed by flames or leap to their deaths; dutiful police and firefighters rushing into the World Trade Center never to come out again; a long plume of smoke rising from the grey rubble of what had been great edifices bustling with commercial activity, as America-haters, domestic and foreign, began to babble about chickens coming home to roost.


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Clifford D. MayClifford D. MayAugust 11, 20169min337

Groucho Marx famously said he wouldn’t join any club that would have him as a member. Bernie Sanders last week turned that on its head, saying he wouldn’t remain a member of any party that wouldn’t have him as its leader. Sanders decided to become a Democrat only last year and only so he could seek the Democratic presidential nomination. He went on to wage an energetic and occasionally entertaining campaign. In the end, which came at the Democratic National Convention last week, he endorsed Hillary Clinton. The next day he told reporters he again considered himself an independent, not a Democrat.


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Clifford D. MayClifford D. MayJune 23, 20169min412

Tel Aviv’s Sarona Market bills itself as the “heartbeat of Israeli culinary art.” Dozens of small restaurants and shops offer cheese, wine, bread, fish, olives, pasta, burgers — pretty much anything you can imagine and quite a bit that you probably cannot. I had a nice lunch there the other day. Exactly a week later two Palestinian men sat down in a café, ordered dessert, pulled handguns from beneath their dark suit jackets and began firing at everyone in sight. Four civilians were murdered and more than a dozen wounded before the killers were stopped — one shot by a security guard, the other arrested. The following day, the Sarona Market was up and running again. It’s not that Israelis have grown blasé about such bloodshed. But shutting down the market for more than a few hours would have provided the terrorists with a bonus. Israelis also recognize that terrorists can strike anywhere — even a place you might not expect (like Orlando, Florida) and against those you might not expect to be in the crosshairs (though if you didn’t know that Islamists target gays you haven’t been paying attention).