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Clifford D. MayClifford D. MayJune 15, 20178min365

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.


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Clifford D. MayClifford D. MayFebruary 16, 201710min369

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.


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Clifford D. MayClifford D. MayNovember 17, 20169min388

“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. MayAugust 11, 20169min281

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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Pat DuncanPat DuncanJune 2, 201612min331

President Barack Obama touched down in Colorado to give his final commencement speech to U.S. Air Force Academy graduates as commander in chief. The graduates are coming of age at a time of fresh global threats that seem to be pulling the United States back into conflicts with uncertain ends. When he came into office in 2009, Obama pledged to end two wars and to keep America's fighting forces out of unnecessary entanglements. In one of his first addresses to graduates, just months on the job, he told the U.S. Naval Academy that he promised to deploy the country's diplomatic, economic and moral influence so that the military alone wouldn't bear the burden of keeping Americans safe. "It's a promise that as long as I am your commander in chief, I will only send you into harm's way when it is absolutely necessary, and with the strategy and the well-defined goals, the equipment and the support that you need to get the job done," Obama said in Annapolis, Maryland.