Resisting Russiaphobia

Resisting Russiaphobia

We need to have a little talk. We’re panicking, you and I. We didn’t think Donald Trump would actually win. And we see that his administration has been an abomination so far. His reckless greed and racism are bad for the United States and bad for the world. More»

Riding With Mr. Eddy

Riding With Mr. Eddy

Watching Lost Highway (1996) at the Soho Curzon, my friends and I began to connect the dots between David Lynch’s films and the rise of populist demagogues (we’ll get to this later). In more ways than one Soho was the perfect place to watch Lost Highway, those famous twin poles of Freudian thinking – sex and death – are a vital part of the Lynchian universe. More»

America’s Press Problem

America’s Press Problem

Many years ago, at JFK airport, after returning from abroad, I was stopped by a Customs and Border Patrol agent, who inquired about the purpose of my trip, and then followed up by asking what my profession is. When I told him I was a reporter, he accused me of purposely putting out negative misinformation about law enforcement. More»

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Working for Washington

Working for Washington

The American intelligence community got two things out of the dusty Chadian hamlet of Ouadi Doum in Chad during the Reagan Administration. One was a Soviet-built Mi-25 Hind gunship left behind by the Libyan invaders, ferried out in 1987 for the military to take apart and study. More»

Reinventing the Centre Ground

Reinventing the Centre Ground

Understandably, a lot of people see Theresa May’s populist turn as a sharp turn to the extreme right. The Nasty Party is back! This is a new kind of poujadism, as you’ve read in Jacobin. Her last speech was just less threatening than in the original German, or so I’m told. More»

Beyond Trump

Beyond Trump

In 2002, French voters expected that their first round of presidential voting, in which candidates from many parties can run and the people are said to vote with their hearts, would end up with incumbent conservative Jacques Chirac against the Socialist Lionel Jospin coming in first and second. More»

My Days In Damascus: Out Of The Belly Of The Whale Part 2

My Days In Damascus: Out Of The Belly Of The Whale Part 2

Farah is a young woman living in Syria’s capital city, where she faces the daily struggles of trying to maintain a normal social and professional life in a country being ripped apart by war. More»

Legends of the Fall

Legends of the Fall

As a practical matter, it seems to be very difficult to write a book about the Frankfurt School (or any of its related figures) which is not hagiographical, impenetrable, interminable, or some combination of the three. I can count on one hand the number of titles on this topic that did not prompt me to the immediate consumption of alcohol or some sort of stimulant. More»

Drugs Instead of Dreams

Drugs Instead of Dreams

In the United States right now, little has been able to compete with Donald Trump for headlines. Police killings, mostly of black men, and the protests against them have managed. So have mass shootings, particularly when they could be connected to “radical Islam.” Besides those obvious above-the-fold stories, though, perhaps the most durable subject in the news has been the nation’s epidemic of overdoses. More»

The Future of the Balkans

The Future of the Balkans

The Balkan wars have been bloody and costly. We shall never know of the thousands of men, women, and children who died from privation, disease, and massacre. But the losses of the dead and wounded in the armies were for Montenegro 11,200, for Greece 68,000, for Serbia 71,000, for Bulgaria 156,000, and for Turkey about the same as for Bulgaria. More»

Asian Caricatures

Asian Caricatures

In his magisterial War Without Mercy, John Dower convincingly describes how prewar anti-Japanese feelings were driven by populist American fears of Japanese immigration and actual military contingency planning, though military planners consistently underestimated the Japanese in racist terms. More»

What Cities Have Learned on the Front Lines of Refugee Response

What Cities Have Learned on the Front Lines of Refugee Response

Much of the responsibility in caring for refugees arriving in Germany has fallen to local authorities.  More»

Life in London

Life in London

It rained yesterday morning. The first rain of winter. The air was sharp, cold and grey. The grey light of days gone by. The wet street a deep blue-black. The grey of winter recalls what I have left behind. More»

Racial Propaganda in Macedonia

Racial Propaganda in Macedonia

Of all perplexing subjects in the world few can be more baffling than the distribution of races in Macedonia. The Turks classify the population, not by language or by physical characteristics, but by religion. More»

End Games

End Games

It’s normal to hear NATO described as an “internationalist project” in Western Europe. Even the centre-left has long stood by the Atlantic alliance. Britain was signed up to NATO by the post-war Labour government. By contrast, France withdrew from NATO under the leadership of Charles de Gaulle as part of his politics of grandeur. Yet the NATO project may not have been so lost in the Cold War as it is today. More»