Ominous cracks show in the West’s united front against Russia

In the end, Britain was not isolated. At least 28 countries have now agreed to expel nearly 150 Russian diplomats, in a coordinated response to Russia’s use of a military-grade chemical weapon in an assassination attempt in Salisbury, a provincial English town. Even as the Russian government continues to throw out dozens of counter-explanations for …

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Why does Putin treat Britain with disdain? He thinks he’s bought it.

“Londongrad” is the nickname, not entirely affectionate, that wealthy Russians have bestowed upon Britain’s capital. The term doesn’t just designate a physical place, though many Russians do indeed live here. Londongrad is more properly a state of mind — encompassing not only the nonresident owners of large houses in Kensington, but also the British institutions, …

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Rex Tillerson, R.I.P.

Few people will miss Rex Tillerson. Certainly not the State Department officials whose lives he upended with a “reform” that seemed to have no discernible goals. Certainly not the diplomats and experts whom he ignored and undermined. Certainly not the foreign diplomats he dealt with either: Tillerson didn’t have the background in diplomacy or politics to …

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Trump’s abuses of power may not matter

The charges range widely, from relatively trivial abuses of privilege to completely unprecedented breaches of ethical laws and norms. The president and his son-in-law may be using American foreign policy to enrich themselves. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has broken rules to fly first-class. Foreign delegations routinely book rooms at Trump’s Washington hotel to …

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In Europe, political parties would rather stay out of power

“All political careers end in failure,” a British politician once said: Sooner or later everybody gets voted out, overthrown or forgotten. Even knowing that, four months ago nobody would have put Angela Merkel on a list of world leaders most likely to be knifed in the back. Back in September, the German chancellor was elected …

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America doesn’t need Russia to ruin democracy. It can do it itself.

Enrage the base. Use violent language. Create fear and anxiety. Talk the country down, tell everybody that things are getting worse. Promote division — sort Americans into “us” and “them,” in speech and online. Undermine democracy itself: Hint heavily that the vote is rigged, that the system is broken, that the nation’s ideals are trash. …

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