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. …

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

A Russian dissident pulls off a virtuoso trolling of the Putin regime

Anyone who wants a glimpse of the information wars that could lie in America’s future should have a look, immediately, at Alexei Navalny’s latest video (it’s got English subtitles). The video so annoyed Oleg Deripaska, the video’s oligarch anti-hero, that he has just persuaded Russia’s media regulator to block it. Navalny, Russia’s best known dissident — …

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In Britain, the specter of anti-Semitism returns

Anti-Semitism is back. Not just as a nasty little fringe sentiment, and not just in the Breitbart comment sections. Not just in social media either, although anyone who posts or tweets and has a Jewish-sounding surname (and even many who don’t) has had to get used to the fact that social media is a perfect …

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The stupidity and unenforceability of Poland’s speech law

The Streisand effect is one of the curious byproducts of the Internet age. Named for the singer — who tried to suppress a photograph of her Malibu mansion, only to have the picture seen far more widely as a result — it occurs when an attempt to hide, remove or censor something from public view …

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The Czech election says more about the state of Western democracy than we’d like to admit

He isn’t the country’s most important politician. In the Czech Republic, as in many European countries, the prime minister is far more powerful than the president. Nevertheless, the Czech president represents his country abroad, speaks on its behalf and generally helps set the tone and tenor of public debate, much like the American president does …

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‘Since the violence ended’: Peace, even if imperfect, comes to Colombia

On the journey up the Sierra Nevada to the San Lorenzo ridge, a very few abandoned military posts — forlorn bits of concrete, now green and crumbling — can be glimpsed along the side of the rutted jungle road. But there are no soldiers visible here, in one of the world’s most important bird sanctuaries. …

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Russia finds young men who love guns — and grooms them

By now we are all familiar with the Russian disinformation campaigns, designed to undermine democracy and sow distrust, which are present in many Western countries. The many uses of Russian corruption — the companies deployed for the political ends of the state, the banks and oligarchs who sponsor foreign politicians — are well known, too. …

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The America Europe needs right now is missing

No one has yet nailed down who really runs them or funds them, although Czech journalists have spent years trying. That hasn’t stopped the 30-odd “pro-Russian” websites in the Czech Republic from churning out a daily diet of conspiracy theory, slander, invented scandals about nonexistent Muslim migrants and attacks on the United States, NATO and …

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