The president of the European Commission was there; so were the Iranian activist Shirin Ebadi and former South African president Frederik Willem de Klerk, both recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize.
“Nyet! Nyet!” That’s what a Russian bodyguard told a McClatchy news reporter when the latter asked for comment on an incident aboard the Admiral Chabanenko, a Russian destroyer that carried President Dmitry Medvedev to Venezuela last week.
Way back in January, soon after Barack Obama won an improbable victory in the Iowa caucuses, I wrote an article arguing that—despite the conventional wisdom and the snide “white Americans will never vote for a black man” comments from my European friends—it was not a disadvantage to be a black presidential candidate. On the contrary, …
Which would you rather read, The Great Gatsby or F. Scott Fitzgerald’s day-by-day account of the whisky he drank and the cigarettes he smoked while writing it? La Comédie humaine or a list of the cups of coffee Balzac downed, between midnight and sunrise, while putting all of those words down on paper?
“Das ist die Stunde Europas.” Als ein durchaus vergessenswerter luxemburgischer Außenminister diese Worte 1992 sprach, schienen sie große Dinge anzukündigen: Nach dem Ende des Kalten Kriegs würden die Europäer, nicht die Amerikaner den Bosnien-Konflikt und vielleicht so manches andere lösen.
Once, while travelling in an odd part of Siberia, I was told of a place called ‘the English colony’. A remote spot — it was said to be several hours from the nearest town, but trains were infrequent and roads non-existent — the ‘English colony’ was the site of a former Soviet camp: a small …
“Odd.” That’s what German Chancellor Angela Merkel said when told of Barack Obama’s plan to deliver a major campaign speech at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, right where the Berlin Wall used to be
Myself, I was rooting for Spain in the finals: The Spanish economy is in the doldrums at the moment, and I thought a win might cheer up the Spaniards — which it did, judging by Sunday’s post-victory all-night street party.
Perhaps it’s just a coincidence, but in the past few days, I’ve felt overwhelmed by a tsunami of commentary, all of which purports to prove the fundamental nastiness of Barack Obama or, alternatively, the deep unlikability of John McCain. You thought our presidential candidates were nice guys, regular guys, guys with whom you’d like to …
Pretty much for as long as I’ve been paying attention to these things, Europe has been “in crisis” or “in chaos” or “in despair” because one or another European country failed to ratify yet another European treaty. Invariably, something cataclysmically important was at stake, such as the creation of a European currency.