Anne Applebaum

In Trump’s Virtual World, Real Catastrophes Do Not Compute

Oregon is on fire. Throughout the state, tens of thousands of people have been forced to take refuge. They are sleeping in their cars, in a convention center, on the floors of packed prisons. Several towns have been destroyed. Cities have been evacuated. Hundreds of homes have burned. The suburbs of Portland are threatened, and …

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Trump’s True Relationship With Russia Has Never Been Revealed

Getty / Arsh Raziuddin / The Atlantic Fate offered Peter Strzok a place in history that he never sought. The son of an Army officer, Strzok also served in the United States military before joining the FBI’s counterintelligence operation in 1996. He excelled at his job: In 2001, he was part of the team that …

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The 22-Year-Old Blogger Behind Protests in Belarus

In the videos posted last Sunday from Belarus, thousands of people can be seen streaming into the center of Minsk, walking up the broad avenues, gathering in a park. In smaller cities and even little towns—Brest, Gomel, Khotsimsk, Molodechno, Shklov—they are walking down main streets, meeting in squares, singing pop songs and folk songs. They …

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How to Beat Populists When the Facts Don’t Matter

A few weeks ago, I went to a political rally in a farmyard. The Polish presidential candidate Rafał Trzaskowski was speaking; in the background, a golden wheat field shimmered in the late-afternoon sun. The audience was enthusiastic—the host, a local farmer, had spread news of the candidate’s visit only the day before—but the juxtaposition of …

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The World Putin Made

Illustration by Celina Pereira; BStU; Ulrich Hässler / Ullstein Bild / Getty It was December 1989, the Berlin Wall had fallen, and in Dresden, crowds were gathering outside the headquarters of the Stasi, the East German secret police, shouting insults and demanding access. Nearby, frantic KGB officers—the Soviet advisers whom the Stasi had long referred …

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Trump Is Putting On a Show in Portland

The very idea seems, on the face of it, sheer madness. In Portland, Oregon, federal security officers dressed for combat—wearing jungle-camouflage uniforms with unclear markings, carrying heavy weapons, using batons and tear gas—are patrolling the streets, making random arrests, throwing people into unmarked vans. The officers do not come from institutions that specialize in political …

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Laura Ingraham’s Descent Into Despair

“It was cocktail hour on the opening day of the new, Republican-dominated Congress, and the long, chandelier-lighted parlor of David Brock’s town house in Georgetown was filling up with exuberant young conservatives fresh from events on the Hill.” That was the opening sentence, in 1995, of a New York Times Magazine cover story called “The …

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Poland’s Rulers Made Up a ‘Rainbow Plague’

Rare is the election campaign that truly hinges on a single issue. But in the run-up to Sunday’s presidential election in Poland, “LGBT”—an English acronym that sounds strange and foreign in Polish—was unquestionably the dominant theme. The coronavirus pandemic is still ravaging the world, an economic crisis looms, and international politics are in turmoil. Yet …

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Trump Is Turning America Into the ‘Shithole Country’ He Fears

Trump Is Turning America into the ‘Shithole Country’ He Fears

There is a lot of learned material written about nationalism—scholarly books and papers, histories of it, theories of it—but most of us understand that nationalism, at its heart, at its very deepest roots, is about a feeling of superiority: We are better than you. Our country is better than your country. Or even—and apologies, but …

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The Voice of America Will Sound Like Trump

The Voice of America Will Sound Like Trump

Of all the myriad Washington bureaucrats, diplomats, congressional staffers, and politicians who spend their time thinking about U.S.-China policy, probably no one has actually triggered the Chinese more than Libby Liu. For 14 years, Liu was the president of Radio Free Asia, an independent but congressionally funded broadcaster that transmits news and information in Mandarin, …

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