Anne Applebaum

More Than a Rock Star

Rather faster than I would have expected — sometime around the close of play last Wednesday — I began to get a familiar creepy feeling: It was that old “Princess Diana is dead and the media coverage is too much” sensation.

Five Election Myths

Election Day, as always, is fraught with peril. Beware the seductiveness of opinion polls, which can mislead badly; beware the even greater attraction of exit polls, which have so often been wrong. Beware the too-early commentary, the too-swift judgment; and, above all, beware the hopeful, reassuring cliches that will be passed around today and tomorrow, …

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Why McCain Lost Me

Yesterday, while reading the latest polling data on John McCain, Sarah Palin and their appeal — or growing lack of it — to ” independent women voters” it suddenly dawned on me: I am one of these elusive independent female voters, and I have the credentials to prove it.

The Iceland Syndrome

Imagine this scenario: In a medium-size European country — call it Country X — the bank regulators hold an ordinary meeting. These being extraordinary times, the regulators discuss the health of various banks, including the country’s largest — call it Bank Y — which is owned by an even larger Italian financial group.

In Korea, Rituals of Absurdity

Step out of the bus, walk across the courtyard, stop in front of the low-built, blue buildings: Here, in the Joint Security Area — a neutral space between North and South Korea, under U.N. jurisdiction since the 1953 armistice — is one of the world’s weirdest scenes.

The Smart Money in Afghanistan

Kabul — The scene is a small textile factory in a new industrial park on the outskirts of Kabul; the characters are an Afghan businessman, his American partner and a USAID official, the latter straight out of central casting: flustered, important, accompanied by gun-wielding bodyguards.

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