In the wake of a political murder, the hate campaign continues

  • By
  • Anne Applebaum

On the day after the murder of Jo Cox in 2016, stunned politicians on both sides of the Brexit referendum campaign fell silent. Cox was a member of the British parliament who favored remaining inside the European Union and campaigned about Syria; her assassin was both mentally ill and an extremist who scoured the Internet for white supremacist material. He shouted “Britain first” as he shot and stabbed her. Feelings were riding high, the referendum debate had been emotional, and everyone agreed, in honor of Cox, to stop campaigning for three days. Continue reading “In the wake of a political murder, the hate campaign continues”

The anti-Europeans have a plan for crippling the European Union

  • By
  • Anne Applebaum

In theory, the European Union’s parliamentary elections are the most international in the world. The winners serve in a multinational legislature. They speak to one another with the help of hundreds of translators. They are members of transnational parties: In the parliament buildings in Brussels and Strasbourg, center-left MEPs from across Europe sit with the Party of European Socialists, center-right MEPs caucus with the European People’s Party, and so on. Continue reading “The anti-Europeans have a plan for crippling the European Union”

The Trump-Putin revelations tell us what we knew all along

  • By
  • Anne Applebaum

The brain of Homo sapiens has a fatal attraction to secrets. What we see before our eyes is never sufficient; we want to know what lies behind it, what explains it, what’s the deeper meaning. The compulsion to get beneath the surface of things lies at the heart of what makes some people scholars or scientists. It’s also at the heart of what makes some people conspiracy theorists. More to the point, it explains why so many are excited by recent “revelations” about President Trump and his relationship with Vladimir Putin, even though they are telling us nothing new. Continue reading “The Trump-Putin revelations tell us what we knew all along”

Why the world should be paying attention to Putin’s plans for Belarus

  • By
  • Anne Applebaum

On Sept 10, 2001, I published a column about Belarus, the former Soviet republic squeezed between Russia and Europe. It described how the Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko was stealing elections, keeping tight control over the media and the economy, harassing political opponents and occasionally murdering them. Lukashenko, I wrote, was Europe’s longest-standing dictator. Yet only a few months earlier, President George W. Bush had given a rousing speech on the need for Europe, whole and free. “No more Yaltas,” he had said — meaning no more agreements like the one Roosevelt and Stalin signed in 1945, dividing Europe in half. Belarus loomed large as an obstacle blocking that dream.

Continue reading “Why the world should be paying attention to Putin’s plans for Belarus”

The lure of chaos is leading Britain straight into the abyss

  • By
  • Anne Applebaum
  • LONDON

In the weeks leading up to the declaration of war in 1914, the British were supremely confident. “It will be over by Christmas” said the optimists; pessimists reckoned the war might last two whole years. Almost nobody predicted the trenches, the destruction of farms and fields, the loss of an entire generation of young men in the battles that eventually became known as World War I. Continue reading “The lure of chaos is leading Britain straight into the abyss”

The Brexiteers have failed — so they blame Theresa May

  • By
  • Anne Applebaum

In almost any field of human endeavor — football, acting, plumbing — failure has a price. If you can’t push the hockey puck into the goal, you get kicked off the team. If your jokes don’t make people laugh, your career as a stand-up comic is brutally short. If the house you built has a leaky roof, nobody will buy it. Continue reading “The Brexiteers have failed — so they blame Theresa May”

Hungary is thumbing its nose at the U.S. — by following Trump’s cues

  • By
  • Anne Applebaum

During his first NATO summit in Brussels, President Trump refused to state his support for NATO’s most important treaty obligation. During his first British visit, the president managed to offend everybody, from tabloid journalists to the queen. But although there are many incidents and relationships to choose from, the most embarrassing European foreign policy failure of the Trump administration is not unfolding in London or Brussels, but in Budapest. Continue reading “Hungary is thumbing its nose at the U.S. — by following Trump’s cues”

The democratic world could feel the heat from Paris

  • By
  • Anne Applebaum

Fire, flares and tear gas scorched Paris on Saturday night; on Sunday morning, the carcasses of burned cars littered the streets, and graffiti covered the Arc de Triomphe. Smaller, and mostly more peaceful, marches had also played out across the country, where for the past couple of weekends protesters have occupied French toll booths, blocked speed cameras on highways, stopped traffic and bricked up the entrances to regional tax offices. Continue reading “The democratic world could feel the heat from Paris”

Russia’s latest attack on the Ukrainians is a warning to the West

  • By
  • Anne Applebaum

On Saturday evening, three small Ukrainian naval vessels left the Ukrainian port of Odessa and headed for the Ukrainian port of Mariupol. Along the way, they had to pass through the Kerch Strait, a sliver of water that lies between the Russian-occupied Crimean Peninsula and the Russian mainland. The Ukrainian ships were well within their rights to be there — a similar group of ships went through the strait just a month ago, and a 2003 treaty guarantees the rights of both nations to use those waters. But this time, in a carefully arranged provocation, Russian ships fired on the Ukrainian ships — and then seized them, along with 23 crew members. Continue reading “Russia’s latest attack on the Ukrainians is a warning to the West”

Iran’s regime could fall apart. What happens then?

  • By
  • Anne Applebaum

We are now more than two weeks into a new sanctions regime on Iran, and it will be a long time before it ends. The secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, has listed 12 conditions that Iran needs to meet before that happens. They include a permanent cessation of Iranian support for revolutionary groups abroad, as well as a permanent halt to Iran’s nuclear program. By its own definition, the Islamic Republic of Iran is a revolutionary regime dedicated to exporting its form of radical Islam; it’s also a theocracy that relies on nationalist sentiment to maintain its support. In other words, these conditions are not going to be met anytime soon. Continue reading “Iran’s regime could fall apart. What happens then?”