I admit that up until recently I’ve had trouble taking seriously the violent protesters and tear-gas throwers who nowadays show up whenever a meeting of one of our great globalizing, multilateral institutions takes place.
Hands up anyone who remembers the first scene in Air Force One, the film in which Harrison Ford plays the American president as action hero: The opening credits roll, parachutes open up, American paratroopers swoop down.
Although it briefly flashed onto the front pages this week, I expect that over the next few months, politicians will contrive to ensure that we hear as little as possible about the International Criminal Court.
“Remember that the two presidents do not know each other,” one official cautioned the New York Times. “Mr. Putin,” opined their correspondent, “seems unlikely to achieve with Mr. Clinton the easy-going ‘Boris and Bill’ chemistry that dominated during Mr. Yeltsin’s two terms.”
You wouldn’t know it to look at him, but Vladimir Ryzhkov is one of the great hopes for democracy in Russia. With the air of a slightly shaggy, overgrown student, Ryzhkov isn’t your classic baby-kissing politician. For Russia he is young (he served as deputy speaker of the Russian parliament at the tender age of …