Is the Long War Finally Ending

In October 1944, with the end of World War II in sight, Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin passed a note back and forth to each other at a conference in Moscow. On the piece of paper, Churchill had assigned percentages to several Eastern European countries. Stalin amended the numbers, and Churchill agreed. The deal remained secret for nearly a decade. The percentages on the piece of paper...
read more

Painting the World Green

Once upon a time, a rich hypochondriac was complaining about pains in his head and stomach. He consulted a wise man who pointed out that the root of the problem lay somewhere else: in the man’s eyes. To resolve the persistent headache and stomachache, the sage suggested focusing on just one color in the surrounding environment – green – and ignoring all others. The rich man promptly hired...
read more

The U.S. Senate Is a Global Problem

Watching the Senate conduct the second impeachment trial of Donald Trump brought back a flood of memories from high school. I distinctly remember an earlier incarnation of those Trump-friendly Republican senators taking up their positions at the back of class to snicker, yawn ostentatiously, and otherwise disrupt the serious, well-researched presentations of their fellow students. Then, when it...
read more

America: The Unreliable Superpower

The nightmare is over. The vanquished beast has crawled back to Mar-a-Lago to lick his wounds. The heroes are hard at work repairing the damage. As America returns to the international stage, the world heaves a collective sigh of relief. That, at least, is the story the incoming Biden administration is telling. “America is back, multilateralism is back, diplomacy is back,” as Linda...
read more

The Future of U.S. Democracy Promotion

On Inauguration Day 2021, the nation’s capital looks like it has just experienced a coup, not successfully survived one. Streets are blocked off, barricades are up, and armed police and National Guard are everywhere. The inauguration itself is taking place in front of a deliberately minimal crowd, as if the authorities are somehow pulling off an inside job. These precautions are eminently...
read more

Szitsky Krik

In Season One of the wildly popular TV series Szitsky Krik, viewers thrilled to see the delicious comeuppance of a former U.S. president and his once-glamorous wife Melania. Having ruthlessly climbed over people to become the most powerful couple in the world, Donny and Melania are abruptly stripped of their political influence within months of a presidential election that failed to give Donny a...
read more