Blips on the Screen: Risk-Free Assassinations

Andrew Cockburn, 3 December 2020

The record of this year’s wars shows that although these weapons may not provide a decisive edge in combat they excel in self-advertisement, projecting an image of all-seeing omnipotence. Drones...

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Short Cuts: Troll Factories

Vera Tolz, 3 December 2020

Donald Trump’s​ press conference on 5 November, in which he claimed he had won the election and said there had been mass voter fraud, was like a scene from a dystopian movie. His...

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Diary: America is a baby

Patricia Lockwood, 3 December 2020

‘You’re not the only one,’ a friend assured me, and sent me screenshots of other people who couldn’t change their dresses or remove their ties until the official call came. At best,...

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A Regular Grey

Jonathan Parry, 3 December 2020

To​ have one brother killed by an African animal would be a misfortune. To lose two, at different times, is surely remarkable. Such was the distinction of Sir Edward Grey, who served as foreign secretary...

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Of all​ the world’s trouble spots few are more susceptible than the Middle East to being seen in terms of binary oppositions. One particularly murky dichotomy is between Sunni and...

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Mainstream Democrats have had more than a generation to respond to the simple question: what will you do to increase job opportunities here in Erie (or Warren, Dubuque, Lorain, Wilkes-Barre and so on)?...

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Why go high?

Adam Shatz, 19 November 2020

Trump will cast a long shadow, especially overseas, where America’s image has suffered a calamitous blow. Every country is at times reduced to playing a crude caricature of itself, exhibiting its...

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Warthog Dynamism

David Bromwich, 19 November 2020

Trump throws himself into a relentless salesman’s posture for whatever product he happens to be selling. The Democrats made the mistake of assuming that his vulgarity and ignorance were self-evident:...

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Warfare State

Thomas Meaney, 5 November 2020

Democrats and Republicans across the spectrum are increasingly united in an anti-China front, whether on grounds of trade or human rights or strategic balance. They are Democrats v. authoritarians, though...

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The Importance of Being Ernie

Ferdinand Mount, 5 November 2020

Ernest Bevin’s vigorous scepticism and his quick understanding of what other people were actually like – a rare quality in politicians, that race of incurable solipsists – went with an...

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Short Cuts: Fox News

Deborah Friedell, 5 November 2020

Trump is known to watch so much Fox News (up to seven hours a day, coded on his schedule as ‘executive time’) that some advertisers – farmers seeking subsidies, airlines opposed to foreign...

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Cronyism and Clientelism

Peter Geoghegan, 5 November 2020

Will politicians be willing to anger Silicon Valley or big banks if the same firms are likely to feather their nests almost as soon as they step away from the cabinet table? Is the implicit message that...

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Syria Alone

Patrick Cockburn, 5 November 2020

Authoritarian elites, in Syria as elsewhere, are largely immune to embargoes and may even profit from them because they have the power to monopolise scarce resources. The poor and the powerless, the great...

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Red Pill, Blue Pill

James Meek, 22 October 2020

Conspiracists describe epi­phanies where they start to see the big pict­ure, the universal meta-conspiracy that ex­plains and links everything. But the picture isn’t big. It’s small....

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China after Covid

Wang Xiuying, 22 October 2020

Since China tamed the virus and normal life resumed, the CCP has bestowed its highest honours on key scientists and doctors. Political commentators, like middle-class consumers, are in high spirits. The...

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In the Grey Zone: Proxy Warfare

Tom Stevenson, 22 October 2020

Whenever America’s enemies are said to be using ‘asymmetric’ or unconventional tactics and proxy warfare, it’s easy to forget not only that America is the world’s most prolific...

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Diary: In Conakry

Fleur Macdonald, 22 October 2020

Guinea hasn’t had much experience of democracy. Since independence it has been ruled by a series of dictators, some better liked than others. Alpha Condé was elected ten years ago, in the...

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Short Cuts: RBG’s Big Mistake

Frederick Wilmot-Smith, 8 October 2020

Should Trump’s nominee be confirmed, the Supreme Court will shift to the right, probably far to the right, and will remain there for a generation. Ruth Bader Ginsburg takes the lion’s share...

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