USA / Transit

Crimea as a Glimpse into a Post-American World

Fareed Zakaria’s “post-American world” may not be as benign as the author envisaged back in 2008. Other centers of power may follow Russia’s lead and start exploiting the cracks in the international order rather than engage in helping to patch them up.
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Washington Has Sealed Aleppo’s Fate

In recent months, the diplomatic posturing in Washington about a cease-fire in Aleppo barely obscured its acquiescence in Bashar al-Assad’s winning the war before the end of the Obama administration. The fall of Aleppo makes us examine who we are. Despite generally honest media coverage, an international mobilization for the besieged city never materialized.
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Autocracy: Rules for Survival

Despite losing the popular vote, Trump has secured as much power as any American leader in recent history. The Republican Party controls both houses of Congress. There is a vacancy on the Supreme Court. The country is at war abroad and has been in a state of mobilization for fifteen years. This means not only that Trump will be able to move fast but also that he will become accustomed to an unusually high level of political support. He will want to maintain and increase it—his ideal is the totalitarian-level popularity numbers of Vladimir Putin—and the way to achieve that is through mobilization. There will be more wars, abroad and at home.
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Aleppo as a Path to Invincibility

As soon as the U.S.-Russia-brokered cease-fire agreement collapsed about two weeks ago, Assad’s army, supported by the Russian air force, intensified its bombing campaign and artillery shelling of the besieged areas. The Syrian government prevents humanitarian aid from getting to Aleppo, saying that this is how the rebels get arms and ammunition. The result is a bloody stalemate in which neither side is prepared to compromise and no force on the ground is overwhelming enough to claim victory and thus end the carnage. Eastern Aleppo is facing defeat by slow attrition if no political agreement is reached.
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America Hasn’t Gone Crazy. It’s Just More Like Europe

In comparing themselves with Europe, Americans prided themselves on the fact that “It can’t happen here” — namely, European socialism and European fascism. It viewed itself as immune to the pathologies of democracy: Crowds can go crazy in any other place in the world, but not in America, the land of common sense. But after the last years of extreme polarization and dysfunctional governance, are Americans still convinced that their democracy cannot be upended?
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Parsing Populism: Who Is and Who Is Not a Populist These Days

Donald Trump is but Bernie Sanders isn’t; Syriza is, sometimes. Contemporary populism is not just anti-elitist, but also necessarily anti-pluralist, and in this exclusive claim to representation lies its profoundly undemocratic character.
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As Ohio Goes: A Letter from Tea-Party Country

As Michele Bachmann contends for the Republican nomination, we might ask what her Tea Party means for her native midwest. In southwestern Ohio, where I was born and raised, mantras of low taxation and small government have become the way to avoid discussing the challenges of globalization. Beneath this region’s soothing triple green of maize, …
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Getting Reset Right

The collapse of the Mubarak regime in Egypt and the American president’s decision to side with the Arab street, sacrificing one of Washington’s longest and most important strategic allies, compelled many observers to ask two questions: Are we witnessing the end of Obama’s realism; and how will the lessons of Cairo affect Obama’s policy of …
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Obama and the Crisis: What Does the Future Hold?

The rise of populist, xenophobic and nationalist parties has been attributed to tensions arising from the financial crisis in Europe. While these tensions have erupted in some regions of the United States as well, ironically at the national level, the steep downturn delivered a democratic victory with the election of Barack Obama. This is not …
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The Impact of Immigration on American Society:
Looking Backward to the Future

Charles Hirschman surveys the history of immigration in America in an attempt to understand current attitudes and the future. “While it is not possible to predict the role of immigration in America’s future, it is instructive to study the past. The current debates and hostility to immigrants echo throughout American history. What is most surprising is that almost all popular fears about immigration and even the judgements of ‘experts’ about the negative impact of immigrants have been proven false by history.”
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