Category: Roger Cohen

Two Deaths and My Life

Samuel Beckett, when asked one beautiful spring morning whether such a day did not make him glad to be alive, responded, “I wouldn’t go as far as that.” Life is a predicament, death the elephant at the horizon that looms larger as the years pass.

Still, life is what we have. To give less than everything to it is dereliction. In the end its wonder is unimaginable without the presence of death.

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Trump Plays Golf to Iran’s Chess

Take the most combustible, scarred, dysfunctional relationship the United States has with any country in the world and place it in the hands of an impulsive, ignorant, bullying American leader and you are likely to sleepwalk to the brink of war. That is what just happened with President Trump and Iran. It was no surprise. He has been fiddling with this grenade since he took office.

By killing Maj. Gen.

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The ‘Infinity War’ in the Streets of Hong Kong

HONG KONG — Carrie Lam, the lame-duck Beijing-backed ruler of Hong Kong, is unhappy that Christmas has been “ruined by a group of reckless and selfish rioters.” Joan Shang, who works in sustainable development and has joined the pro-democracy protests, takes a different view. “It’s an ideological war and we are at the center of it,” she said of the near-seven-month campaign. Such struggles do not take a break for Santa.

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A Longing for the Lost Landline

This is a lament for the landline, a rhapsody for its dial tone, a hymn to the way it connected people. It’s the little things we miss. The landline was a focal point of the home, an antidote to atomization and loneliness, those scourges of our age.

I still hear my mother, at our London home, answering the phone in her singsong voice: “Double-one-nine-five.

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Lost and Found in Hemingway’s Spain

Earlier this year, I got lost while hiking in the Sierra de Guadarrama, which rises to almost 8,000 feet in central Spain. It had been a grueling day under the September sun. The trail, scattered with boulders, was longer and steeper than expected. What had been described as a gentle glide along a ridge after a tough initial ascent proved unrelenting.

About seven hours in, I fell behind my two friends.

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How to Dislodge the Brute in the White House

Chuck Hardwick, lifelong Republican, former Pfizer executive, now retired in Florida, voted for Donald Trump in 2016, but not without misgivings. He’d met him in the 1980s and noted a “consuming ego.” Still, elections are about choices, and he disliked the “scheming” Clintons. He was mad at the media for first mocking Trump during the primaries and then turning on him as nominee.

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