Category: Roger Cohen

The Spirit That Brought Down the Berlin Wall Lives On

YEREVAN, Armenia — It has been 30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall. A guard threw open a gate, the Soviet imperium folded, more than 100 million people in Central and Eastern Europe were freed, a divided continent was made whole, and the end of history was announced.

What to make of the three decades after Nov. 9, 1989? Poverty receded. Lives got longer. Human exchange became borderless.

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The Free World at 30

ATHENS — Perhaps you know the story of the parrot in Soviet Russia that escapes from its cage and flies out the window. Its owner rushes out and hurries down to the Ministry of State Security.

“I just want to assure you,” he tells the Soviet agents, “in case the situation arises, that my parrot’s views are not my own.

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Trump and His Henchmen in the Flames

We all know President Trump couldn’t find Ukraine on a map, let alone find Finland, that happy country (the world’s happiest, according to a United Nations agency) whose happiness Trump this week attributed to the following: “You got rid of Pelosi, and you got rid of shifty Schiff.”

The Finnish president, Sauli Niinisto, was staggered. He is not alone. We have hit uncharted political territory.

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‘I Fought the Law and the Law Won’

When there is no external threat, there is less incentive to hang together. The bigger the threat, the more people cohere. The immediate aftermath of 9/11 was the high point of American unity. We have just reached the high point of American fragmentation.

I lived most of my life in the Cold War. There was a clear external threat. When that ended, societies inclined toward narcissism. The tribal got the upper hand.

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The Bygone Baggage of Joe Biden

The genius of Barack Obama lay in the fact that Americans looked at him and could believe in almost anything. The left of the Democratic Party saw the revolutionary incarnation of hope, the promise of sweeping social change, and, in a black president, the overturning of America’s original sin. The center saw a measured Read original

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