Tuesday, June 06, 2023

The US and Europe hold a hand that’s too good to fold

By Joseph S. Nye Jr.

With the end of the Cold War, many believed the West had prevailed. In his 1992 book The End of History and the Last Man, Francis Fukuyama wrote that humanity had reached “the end-point of mankind’s ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.” A few years later, Samuel Huntington issued a gloomier prognosis in The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking …

Russia is benefiting from its new confrontation with the West

Russia is benefiting from its new confrontation with the West
By Ian Bremmer

In the nearly three decades since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia’s relationship with the West has undergone a dramatic transformation – from establishing economic ties the 1990s to being partners in the wake of 9/11 to once again being adversaries in the post-Bush era. There’s plenty of blame to go around, not least the absence of even considering true reconstruction of the former Soviet states after collapse. But …

The conundrum of the Washington-Tehran stalemate

By Robert Malley

The United States and Iran have been on a predictable collision course since the Trump administration withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in May 2018. The drivers of this heightened tension are two fundamentally clashing and self-reinforcing approaches: Washington is convinced that a policy of “maximum pressure” will prompt Iran to succumb to its demands – and should such pressure fail, the US response should apply even …

Our responsibility: Frank-Walter Steinmeier’s speech at Yad Vashem

By Frank-Walter Steinmeier

What a blessing, what a gift, it is for me to be able to speak to you here today at Yad Vashem. Here at Yad Vashem burns the Eternal Flame in remembrance of the victims of the Shoah. This place reminds us of their suffering. The suffering of millions. And it reminds us of their lives – each individual life.

This place remembers Samuel Tytelman, a keen swimmer who won …

History is not a weapon

History is not a weapon
By Wolfgang Benz

The speech given by German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier in the Bundestag on the 2020 Day of Remembrance for the Victims of National Socialism was notable for three reasons: it was moving, it represented the very best of what statesmanship can achieve and it delivered rhetoric that was entirely fitting for the occasion. Instead of limiting himself to the well-worn ritual of uttering the words “Never again!,” Steinmeier spoke of Germany’s …

A war’s end and a fresh start

A war’s end and a fresh start
By Theo Sommer

At 2:41 in the early morning of May 7, 1945, Chief of the German General Staff Alfred Jodl, Commander in Chief of the German Navy Hans-Georg von Friedeburg and Luftwaffe General Wilhelm Oxenius fixed their signatures to the German Instrument of Surrender in a little red school house in Reims, the headquarters of US General Dwight D. Eisenhower. The ceremony was then repeated the next day, with greater fanfare, in …

Victory and liberation from the Nazis in Ukraine

By Tanja Penter

The fascists are facing their final hour. Our hearts are filled with joy,” wrote Ukrainian scientist Mikhail Usyk in his diary as the Red Army’s liberation of the city of Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine grew near. “Our own people are close. We are waiting impatiently for them, the liberators.”

Usyk had lived through the German occupation and was full of happy yet fearful anticipation. “But how are you going to …

Home-sickness: Soviet forced laborers under the Nazis

By Klaus Grimberg

We worked 12 hours every day,” recalls Larissa Shvydchenko. “After the night shifts, you just went back to your bunk and collapsed. Even when they shouted ‘There’s food, get up!’ you simply could not open your eyes.” Pavel Mikhailov writes, “We were nothing but skin and bones. We weren’t even people anymore, just mummies. No idea how we managed to stay on our feet. It was only because we were …

Nord Stream 2 and its myriad stakeholders

By André Wolf

The project was almost 90 percent finished. Preparations for the inaugural festivities were underway. But the US was set on putting a halt to the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline no matter what. Even though the ships belonging to the Swiss contractor Allseas would most likely have completed their work within a couple of days, Donald Trump abruptly threatened sanctions on companies involved in the project. And then, early this …

Climate debate: Eco-dictatorship vs. eco-Calvinism

By Julia Boek

When Time magazine chose climate activist Greta Thunberg as its person of the year last December, US President Donald Trump fumed in a tweet: “So ridiculous. Greta must work on her Anger Management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend! Chill Greta, Chill!”

Several journalists interpreted Trump’s tweet as a tasteless spin on the “Run Forrest, Run!” clip from Forrest Gump. The eponymous character …