A political miracle: A woman president in Slovakia

I happened to be in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, just a couple of days before a political miracle. A 45-year old woman, Zuzana Caputova, a European-minded environmentalist, was elected president. She beat the candidate of the ruling party Smer-SD, Maros Sefcovic, the energy commissioner of the European Union. The significance of Caputova’s victory is…

The Estrada doctrine is obsolete

It is reasonable to suspect that neither President Trump nor Vice President Pence has even heard about the Estrada Doctrine, formally adopted by the United States and other nations in 1980. According to this doctrine, the recognition of a government must be based upon its de facto existence rather than its legitimacy. It was proclaimed…

The US among strange bedfellows in Europe

Strange things are happening in “Old Europe,” as Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld famously called it in 2003. At that time, transatlantic differences were over Iraq, when two major members of “Old Europe” condemned the war against Saddam Hussein that was destined to open a disastrous Pandora’s box in the Middle East. Now, once again, the…

Billions Down the Drain

Something has got to give in the Mexican standoff between President Trump and the Democratic leadership in the House of Representatives. Chances are that sooner or later, some money will be appropriated, a few billion dollars rather than the full amount that the president is trying to exact while he holds hundred of thousand of…

The Loneliness of Macron

There was a time when political crises in the liberal democracies originated among the elites that were the only stakeholders of power. Since then, things have changed in a tumultuous fashion as crisis is no longer internal but proceeds directly from the people with the elites unable to control it. France is a dramatic example…

Trump and Macron, a dialogue between two ‘deaf’ presidents

French President Emmanuel Macron obviously likes to disturb a hornet’s nest, as he did just before President Trump landed in Paris for the celebration of victory in World War One. While calling for a “true European army,” Macron said something that was guaranteed to grate on the American president: “We have to protect ourselves with respect to China,…

From fourth estate to Enemy of the people

President Trump, a leader who does not know much history, is certainly unaware of a speech made in 1956 by Nikita Khruschev to denounce Stalin’s cult of personality in which he called for an end to the use of the term “enemy of the people” by reminding Russians that it was used to “annihilate” individuals who disagreed with Stalin.…