Timothy Garton Ash quotes

  • Nuclear proliferation - the proliferation of WMDs altogether - is one of the greatest dangers of our time.
    -- Timothy Garton Ash

    #Wmd #Nuclear #Danger

  • That said, the question remains: how to strike the balance between free speech and mutual respect in this mixed-up world, both blessed and cursed with instant communication? We should not fight fire with fire, threats with threats.
    -- Timothy Garton Ash

    #Blessed #Communication #Fighting

  • The first job of the historian and of the journalist is to find facts. Not the only job, perhaps not the most important, but the first. Facts are the cobblestones from which we build roads of analysis, mosaic tiles that we fit together to compose pictures of past and present. There will be disagreement about where the road leads and what reality or truth is revealed by the mosaic picture. The facts themselves must be checked against all the available evidence. But some are round and hard--and the most powerful leaders in the world can trip over them. So can writers, dissidents and saints.
    -- Timothy Garton Ash

    #Jobs #Powerful #Past

  • Europe is a woman, now middle-aged, who has already had a number of heart attacks and is currently experiencing the biggest health crisis of her life, but one that need not be fatal.
    -- Timothy Garton Ash

    #Heart #Europe #Numbers

  • The trouble is that privacy is at once essential to, and in tension with, both freedom and security. A cabinet minister who keeps his mistress in satin sheets at the French taxpayer's expense cannot justly object when the press exposes his misuse of public funds. Our freedom to scrutinise the conduct of public figures trumps that minister's claim to privacy. The question is: where and how do we draw the line between a genuine public interest and that which is merely what interests the public?
    -- Timothy Garton Ash

    #Mistress #Lines #Cabinets

  • Russia has lost an empire but not yet found a role. Russia has to decide what it wants to be. And as we know in Britain, that takes some time. It is quite tough to lose an empire and Russia lost its empire very rapidly and very admirably, that is to say peacefully, it didn't fight.
    -- Timothy Garton Ash

    #Fighting #Russia #Roles

  • America is divided by a great argument about itself. Europe is divided by a great argument about America.
    -- Timothy Garton Ash

    #America #Europe #Argument

  • Except for its worst inner-city slums, America is not the primitive capitalist jungle of European imagination, where human beings slink away like wounded animals to die in bloodstained holes.
    -- Timothy Garton Ash

    #Animal #Cities #America

  • Ordinary Americans, and especially the small minority active in Democrat and Republican primaries, must learn more of what people across the globe are thinking and saying about the US. For if you follow that, you realise that the erosion of American power is happening faster than most of us predicted -- while the politicians in Washington behave like rutting stags with locked antlers.
    -- Timothy Garton Ash

    #Thinking #Erosion #America

  • I have also been saddened, though hardly surprised, by the weakness of the EU's reaction to the criminal attack on the Danish embassy in Syria, which seems to have been permitted, if not actively encouraged, by the Syrian regime.
    -- Timothy Garton Ash

    #Weakness #Criminals #Reactions

  • America should do a reverse Columbus. The world no longer needs to discover America; but America urgently needs to discover the world's view of America.
    -- Timothy Garton Ash

    #Views #America #World

  • One thing, however, I know with certainty: violence, or the direct threat of violence, of the kind we have seen in the past few days, is totally unjustified as a response to any published word or image.
    -- Timothy Garton Ash

    #Past #Violence #Kind

  • Every step that produces a single job for a currently unemployed European should be taken. Every centimetre of red tape that puts someone out of work must be torn up.
    -- Timothy Garton Ash

    #Jobs #Taken #Red

  • A central claim of the Bush administration's foreign policy is that the spread of democracy in the Middle East is the cure for terrorism.
    -- Timothy Garton Ash

    #Democracy #East #Administration

  • But transitions from the politics of violence to democratic compromise are always messy.
    -- Timothy Garton Ash

    #Violence #Transition #Compromise

  • Developments in information technology and globalised media mean that the most powerful military in the history of the world can lose a war, not on the battlefield of dust and blood, but on the battlefield of world opinion.
    -- Timothy Garton Ash

    #Powerful #Military #War

  • Canadians tend to be a bit more religious than most Europeans - though not more than the Poles or Ukrainians. Most important, their attitude to immigration and ethnic minorities is more positive than that of most Europeans.
    -- Timothy Garton Ash

    #Religious #Attitude #Important

  • The key to the survival of liberty in the modern world is the embrace of multiple identities.
    -- Timothy Garton Ash

    #Keys #Survival #Liberty

  • To be in Florence is to reflect on Europe's intricate diversity - and its lost creativity.
    -- Timothy Garton Ash

    #Creativity #Europe #Diversity

  • After saying yes to Turkey, the EU is having difficulty finding clear and consistent grounds for saying no to other, still more remote candidates - but being in the general vicinity of Europe does seem to be a continuing requirement.
    -- Timothy Garton Ash

    #Europe #Turkeys #Doe

  • I have a dreadful feeling in my bones that future historians may write of the May 2014 elections: "This was the wake-up call from which Europe failed to wake up.
    -- Timothy Garton Ash

    #Writing #Europe #Feelings

  • Europe's biggest problem is its success.
    -- Timothy Garton Ash

    #Europe #Problem

  • Facts are subversive. Subversive of the claims made by democratically elected leaders as well as dictators, by biographers and autobiographers, spies and heroes, torturers and post-modernists. Subversive of lies, half-truths, myths; of all those "easy speeches that comfort cruel men.
    -- Timothy Garton Ash

    #Lying #Hero #Men

  • I love this country, but the union jack leaves me cold.
    -- Timothy Garton Ash

    #Country #Heart #Unions

  • There is already a generation of European graduates who feel they have been robbed of the better future they were led to expect. They are members of a new class: the precariat.
    -- Timothy Garton Ash

    #Class #Generations #Graduates

  • I'm a historian by training and by conviction. And so the thing that has throughout informed my thinking about international relations is history. I think, for example, the reason that I was perhaps able to see sooner than some others that the Soviet Empire in Eastern Europe was decaying--if not disintegrating--was that I came to it through history and through Germany, rather than through Sovietology and through Moscow. And therefore the starting point was that no empire in history has lasted forever, and this one won't either.
    -- Timothy Garton Ash

    #Thinking #Europe #Forever

  • What is the elephant in all our rooms? It is the global triumph of capitalism. Democracy is fiercely disputed. Freedom is under threat even in old-established democracies such as Britain. Western supremacy is on the skids. But everyone does capitalism. Americans and Europeans do it. Indians do it. Russian oligarchs and Saudi princes do it. Even Chinese communists do it.... Karl Marx would be turning in his grave. Or perhaps not, since some of his writings eerily foreshadowed our era of globalized capitalism. His prescription failed but his description was prescient.
    -- Timothy Garton Ash

    #Writing #Elephants #Chinese

  • Well, that's the way democracy works. We have to build this Europe with the material we have at our disposal. And this material is national democracy.
    -- Timothy Garton Ash

    #Europe #Democracy #Way

  • I find Chinese debates about their political system domestically, but also about China's claims in the international system, to be among the most original and surprising and exciting of our time. The starting point is a system that none of us had anticipated, which I call Leninist capitalism, but also obviously because it is the most important emerging power. The question of China's relations with the United States in particular, and the rest of the world in general, is the question of war and peace in the 21st century.
    -- Timothy Garton Ash

    #War #Political #Chinese

  • America is replicated at every level of British life, from the taxi driver to the prime minister.
    -- Timothy Garton Ash

    #America #Levels #British

  • So what were Europeans telling their leaders? The general message was perfectly summed up by the cartoonist Chappatte, who drew a group of protesters holding up a placard shouting "Unhappy" -- and one of their number shouting through a megaphone into the ballot box. There are 28 member states and 28 varieties of Unhappy.
    -- Timothy Garton Ash

    #Numbers #Leader #Unhappy

  • In a democracy it is ultimately for us, the citizens, to judge where to place the balance between security and privacy, safety and liberty. It's our lives and liberties that are threatened, not only by terrorism but also by massive depredations of our privacy in the name of counter-terrorism. If those companies from which governments actually take most of our intimate details want to show that they are still on the side of the angels, they had better join this struggle for transparency too.
    -- Timothy Garton Ash

    #Struggle #Angel #Government

  • Yet another thing Canadians and Europeans have in common is an obsession with the United States, and with distinguishing themselves from it, often by crude stereotyping.
    -- Timothy Garton Ash

    #United States #Common #Obsession

  • It is not just that it is profoundly offensive to the leaders and people of a democratic Germany to paint Hitler on the wall (or on the remnants of the Wall). It is also consummately counterproductive. Such sauce does not make the meat of substantive criticism more interesting. It means that the whole dish is pushed away. It does not mean that Britain's voice is listened to more attentively in the councils of Europe. It means that it is listened to even less.
    -- Timothy Garton Ash

    #Wall #Mean #Europe