Billmon's story of Iraq is both disturbing and terribly plausible. It really seems to me like a train-wreck, and disaster with no good solution. America has no way out but the coward's...and that is the worst possible withdrawal. So where does it lead?
It's really interesting to read what he had to say about the various parties. I suppose I have always had a certain amount of faith in Iran - faith in democracy, largely due to people like Friedman. I realise that most of the time Friedman is naively optimistic. But so am I - despite experience, I have faith in democracy. But democracy brought Patrick Mugabe and Shrub to power. Well - something resembling democracy, if you can count the Muslimeen, on one hand, and Katherine Harris and Diebold on the other, as part of democracy.
I suppose I have a need to believe that good will triumph over evil, that in the end things will work out. But I just don't know if that is the case. The forces of evil have the upper hand in the world today - in Trinidad, in the US, in Russia. What force exists to hold them accountable? It never ceases to amaze me the way that Americans act against their own interests, the whole What's the matter with Kansas mindset. Saw a really moving documentary on A&E about the working poor in America. How does the richest country in the world ignore such a major portion fo their population? The lack of public transportation, and the way that that lack deprives people of mobility is amazing. If you can't get places, if you are forced to live where you can get the bus, if keeping your car in running order is more important than paying for food...these are problems that are easy to solve. Things are not great in Trinidad, but you can get just about anywhere without a car. You may have to leave home at 5.30 am to get to work, the cost to your quality of life is huge - but you don't have to own a car in order to be able to earn a living.
Which is not to say that things are better in Trinidad than in the US...