Saturday, October 11, 2008

Watching the world descend into history

So I am reading Suskind's The Way of the World and it is one of the strangest nonfiction books I have read in quite some time. While the macro story is the interaction between America and the Islamic world, it is told in a series of seemingly unrelated tales including the final year of Benazir Bhutto, the tale of a Afghani exchange student, a Gitmo prisoner and those trying to help him, CIA operatives terrified of potential nuclear terror and the British spies who knew for sure that Saddam had no nukes before we went in.

That last bit pops out in between stories the rest of the stories and then disappears . It is a fairly gigantic finding, and Suskind names his sources directly. Still, if you were skimming, you would miss it. It made me sad that it didn't surprise me.

Anyway reading this and starting America and the World, I feel freshly aware of the scale of the foreign policy damage done by the Bush Administration. People zero in on Iraq, but it is so much more than that. I am also scared to start the new Bob Woodward.

As a reminder, here is the way things were not so long ago. It was possible to write a successful pop song about how international relations were going really quite well thanks.

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