Well, with more disturbing events unfolding in Syria, Iraq, etc, etc, I'm wondering if anyone else is thinking that the days of the 'strongman-dictator' may have been better over there. In other words, 'Saddam is not looking so bad, now.' The 'Rule of Law' seems to be a fairy-tale in these places. I suppose we could blame the British for drawing these national borders after WW1 in the manner they are, dividing ethnic and religious groups into artificial nations. I wonder if it was done in that manner to cause internal friction, keeping these new nations weak. Perhaps that is giving the folks at that time too much credit for having thought this far ahead. I suppose, too, 'we' (the US) may have done better if we facilitated the recent nation building in reverse... that is, rather than start with national elections/leadership and work down, perhaps start with local elections/ leadership and let the national leadership evolve out of the local. Maybe local police and local responsibility for security (similar to here) would be a better approach than centralized authority. In any event, it surely seems like nasty mid-east civil wars and cultural wars are going to be on the news for a long while. Well, I'll stop rambling and will be interested in reading the opinions of this erudite forum.