Baffled at the pace of recent events in the Middle East? Feel like a bystander or a gawping couch-potato, as history takes place before your uncomprehending eyes? Me, too. It's 1989 all over again. Just as I felt I'd finally understood the USSR, the damn thing fell over and broke into pieces. A hundred promising theses on East Germany became landfill, and the whole category of Cold War genre fiction became as dated as "The Riddle of the Sands" overnight.
Here's a link to an article that may explain things a little. I found it enlightening, anyway. I can't help getting the feeling, constantly, that -- despite its absence from the nightly news -- the events in the Balkans in the 1990s were a seismic event whose aftershocks are still driving huge and unpredictable historical forces.