As an aside, the significance of the columnist to me is best exemplified by a piece he published a little over a year ago in which he predicted that the financial mess we're in now will be profound and long-lasting. That prediction turned out to be spot on. Similarly, before anyone was talking about the food crisis and its root causes, he put out this op-ed.
So it was quite unnerving to read his column today about the world before WW1 and the omen that the conflict in Georgia could be. Then I searched through my aging brain - and Google - to remember that WW1 also started quite randomly - a bunch of terrorists assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo. Suddenly, South Ossetia gained a whole new dimension. Of course the assassination was just a spark and what mattered was the backdrop of wide spread tensions.. which, wait!, sounds vaguely familiar. I close my eyes and repeat: "Happy thoughts! Happy thoughts!"
PS1: In response to the previous entry, a friend sent me a link to this article in The Moscow Times. Interesting perspective, given what we have heard from the media in the US (The situation looks even more complex when viewed from a global context. It would seem that Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili won the first days of the war thanks to some heavy doses of propaganda. The West surely helped Saakashvili out when it did not condemn his ruthless attack and civilian casualties. Instead, almost all of the Western news agencies began their reports from South Ossetia with the words, "Russian tanks invade Georgia.").
PS2: To take the edge off from Krugman, at least temporarily, I appease myself by reading this. That is, until I realize that most stuff he's being criticized for in the 2003 article was actually proven right by now. Crap.
PS3: The next entry will be EAT or PLAY, if I have to fabricate a fabulous restaurant opening or some unexpected way to make hummus. Promise!