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While Katrina raged in New Orleans and yet more helpless poor people were killed by a monster storm, a nation stood aghast at the helplessness of civilians — and George W. Bush’s Iraq numbers toppled.

What is the correlation? The long-befuddled American people finally realized what suffering and helplessness was. They also realized what the price is for expensive foreign engagements. They realized how woefully unprepared the government was for another large-scale attack by foreign enemies. They also realized how full of bluster their leaders were, and yet so devoid of substance.

While innocent Americans fumed at their leaders, the rest of the nation became aware of these stinging realities — truth does has a way of sinking in.

Wealth, war, suffering, humiliation have a cycle and nations come and go. It is the character of individuals and nations that makes history. In the first part of the 21st century, that character has been lacking, in nations as well as the individuals that lead such nations.

Let us hope that this serves as a wake-up call to the American electorate, and that they can see beyond the carefully orchestrated media campaigns — causing the type of opinion shift that will save the world from anarchy and inevitably bring suffering close to them. Yes, it will be the same suffering that their governments mete out to others at will, and without cause.