World: No Time for Tears

The disappearance of a British colony has always been marked by the pomp and panoply of Britain's imperial traditions. A member of the royal family usually flew out to hand over the articles of independence. The governor general was on hand in his gold-braided uniform and cocked hat. Tribal dancers exploded in bare-breasted ecstasy. Then, promptly at midnight, bullnecked district officers wept openly as a bugle sounded and the Union Jack came down.

Last week, with the fall of the ultimate symbol of Britain's once great empire, there was no bugle, no ceremony, no tears. Workmen simply replaced the sign on the...

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