(3 of 3)
Yet now that proposition seems less clear-cut than it did even a few weeks ago. The horror in Vilnius is a reminder that there is still a lot of trouble, and terror, left in that giant country, not to mention almost 30,000 nuclear weapons. And if Gorbachev's relatively benign foreign policy collapses because of the vicious circle of internal revolt and repression, the West may find itself waging a Cold War II in the coming years. At a minimum, the Soviet Union may be less cooperative in the Security Council the next time Uncle Sam tries to round up a posse to go after some bad guy.
But the most basic refutation to the idea of a new world order was what happened in the air and on the ground in the Middle East last week. The resort to force -- no matter how necessary under the circumstances -- was an admission that the preferred and defining methods for making a better world had failed. Talk of a pax Americana was not just premature but out of place. There was plenty of Americana but too little pax. It was the same old world last week, and a not very orderly one at that.