Those thinking of celebrating the uprisings across the Middle East might want to reconsider popping the cork just yet. While these rebellions have indeed endangered or toppled longstanding repressive regimes, the outcomes in those countries are far from certain.

The Irish Central Bank announced yesterday that its banks will need an additional €24 billion (or about $34 billion) in the next few months to show investors and account holders that the banks will not collapse in the near future.

A further sign of what America’s “victory” in Iraq truly means was witnessed in a brutal incident of mass murder in the city of Tikrit. The latest 56 violent deaths in a nation which has witnessed over 100,000 such civilian deaths since 2003 may be the latest signal that the carnage in Iraq is far from at an end.

It appears as if the scenario envisioned in Camp of the Saints, an apocalyptic novel in which Third World migrants swamp and destroy Western civilization, really has come to Lampedusa, the small Italian isle about 127 miles southwest of Sicily in the Mediterranean Sea.

Americans who look around Washington and despair of finding any ideas that can lift the nation out of economic doldrums, ethnic and racial divisions, and foreign entanglements can find few examples of well-run countries around the world.