It could be just me, but it seems, 2008 will be the year when the world or atleast parts of it went back to the mid-90s! Don't know whether its for good or worse! Lets see ...
Then: There was an eerie silence across Afghanistan with the overused Kalashnikov's being oiled and getting ready for future bloodshed. Al-Qaeda men in caves were training in earnest with the attention of the world riveted on economy and such.
Now: With the US tired of war and ready to "come home", Al-Qaeda and its germination-armies will be left to themselves to plan for future bloodshed. Just don't be at the wrong place at the wrong time, folks!
Then: A popular Democrat President was giving a heavy dose of 'preaching from the distance" to the rest of the world. An occasional air-strike here and a sanction there, but keeping American troops safe. Haiti, Kosovo, bring it on. Somalia, just get up and run! Where is Rwanda? Nato was calling the shots.
Now: With an idealistic orator at the White House, preaching on Nuclear proliferation and Global Warming might become deafening. Pakistan and Iran will get a lot of tongue-lashing, and there will be more aerial bombing of Waziristan. Nato will call the shots, which essentially means more PR stunts.
Then: Benazir and Nawaz were looting the nation to the point where Pakistanis longed for their 'great' Army to come and rescue. Jehangir Karamat and Musharaff were enjoying the holier-than-thou status and planning to screw US, Afghanistan and India.
Now: If there is any form of government worse than an opposition-less 'democratically elected' government run by life-long criminals, then I haven't heard about it yet. Its only a matter of time before Pakistanis are gonna beg Kiyani or his successor to come and kill Nawaz, Zardari and Fahim.
Then: In 1996, India was still recovering from Ayodhya without recognizing that the demolition practically cost no votes for the BJP. The party itself was using the Vajpayee Mukhota with hope of unleashing Advani when its gets the magic number all by itself.
Now: In 2008, India is still talking about Gujarat, without realizing that the riots have cost no votes for the BJP. The party itself is projecting Advani as the stop-gap arrangement before unleashing Narendra Modi.
Then: Sonia Gandhi, despite ru(i/n)ning the party from behind, refused to take up the cudgels in 1996. She was ready to let the Congress Party sink with Narasimha Rao, hoping she would do a Jansi Rani bringing Congress back to power. A bout of third-front nonsense was perfect for the Coronation.
Now: Sonia Gandhi, despite ruining both the party and the country will protect her retarded son from losing face in the elections. They'll be hoping that the BJP fails to form a government and there is some Mayawathi induced tamasha in the interim, so that the crown prince could come and rescue the shitty party.
Then: The 1996 World Cup gave BCCI the kind of profile it needed to screw others in world cricket.
Now: IPL might just give BCCI, the kind of profile, which hopefully will screw cricket itself.