YANGON (NYTIMES) - The looming decline of the United States was revealed to me, five Novembers ago, at a truck stop in Uzbekistan.
I was napping after a long day's hike near the old trading city of Kokand when a brawl exploded. Drunks howled. Fists smacked flesh. Somewhere a window shattered. An anxious waitress poked her head into my curtained dining booth. She wanted to know if I had any sugar in my backpack for a homemade compress to stanch a client's stab wound.