The Indian soldier, in full battle gear and armed with an AK-47, seems only mildly embarrassed. He's herding a dozen men and women down a narrow road in Indian-ruled Kashmir. "Nobody has voted, so we've got an order to collect them," the soldier explains. "We have to show that people have voted." He says he's only following orders.
One upside of having Saddam Hussein for an enemy is that even his own representatives are scared of him and prone to defect. The downside is that once they do bolt from Baghdad, they often have very little intelligence to convey.Dictators like Saddam survive by making sure that nobody knows much, and that's particularly true for diplomats: The very nature of their jobs, living and working among foreigners, makes them suspect.
Badia Omar, whose gleaming white teeth seem almost too pretty for her emaciated body, doesn't know whether her husband is still alive. For months they wandered together across the parched lowlands of Ethiopia, and watched as thirst and hunger claimed their 200 sheep, 25 cows and one goat.
Our plane to Mogadishu is a Soviet-made Ilyushin-18, built in the Khrushchev era. The exhaust funnels are charred black, the tires bald. A Russian in blue overalls paces the aisle with an extra-long screwdriver and a lit cigarette as Somali passengers complain--in short, sharp blasts of invective--about the heat.