A Kenyan diplomat told Foreign Policy this week that Trump’s budget “will leave a big hole in terms of the aid people are getting.” The magazine summed it up in their headline, “Trump’s America First Puts Africa Last.”
Republican Senator Lindsay Graham said Trump’s skinny budget is “dead on arrival.” But each day this week we’re learning more of the details of that skinny budget, and each detail is more devastating than the last.
Courts may have socked him, Congress may have dumped him, but the Trump administration is hardly down and out. This week it signaled its intention to blow up the fragile peace in one of the most beautiful and precious areas of the world, the eastern Congo.
Friday, the UN’s peacekeeping mandate in The Congo expires, and the Trump administration has signaled it has no intention of continuing it at is.
If there’s anything at all good in Trump’s “skinny” budget it’s that Americans might start paying attention to the sweeping power of their government. The draconian cuts will indeed effect each and every American but the budget will also lay waste much of the rest of the world.
That’s quite uncomfortable to most Americans who either don’t know or don’t care how they effect the rest of the world. A Kenyan analysis shows how the Trump budget will devastate the continent, exponentially increase suffering and death and likely lead to war. Kenyan analysis shows that the Trump budget will lay waste the continent, exponentially increase suffering and death and likely lead to war.
When the cats away the mice will play. In this case the mice are multiple emerging nations like Myanmar, or Zimbabwe and Cameroon in Africa, countries with a record of citizen abuse but which have no strategic interest to world powers. The cat is the west, Britain and the U.S. mostly.
Since Brexit followed by Trump, these abusive countries have become more so. They’re being left “to their own devices,” devil-be-damned. Cameroon is the best example.
Ambassador Carson’s warning yesterday appears to be true today. There are unsettling ripples all over Africa, all carrying the frequency of Trump mayhem.
Wednesday’s all-so-important Somali election is in real trouble because monitors can no longer go there (or more accurately, come back). Great hopes for Libya’s national coalition collapse. Egypt sends jetboats to threaten Ethiopia’s new dam on The Nile, Eritrea makes a new alliance with Saudia Arabia to destabilize Ethiopia. The Ivory Coast is challenged by new internal military struggles.
It’s all new and hard to unweave, and it’s all related to Trump.
Africans are putting together the first drafts of policy to deal with Trump and while it reflects the sophistication and skill of today’s African leaders, the outlook is grim. The much loved former U.S. ambassador to Kenya, Johnnie Carson, wrote today, the best Africa can hope for is “benign neglect.”
Which is unlikely if Trump twists the globe and learns there’s a continent over there. The case in point is Kenya. I implied yesterday that Kenya’s unexpected extradition of two alleged drug kingpins to the U.S. was clearly courting favor. Sycophancy aside, the country is preparing for the worse.
African leaders scramble while their citizens shout and scream, terrified that they will be added to Trump’s ban list.
On America’s most watched morning political show today one of the regulars asked why Trump’s travel ban didn’t include “Kenya?” This is a show that we know Trump and much of the Senate watch. The commentator finally brought into the open what everyone is secretly worried about.
Monday millions of African women lost their family planning assistance. Abortions, HIV and infant mortality will now increase dramatically.
The 2016 U.S. budget included $607.5 million in funding for reproductive health internationally. If Trump’s executive order is taken at face value, that stops. I guess we need it for the wall.
The big news yesterday about France’s election is prophetically linked to yesterday’s buried news of the collapse of Mali’s election.
Results are not yet known, they will never be, for the 12,000 local and regional Mali officials. Cast ballots were burned, stolen and even blown up by jihadists. In the rebellious north most polling places never even opened.
Yesterday I showed Mali as the quintessential example of climate change and rapid development sabotaging African society. The tragedy goes much further: Soon it will threaten France. Ultimately it will kill Trumpism.
Global conservatism will fail and Mali will soon provide the evidence.
Today Mali failed running a national election. The country’s inability to foster a democratic government three years after Islamic insurgents took over the country and were then ousted by the French will force the former colonial power either to occupy the country, again, or leave it to Islamic extremists.
This is the inevitable result of climate change and global political conservatism. It is the hidden elephant in the room that will traumatize then conceivably destroy the newly emerging political regimes of the likes of Trump and Le Pen.
Russia wasted no time using Trump’s election to increase its global power. Yesterday it thrust a masterful spear between Africa and the U.S. by aligning itself with African countries threatening to withdraw from the World Court.
The renegade power’s lightning fast global moves have been reported this morning in Central America, Syria, and of course right here in America, but it is in Africa where Russia may be most successful acting so quickly.
Look, it’s happening all over the world. I’m going to compare two places I know, South Africa and the U.S.
South African society is just beginning to seriously hurt about a year after a similar sort of political turmoil hit them to our Trump election, the re-election of a clearly incompetent executive that an entrenched political party was then only partially able to control.
Year-long protests nearly shut down the country’s educational system and the economy has started to decline much more seriously than globally or for other African countries. About a year ahead of the U.S. in terms of political change, this could foreshadow the U.S.
“Wide-spread primal scream,” al-Jazeera’s 1pm news hour opened, reflecting not only protests in the U.S. but reaction worldwide.
I found one positive remark in Africa today about Trump’s election: A close confident to the horrible Zimbabwe dictator said that Trump “could turn out great you know.”
I could spend the rest of this month curating the remaining multi-thousands of remarks of horror and disbelief that Africans expressed today. It gives me great latitude to pontificate, so here goes:
No one knows what to expect from President Trump, so whether you’re a Kenyan tea farmer or an American software engineer or a South African financial consultant … suspend your fears. What he said in this incredibly nasty election, the alleged horrors of his past – forget. Elections are reality TV, and he knew better than any how to exploit that.
But everyone knows what to expect from a united conservative, Republican government. If that government holds under Trump – and that’s not certain – my predictions are clear:
Canada’s defense minister says that the country will use “lethal force” to protect civilians when it sends 600 soldiers into Africa’s troubled regions shortly.
It will be Canada’s first serious involvement in UN peacekeeping in Africa since its famous general, Romeo Dallaire, was thwarted from preventing the Rwandan genocide more than 20 years ago. Then President Bill Clinton used America’s UN veto in the Security Council to prevent Dallaire from using “lethal force.” You know what happened next…