Jared Kushner’s crusade for Arab recognition of Israel is as curious as cursory. It’s pretty clear now that the UAE will not honor most of its agreement but will nonetheless gain advantage in the Yemen war. Now Kushner has pulled off another weekend coup throwing out decades of African diplomacy in the Western Sahara for the King of Morocco’s pledge to recognize Israel.
That won’t hold, either, but the damage this does to the people of the area is as great as it will do to the people of The Horn. The man has no idea what he’s doing to the world.
Shifting alliances is an African political art, something we all need to study in the era America is racing through right now.
More than 1500 people were brutally killed in the several-month Kenyan civil war of 2008, thousands more tortured or maimed and nearly 200,000 displaced. Yet less than four years later the widows and widowers, orphaned children and homeless thousands elected as their leader the man who tried to kill them and their families.
Ready for a new threat? It’s just as ethereal and deadly as Covid-19. It strips away our naive precautions just as efficiently and wrecks havoc far beyond its relatively short existence when it’s finally put under control. In a word, “worse” than the virus. I rely specifically on my African experience to tell you about this.
I experienced it mostly in troubled times and situations, a singular threat to my protecting my group. But it also walloped me when I least expected it, when everything around me seemed just so perfect and peaceful.
The worst locust outbreak ever seen in Africa, the most insidious virus ever known to man, the most flooding and worst earthquakes in history… then, bloodshed.
All Africa journalist Jerry Chifamba has just completed a series of in-depth reports on how accelerating conflict in Africa is directly linked to climate change. No surprise, or is it just that we don’t want to be surprised, anymore.
Populism is not some lonesome social condition. Populism controls democracy, and populism brings down and sets up autocratic regimes. It’s not conservative or progressive, capitalist or communist. It’s not necessarily based on truth. It’s knee-jerk support for – or against – individuals wielding power. Why? How is it harnessed?
East Africa gives us some insight: Ten years ago Kenya hardly had an army. Ten years ago Kenya was in incredible social turmoil, very close to a civil war. Today Kenya is a military powerhouse, rivaling the two other area powerhouses, Ethiopia and Rwanda. And today Kenya’s stable society thrives on a growing populism.
Sometimes good acts prevail even after evil-doers reverse them:
The previous Republican controlled Congress and current Trump administration wiped out Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Bill, the “Rule on Conflict Minerals.” But that rule had such a powerful effect when first passed by Congress that the world embraced it and has continued to strengthen it despite the official reversal by the United States.
In the British Parliament a prominent Lord urges the government to recolonize Zimbabwe. Russia’s methodical promotion of oligarchy finds purchase in the Central African Republic, where it’s close to controlling the government. In the U.S. religious groups blossom in the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.
Like any revolutionary period, politics becomes so upset that old ideas resurface and new ones fashioned of opposite extremes develop as well. That’s happening today in Africa as in the U.S.
Last week’s Nairobi bombing may not have been against Kenya, but America.
Today global media reran a report by Somali Radio Dalsan shortly after the attack last week. The report claimed that bombing was in direct response to two American actions: (1) the decision to move the American embassy to Jerusalem and (2) revenge for the American drone killing of a top al-Shabaab leader.
Have you ever watched a colony of anemones? Touch the biggest one and it immediately begins to shrink into itself. Then even without touching others, all the anemones follow suit withdrawing into themselves.
It’s like the mopane tree in Africa. One giraffe starts to nimble a mopane leaf and the whole forest starts to fold leaves and emit toxins.
Africa’s top 2018 stories resemble the top stories in lots of other parts of the world. But believe it or not, Africa actually started earlier and may be ending sooner than much of the rest of the world, as evidenced by the February resignation of Jacob Zuma as president of South Africa.
Rocket Man Wars, Syria bombs, trade wars, bad speech, forgotten manners or even intentional rudeness, stupidity, neglect then lying if conspiracy … yes this is America to the rest of the world, but to Africa this morning, our treatment of children makes us monkeys. Monkeys take babies away from one another.
There’s so much to say there’s nothing to say. Johannesburg’s extremely respectable “Business Insider” carried a series of scathing articles this morning about the controversy. Practically every Africa country – many which rarely report on America – displayed us as animals. Even “Uganda Today” which licks the shoes of Trump “widely denounced” the actions.
Shall I quote the Bible? There is no normal world anymore in America. Our leaders are lost and afraid. Mistreat children? Sure. Why not. Who cares. Just make sure that no conception goes ended, because conception is sacred, and we can’t afford to lose the potential of more torture.
No leader, no representative, no official, no adult should be left standing who doesn’t dedicate their lives now to ending this madness.
Only one country in the entire history of humankind has voluntarily given up a complete, modern nuclear arsenal : South Africa. And they did so even while the one other country being asked to do so at the time, Israel, refused.
Times were much different in 1991. Virtually all South Africans agree, today, that they took the right decision. They retain a robust civilian nuclear industry that supplies much electricity, they are leaders in nuclear science, but the missiles of the world are not pointed at them.
So do they think North Korea can be convinced to join them?
Don’t be misled by the notion that war arrives as a gigantic catastrophic event, a North Korean slip for example. War can escalate as secretly and effectively as a gang of boomslang snakes slinking into the shed.
The first admitted U.S. soldier killed and the first four additional casualties since Blackhawk Down in Somalia happened Friday in southeast Somalia. Blackhawk Down was a quarter century ago.