Raging Ripples

Raging Ripples

ripplesAmbassador 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.

It’s never polite to tell someone how much they depend upon you. Parents learn that fast, but so do bosses and teachers and doctors. But it’s true. We’re all beholden to many.

Much of Africa is beholden to the developed world, for no more nefarious a reason than the difference in wealth. A Kenyan can’t use his all-important mobile phone if there isn’t a satellite twirling around the globe, and no Africans or African companies have shot one up there.

No phone, no transport, no job, no food… you get the idea. But equally true is the reverse, which might not be quite so impolite if the developed world’s arrogance didn’t continually deny it.

The developed world today could not live without the developing world. Monsanto would lose a huge hunk of its customers, as would Samsung, Microsoft, Facebook, Intel, and many customers would be lost by Nestles and GE and Boeing and Deere, not to mention Novartis and Johnson & Johnson, and the list goes on and on and on.

A schism between the developed and developing world is exactly what ISIS and its crazy antecedents and unspoken of yet successors want. In the beginning of a successfully created schism very little is noticed in the developed world.

Rather it’s first noticed in the desiccated villages of Somalia and Yemen, in the scattered burned huts of the CAR and Chad, with the kidnaped school girls in Nigeria and the malls that blow up in Nairobi. Even that often doesn’t make America’s morning news.

But sooner or later these little disturbances mount and annoy the developed world. Especially when one of these “incidents” in the developing world actually involves a westerner, bingo. Terrorism.

The developed world likes to think of itself as impenetrable. You know, the wall, that impenetrable, impermeable wall. When that notion is challenged westerners overreact. There’s the Patriot Act. There’s more government employees hired to check airline bags than there are airline bags. That provides incredible opportunity to the disrupters, the schism makers. Their odds of disrupting the system increase with its size.

The system cracks. It’s reenforced and gets bigger. It cracks wider. Politicians panic. They’re quartered and hanged and replaced by fools.

Suddenly there’s a bimbo at the helm of a megalopolis politic and the schism makers just love HIM.

Carelessness: The failed state of Somalia is getting it back together after two decades of brilliant if belated diplomacy by the west and lots American money. The great finish line is February 8, its first election. Oops. Many Somalis important to this country’s election live in the U.S. They can’t go over there now, because Trump won’t let them back.

Eyes off the ball: Egypt, Eritrea and Ethiopia have fought with each other for just around two or three thousand years. No one expects that to come to a swift conclusion. But all this new millennium things have been improving: the finesse of aid, instruction and even sanctions has more or less promoted an uncomfortable peace if not actual respect between ancient adversaries. It appears that Trump doesn’t know these countries even exist. Years of careful agreements seem to be unraveling simply because no one is at the office, anymore.

Neglect: If any place in West Africa can pull that part of the continent west of Nigeria into the modern world with significance and value, it’s the Ivory Coast. Or .. was the Ivory Coast. The Diamond Wars nearly undid them, but neighbor Senegal was finally shaken to its senses by a concerted and remarkable effort by the U.S. and France. It was such a success that with Obama’s leadership through the ebola crisis, the region came out looking not so bad. And hopeful.

Until really just the last few weeks. Who would have thought that this lovely democratic country would now be beset by an internal military coup? That was reversed when the government ransomed itself? Where’s France? We know the U.S. is up the crick.

So the ripples are visible, now. The schism makers are celebrating. The action and reaction and doubled action and over reaction are all taking place before you finish reading this sentence.