Tense Travel

Tense Travel

wallonprotestersToday travel is precarious. Travel to/from Muslim areas and America is particularly precarious. Bannon’s published mission to “blow up the system” comes to mind.

On the heels of Trump’s tweet this morning blaming airport chaos upon Delta Airlines, protestors and “crying” Sen. Schumer, many airlines have begun to allow passengers to change or cancel flights without penalty.

“The lack of competence here by U.S. officials is embarrassing,” SKIFT, a business-to-business travel media service stated yesterday.

The biggest long-haul airline in the world is Emirates based in Dubai. Bloomberg reported Sunday that the airline had managed few disruptions, but by Monday that had slightly changed for the worse. It was still not critical, but delays were growing. Clearly, travelers are growing worried.

As with the other kingdoms in the area, the vast majority of Dubai residents including middle-class managers and upper level executives are dual nationals, perhaps a majority from countries listed by Trump over the weekend as banned from entry.

Reacting with unusual anger, the English-language newspaper in Dubai ran a lead editorial claiming, “The only thing that can be done by Americans and concerned individuals around the world is to remain panicked. We have to constantly remind ourselves that Mr Trump is not a normal politician… As soon as people refrain from panic, Mr Trump’s aggression becomes normalised.”

The lead editorial this weekend in Nairobi’s Daily Nation read, “It is difficult to overstate what a propaganda victory this is for extremist groups. From Isis to al-Qaeda and al-Shabaab – their claim has consistently been that Islam is under siege by powerful, predominantly Christian countries led by the United States… By his indiscriminate actions … Trump has handed a propaganda gift to the extremists.”

If tomorrow all the executive orders are rescinded, all the airlines and travelers get back on track, the damage remains deep and lasting. Donald Trump is a small manifestation of a growing phenomenon rooted in most of the western world’s increasingly powerful individual citizens angry with the centralization of power among certain of their elites. He may step down. Someone else will step up. This is not a crisis of certain individuals. Dealing with it will take a long time.

“So, what have we learned, class?” a former American diplomat now living in South Africa asks:

“… dismaying executive orders … have put the entire entry system in the country into chaos…he may now be coming under an ethics cloud of serious proportions… impeachment is very unlikely… there is another way…that is the disability clause. Think about it.”

Yes, thank you South Africa for asking us to think about it. But perhaps you don’t realize that if Trump is sidelined his constitutionally mandated replacement team is the most crazed, alt-right, conservative, probably Africa-hating group of Americans ever assembled.

Perhaps this was the plan from the beginning.