Niger Blues, Another Trump Head Fake


The Quarterback in Chief has done it again.

Unanswered questions about the ambush in Niger that resulted in the deaths of four US Special Forces soldiers once again make debates about whether or not President Donald Trump suffers from congenital bad behavior meaningless.

Trump’s rudeness is a given — and has become his tactic to successfully pull off misdirection plays.

I’ll also say he’s one of the most unfiltered presidents in modern US history.

Notice I didn’t say the words “insincere” or “mean” — unfiltered. I’ll get to that in a future post.

Trump could rob a bank and then call a Black woman teller a [b-word] on the way out.

And for the next few days, everybody will talk about how he just called a woman out of name.

A legitimate reaction, I must add.

Trump’s problems with Black Women also seem ironed to his DNA. We should never stop calling out those transgressions when we see them.

But he also ROBBED A BANK.

In the case of Niger, we don’t exactly know what he was trying to rob. Perhaps …

It’s not like anyone’s opened a discussion about the US’s strategic interests in that part of the world.

And for all the blathering Trump likes to make through the press or his favorite platform in the entire world, he’s never once discussed the US’s Niger mission or broader vision for Africa.

Misdirection. Six points.

The result: the question of why we see an expansion of US troops in Africa rushes through the public’s conversation sieve, leaving behind media battles between Trump and Rep. Frederica Wilson, or whether or not Trump even knows the names of the troops whose lives he sacrificed.

Since Bush the Second established the Africa Command on February 6, 2007, the continent has seen the US’s military presence expand from one drone command center in Djibouti to 46 military bases.

But the growth in US in military activity on the continent doesn’t seem to pace with foreign direct investment (FDI),where the US increased its commercial activity with Africa by just over 16 percent from 2010 to 2015.

Make a comparison to China — a country with no military bases in Africa (yet) but has peacekeeping troops deployed there under the United Nations’ command — and their FDI increase of nearly 170 percent during the same time period, two takeaways quickly hit you.


One — China chooses commerce over guns in Africa.

Two — the hot US export to Africa is war at the moment. Building military bases under the justification of “anti-terrorist” missions.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve looked at some of the business deals China inked with African nations with a side-eyed “What the hell kind of agreement is that” expression.

But the war export option will never stop terrorism and will only breed more war. History proves this point.

We shouldn’t forget that America created the terrorist problem in Libya and Syria that spilled into Niger and surrounding areas.

And this is why an open discussion with Team Trump about its military interest in Africa — a strategy steeped in historical failure — becomes more important.

The discussion becomes especially urgent after you read the US military’s posture statement on Africa:

Just as the US pursues strategic interests in Africa, international competitors, including China and Russia, are doing the same.  Whether with trade, natural resource exploitation, or weapons sales, we continue to see international competitors engage with African partners in a manner contrary to the international norms of transparency and good governance.  These competitors weaken our African partners’ ability to govern and will ultimately hinder Africa’s long-term stability and economic growth, and they will also undermine and diminish US influence …


“ … [C]ontrary to the international norms of transparency.”

(Laughing) How many of you knew the US has 46 military bases in Africa?

And do you remember Bush the Second’s 2008 “Baloney” comment in response to rumors of the US building bases in Africa?

I’ll wildly guess that land grabs are not on Trump’s list of topics to tweet about  …

song currently stuck in my head: “ivoire” – folamour

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