Not rogue. Just not enough.

Enterra has at least three great bloggers on their payroll: Barnett, Deichman, and of course CEO Stephen DeAngelis, writing at Enterprise Resilience Management Blog. ERMB‘s latest post, on China in Africa, contains this paragraph:

African countries will not experience sustainable economic growth by relying on the export of natural resources. One of the reasons that Tom Barnett and I came up with the idea for Development-in-a-Boxâ„¢ was to break this cycle of reliance and help countries develop the diverse economic base and create the jobs they need to prosper. Until China understands which of their programs are helpful and which are harmful, their ventures in Africa will continue to bear the rogue label.

The reason that things are labeled in political discourse is, of course, political. China is a pro-business capitalist state, and it is no surprise that she draws attacks from anti-business and anti-capitalist groups. It’s chic at best and harmless at worst to have a quirky ideology that ruins your productivity and kills millions of your citizens. But become productive and compete? That makes you rogue.

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Africa is not so far away (from China)

That said, if we wish to criticize Beijing for not doing enough, we surely can. Perhaps the greatest technologies in the history of man are the police and ecological homogenization. The benefits of police are clear: a drastic reduction in violence and associated reputation-/pride-/face-/honor- related killings. Ecological homogenization, the reduction in diversity in a climate region, reduces the pathogenic load on a population, increasing average intelligence as the body has to spend less effort resisting diseases during development

If we really wanted China to help in Africa, we would encourage Chinese police to patrol African cities and Chinese industry to engage in continental climate change.

Of course, that would be labeled “rogue,” too.

From Palestine to Iraq

Democracy Now recently interviewed Nir Rosen (hat-tip to Democratic Underground and This Modern World). Mr. Rosen is reflexively sympathetic toward America’s enemies, but otherwise his analysis is accurate.

This lept out at me:

Well, when we think of the Iraqi refugee crisis, we have to think of the crisis that people in the region think of in relation to that one, and that’s the Palestinian refugee crisis. In 1948, up to 800,000 Palestinians were expelled from their homes in Palestine [sic] to make way for what became Israel. They went to Lebanon, Syria, Jordan. There were put in refugee camps. Eventually, after a few years, they were militarized, mobilized. They had their own militias. They were engaged in attacks, trying to liberate their homes. And they eventually were instrumentalized by the various governments, whether Lebanon, Syria, Jordan. Different groups used them. And they were massacred, as well, by the Lebanese, by the Jordanians. They contributed to destabilization of Jordan, of Lebanon, as well.

And I think you will see something similar happening with the Iraqis, because we have much larger numbers, approaching three million, and many of them already have links with militias back home, of course, because to survive in Iraq you need some militia to protect you. And there are long-established smuggling routes for weapons, for fighters, etc.

And add to that the very sensitive sectarian issue in Syria, in Jordan. The Syrian regime is a minority regime perceived by radical Sunnis to be a heretical. Syria is a majority Sunni country. The majority of the refugees are Sunni. Syria has a good relationship with a Shia-dominated Iraqi government. There have been various Islamist opposition groups who have sought to overthrow their government in Syria. Jordan, as well, has its own Islamist opposition. We’re likely eventually to see, as Sunnis are pushed more and more out of Baghdad and as the militias are pushed into the Anbar Province, that they might link up with Islamist groups in Syria, in Jordan, in Lebanon.

Two themes, both of which I’ve described before.

First, the Sunni Arabs have now lost a second country. The first time, they lost Palestine to survivors of the Holocaust. Now, they are losing it to heathens living in the rear-end of the Arab world, the Shia. The Iraq War was about feedback, about demonstrating the consequences of running an entire civilization into the ground. There is no reason to think that the effects of losing Iraq will be any less than the consequences of losing Palestine.

Second, Islam is the answer. Since decolonization, the Sunni Arab states that have gone most off the rails have adopted some form of socialist secular nationalism, such as the Baath Party, Naserism, etc. Surprisingly, banishing God and the market doesn’t do much for national health. Because Sharia incorporates market mechanisms, Islamist parties such as the Muslim Brotherhood appear to be in the best position to lead their countries forward.