Tuesday, November 21, 2017

THE PRAIRIE EDITOR: As The World Turns --- Surprise!

I want to suggest to my readers that events in the world
often are not what they first seem. Lately, there are many
examples which demonstrate this.

I will begin with the so-called “Arab Spring” which, despite
many predictions in Europe and the U.S., turned out to be a
hiccup and not lasting change. Now, an “impossible” (if
unofficial) alliance between Israel and Saudi Arabia (and
other Arab states threatened by Iran) is forming.

When Emmanual Macron was elected president of France by
a landslide with a last-minute composed new political party,
it looked like easy sailing for the new French government.
But this  movement has already run aground. at least for the
time being. Macron’s election and Angela Merkel’s apparent
victory in the German elections seemed to be the end of the
far right and anti-immigrant movements in Europe, but
Merkel has stumbled in creating her coalition, and might
have to call a new election. The anti-immigration mood in
Europe now seems stronger than ever.

All kinds of disaster scenarios accompanied Donald Trump’s
upset win of the U.S. presidency in 2016, but here we are a
year later, and the new administration is transforming both
domestic and foreign policy. The Republican house and senate
were expected to come through on campaign promises, but
have been stalemated, especially in the senate, while it is the
president who is making most of the change --- not what was
initially predicted.

Dictator Mugabe looked invincible in Zimbabwe, but he has
quietly been overthrown. The catastrophic dictatorship in
Venezuela was supposed collapse imminently a year ago, but
is still in power. With charismatic new leaders, the largest
South American nation of Brazil was supposed to turn the
corner to new prosperity, but it has become overwhelmed by
old corruption and new lack of leadership.

In Asia, India was long ago supposed to be stuck in its old
socialist and religious ways, but continues to emerge with a
capitalist and high tech economy. Chine was supposedly
caught up in a real estate, banking and investment “bubble.”
But that has yet to burst as a new and younger generation of
strong leaders (albeit not committed to democracy) has taken

It seems wherever you go in the world that new developments
often do not lead to predictable consequences. Even the
“surprise” outcomes mentioned above could change in quick

The world has not ever seemed a more provisional place.

Copyright (c) 2017 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved.

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