Anne Applebaum on Democracy and those who mean to destroy it –>

All of us have in our minds a cartoon image of what an autocratic state looks like: There is a bad man at the top. He controls the police. The police threaten the people with violence. There are evil collaborators, and maybe some brave dissidents.

But in the 21st century, that cartoon bears little resemblance to reality. Nowadays, autocracies are run not by one bad guy but by networks composed of kleptocratic financial structures, security services, and professional propagandists. The members of these networks are connected not only within a given country but among many countries. The corrupt, state-controlled companies in one dictatorship do business with their counterparts in another. The police forces in one country can arm, equip, and train the police forces in another. The propagandists share resources—the troll farms that promote one dictator’s propaganda can also be used to promote the propaganda of another—and themes, pounding home the same messages about the weakness of democracy and the evil of America.

Applebaum, Anne. “The Bad Guys Are Winning”. The Atlantic, November 15, 2021.

Bandits and Fulani Land Pirates amuck in Kaduna State and assorted communities in Nigeria –>

“Bandits, herdsmen kill 22 in Kaduna State, Taraba, Vanguard, November 11, 2021.

Sudanese dictatorship takes a big bite out of Ethiopia –>

Since the Sudanese military was willing to lose millions in aid and support from the United States by knocking out prospects for a transitional civilian government, they are unlikely to be phased by the White House’s call for peace and stability. If anything, Sudan’s military may be more emboldened to deepen its foothold over al-Fashaga as they no longer have U.S. monetary support on the line. If the conflict worsens, Egypt, Eritrea, and other African nations are likely to pick sides, squandering the chances for stability in the Horn of Africa.

Carlin, Maya. “How Sudan Exploited Ethiopia’s Tigray Conflict.” National Interest, November 15, 2021.

Having won Afghanistan by force of arms, the Taliban now find themselves embattled and lost –>

If the widespread impression was that the Taliban was a radical Islamic group, (which it is) it is being challenged by an even more extreme group, the Islamic State of Khorasan (ISK). Sporadic attacks, claimed by the ISK, has claimed lives and kept the ruling dispensation on the tenterhooks.

Within the Taliban itself, there appears to be a tussle between hardliners (aligned to Pakistan) like Sirajuddin Haqqani and moderates like Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, who don’t have a problem having a relationship with India and Russia. The differences within the ruling government have prevented the Taliban from coming out with a clear vision on its way ahead other than reiterating that its interpretation of the Islamic Sharia will be the basis for the rule of law, social behaviour, and governance in the country.

Murthy, KS Dakshina, “Afghanistan under Taliban in danger of slipping into ‘black hole’.” The Federal, November 16, 2021.

Coalition appeals for aid in the interest of saving Afghan lives from Taliban targeting –>

WASHINGTON (AP) — A coalition of organizations working to evacuate people who could be targeted by the Taliban rulers in Afghanistan appealed Monday for more assistance from the U.S. government and other nations as conditions deteriorate in the country. / Members of the AfghanEvac Coalition met in a video call with Secretary of State Antony Blinken to press the case for additional resources to help tens of thousands of people get out of Afghanistan, now faced with a deepening economic and humanitarian crisis in addition to a precarious security situation following the U.S. withdrawal.

Fox, Ben. “US urged to help more people escape Taliban-led Afghanistan.” AP News, November 14, 2021.

Well, there above is a bit of morning curiosity over coffee. Anne Applebaum fighting for democracy against autocratic and feudal power worldwide; Nigeria riven with bandits and “land pirates” as it fails to rise tot he defense of its people as horrors take place; a Taliban leadership struggling to “win the peace” having bulled its way into power with violence . . . — good morning!

I maintain a “reading page” on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BackChannels .

I awoke one day not too long ago in a medieval version of the United States of America with a Medieval Internet Commons, passionate mobs Far Out Left and Far White or Strident Right, and loaded with the zealots of Olde Institutions, generally religious or, well, Far Out, man.

And I awoke one day to . . . Kidults, preening and self-indulgent, bent on profit or glorious decadence and dissolution, and then I got to read about Medieval Absolute Power (the Russian Way) and Modern Democracy (see “Rumor Control,” CISA,Gov) and realized the would-be “MODERN” — culturally inclusive, modern, middle-of-the-aisle but also the avant garde “politicos” of a 21st Century — or a 22nd Century “Newest World” — compassionate, loving, and prudent and responsible had a fight for the future on their hands. Well, there’s no need to erase the past or start over if I / you / we choose to stand on the shoulders of giants for a good look ahead.