Attacks Increase in Africa & Turkey While China Critiques Democracy in US Elections

Mar 17, 2016

It’s been a violent week in several parts of the world. Even amid signs of a de-escalation in Syria, a terrorist incident rocked the African nation of Ivory Coast. Another terror bombing in Turkey raised fears about instability in that vital western ally.

Foreign policy contributor Art Cyr explains that while these events are shocking and tragic, these local incidents don't necessarily reflect a broad international conspiracy of Islamic terrorists as reflected in world coverage. However, Cyr credits this globalization of media with capturing American attentions on otherwise under-the-radar areas.

"The most important thing for Americans to do is learn more about developing parts of the world, and it's actually very good we're paying more attention to events in Africa,” he says. “There's nothing new about killing in Africa and other countries, but we used to have kind of a blind spot for the African continent and I'm glad that's changing."

In Turkey, Cyr says that while the attacks in Ankara are a source of embarrassment for the Turkish government, there might be a positive development. He suggests that the attacks will reinforce Turkey’s involvement with NATO and the United States, which in turn could encourage more rational democratic policies, including a potential change in currently repressive policies towards the media.

“Turkey does, quite literally, span the east and west, their geo-strategic importance is undeniable,” says Cyr. “For that reason, they are an especially important ally for the west and especially the US, in terms of developing trade relations through the former Soviet Union and the wider Middle East.”

On the other hand, the news out of North Korea with reports of the regime shooting off additional missiles, is “erratic behavior” that is “basically unproductive for them in the sense of getting economic investment or aid,” assesses Cyr. Looking to East-Asian response, Cyr finds that “Beijing is the one power that can influence North Korea.”

China has also been taking close notes of the current US presidential elections and the conclusions that can be drawn about the perils of democracy.

“Trump is made to order for people who want to exploit negative stereotypes and images of the US,” notes Cyr. “It’s not surprising that the communist regime in China is doing so as actively as they are.”

Cyr compares what he expects to be "serious and thoughtful" policy perspective coming from scheduled Carthage College commencement speaker Congressman Paul Ryan with the ideas coming from current Republican front runner Donald Trump. 

"[Trump] has no (really consistent) policies, he has no policy credentials...the whole thing is reality TV projected on a national stage regarding the most serious issues," he says. While Cyr may or may not agree with Ryan on issues, he finds that the analysis that Ryan will bring is "more important than ever" coming from both Republicans and Democrats.