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Zimbabwe is in a condition of complete collapse. Cholera is spreading because the government is out of money to pay for water purification. Over 500 people have died. Troops went on a rampage in Harare yesterday when they couldn't get funds out of banks. People are starving.

Today, South Africa's president is announcing a plan for South Africa to go into Zimbabwe to deal with the crisis.

President Kgalema Motlanthe’s cabinet will today unveil a plan for rescuing the country, which is buckling under the weight of a shattered economy, food shortages, a cholera outbreak and rioting soldiers.

South African government sources are saying that President Mugabe, who retained his office by force, has lost control.

A South African government official said: That is why we are moving in. To help some government institutions to provide basic services. Mugabe has lost control. He has lost power. It’s just a matter of time before the country implodes. He cannot support his own people and that is a danger for the region.

Cholera has spread from Zimbabwe to South Africa. South Africa can no longer ignore the chaos is Zimbabwe because it threatens the whole region.

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Starting Nov. 27 and continuing until Monday, Army soldiers rampaged through the capital, Harare, after hearing that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe would be unable to print enough currency to pay their daily wages. Hundreds of soldiers took their anger out on street vendors, looting the markets for food and other goods.

Combined with the Monday cutoff of public water supplies, for lack of chemicals to prevent the spread of rampant cholera, the regime of President Robert Mugabe appears to be imploding.

Total financial collapse is finally bringing down the Mugabe government. Zimbabwe's currency lost 60% of its value in minutes yesterday.

The Zimbabwe dollar lost more than 60% of its value yesterday after the limit on cash withdrawals from bank accounts was officially raised to Z$100m. The expected flood of scarce cash on to the streets saw the value of a new Z$100m drop from £33 to £10 in minutes.

U.S. dollars have become the de facto currency. Zimbabwe's currency is devaluing so rapidly that printing presses can't print currency fast enough to keep up with inflation.

Inflation is officially at 231 million percent annually, but independent economists say it hovers around 1 quadrillion percent, driven by the insolvent government's penchant for printing money to meet demand for scarce cash.

People are shooting wild game animals to feed themselves and their pets.  Local blog reports describe the depravity of Mugabe's failed government.

The authorities have shut down the water to Zimbabwe’s capital city, Harare, because there are no chemicals because They say They have no money to buy chemicals. How about fewer five star negotiation trips to South Africa . . . and buy some chemicals instead of forking out money hand over fist on big boy flights of fancy?

Meanwhile I see that road crews are busy painting lines on the only road that matters to little bob. The Borrowdale Road leading to his mansion.

On the foraging side of life I’m happy to have found a source of dog food. I collected a bag of 40 packets of chicken type pet food from a car showroom the other day. I had a chat with the very helpful woman selling it while standing in among some brand new Isuzu bakkies. She was full of information on pet food. For example she said that she was getting ostrich the next day and would I like some? And that her son had just shot a wildebeest and her dogs Go Mad for wildebeest especially the meat taken from where the wound was because it was all clotted with blood. And would I like some?

The EU and the UK are planning to send medical and food aid soon.

Britain joined the EU and other international organisations in immediately pledging assistance. Gordon Brown said the UK was helping because the cholera outbreak showed that Zimbabwe was a failed state with a government unable to protect its citizens from disease.

The Bush administration has started to act (see update 1) about the present crisis. The U.S. ambassador offered his opinion to the Washington Post.

"Zimbabwe is a sore on the rest of southern Africa," James D. McKee, the U.S. ambassador to Zimbabwe, said in a recent interview in Harare, Zimbabwe's capital.

Will the nightmare of the people of Zimbabwe soon be over? We can only hope.

( Background: On April 1 it looked like a Mugabe might resign peacefully. Hopes were dashed.)

Update1

Bishop Desmond Tutu says Mugabe should step down or be arrested and sent to the Hague.

Archbishop Tutu told the Dutch TV programme Nova: "I think now that the world must say: 'You have been responsible, with your cohorts... for gross violations, and you are going to face indictment in The Hague unless you step down.'"

Condoleeza Rice calls for Mugabe to quit. She said African countries must take the lead.

"It's well past time for Robert Mugabe to leave," said Rice, who was in Copenhagen as part of a European farewell tour before President Bush leaves the White House on January 20.

"The fact is there was a sham election, there has been a sham process of power-sharing talks and now we are seeing not only political and economic total devastation... but a humanitarian toll of the cholera epidemic," she said.

Her comments came as South Africa announced it will send a team of senior government officials to Zimbabwe next week to assess the country's growing food crisis and determine what aid is needed.

Kenya's Prime Minister Raila Odinga who has been in talks with South African leaders has called for African leaders to push Mugabe out of office

"It's time for African governments... to push him out of power," Mr Odinga said after talks with Zimbabwe's opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

Mr. Odinga has been in talks with Jacob Zuma, leader of South Africa's leading political party the ANC. The ANC has announced an alliance with Kenya, indicating that the days of ANC enabling of Mugabe are over.

"I do believe strongly that if the leadership in South Africa took a firm stand and told Mugabe to quit he will have no choice but to do so," the Kenyan PM said.

Mr Odinga was sure Mr Zuma, who is tipped to become president of South Africa next year, would have "no hesitation in taking that step".

Originally posted to FishOutofWater on Thu Dec 04, 2008 at 08:51 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  If South Africa invades Zimbabwe (139+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skybluewater, GainesT1958, Kels, Mogolori, Hlinko, alisonk, ajbender, sacrelicious, bread and roses, exotrip, devtob, djs, marjo, SallyCat, eyeswideopen, concernedamerican, mmacdDE, Susan1138, RabidNation, buckhorn okie, LeftofArizona, dmsilev, high uintas, SneakySnu, Dallasdoc, fuzed, Sychotic1, defluxion10, weasel, grrr, Brian82, Matt Esler, Sajun777, Big Tex, G2geek, radarlady, Harkov311, Captain Slack, Osiris, SoCalLiberal, dogemperor, Cynical Copper, TigerMom, amRadioHed, EJP in Maine, Dobber, bleeding blue, Mr X, WolfmanSpike, blue jersey mom, Gottayo, serrano, Asinus Asinum Fricat, elliott, esquimaux, BachFan, andydoubtless, DemInLux, ccmask, Albatross, Lefty Coaster, tecampbell, A Siegel, Dissentinator, Crashing Vor, Preston S, max stirner, chemicalresult, Andy30tx, quantumspin, Wage Warrior II, doingbusinessas, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, means are the ends, mapman, Aaa T Tudeattack, GoldnI, cjallen, lams712, Boreal Ecologist, Cat Whisperer, moodyinsavannah, jetskreemr, crankyinNYC, vets74, karmsy, FishOutofWater, Seneca Doane, crose, cyncynical, Rumarhazzit, Korkenzieher, Bikemom, TomP, cville townie, trivium, kayfromsouth, East Village Blue, lineatus, wagdog, TomFromNJ, wavpeac, kyril, joy sinha, BYw, ryangoesboom, satanicpanic, Bule Betawi, multilee, snackdoodle, Anne Elk, banjolele, Stranded Wind, magne, jodygirl, Meng Bomin, oxfdblue, dawnt, The BBQ Chicken Madness, joe from Lowell, Fedallah, lompe, Norbrook, Latex Solar Beef, amk for obama, superheed, Big Danny, hakunamatata, HartfordTycoon, DailyDrew, DrFitz, Lolo08, Simplyhere, jonwilliamsl, AMfromATL, Blackmamba1973, gobears2000, Amayi, Boise Grad

    all I have to say is, "it's about fucking time."

    January 20 2009 cannot come soon enough.

    by Crisis Corps Volunteer on Thu Dec 04, 2008 at 08:56:27 PM PST

  •  TJ (149+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelPH, keirdubois, Mogolori, RunawayRose, DebtorsPrison, Debby, exotrip, eeff, x, devtob, SallyCat, Matilda, eyeswideopen, srkp23, chuckvw, LeftofArizona, javelina, juslikagrzly, dmsilev, high uintas, wader, SneakySnu, hhex65, Samer, defluxion10, TX Scotia, weasel, kalmoth, nswalls, WisVoter, dnta, 3cardmonty, d to the f, eztempo, Big Tex, rapala, nailbender, G2geek, marina, radarlady, freakofsociety, yuriwho, demimondian, PBen, eightlivesleft, bleeding blue, Mr X, lotlizard, blue jersey mom, Marcus Junius Brutus, Safi, Gottayo, sodalis, Brian B, noweasels, Crisis Corps Volunteer, begone, Mother Mags, elliott, esquimaux, BachFan, New Deal democrat, mjfgates, tobendaro, KenBee, Albatross, nilocjin, Dauphin, ER Doc, Unitary Moonbat, vivian darkbloom, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, Lovo, toys, MadMs, Reel Woman, cjallen, lams712, One Pissed Off Liberal, bvljac, desertguy, vets74, terryhallinan, Jimdotz, dclawyer06, Seneca Doane, jayden, sabishi, vbdietz, crose, Newzie, Moderation, uciguy30, trivium, MKinTN, mamamedusa, indyada, wagdog, ankey, mofembot, kyril, BYw, red 83, oldliberal, ryangoesboom, satanicpanic, maggiejean, Neon Vincent, Calouste, snackdoodle, banjolele, CanyonWren, pvlb, earicicle, LeftyEngineer, kat68, Meng Bomin, SteveP, dawnt, Rick in Oz, allep10, The BBQ Chicken Madness, amnesiaproletariat, Knarfc, Fedallah, lompe, brooklyns finest, Snof, KroneckerD, patrickz, papakila, Big Danny, chrome327, muryan, sullivanst, samanthab, Luthien Tinuviel, addisnana, alethea, Hawaiian, mechboots, watershed, tallship, gobears2000, Medina Mahmoud, indigoblueskies, Amayi, Treghas, Tim in AZ

    My scripts froze up!

    "It's the planet, stupid."

    by FishOutofWater on Thu Dec 04, 2008 at 08:58:55 PM PST

    •  The whole world is waiting (13+ / 0-)

      for January 20, 2009!

      "Politics is not left, right or center ... It's about improving people's lives." -Paul Wellstone

      by maggiejean on Thu Dec 04, 2008 at 09:01:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  How will that help Zimbabwe? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cardinal96, kyril

        What can Obama do that Bush hasn't?

        •  Support (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rapala, TomP, dawnt, addisnana

          our allies efforts.  

          Britain joined the EU and other international organisations in immediately pledging assistance. Gordon Brown said the UK was helping because the cholera outbreak showed that Zimbabwe was a failed state with a government unable to protect its citizens from disease.

          The U.S. has done nothing.

          "Politics is not left, right or center ... It's about improving people's lives." -Paul Wellstone

          by maggiejean on Thu Dec 04, 2008 at 09:43:23 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  US has given $600M to Zimbabwe (6+ / 0-)

            You need to get your facts straight if you think the US has been doing nothing for Zimbabwe.

            USAID has contributed nearly $600 million to humanitarian operations in Zimbabwe since 2002.

            In 2007 USAID provided nearly $170 million in food assistance and more than $5 million for programs related to agriculture and food security, shelter, livelihoods, relief commodities, humanitarian coordination and information management, and water, sanitation, and hygiene.

            Source

            Now look at the countries, and Mbeki, who have done "everything" for Zimbabwe and see how well they've done.

            •  You are correct that (7+ / 0-)

              USAID has poured quite a few dollars into Zimbabwe.  The food is exclusively GE and the HIV/AIDS program is hampered by the "condom" issue.  However, I get your point. But, I believe Obama will be more flexible.

              "Politics is not left, right or center ... It's about improving people's lives." -Paul Wellstone

              by maggiejean on Thu Dec 04, 2008 at 09:59:46 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Thanks for the good link (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              wader, G2geek, addisnana

              Since the election last spring the situation has grown much worse than it was in 2007. From your link.

              USAID has contributed nearly $600 million to humanitarian operations in Zimbabwe since 2002, when conditions worsened in Zimbabwe in the aftermath of the government-sanctioned seizure of commercial farms, and compounded by a regional drought. Agricultural production plummeted and tens of thousands of newly-unemployed farm workers were displaced. While other countries in the region recovered from the drought, Zimbabwe's economy continued to contract and inflation soared under destructive government policies. The crisis was exacerbated by the high prevalence of HIV/AIDS. In 2005, undertaking draconian measures designed to eliminate informal trade and housing, the government displaced and/or destroyed livelihoods of 700,000 people through Operation Murambatsvina (Throw Out the Trash).

              USAID Non-Food Emergency Assistance in FY 2007: $5,096,262
              USAID Food Assistance in FY 2007: $169,672,652
              Total USAID Humanitarian Assistance in FY 2007: $174,768,914

              The problem now is not the lack of willingness of countries to provide food. It is the lack of security and the complete failure of the government of Zim.

              "It's the planet, stupid."

              by FishOutofWater on Thu Dec 04, 2008 at 10:04:53 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Where has (0+ / 0-)

              the food and money gone? has it reached anyone at all?

            •  Could you please tell me who got the funds and (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              wader, G2geek, esquimaux

              where they went? I just wonder if the funds truly went to the people who needed them. That seems to have been a problem in several countries.

              An eye for and eye makes the whole world blind - Mahatma Gandhi

              by TX Scotia on Thu Dec 04, 2008 at 10:48:08 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  i don't see family planning on that list. (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mmacdDE, mamamedusa, kyril, Blackmamba1973

              Foreign aid without contraception is slow-motion genocide disguised as a gift.  

              •  Abortionist! Procreationless sex enabler! (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                G2geek, kyril, Blackmamba1973

                /Vatican-Muslim States-US contingent squeals

              •  I'm not sure you're getting what's going on in Z (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                djs, TerribleTom, kyril, 4040

                This is food to keep people from starving to death right now.
                There is no water in the Harare. People are digging holes in the street and breaking open water lines and scooping out untreated water to drink.
                This is a breakdown of basic government, not an overpopulation problem.

                What's the difference between Vietnam and Iraq? Bush knew how to get out of Vietnam.

                by strandedlad on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 04:35:52 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Shut up Jesus Freak! (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Blackmamba1973

                  You're just one of these anti-abortion nuts!

                  Don't you understand that the proper solution to Zimbabwe's problems is abortion clinics on every corner and free condoms in every pot?

                  In actual fact, right now Zimbabwe needs a retroactive abortion of Mugabe and most of ZANU-PF.  That would do the trick.

                  •  Um, can you start making some sense, please? (0+ / 0-)

                    I really would like you to elaborate on your extensive plans to solve Zimbabwe's problems, including the possible unintended consquences of such actions. Since you seem to have it all figured out, I would like to learn more about your pithy and infalliable plan.

                    This is what happens when Democrats put winning ahead of accountability. -rolandzebub

                    by James Kresnik on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 11:59:51 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Shoot Mugabe and all of his clique (0+ / 0-)

                      You can't recolonialize Zimbabwe.

                      The most you can do is kill the people who are currently destroying that country and hope that more reasonable people will come to the fore.

                •  oh I do get it, all too well. (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  TX Scotia, kml, kyril, Zulia

                  This is the logical consequence of population overshoot of the resource base.  From that cause, all of these results follow.

                  The presence of a vile dictator only exacerbates the situation by further running down the resource base.  

                  As in, a family without enough money for food will eventually starve, but the presence of a junkie in the family who spends the family's money feeding his habit, will accelerate the process.

                  Sure they need food now and clean water now and sanitation now.  But mark my words: all the food, water, and sanitation aren't worth a damn if there isn't a concerted effort for equality of women and a concerted effort for family planning.  

                  This stuff is 100% predictable.  All you have to know is the average birth rate.  If it's above 2.1, you can predict when the country is going to collapse if things continue.  

                  The most benign and progressive government on earth is no match for the effects of population overshoot of resources.  

                  •  I don't know a lot about these things- (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    G2geek, kyril

                    but your comment about birth rate and resources is interesting.  I'm wondering if the birth rate during the time that farms in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe were still productive was the same as it is now.  If it was- then the presence of greater resources during that time seems to have balanced out the birth rate.  

                    Is there reason to believe that even with conditions as they were 25 years ago the country was bound to collapse because its birthrate would eventually outstrip its resources?  

                    Increasing resources as a solution to a crisis like this seems like a no-brainer- but I'm glad you brought up the reproductive side of the issue. Family planning always makes sense-- giving people more control over the size of their families (and the economic burden that entails) is a no-brainer, too.  

                    •  increasing resources is a temporary measure (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      TX Scotia

                      There's a "soft" limit to carrying capacity, and a "hard" limit to carrying capacity.  

                      You can cross the soft limit of carrying capacity and get away with it by increasing the availability of resources: better fertilizers, more land in cultivation, more efficient irrigation measures, better sanitation, and so on.

                      But many of these measures will decrease the death rate, thereby leading to population increase by way of greater longevity.

                      Greater longevity is a good thing (up to a point; few of us want to rack up extra years while in vegitative comas when nature would otherwise have taken its course with us), but it comes at a price:

                      As death rate goes down, birth rate also has to go down. Otherwise population continues to climb until it hits the hard limit.

                      And, the increase in availability of resources does not do away with the hard limit: for example the absolute amount of water avaialble through rainfall in a given area (regardless of aquifers and rivers, which have to be treated as limited resources as well: part of the "soft limit").

                      Once population hits the hard limit, the "rising tide that lifts all boats" no longer operates: there is no room for growth, at all.  At that point the question is "distributional equity," or "who gets how much of the pie."  This is the point where social instability starts to set in.

                      Social instability leads to rundown of the infrastructure: neglected maintenance and so on, which reduces effective carrying capacity somewhat.  This makes life worse for some number of people, contributing to social unrest, and down we go into a spiral that leads to a catastrophe.

                      The solution is: during the time period when life expectancy is increasing, make family planning a cultural norm and voluntarily reduce the birth rate.  Bring population down that way until it's within the boundary of the soft limit, and then use the technological advantages to increase quality of life.  This is the rational path forward, and one too seldom followed.

                      And as a result, we are hurtling toward a climate catastrophe in which the entire world is going to feel the effects of the hard limit of humankind's impact on the entire global ecosystem.  

                      Thus the urgency of understanding these dynamics and taking steps to deal with them immediately.    

                  •  Demography is not social science (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    kyril

                    Well, it is, but there is more to understanding governance -- here, the collapse of a state -- than just demography.  After all, countries around the world have had an average birth rate above 2.1, but only a select few -- Somalia, Myanmar, Haiti -- have truly endured the collapse of their state in the sense that Zimbabwe is now.

                    "If we believe that all humans are human, than how are we going to prove it? It can only be proven through our actions." Lt. Gen. Romeo Dallaire

                    by djs on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 08:31:42 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  I disagree. Foreign aid needs to be coupled with (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    FishOutofWater

                    education.  Education is the only way that people can truly break the cycle of poverty.  It's through achieving univeral education (at the very least through primary school) that you can achieve equality for women and change the fundamental cultural obstacles to contraception.  Starving children will not go to school though due to the myriad health issues associated with starvation.  We need to fund school nutrition programs in developing nations similar to the school lunch programs we have here, with the addition of take-home rations.  That way there is incentive for parents to send their kids to school, and we have a fully educated generation coming through.

                    •  yes, agreed, no difference of opinion there. (0+ / 0-)

                      Equal education for girls is part of the element of full cultural and legal equality for women.

                      Childhood nutrition, obviously.  

                      But boatloads of condoms, pills, and so on, are a necessary part of that, otherwise the choices are meaningless.  

    •  Recommended... (6+ / 0-)

      ...the World is an ugly place. Mugabe needs to be sent to Elba...

    •  Thankfully (13+ / 0-)

      Mr. Thabo "LA LA LA AIDS isn't happening" Mbeki is no longer in power.  Hopefully, President Motlanthe is more responsible with regard to the issues affecting his country and his neighbors.

      January 20 2009 cannot come soon enough.

      by Crisis Corps Volunteer on Thu Dec 04, 2008 at 09:04:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The new SA govt. is much better. (10+ / 0-)

        They will act.

        Government spokesman Themba Maseko said South Africa "cannot fold its arms while people in Zimbabwe are suffering".

        "There are clear signs that people are dying of starvation and that it is time for urgent action to be taken," Maseko said.

        "It's the planet, stupid."

        by FishOutofWater on Thu Dec 04, 2008 at 09:07:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Zimbabwans have been suffering (9+ / 0-)

          for years now.  South Africa has been abetting that suffering.

          January 20 2009 cannot come soon enough.

          by Crisis Corps Volunteer on Thu Dec 04, 2008 at 09:20:28 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  yep (12+ / 0-)

            Mbeki has been an enabler for Mugabe.  Another reason that he was a total asshole.

            "you have the right to your own opinion. You do not have the right to your own facts" -Daniel Patrick Moynihan

            by SteveP on Thu Dec 04, 2008 at 09:22:48 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Mbeki was the anti-Bush... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ER Doc, SteveP

              Remember that when this crisis unfolded, Mbeki and others were seeking to work with Mugabe in the belief that more talk and engagement would help to politely remove Mugabe from power.  Instead, it did the reverse.

              •  false analogy. His goal wasn't Mugabe's removal. (9+ / 0-)

                He was an enabler.  More like Chamberlain, who Bush claimed as his antithesis which was correct only if Bush = Hitler.

                "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you can succeed." -Nancy Pelosi, 6/29/07.

                by nailbender on Thu Dec 04, 2008 at 09:35:15 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  I think the problem was (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                wader, esquimaux, FishOutofWater

                that Mbeki really was appeasing - he took a very firm stance against MDC and Tsvangirai.  In the interests of stability and theoretically to stop flow of Zimbabwean refugee's he cut all support out from MDC and gave Mugabe implicit and explicit permission to continue harrassing them.  

                There's a long history of black resentment (well earned by the white populace by the way) of white land owners which is similar and tied in with the poltical situation in South Africa where part of the shtick to unit various black political parties is the continued demonization of the white poppulation.  Tough thing to mitigate because the whites have and continue to act like total shits.

                Anyway, I think negotiation would have worked - but Mbeki through his support and by extension South Africa's support meant that Mugabe needn't make any concessions whatsoever and still keep power. Mbeki never seriously engaged Mugabe to have fair elections or abide by the results or feed his people or manage the land issue through legal means instead of mob, or ensure that new black farmes had the resources and expertise to actually run the farms and so on.  Mbeki acted in solidarity with Mugabe on many levels.

                "you have the right to your own opinion. You do not have the right to your own facts" -Daniel Patrick Moynihan

                by SteveP on Thu Dec 04, 2008 at 09:41:10 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  You said it, but didn't reach the conclusion (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  esquimaux, Shane Hensinger, SteveP, 4040

                  The reality is, Mbeki provides the type of dialogue Mugabe wants, and others have warned about.  It enables him to control his country while everyone talks about his control.

                  Seeing as how the international community has done everything without taking any direct action, the only thing left to do is to take action or wait until Mugabe dies.

                  •  Yeah and his Mom lived until she was 103 or so (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    esquimaux

                    I don't remember the exact age...but his family is very long lived...he could easily live another 20 years.

                    I understand that the EU doesn't want to come off as the white colonial powers, but the whole travle ban thing that was never enforced and all those crying wolf about arresting him...it just made all of the diplomatic threats look like a joke - and with Mbeki assuring the flow of weapons and stuff for the military.....

                    "you have the right to your own opinion. You do not have the right to your own facts" -Daniel Patrick Moynihan

                    by SteveP on Thu Dec 04, 2008 at 10:01:10 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Direct action will have undesirable consequences. (0+ / 0-)

                    Mugabe is not alone in this, he will have successors. Military intervention will provoke a negative response. We will have to meet that negative response with use of force. Use of force will empower any local entity who opposes our presence. What do you propose to do if intervention spirals into a gurellia war or anti-occupation movement? Repeat Iraq?

                    This is what happens when Democrats put winning ahead of accountability. -rolandzebub

                    by James Kresnik on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 12:08:08 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

    •  a lot of this is on Mbeki's head for backing (14+ / 0-)

      Mugabe all this time (both outright and by inference).

      What a disaster for SA to go from Mandela to Mbeki.

      "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you can succeed." -Nancy Pelosi, 6/29/07.

      by nailbender on Thu Dec 04, 2008 at 09:32:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you for this diary. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      G2geek, FishOutofWater, Fedallah

      Sadly, Mugabe became what he had fought.

      •  No, he became far worse (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        esquimaux

        Living standards of Black Zimabweans today are far worse than they were in Rhodesia under Ian Smith, political freedom is less and there is more oppression.

        One is reminded of Animal Farm where the pigs turn out to be worse oppressors than the human farmers.

        •  ahhhh, colonialism (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          esquimaux, James Kresnik

          the gift that keeps on giving.

          one wonders how a zimbabwe that wan't colonized/raped by england in the first place would have turned out.

          •  Well, let's consider... (0+ / 0-)

            No technology, no industry, no legal set up for commerce (ie. limited liability companies, etc.), no banks, no tools to develop their economy.

            They would have been a backwater basket case until a neighboring post-colonial company walked in and took them over with a company of Boy Scouts armed with modern weapons.

            •  Victorian Era Bullshit (0+ / 0-)

              Ethiopia had a developing and modernizing economy, until Italy invaded. Before the Afrikanns settled and the British invaded Southern Africa was in the process of consolidating into a super state, which would have been rife and eager for ecnomic modernization. West Africa had well developed trade systems that would have developed beyond the slave-economy that the West primed. All of the implements of modern civilization you describe could, and would have been acquired through ordinary trade. Congo was turned into a wasteland through colonial occupation. You assume too much, based on sociological and economic assertions are baseless and anarchic. I would suggest updating your socio-historical and polidical information by about one hundered years.

              This is what happens when Democrats put winning ahead of accountability. -rolandzebub

              by James Kresnik on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 12:16:45 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Fantasies.... (0+ / 0-)

                Before the Afrikanns settled and the British invaded Southern Africa was in the process of consolidating into a super state, which would have been rife and eager for ecnomic modernization.

                Really?  Under the Ndebele, the Zulus, the Xhosa, or the Shona?  Please provide your evidence that a fractured tribal society was consolidating into a superstate.

                Using what intellectual and financial capital?  Are you aware that there was no written Shona language (primary native language in Zimbabwe) until the early 1900s?

                Compare this with Thailand and Japan, both of which self developed without colonization.

                Your other cases are not Zimbabwe and so not relevant  to the question posed.

                All of the implements of modern civilization you describe could, and would have been acquired through ordinary trade.

                Perhaps but would they have?  Is there any evidence that the rulers of Zimbabwe would have been interested in investing in their county rather than socking away money abroad?  What reason, other than a kneejerk desire to blame Africa's problems on colonialism do you have for believing that they would have kept money at home where they could lose it if they were deposed?

    •  overshoot and collapse. (6+ / 0-)

      Zimbabwe has an average fertility rate of 3.03 children per woman.  This means that population increases by 50% at each generation, minus mortality.  

      This is what happens when population overshoots resources.  Disease, war, starvation, and all the rest of it.

      Look up the Rwandan genocide, and the population/resource equation in the years leading up to it.  

      This is 100% predictable.  

      The necessary solution is legal and cultural equality for women, equal education for women, and universal free access to family planning & contraception.

      Otherwise we will see more and worse of this in the years to come.  

      •  There's a little bit more to it than that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        djs

        While Zimbabwe may have suffered from problems anyway, there is a certain degree of incompetence involved in its disastrous decline.  

        Don't like XOM and OPEC? What have YOU done to reduce your oil consumption? Hot air does NOT constitute a renewable resource!

        by Asak on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 02:27:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  can't have one w/o the other... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          James Kresnik

          By definition it takes an incompetent regime to allow a country to slide so far into overshoot that it goes into full-on collapse.  

          And on the other hand, a country that is in overshoot mode, if it becomes victim of an incompetent or pernicious regime, can tip right into collapse.

          A regime or other circumstance that kicks the resource base out from under a country's people, can precipitate a collapse.  Louisiana after Katrina is an example on a localized scale.  

          A war such as in Iraq can do likewise, in that case leading to tribal civil war and insurgencies.  

          And last but not least, in a collapse scenario, the breakdown of normal political processes can lead to the rise of gangster or warlord regimes.  

          Any time you have continued net population growth, you're heading for a date with disaster when population exceeds carrying capacity.  This inevitability can converge with the entirely independent rise to power of an incompetent or pernicious regime, and the results will be ugly.  But in that case, those ugly results will only occur more quickly as a result of the pernicious regime: even with competent government, the same results would occur eventually.  

          •  Chicken and egg (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            G2geek

            .... look back to what was happening in any of these war torn areas 20 - 30 years ago and chances are there was the same thing going on, and that younger generation grew up in chaos and now at maturity has no sense and no resources to find their way.  Which is why the middle east, about 15 to 20 years from now, could be in chaos again, thanks to Bush's "preemptive" war.

            "Toads of Glory, slugs of joy... as he trotted down the path before a dragon ate him"-Alex Hall/ Stop McClintock

            by AmericanRiverCanyon on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 06:31:03 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  a modest dissent (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            James Kresnik

            "Carrying capacity" is a false concept.  Or else Hong Kong and Singapore (not to mention the Acela corridor in the US) would have collapsed long ago.

            Don't get me wrong: I consider myself a neo-Malthusian to a large degree.  But extreme population growth doesn't make political collapse inevitable.  It just makes some courses of action -- like retreat from the provision of public goods, tribalism, turning neighbor against neighbor, and predatory state behavior -- more thinkable.  Leadership, or its absence, is particular noticeable in such circumstances.

            "If we believe that all humans are human, than how are we going to prove it? It can only be proven through our actions." Lt. Gen. Romeo Dallaire

            by djs on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 08:40:48 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  I would like your reaction... (0+ / 0-)

        to the concept of high fertility rates being a survival strategy in the context of the current ZE situation.  By this i mean that oftentimes young children are viewed as a means to procure resources for the welfare of the family unit.  the more children you have gathering food,water, wood, etc. the more total resources that will be available to that family (at least that is how some societies have viewed it- it does not mean that it works out that way) Therefore, families often produce more offspring in order to provide for the family.
        So then- if the CW among that populace is that more children=more resources available to the family, how would they be convinced that reducing the number of children they have will result in an increase in the amount of resources available nationally?  especially given that we cannot guarantee that other families will respond similarly and reduce the number of their offspring and thus reduce competition overall.

        This gets into commons management and is outside of the current conversation to a degree, but i think it is important to understanding what direction our aid should be directed in.  Personally, i am conflicted about how i feel on this subject- i agree with promoting family planning but can also see how large families can be viewed as a necessity for survival in certain circumstances.  

    •  Thanks for pulling all of this (0+ / 0-)

      info together, Fish.

    •  Great diary, FOoW (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FishOutofWater

      Too bad it has to be under these circumstances but I'm thrilled someone is finally going into Zimbabwe.

      I think they should arrest Mugabe and let him rot in jail.

  •  This sounds so made up... (6+ / 0-)

    1 quadrillion percent

  •  The bitter irony of this.... (19+ / 0-)
    ...is that the horrors of the last several years are pretty much exactly what the supporters of the old Rhodesian Republic were afraid would happen.

    Thus, we have a case study of how not to spread democracy.

  •  I have read Mugabe's side of this story. (9+ / 0-)

    I understand that Mugabe took land from European plantation owners and gave it to the native people of Zimbabwe.  Mugabe claims that the blokade on his nation in response to this brought the economic problems.

    I do not know the facts here very well at all, but only present this for balance.

    •  That's his story (28+ / 0-)

      I don't think there is much dispute on the actual facts.  Which is that Mugabe has screwed that country into the earth.  No one is even blockading the country, there's only travel bans on Mugabe and his cronies - Mugabe has refused outside food and they have cash reserves to buy anything.  

      "you have the right to your own opinion. You do not have the right to your own facts" -Daniel Patrick Moynihan

      by SteveP on Thu Dec 04, 2008 at 09:22:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Mugabe was a hero once. (45+ / 0-)

      He was the leader of the opposition that gained independence. Because of his hero status he has gotten away with murder.

      His "land reform" was been based on cronyism and has caused agricultural production to plummet.  He has become a dictator who wrecked a once thriving country.

      "It's the planet, stupid."

      by FishOutofWater on Thu Dec 04, 2008 at 09:23:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  literally (16+ / 0-)

        Because of his hero status he has gotten away with murder.

        January 20 2009 cannot come soon enough.

        by Crisis Corps Volunteer on Thu Dec 04, 2008 at 09:32:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Orwell's Animal Farm - never out of date. n/t (5+ / 0-)
        •  true story from Zambia (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tomhodukavich

          Back in 1996, on the day that the then-president of Zambia, the convicted crook Frederick Chiluba was signing in to law a constititional revision that stripped his opponents of their standing to challenge him for the presidency, a some clever chap at the national broadcasting coorporation (ZNBC, the only TV station available at the time) ran the cartoon version of Animal House on air in an act of snarky dissidence.

          "If we believe that all humans are human, than how are we going to prove it? It can only be proven through our actions." Lt. Gen. Romeo Dallaire

          by djs on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 08:57:51 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  IIRC (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        djs, kalmoth, esquimaux

        The first Mugabe he did after becoming president was engage in genocide against areas of the country that supported other liberation groups...and of course his predecessor leader of ZANU (before the -PF) mysteriously died just after the treaty granting independence was signed in 1979.

        In other words, he didn't become an asshole recently.

        What's the difference between Vietnam and Iraq? Bush knew how to get out of Vietnam.

        by strandedlad on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 04:50:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  He was always a bloody minded murderer (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PoliMorf, Sychotic1, tari, SteveP, MGross

        Problem was some people thought that anyone who fought the whites had to be a hero.

        Also, you are amazingly ignorant of Zimbabwe's history.

        He was the leader of the opposition that gained independence.

        He was the leader of a guerrilla / terrorist group, not the opposition.  That was Muzorewa, who he deposed.

        He also did not gain independence.  Ian Smith gained independence from Britain while Zimbabwe was still Rhodesia.

        •  So was Mandela. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rcd

          Something people seem content to gloss over these days.

          I understand the whole "lesser evil" argument but that hardly seems a reason to exonerate them.

        •  You are inaccurate (0+ / 0-)

          Ian Smith declared independence which was never recognized outside of apartheid South Africa. The Lancaster House agreement which brought about majority rule involved the revokation of the declaration and Rhodesia returning to being a British colony (in the terms of the agreement "accept the authority of the Governor". Then the colony became the independent Zimbabwe following British supervised elections.

          Rosa sat so Martin could walk, Martin walked so Barack could run, Barack ran so our children could soar

          by Lib Dem FoP on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 09:08:31 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sorry DOUBLY inaccurate. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            James Kresnik

            The two liberation groups were ZANU and ZAPU, led by Joshua Nkomo.

            At the time of Lancaster House, there was a biracial government of the "Republic of Zimbabwe Rhodesia" which had been established on June 1. 1979. Bishop Able Muzorewa was Prime Minister of that republic.

            In negotiating the Lancaster House agreement, Lord Carrington assumed that in the elections ZAPU would win. In the end ZANU won the greater number of seats but the Governor persuaded the two to form a coalition government. Nkomo was ousted a couple of years later:

            In 1982, Joshua Nkomo was ousted from his cabinet, sparking fighting between ZAPU supporters in the Ndebele-speaking region of the country and the ruling ZANU. A peace accord was negotiated in 1987, resulting in ZAPU's merger (1988) into the ZANU-PF.

            The Ndebele are also known as Matabele in Zimbabwe. They have been the main opposition to Mugabe ever since, hence my suspicions in another post about the outbreak of anthrax in Northern Matabeleland.

            Rosa sat so Martin could walk, Martin walked so Barack could run, Barack ran so our children could soar

            by Lib Dem FoP on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 09:33:39 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Fuck Mugabe's 'side of the story' (24+ / 0-)

      Mugabe is a thug, pure and simple.  He is using colonialism, which ended in Zimbabwe almost 30 years ago as a club to justify his failures.

      January 20 2009 cannot come soon enough.

      by Crisis Corps Volunteer on Thu Dec 04, 2008 at 09:31:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's more complicated than that... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rcd, joanneleon

        he probably was a good guy about 30 years ago, but look what a couple of decades of corruption can do to even a good guy.

        •  To understand (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          scorinaldi

          the creature that is Mugabe, we must read Fanon...

          •  I think even Fanon would have to admit (8+ / 0-)

            that Mugabe has become as bad as any colonial master.

            •  that's precisely (7+ / 0-)

              what he says. The native elite, of which Mugabe is one, that takes power after colonialism will mimic the colonial masters.

              •  Then he was wrong. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mrblifil, esquimaux, tenar

                The colonial masters saw their colonies as milch cows to be milked.

                The native elite such as Mugabe saw them as beef cows to be slaughtered and plundered until nothing was left.

                •  ummmm (0+ / 0-)

                  certainly you're not suggesting that the colonial masters were preferable?

                  The French murdered one million Algerians. And I don't even want to get into what the Belgians did in the Congo...

                  Heard of Cecil Rhodes? Please, if you haven't, do your research before making careless comments.

                  •  To Mugabe? Certainly (0+ / 0-)

                    According to Wikipedia about 700,000 people died in the Algerian war of independence.  Many were killed by the FLN.  And people killed in a war are not usually considered to be murdered.

                    Compare that to what Mugabe has done to the Zimbabwean people without a war.

                    However, Algeria, Cecil Rhodes, and the Congo are hardly the right comparison for Zimbabwe.  If you want to compare Mugabe with the colonial masters then you have to compare his rule with that of the British in the immediate pre-independence period.  I think it is obvious that for the vast majority of Zimbabweans British rule was preferable.  After all, I think it is little comfort to people who are being beaten, raped, and murdered that their oppressors are the same color that they are.

                    •  Ummm (0+ / 0-)

                      Rhodesia?

                      Look, you're the one who made the silly claim that the colonial regimes were preferable to what is happening today.

                      For the vast majority of Zimbabweans British rule is preferable? So now we advocate colonialism? How perverse and disgusting. I bet you think Iraq under American rule is better than Saddam. Again, a bullshit comparison, but sounds a lot like the reductive tripe you are spewing.

                      •  Consider your logic... (0+ / 0-)

                        You seem to be saying that it is impossible that British rule was preferable because then we would be advocating colonialism and that is unacceptable.

                        I suggest that you instead look at the current situation in Zimbabwe - total collapse at a level in which the long term survival of a significant proportion of the population is in doubt - and compare that with the situation in colonial Rhodesia in which, despite the generally lower living standards of the time, the government made sure the black population had enough to get by and survive because it was necessary for the economy.

                        I am sure your anti-colonialist credentials are impeccable but I wonder how comforting it is to the people currently suffering in Zimbabwe that the people causing their suffering are also black.

                        •  All I'm saying (0+ / 0-)

                          is that it's morally suspect to argue for one form of oppression over another.

                          So yes, any kind of defense of Rhodesia is unacceptable to me, even if the white racists "made sure the black population had enough to get by and survive," which, actually, is also false.

                          •  Ah... well, I am not advocating recolonization (0+ / 1-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Hidden by:
                            sortalikenathan

                            so if your only objection is that you think I am arguing for one form of repression I suggest you beg, buy, or borrow a clue and then reread my posts.

                            Secondly, please provide evidence that the conditions of the black majority in Rhodesia were worse than they are for black Zimbabweans today.

                            (Note:  Average incomes are not acceptable since that includes the huge amounts of money being stolen by the current government.)

                          •  you are morally suspect (0+ / 0-)

                            You have a pretty sick mind. I mean, yeah, let me try to prove that the colonial system in Rhodesia, based as it was on racial disrimination, dispossession and murder, was superior to a system with a locally grown despot.

                            They are DIFFERENT, and I'm not going to be a douchebag like you and try to argue that one condition is better/worse than another.

                            So have some serious friggin issues. Fuck off.

                          •  Well, let's see... (0+ / 0-)

                            mean, yeah, let me try to prove that the colonial system in Rhodesia, based as it was on racial disrimination, dispossession and murder, was superior to a system with a locally grown despot.

                            Well, current system is based on dispossession and murder and tribal discrimination instead of racial discrimination.

                            Except Rhodesia's masters were reasonably competent and focused on keeping the country running so they could make money and live well whereas Mugabe has turned Zimbabwe into a total basket case in which people literally cannot survive.

                            Seems obvious to me which is better.

                    •  The colonial policies deliberately (0+ / 0-)

                      engineered and exasperated several fundamental problems in Africa: overpopulation, lack of education, lack of productive infrastructure and staggering income inequality.

                      The colonies were never designed to be economically developed to benefit any other than the colonial masters and their fellow travelers. They were not designed to create wealth, but extract wealth. The colonial masters as a wealth extraction racket, would have stood squarely in the way of the economic re-alignment necessary to avert demographic disaster.

                      At least under the current arrangement, Africa is finally undergoing the long, painful process of economic and political development necessary to evolve into a fully productive economy. This is what Southeast Asia had to go through to reach some degree of development and stability. Your paternalistic, and brazenly neo-colonial ambitions will retard this slow, painful necessary process.

                      What you claim are death throes, are actually birthing pains.

                      This is what happens when Democrats put winning ahead of accountability. -rolandzebub

                      by James Kresnik on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 12:35:35 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  oh (0+ / 0-)

                      and Wikipedia isn't exactly a reliable source.

                      How about actually reading Fanon and other historians of the Algerian war.

        •  I doubt he was ever a good guy (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mrblifil, Sychotic1

          Maybe he did good things, in fighting for independence, but he was probably always a bastard.  We try hard not to admit it, but real bastards can sometimes do good things.  Not everyone is motivated purely by altruism.  

          Don't like XOM and OPEC? What have YOU done to reduce your oil consumption? Hot air does NOT constitute a renewable resource!

          by Asak on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 02:29:31 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Replacing colonialism with thugocracy ??? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mrblifil, 4040

            With a brief transition, where democracy combined a legislature with mixed membership -- but always under fear of Mugabe's clique.

            Rhodesia was the richest country in Africa, apart from the oil states.

            Mugabe is a paranoid.

            Droogie is as Droogie does....

            by vets74 on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 04:56:52 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Mugabe will die, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              vets74

              one way or another and more mature leadership will rise to take his place. Killing or removing Mugabe by force will invariably give rise to a more authoritian and inept leader. If he is to be ovethrown, let the Zimbabweans do it themselves.

              This is what happens when Democrats put winning ahead of accountability. -rolandzebub

              by James Kresnik on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 12:37:36 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  No, he was always a thug. Like Mao. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mrblifil, tari, 4040

          Paranoid mad man.

          Droogie is as Droogie does....

          by vets74 on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 04:53:06 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  If Mugabe was like Mao, (0+ / 0-)

            he was a great man.

            I do not know the history of China well enough to defend Mao, but I do not believe any of the Western propaganda.  It is obvious that Mao overthrew a very corrupt regime.

            •  You're kidding, right? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Cardinal96

              You suggest that Mao was a "great man", but you also claim that you do not know the history of China very well.  

              Well, maybe you should read up on the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution.  All Mao did was substitute one crappy regime for another.

              Mao was responsible for the deaths of millions of his own people.  Mugabe is responsible for the destruction of his country.  That's not Western propaganda.  That's the undisputed truth.

              •  Mao was both. (0+ / 0-)

                He re-unified China into a proud and productive state and helped expell parasitic colonial powers, yet he bungled his way into economic disaster and openly incited mass-murder. He was the most mixed-up of mixed bags and the perfect example of a post-colonial leader.

                This is what happens when Democrats put winning ahead of accountability. -rolandzebub

                by James Kresnik on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 12:40:46 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, to black Africans who (7+ / 0-)

      knew nothing about farming. You can trace the beginnings of the collapse to that choice.

      Reclaiming the land from European-heritage Africans was a long-offered promise, about which little or nothing was done. Mugabe did it, IIRC, as part of an election strategy. There was no planning of any sort behind it, and the result was a disaster for farming in Z. The white farmers were treated abusively and were terrorized during the transfer as well.

      Before that was enacted Zimbabwe was an exporter of food. Within two years, people were starting to go hungry.

      There could have been, should have been, a rational plan for the transfer. With appropriate education going on. But instead things were just taken and handed to Mugabe's supporters--qualified or no.

      Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

      by Jim P on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 12:53:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  At the very least there were (7+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SadEagle, mmacdDE, Sychotic1, marina, Jim P, vets74, 4040

        large numbers of black Zimbabweans working and living on the white owned farms. They were long term farming employees, were skilled, knew the farm, and if anything maybe deserved first crack at being the new owners with government assistance. There would have been a smooth transfer with no ramp up in training/ skills etc. and production would have continued as normal.

        BUT that was politically a problem since Mugabe had a lot of unemployed Veterans (many of whom were not really, just along for the spoils) of the struggle for independence who he needed to buy off with promises for many years and then finally with deeds. He unleashed them with support of the police and his other party thug enablers and of course all the Black Zimbabweans who were already on the farms were evicted along with the whites, beaten sometimes even killed, their possessions looted and their homes destroyed.

        The whole land redistribution scam was doomed from the start.

        Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie

        by IreGyre on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 01:40:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Inter-breeding was going along as you'd expect. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mrblifil, Sychotic1, Jim P

          The mixed part of the population modulated prior colonial policies. The country was never a racist horror show. It didn't have the vast network of crazy rules you saw with apartheid.

          In fact, the U.S. South was more segregated/racist by far.

          Once Mugabe got control of the police -- after 15 years -- all Hell broke loose.

          Droogie is as Droogie does....

          by vets74 on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 05:01:00 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  He gave the land to certain native people (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sychotic1, esquimaux, tari

      He gave it to his supporters and personal cronies... who proved to be incompetent farmers.

    •  He also murders friends and family of his (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mrblifil, Sychotic1, esquimaux, tari

      ... political opponents.

    •  Many African publications (0+ / 0-)

      and opinion articles (not necessarily written by Zimbabweans) express this view.

      •  New African readers: Mugabe "3rd Greatest" (0+ / 0-)

        Here

        Per a reader survey in 2004, the ranking of the greatest Africans or people of African descent of all time went like this:

        1. Mandela
        1. Nkrumah
        1. Mugabe
        1. Nyerere
        1. Marcus Garvey
        1. Lumumba
        1. MLK

        "If we believe that all humans are human, than how are we going to prove it? It can only be proven through our actions." Lt. Gen. Romeo Dallaire

        by djs on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 09:04:29 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  It was all down hill from there (0+ / 0-)

      Mugabe has been one of the worst, most corrupt dictators in Africa's long history of dictators (colonial and post-colonial). He has done his people no good at least not for a very long time.

      •  That too, will pass. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mole333

        He's old and his movement is discrediting itself.

        This is what happens when Democrats put winning ahead of accountability. -rolandzebub

        by James Kresnik on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 12:45:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes... (0+ / 0-)

          But pass to what and when. What can happen in the meantime AND what can happen when he does die could be horrible.

          Maybe having just re-read Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah in preparation to finally reviewing it (meant to more than a year ago but never quite managed it) may make me particularly pessimistic, but I fear the worst for Zimbabwe in the near future. Ishmael is writing about Sierra Leone, but I certainly see a possibility for just as bad stuff for Zimbabwe.

    •  inaccurate (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Kresnik

      First of all, there are few if any "plantations" in Zimbabwe.  Mugabe took large farms from the mostly European commercial farming sector.

      These large farms sat on land that had been under the jurisdiction of local chiefs as late as the 1890s -- until it was stolen from them by settlers from Britain.  So there is a case for trying to reform agricultural holdings.  

      But how one goes about makes all the difference in the world.

      First, eschewing the "willing buyer/willing seller framework constitutionally agreed upon at Zimbabwe's independence, Mugabe proceeded instead by sending drunken thugs to the farm houses, having them bash the skulls of the farmers there (or threaten to) until the farmers fled or were carted off to the mortuary. (Hopefully one's evaluation of this methodology is not contingent upon knowledge of the race of the respective parties involved.)

      Second, rather than having even the drunken thugs owrk the land, Mugabe redistributed it to his cronies -- most of whom lack experience running small farms, much less commercial ones. (consequence: simultaneous collapse in food production and export revenue).

      Third, when the majority of the Zimbabwean people recognized this as no way to lead a country and tried to vote him out of office (in 2002 and 2008), Mugabe set various combinations of uniformed police, those drunken thugs, and the occassional bulldozer to sort out those who dared run against him.

      Meanwhile, any non-Zimbabwean criticism became the source of legitimacy of his own regime.  "See, their out to get me" he'd say.

      He's kind of like an arsonist who sets his house on fire and then blames it on the fire department for trying to take aways his matches.

      "If we believe that all humans are human, than how are we going to prove it? It can only be proven through our actions." Lt. Gen. Romeo Dallaire

      by djs on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 08:54:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, but what about the blockade? (0+ / 0-)

        Or embargo as the term the Western press prefers?

        •  you mean trade sanctions? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          James Kresnik

          Or the weapons embargo?  The underreported heroes in this saga are the South African dockworkes who refused to unload Chinese arms destined for Harare.

          "If we believe that all humans are human, than how are we going to prove it? It can only be proven through our actions." Lt. Gen. Romeo Dallaire

          by djs on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 10:08:36 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It was only weapons? (0+ / 0-)

            There are clearly some very powerful people with a keen interest in the failure of Mugabe.  I do not know the facts well enough to present a better argument in his defense as devil's advocate, but I am a skeptic of the popular Western story.

            •  I follow African politics professionally (0+ / 0-)

              and I'm generally skeptical towards American foreign policy.  But it's clear to me that Mugabe is a f***-up.

              "If we believe that all humans are human, than how are we going to prove it? It can only be proven through our actions." Lt. Gen. Romeo Dallaire

              by djs on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 05:53:27 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  The important thing is the people (10+ / 0-)

    But McKee is an utter dick - why is that an an ambassador, he's like Kerosene to a fire.

    Thankfully Mbeki is no longer in to enable Mugabe. But Zimbabwe obviously going to have to flush it's currency along with its leaders.

    If what the limited press says is true, Mugabe has started to lose the military and I would guess this ones in Harare were/are loyal to the generals who told Mugabe prior to the election they would not kill Tsvangirai.  Traditionally the military has had other ways to deal with the things you use money for...one of the reasons why Mugabe has been able to rely upon them.

    It's really explosive and the cholera is just a small part of the deaths that are happening there since the country is bereft of foodstauffs at any price...for a place that was one of Africa's breadbaskets.

    "you have the right to your own opinion. You do not have the right to your own facts" -Daniel Patrick Moynihan

    by SteveP on Thu Dec 04, 2008 at 09:20:00 PM PST

  •  So how is Bush's State Department going to (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    walkshills, freakofsociety, addisnana

    handle this one? Probably badly....

    Thanks for the diary and I'll check out more tomorrow.  I for one would appreciate understanding the longer term historical background on this.

    Not another dime to an out of state race until CA has equality for all. Period.

    by SallyCat on Thu Dec 04, 2008 at 09:23:21 PM PST

  •  I think they might welcome Obama (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SallyCat, Sychotic1, crose

    in this situation. He's visited Africa several times. We have to get our own problems solved first of course.

  •  231 Million Percent (10+ / 0-)

    You know you're in bad shape when 231,000,000% is the conservative estimate for your interest rate, or when you can knock 10 zeros off your currency and still have things cost tens of millions of dollars.

    AT&T offers exciting work for recent graduates in computer science. Pick up the phone, call your mom, and ask for an application.

    by Scipio on Thu Dec 04, 2008 at 09:24:14 PM PST

    •  When I saw the article today (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sychotic1, FishOutofWater

      in WaPo, I was thinking how just a couple of months ago, Zimbabwe revalued its currency from the quadrillions downwards, and yet even now, the currency has devalued to 10s of millions to one.

      January 20 2009 cannot come soon enough.

      by Crisis Corps Volunteer on Thu Dec 04, 2008 at 09:29:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have a picture of the old currency (3+ / 0-)

        in my April 1 diary, now linked at the bottom.

        What's the ratio of the new currency to the old currency? It looks to me like Zim currency has inflated by a factor of about 1 million since April 1.

        "It's the planet, stupid."

        by FishOutofWater on Thu Dec 04, 2008 at 09:34:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think I've still got currency from 9.5 yrs ago (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FishOutofWater

          When I was there in April 1999 the rough value was 38 Zim$ to 1 US$

          Since then (per Wiki)

          First dollar (the one I had): On 26 July 2006, the parallel market value of the Zimbabwean dollar fell to one million to the British pound.

          Second dollar:  The first dollar was redenominated on 1 August 2006 at the rate of 1 revalued dollar = 1,000 old dollars

          On 6 September 2007, the Zimbabwe dollar was devalued by 92%, to give an official exchange rate of ZW$30,000 to US$1, although the black market exchange rate was estimated to be ZW$600,000 to US$1

          Third dollar: On July 30, 2008, Gono announced that the Zimbabwean dollar would be redenominated. Effective August 1, 2008, ZW$10 billion would be worth ZW$1.

          On September 13, 2008 because of cash shortages and worthless Zimbabwean currency, foreign currency was legalised as a de facto currency.

          To put this into perspective with US$ forex rates, as of 12.November 2008.  In 8.5 years the exchange rate on USD had increased from 38 to 1 up to the unfathomable 13,000,000,000,000,000 to 1 (that's 13 quadrillion)

          What a pity - because I really enjoyed the country.  The people are peaceful and kind.  And I could go for some Mazoe Orange right now :-)

          "now this is not the end, it is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." W. Churchill

          by Thor Heyerdahl on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 01:48:49 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Absolutely mind-boggling numbers (0+ / 0-)

            And for soldiers paid in Zim dollars the inflation rate has increased recently from those incredible rates. No wonder they rioted.

            "It's the planet, stupid."

            by FishOutofWater on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 05:31:18 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  So is this the record for hyperinflation now? (0+ / 0-)

            I understand the Hungarian hyperinflation of 1945-6 used to hold the record for speed of hyperinflation.  (I saw a picture on Wikipedia of a 1,000 quadrillion pengö note.)

            The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

            by lysias on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 05:35:48 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Good God (21+ / 0-)

    What a complete disaster this is.  How many days until Barack Obama is sworn in?  We need leadership.  

    For Zimbabwe:

    Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

    Help out on December 6-7 by posting a diary for Feeding America.

    by noweasels on Thu Dec 04, 2008 at 09:26:32 PM PST

  •  So grateful to see this on the Rec List (13+ / 0-)

    tags updated

    Help out on December 6-7 by posting a diary for Feeding America.

    by noweasels on Thu Dec 04, 2008 at 09:27:43 PM PST

  •  The time for action is long overdue. (18+ / 0-)

    I have a colleague in Zimbabwe who has dedicated his life to serving his country's people.  He's spent the last several years working on clean water projects while trying to keep clear of the political fray.

    He hasn't been heard from in over four months now.

    The people of Zimbabwe need the world to come alongside them now!

    Coming on 1/20/09: the finest inaugural address since 1961, (or possibly even 1861). Set your Tivos now.

    by Rick in Oz on Thu Dec 04, 2008 at 09:29:45 PM PST

  •  "Sore on southern Africa" is right (7+ / 0-)

    Zimbabwe may well be the least habitable place in the world, insofar as basic infrastructure and economic stability goes.  I'd say the South Africans are more than justified in stepping in, if only for the sake of the poor Zimbabwean civilians.  Anarchy is imminent, and only swift action can prevent more needless suffering.

    All your vote are belong to us.

    by Harkov311 on Thu Dec 04, 2008 at 09:38:33 PM PST

  •  Note the date of the background note. (2+ / 0-)

    On April 1 it looked like a Mugabe might resign peacefully. Hopes were dashed.

    That was a cruel April Fools joke on Mugabe's part.

    "Iraq: the bravest 1% fighting for the richest 1%." ~ An Unknown Kossack.

    by Neon Vincent on Thu Dec 04, 2008 at 09:44:36 PM PST

  •  The sooner Mugabe faces the ICC the better (7+ / 0-)

    and that's why he's hanging on - because he knows what awaits him for his crimes.

  •  Mugabe is Ian Smtih with a different skin color. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Thor Heyerdahl, Harkov311, crose

    За новый мир!

    by Fedallah on Thu Dec 04, 2008 at 09:49:16 PM PST

  •  It can't happen here. (0+ / 0-)

    Or there, or over there or elsewhere.

    That's all I'm sayin'.

  •  Damn...it's so ridiculous (6+ / 0-)

    I can't believe the things people will do simply for power.  I know that may sound like a naive statement, but I just still don't understand people like that--and I don't think I ever will.

    •  Plus...just wanted to add... (9+ / 0-)

      Africa is such a beautiful continent.  I mean that is where life started.  I wish people could see the beautiful land instead of horrible things such as this.  I've been to Ethiopia (that's where my parents and family is from) and I know that's far from Zimbabwe, but being simply in Africa was just amazing.  For those that have never been to Africa, don't let things like this hold you back--there are plenty of beautiful wonders.  I'd say that's one place everybody should go at least once in their lives...I'd say more specifically Ethiopia (I guess I'm a little biased there! lol)

      •  I would love to travel (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rilkas, vets74, Medina Mahmoud

        to Ethiopia. The Danakil people, the Afar region, Erta Ale, the making of a new continent as you are standing on it. I am afraid I would not make it very far because I would die from the heat.

        •  Haha... (5+ / 0-)

          I'm from Vegas, so going there was just fine for me...I'm way too used to the heat!  But it's a gorgeous place to go.  So much tradition and culture. It's so sad though when I hear people say ignorant things such as "Everybody in Ethiopia has AIDS" or "Everybody in Ethiopia is starving."  I can't stand stupid things such as that.  I don't know a single person there that has AIDS or is "starving."  It's just ridiculous when people say ignorant things such as that.  I think Africa as a whole though is totally stereotyped.  It has a bad name, but only if people could actually go there and see the beauty of the land.  They would fall in love with it.  I just can't wait to visit again.

          •  Ethiopia (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AmericanRiverCanyon, vets74

            has lush highlands as I recall from my geography studies, and is home to some fabulous coffee varieties. I am having trouble locating organic fair trade Ehiopian coffees, unfortunately. But you're right about the ancient culture and traditions. I am trying to decide what stew to make to enjoy with some njera, as I found teff flour at my health food store.

            A friend's husband has been to Tanzania two times to kill animals, which I think is simply awful, but his images of birds are spectacular. He gets positively wistful when he speaks about the sunsets he saw.

            Humans stereotype everything, Medina. We simply must pigeonhole. But there is no excuse for ignorance. When Sarah Palin called Africa a country I knew we were truly doomed as a country ourselves.

  •  Getting rid of Mugabe has to be the first step. (9+ / 0-)

    Everything else just keeps him in power and prolongs the pain.
    Please excuse me for my cynicism, but it seems to me that the suffering of the people and the land won't stop until he's gone. And I feel it will just continue indefinitely as long as the suffering is made to be endurable.
    Zimbabwe is such a lovely country, and the people don't deserve this. I hope Africa can begin to get it's IT'S act together and rid itself of the Mugabe canker.

    God bless America. Let's save some of it. ~ Ed Abbey

    by Andhakari on Thu Dec 04, 2008 at 10:37:10 PM PST

    •  the answer to this one is military.... (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sychotic1, esquimaux, vets74, tari, Fedallah, 4040

      Capture or kill Mugabe, and then use military logistical and other capabilities to restore the functioning of civil infrastructure such as water treatment and food supply.  

      Otherwise, so long as Mugabe is permitted to remain even as a force in local politics, he's a source of contagious trouble that will not stop easily, and that translates to innocent people suffering & dying from the effects of his abuses.

      •  You Are Suggesting An Illegal Invastion? [snark] (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        vets74, 4040

        n/t

        •  just as the Republicans.... (4+ / 0-)

          ....damaged the use of impeachment, they also damaged the use of military force.  

          Ordinarily the only just rationale for waging war is in defense against attack by another country's regime (or surrogates) against one's own country.

          However, the case can strongly be made that instances of the type seen in Zimbabwe are legitimate cases for war: when a regime destroys its own country in a manner that is severe and incontrovertible.  For example via some kind of genocide or racial/ethnic/religious pogrom, or in the event of a failed state that cannot even provide basic sanitation.  

          The most basic definition of a viable government is the ability to provide for essential sanitation services, as measured by levels of diseases such as cholera and dysentery.  Where a government is unable to do that, it is not a viable government: it is a failed state, completely failed.  At that point it is legitimate for other states to take steps to remedy the situation, even over the protests of the failed state's failed government.  

          If South Africa takes care of this situation, all to the good, and we should provide some support one way or another.  But if SA can't or won't, then other governments should do.  Even to the extent of sending in a hit team to take out Mugabe.  Whatever it takes...

          •  Australia's Intervention in East Timor (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SadEagle, G2geek, Andhakari, 4040

            was an act of mercy that I have not heard criticized by anyone.

            The killing rampage that Australia ended was on top of mass murder by Indonesians that exceeded that in the horror of Cambodia by at least some estimates.

            I get a pain I cannot remedy when I read the constant thoughtless whine about an illegal war.  The question is never one of legality but of right and wrong.

            The problem with South Africa in the past is that it has been a supporter of the horrendous regime of Mugabe.

            The world is essentially a lawless place.  International law is more than a little farcical.  All depends on might, not right.

            Best,  Terry

            •  though, we can't give in to lawlessness (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              lotlizard, esquimaux

              The scope of law must always exceed the scope of human destructive capacity, otherwise we will come to an end.

              International sovereignty, as with the sovereignty of counties, states, and provinces, must be seen to have its limits.  Clearly there is a limit where a nation-state's government engages in aggression against another nation-state, and here there is clearly justification for war in defense against aggression.  

              But to avoid war, the scope of international law must have the effective power to go into a nation and remove its leaders to a place where they can be put on trial for their actions.  GWB for Iraq included.  That would step on our sovereignty but that is a small price to pay.  

              Beyond that, two obvious instances where a nation state's government forfeits the right to sovereignty are where genocide occurs* or where a government is unable to provide for the most basic sanitation measures needed to prevent outbreaks of diseases such as cholera, dysentery, and so on, that are related to untreated sewage and uncollected garbage.  

              I would also assert that sovereignty is forfeit in cases of systemic human rights abuse.  Individuals are not property of their governments; and their individual human rights transcend the will of their governments to maintain sovereignty.  This extends to "culturally-based" human rights abuse such as cases where females are denied legal and cultural equality with males.  Countries that systemically oppress females should be subject to international interventions including by the use of force if needed.  And the cultures responsible for those abuses should be subject to change, including by force if need be.  

              ---

              *I use the term "genocide" rather than the modern euphemism "ethnic cleansing."  The latter term was originally derived from "public cleansing," the European term for solid waste management: the concept being that humans of specified ethnicities were equated to solid waste.  

              •  Okay, (0+ / 0-)

                let's see how well that theory worked in Somilia. Well, it didn't but that never stopped us anyway. We are real masocists.

                This is what happens when Democrats put winning ahead of accountability. -rolandzebub

                by James Kresnik on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 12:57:35 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Millions of Starving People in Somalia (0+ / 0-)

                  were saved by our intervention.

                  Didn't work you say?

                  What didn't work so hot was when Bill Clinton decided we should remake Somalia according to our specifications.

                  That way led to the usual predictable disaster.

                  An interesting little sidenote.

                  Rhodes scholar Bill Clinton set about hunting down an ignorant warlord.  That warlord was a Ph.D. in history and, just maybe, a lot smarter than his pursuer.

                  Best,  Terry

        •  Think::: Rwanda. (0+ / 0-)

          Droogie is as Droogie does....

          by vets74 on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 05:09:46 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Um, the RPF stopped that one, as they should. (0+ / 0-)

            If we went in all Rambo, and tried anything beyond a moderately-sized rescue mission, we would be fighting Hutu militias with napalm and being played by every asshole in Central Africa.

            Clinton almost made the right move, there.

            This is what happens when Democrats put winning ahead of accountability. -rolandzebub

            by James Kresnik on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 01:01:20 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Deliberation and about time (0+ / 0-)
      •  Apparently, Desmond Tutu agrees (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        G2geek, vets74, CanyonWren, tari, Andhakari

        Seems he just called for Mugabe to be removed by military force.

        •  wow..! (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ADamiani, vets74, CanyonWren, tari, tenar

          That's significant coming from Tutu.  

          IMHO, Tutu's development of the Truth & Reconciliation system was one of the great steps forward in the entire history of the moral & ethical evolution of human societies.  

        •  I wish Africa the very best (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          vets74, James Kresnik, CanyonWren

          in solving its own problems - with our support, but without our interference.
          I'm not sure what constitutes an "illegal" war vs a legal one, and I'm afraid the UN has not proven overly useful in the case of Zimbabwe, but when the clearly irresponsible internal behavior of one country leaks profoundly dangerous effects onto a neighbor (cholera, pollution, refugees, etc), then a nation has a right to protect itself so long as it isn't acting to enlarge its borders, enrich itself, or expand its power.
          Maybe something good for Africa will come from all this absurdly unnecessary suffering.

          God bless America. Let's save some of it. ~ Ed Abbey

          by Andhakari on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 02:11:40 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well Said (0+ / 0-)

            I wish Africa the very bestin solving its own problems - with our support, but without our interference.

            Our interference has done anything but solve problems. And can someone send France the fucking memo already?

            This is what happens when Democrats put winning ahead of accountability. -rolandzebub

            by James Kresnik on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 01:04:36 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Which will be Mbeki's worst legacy? (9+ / 0-)

    It seemed his criminal AIDS-denialism was a lock for the title, but if Zimbabwe spirals further and further out of control and some sort of costly intervention is mounted belatedly by SA (costly in terms of lives lost before things got to that point as well as the costs of any intervention itself), his years of enabling and do-nothing "diplomacy" may actually surpass it.

    Mind you I try to be objective about these things but it's hard to avoid pointing the finger here.  And obviously former freedom-fighter Mugabe overstayed his welcome by about a decade or more.  The prime minister of Kenya (no stranger to political strife recently) openly called for his ouster as well.

    •  I think Mbeki's worst legacy (7+ / 0-)

      Is really the most damaging one that you can say about any leader.  Some leaders are thrown into a shithole and whether they dig or not, what the hell. I mean, what would be the worst legacy of someone who took over Haiti or Somalia right now?

      Mbeki's worst legacy in my opinion is that he failed to grasp the opportunity that was afforded to him.

      Europeans, Americans, non-Africans bear a heavy responsibility for the colonial legacies that left Africa and African nations poor, underdeveloped and without really any of the infrastructure that would have made success and the health, wealth and happiness of the people much more possible.

      Mbeki, for better or worse, inherited a relatively functional society with natural resources a populous and educated work force and what's more a moral and financial mandate to establish something bigger and better than the continuing health of the ANC (and keeping the corrupt elements of the ANC out of jail).

      Mbeki, instead of using the bully pulpit to act as a coordinator and lightening rod for development economic, political and other wise.  Instead of standing for responsible governance against dictatorial kleptocrats.  Instead of making common cause with the old independence movements in finding a way to throw off not just the political shackles (the way Mugabe did), but the economic and social shackles that were left after the whites fled.

      Instead he did not. He stood by while countries that should have become partners in a new prosperity slid into corruption and penury.  Instead of energizing leaders like Mugabe to a brighter vision of the future, one of the laws and social structures that would forever banish the hate and racism he stood by them in creating a paranoid straw man of continuing colonial ambitions. Not that whites and the former colonists acted as good faith agents or productively because of course they did not. But it was a time when Mbeki could have stepped in and said...by all means, return the land.  But in doing so compensate those that have owned and worked the land for generations fairly.  And as importantly provide the new landlords with the tools and expertise to succeed in the all important task of feeding the people.  Where is the upside in plundering the land, impoverishing the people and robbing their very bread?  Why turn a situation of mutual distrust between white farmers and unfairly treated blacks into one of enmity?

      I suppose that Mbeki can't be held responsible for those things.  But he surely let them go - and to me, that and the destruction and wars (now fighting or to come) left behind are his worst legacy. Worse even than the horro of condemning thousands or more to death because of foolish ideas about AIDS.

      "you have the right to your own opinion. You do not have the right to your own facts" -Daniel Patrick Moynihan

      by SteveP on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 02:16:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Mbeki was something of a free-market ideologue. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SteveP

        I've always had the suspiciion that the AIDS deception was Mbeki's tool for reducing demographic pressures and reduce the pressure to redistribute wealth. The poor die off, reducing pressure for services while the wealthy are educated enough to take proper measures and contiune producing wealth. It's a morbid theory, but one a cynical pol with sufficent cutzpah would find appealing. /tinfoil

        This is what happens when Democrats put winning ahead of accountability. -rolandzebub

        by James Kresnik on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 01:09:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I had a very, very tangential (0+ / 0-)

          relationship to organizing a 'enterprise' conference at the time the Mbeki took over for Mandela and there was reasonably explicit talk that SA's various thoughts on HIV/AIDS might be altered if the arrangement for American/European AIDS drug assistance was structured so that..umm......what is the polite way to say "so that someone could skim the cream off the finincial top?"

          "you have the right to your own opinion. You do not have the right to your own facts" -Daniel Patrick Moynihan

          by SteveP on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 02:47:06 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  If Odinga of Kenya is calling for Mugabe's ouster (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sychotic1, SteveP

      now, there is a good chance Obama will as well.  Perhaps not until Obama becomes president.

      But, if Obama too calls for it, it will be a call that will be very difficult for African countries to resist.

      And, whether or not he speaks openly, Obama can certainly work behind the scenes.

      The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

      by lysias on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 05:40:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think Odinga is think more of (0+ / 0-)

        his own situation and ingratiating himself internationally than anything else.  I am sure he is worried about instability breeding and expanding since Kenya is not entirelt invulnerable...and most of these guys wouldn't shed a tear if Mugabe were made to find a suite in the six foot hilton.  But I think this bit is more about Odinga=good than anything else.

        "you have the right to your own opinion. You do not have the right to your own facts" -Daniel Patrick Moynihan

        by SteveP on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 09:34:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Mbeki did worse than nothing (4+ / 0-)

      He was an active enabler of Mugabe, for the simple reason that he has always liked the idea of Mugabe-style "land reform".

      The concept isn't bogus in itself, I mean, the African majority was quite simply robbed blind under white rule, but it was a huge tactical and moral mistake by Mbeki to obstruct any effort to allow Zimbabwe to free itself of one of the strongest candidates for "most evil man on the planet". A tactical mistake because Zimbabwe serves as a powerful example of what can go wrong with land reform. A moral mistake because... well, you don't need me to tell you, do you?

      I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong. - Bertrand Russell
      -5.38, -6.41

      by sullivanst on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 06:16:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well, it's about damned time. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hlinko, mrblifil, Sychotic1, esquimaux, vets74

    Zimbabwe's neighbors should have intervened LONG ago. It presented a danger to them LONG ago, and now the situation is much worse.

    Book excerpts: nonlynnear; other writings: mofembot.

    by mofembot on Thu Dec 04, 2008 at 11:15:08 PM PST

  •  Thanks, FishOutofWater (4+ / 0-)

    Horrible news but good to let the world know.

    Danny Ortega is doing his level best to create another Zimbabwe in our own hemisphere with Chavez playing a role somewhat analogous to that of Mbeki in Africa.

    Best,  Terry

    •  what is ortega doing that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CanyonWren

      the american security/intelligence establishment has not already done to nicaraguans?

      •  What Mugabe Is Doing To Zimbabwe (6+ / 0-)

        Not good to be a Miskito Indian in Nicaragua but then it is not good to be a woman in Nicaragua either.  Danny Ortega has gained the support of the  holy men of the Catholic Church for the most repressive anti-choice laws on the planet.

        Not good to yearn for freedom in Nicaragua and have put your life on the line to fight for that freedom.

        The Sandinistas that fought you and yours now are banned from elective office and threatened with jail and worse.  Just like the old days.

        No money or time for those suffering catastrophic losses from hurricanes up to Category 5 in the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.  Money is needed for secret accounts for cells to control the survivors and establish Danny Ortega as dictator for life.

        There is still time perhaps but the clock is ticking and people are dying.

        Good place for gringos to buy real estate I hear.  Help is cheap and won't complain.

        You were saying?

        Best,  Terry

        •  You should diary this. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AmericanRiverCanyon, CanyonWren

          Be the change you want!

          by BuyLocal on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 05:50:39 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  beware of the sourcing (0+ / 0-)

          of the stuff that talks about Ortega personally.

          There are quite a lot of these things in terms of the economic situation were inherited, and remember Ortega's only been president since last year.

          Chamorro institued neoliberal reforms that impverished the already poor and estabished a system of clan-like patronage.  Aleman went to jail for outrageous corruption and it is almost certain that he fixed the election to beat Ortega (and he sold off half the country to neoliberal interests). Bolanos, that paragon of virtue, decided that the neoliberal restructuring hadn't gone far enough, so his principal accomplishment besides changing the corruption laws so that Aleman's sentence was cut by 75% (Aleman hand picked Bolano to become president), was to strip the incoming president, Ortega, of any economic ability to deal with the situations you so rightly decry.

          I don't think Ortega is great and I think he has to some extrent betrayed the revolution (out of political expediency, much like his alliance to the repressive catholic presence in Nicaragua).  But reports of his personal corruption almost always can be traced back to the US or to PLC people who know of personal corruption first hand - their own.

          "you have the right to your own opinion. You do not have the right to your own facts" -Daniel Patrick Moynihan

          by SteveP on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 09:53:45 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  What Do The Sandinista Revolutionaries Count For? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SteveP

            reports of his personal corruption almost always can be traced back to the US or to PLC people who know of personal corruption first hand - their own.

            Are the words of the feminists of Nicaragua worthless?

            Is Ortega's stepdaughter a CIA plant you think?

            Are the secret accounts from the Venezuelan oil hallucinations?

            Are the Europeans as well as other South American leaders a pack of fools you think?

            Is Oxfam, as well as other charities, a CIA conspiracy?

            Exactly how BTW did a man with lower polling numbers than George Bush win a smashing electoral victory?

            TIA for your answers.

            Best,  Terry

            •  OK, one by one (0+ / 0-)

              Feminists of Nicaragua
              As you are aware, this is a product of two things.  First is the overall context of the feminist movement within Nicaragua. The feminist movement was a cornerstone to the revolution against Somosa and later against the right winge reactionaries. After the Sandinista's were forced from power, the role of women was rolled back, often violently by the PLC. With the advent of a new Ortega regime, expectations were high that the original Sandinista ideals would return and instead Ortega made the Realpolitik decision to include the Nicaragauan Catholic church (one of the most reactionary in latin America) in his 'coalition.' The Anti-abortion law is merely the most visible manifestation of this and it's an indefensible partnership, but one without which Nicaragua would be back in the hands of people like Aleman. On this issue it's the lesser of two evils - although agreed, reprehensible.

              Ortega's stepdaughter as a CIA plant.
              That particular form of rheotric is not terribly mature. The accusations of Zoilamerica are serious and if true represent a very serious tragedy and of course a failing of the worst kind of Ortega.  However terrible the reality may be (and because of the immunity and the handlers into whose hands Zoilamerica has fallen, we'll not know the truth anytime soon IMO) it is a different issue than whether Ortega is doing to Nicaragua as Mugabe has done to Zimbabwe.

              Oil accounts
              hallucinations?  No. As portrayed?  Not at all. There's no real evidence that these GOVERNMENT accounts based on hard currency oil transactions are in the personal hands of Humberto or Daniel Ortega. The leap from the exisence of governmnet accounts to the Ortega's squirreling it away for themselves personally has never been more than an accusation made by opposition people without the slightest scrap of evidence. The United States Government, for example maintains billions of dollars in foriegn currencies in banks outside the US.  They are used to fund personal travel, pay non-US nationals doing our bidding and so on.  Conspiracy?  No, it's the way you handle all kinds of transactions from the purchase of oil to paying the bills of an embassy.  There may be a 'there' there, but I've seen no evidence other than the smear by association with Chavez.

              Europeans and other latin american leaders as fool.
              No, but universally the people who condemn Ortega come from two groups. Sandinistas who (rightly) feel he has betrayed the revolution by allying with the Catholics and conservatives. And people who were against the revolution in the first place or who have subsequently become invested in the radical right wing demonization of independent Latin American states(Uribe for example).  They have agendas.

              Oxfam
              Oxfam, along with a number of other NGO's were asked to provide documents regarding the sources of their funding and those that didn;t comply were raided. It is a reality the outside forces such as the US have funded NGO's in the past and have used them to do political work in opposition to governments we don;t like.  Why Oxfam?  I am not sure.  But no one stopped them from doing their work or harrassed them the way Mugabe, for instance, did. There was undoubtedly some score settling against Chamorro's family - but to be fair, she was always a well funded tool of the US government and it would be a shock if her family is not still.

              Why did Ortega win?  Simple.  He lost an election to Chamorro that was rigged by US dollars, and the subsequent three administrations rolled back the social compact the FSLN had with the people, instituted Neoliberal restructuring, conducted active campaigns against the revolutionaries, ethnic minorities and women.  The Carter Center observed the elections and found them to be fair and an accurate representation of the will of the people (note they also found the 1990 election fair).  I would suggest inaccurate polling, but that;s a matter of polling, not of the fairness of the election.

              The reality is that none of this is equivalent or even comparable to the activities of Mugabe. Nor is there any real evidence of individual graft or corruption involving Ortega with the exception of the unadjudicated (the case was thrown out for immunity reasons) accusations of molestation by his daughter in law.

              "you have the right to your own opinion. You do not have the right to your own facts" -Daniel Patrick Moynihan

              by SteveP on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 12:57:33 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  This is progress? (0+ / 0-)

                Feminists of Nicaragua

                ...With the advent of a new Ortega regime, expectations were high that the original Sandinista ideals would return and instead Ortega made the Realpolitik decision to include the Nicaragauan Catholic church (one of the most reactionary in latin America) in his 'coalition.' The Anti-abortion law is merely the most visible manifestation of this and it's an indefensible partnership

                Where is the progress exactly?  Has not the position of women actually worsened?  Is it Somocistas and wingers from the U.S. saying these things, as you claimed, or the Autonomous Women of Nicaragua?

                Ortega's stepdaughter

                The accusations of Zoilamerica are serious and if true represent a very serious tragedy and of course a failing of the worst kind of Ortega.  However terrible the reality may be (and because of the immunity and the handlers into whose hands Zoilamerica has fallen, we'll not know the truth anytime soon IMO) it is a different issue than whether Ortega is doing to Nicaragua as Mugabe has done to Zimbabwe.

                And who are telling these tales you think?  Is it not the stepdaughter and the same women whose "expectations were high?"  Or is it the Somocistas and wingers from the U.S. filling the poor woman's head with lies through brainwashing?  Is this unconnected with the promotion of the rigid sharia level laws of the Nicaraguan clergy that Ortega has partnered with you think?

                Oxfam

                Oxfam, along with a number of other NGO's were asked to provide documents regarding the sources of their funding and those that didn;t comply were raided. It is a reality the outside forces such as the US have funded NGO's in the past and have used them to do political work in opposition to governments we don;t like.  Why Oxfam?  I am not sure.  But no one stopped them from doing their work or harrassed them the way Mugabe, for instance, did.

                Yes Ortega has.  Oxfam is a London-based charity that attempts to aid impoverished farmers in poor countries.  Part of its mission is to give the farmers the ability to voice their grievances and needs.  Is it difficult to understand the threat to another budding dictator?  If you give to the United Way, you will have no trouble finding the funding for Oxfam and other charities.  The interest of Ortega and his thugs is hardly in the donors but any hint of dissent.  Is it somocistas and U.S. wingers backing such a charity?  Are you certain of that?

                Why did Ortega win?  Simple.  He lost an election to Chamorro that was rigged by US dollars, and the subsequent three administrations rolled back the social compact the FSLN had with the people, instituted Neoliberal restructuring, conducted active campaigns against the revolutionaries, ethnic minorities and women.  The Carter Center observed the elections

                Actually Jimmy Carter and other international observers were banned from the recent elections.  Ortega's polling numbers are worse than Bush's?  Again, why did Ortega win?  [Obviously you are talking about the past election that brought Ortega to power.  I am talking about the recent municipal elections that were a charade - as in Zimbabwe.]  Is it the somocistas and U.S. wingers saying this or is it Jimmy Carter and international observers?

                The reality is that none of this is equivalent or even comparable to the activities of Mugabe.

                The reality is that Nicaragua is headed in exactly the same direction as Zimbabwe.

                Thank you for responding though.  Appreciated - and not a little surprised.

                Best,  Terry

                •  Unfortunately if we are going to have a dialog (0+ / 0-)

                  We're going to have not make facile rhetorical gestures.

                  As far as the feminists go, I urge you to read more carefully. No one is saying that the various feminist organizations in Nicaragua are plants. However, Ortega's policies are more disappointing than actively regressive in that they have abandoned the Sandanista principles rather than a seachange to the worse from the preceding administration. With the exception of the Abortion law - itself not that much stricter than what preceded it - Ortega hasn't waged a war against women, he merely has not followed the previous Sandinista path (a path that he followed in his previous regime). Bad indeed but not Mugabe.

                  Ortega's Stepdaughter is an issue.  But it's not an issue of Sharia law, by going into hysterical hyperbole you diminish both your argument and the real crime that happened against her, whatever the truth of that is.

                  I know very well what Oxfam is.  I suspect you do not as you compare it to United Way or any other United Appeal that acts solely as a charitable distributor/consolidator. I am certainly not accusing Oxfam of being a US tool (it's one of the best organizations going) - what I am saying is that given the history of US support for charities in Nicaragua which are then subverted to political purpose it does not seem like a terribly ruthless act to ask to see the books - much as we do in the United States for example with the United Way and this is all that happened with oxfam. Was it heavy handed?  Sure and it would be different if they actually interfered with Oxfam's legal operations.  They did not.

                  Yes I am speaking of 2006.  However. The 2008 elections were certified by the Speical Elections Commission which is a bipartisan board.  The election returns have been analyzed and there is, in fact, no evidence of wide spread or systemic fraud.  The candidates whose loss have provoked violence where largely trailing and trailing significantly in the polls.  As for the rest, the FSLN in fact didn't poll singificant differently than they did either in 2006, nor in 2004. The difference in the electoral results can largely be laid in the dissolution and non-felicitous reformation of various rightist parties coalitions.  Had the rightist parties stayed together, they would have fared better.  The FSLN votes were what was polled and not any different than the previous two elections (presidential and municipal). The absolute best accusation here is that the two principal parties FSLN and PLC conspired to place obstacles in the way of various third parties...kinda like the Democrats and Republicans, huh? remember the FSLN didn't cut off the Renewal Movement, it was the SEC (or CSE if you prefer).

                  A simple detour away from editorials and into the actual results would give you this information.  Further, the FSLN has show that it will abide by the results of the elections.

                  There's no Mugabe here.

                  "you have the right to your own opinion. You do not have the right to your own facts" -Daniel Patrick Moynihan

                  by SteveP on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 02:39:55 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  In Your Own Words (0+ / 0-)

                    beware of the sourcing of the stuff that talks about Ortega personally.

                    ...reports of his personal corruption almost always can be traced back to the US or to PLC people who know of personal corruption first hand - their own.

                    "if we are going to have a dialog We're going to have not make facile rhetorical gestures."

                    I am all for dialog without the prejudicial statements you yourself made.  I have no more love of Chamorro and rightwing oligarchs than you do.  Nor do I respect those who follow the paths to dictatorship that Ortega is.  You are doing a disservice to patriotic liberals who oppose the withering of democracy by lumping them in with the ancien regime and reactionary forces.

                    I have read very carefully what the feminists of Nicaragua are saying.  The attack on women is grotesque, beyond the worst that the Somocistas were capable of.  Your views may well differ but that is for you to decide as you will.

                    I know very well what Oxfam is.  I suspect you do not as you compare it to United Way or any other United Appeal that acts solely as a charitable distributor/consolidator.

                    Did I fail to impress upon you the nature of Oxfam and its efforts to give expression to poor farmers?  I repeat it.  If you think too there are sinister forces behind Oxfam, then so be it.

                    Oxfam BTW is not the only charity that supports democratic reform.  Ever hear of Amnesty International?  Their only charity is rights of the people not to be abused by governments.  Seems an excellent mission to me.  Have you something against that?  They would win no points with people like Ortega.

                    The 2008 elections were certified by the Speical Elections Commission which is a bipartisan board.  The election returns have been analyzed and there is, in fact, no evidence of wide spread or systemic fraud.

                    Historical revisionism has its humorous side.

                    How to steal an election

                    Nov 13th 2008 | MANAGUA

                    From The Economist print edition

                    Daniel Ortega sets an ugly precedent

                    Unfortunately the facts are evident for anyone truly interested in researching them.  

                    "Nicaragua has been rated one of the top countries in the world to do business," a Canadian CEO working in Nicaragua told me a year ago when I expressed some doubts.  "Democratic elections are now respected."

                    I suspect the gentleman has had to revise his story considerably recently.

                    You might want to consider doing the same.

                    Best,  Terry

                     

                    •  And sure enough (0+ / 0-)

                      Reports of his personal corruption do.  The only personal corruption would be those bogus claims of oil accounts - all of which trace back that way.

                      His support or non-support of women's rights or electioneering are not personal corruption. and the whole daughter in law thing is only personal corruption (if you believe it is true) in the most oblique way. So try again.

                      I am not lumping in any liberal with the ancien regime - if you can find any equivalence I have made, please do tell.  So try again.

                      You have yet to give a single example of this war against women that is worse than the Somocistas. Abortion law?  Granted.  Anything else?  Anything except the complaints that he has not done enough?

                      Oxfam wishes to give expression to poor farmers.  But you have not as yet given me any reason to think that Ortega has muzzled such expression or even an oxfam statement to that effect.  Anything?

                      But now we get to the Economist article.  It is an excellent bit of propaganda that has been fully debunked.

                      1. "Ortega's government" did not try to stifle independent parties, the CSE did.  The CSE is a bipartisan committee that has an equal number of FSLN and PLC members along with some others. They, not the government.
                      1. Leading investigative reporter.  It's Violatta Chamorro's son. The likelihood of his not being on US payroll just like dear old mom is zero.  I haven't heard one peep from that woman's group.
                      1. The election had a large compliment of outside observers.  The Economist is largely talking of unaccredited  pro-rightist groups that wished to have credentialled status.  The nominally independent local groups, notably Etico y Tranparencia (which has stated a purpose shift one year ago at which point many of their founding people left) had not observed a national election in 6 years. They "observed" despite not having observer status irregularities in 32% of the polls they watched.  No word on what those irregularities might have been or whether they affect ballots.
                      1. Montealegre trailed every poll significantly immediately prior to the election.  The announced outcome was closer than most imagined and he lost against a wildly popular ex-champion boxer.  The article claims Montealgre was ahead, but in fact, although at various points along the way he had been ahead, every reliable poll showed Arguello ahead substantially at the end.

                      Further, the Economist has an editorial position against Chavez, which is what this is all about. Even at the end they can't resist getting a dig at Chavez and Ortega as "radical leftists" whom they are concerned will subvert democracy...even though there's no evidence they have.

                      The Carter Center has called for more transparency and credible response to the questions that have been raised regarding the election. Hell even the Bush government didn't accuse them of fraud, only asked for transparency.

                      Note that the election occured Nov. 9th. Ours Nov. 5th and we are not done tabulating and recounting.

                      No, you've gotta come up with something better than a partisan hack article from the Economist here.

                      Come, what do you got?

                      "you have the right to your own opinion. You do not have the right to your own facts" -Daniel Patrick Moynihan

                      by SteveP on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 04:12:11 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Power Corrupts (0+ / 0-)

                        I find it curious that you have no regard for the facts of corruption.  Was it more important that Saddam Hussein amassed vast wealth or that he massacred citizens of Iraq who displeased him.  Money is more valued for the power it provides and status it confers.  The current elected leader of Pakistan is known for his crooked billion-dollar deals.  One can yet hope he is not an Ortega or Mugabe.

                        The only personal corruption would be those bogus claims of oil accounts

                        There is nothing whatever bogus about the secret oil accounts funding cells to keep the population from dissenting.

                        I have said nothing whatever about Ortega amassing personal wealth. I have no knowledge of any such thing and pretended none. You attack me for what I didn't say rather than replying to what I have written.

                        What I am saying is that his grab for dictatorial power is a plain fact.  What I have written is that Ortega is attacking and intimidating opponents.  I have written about the vile assault on women and his own stepdaughter. The Miskito Indians are under particular threat from Ortega.  Their very survival is threatened by both nature and Ortega.  Former Sandinistas have been banned from the electoral process and threatened with imprisonment and worse.  The former mayor of Managua is one of those.

                        You might have provided those polls that refute the recognizable pollsters that have Ortega with an approval rating lower than that of George Bush yet give him overwhelming victories with even the Catholic clergy condemning the fraudulent elections and independent observers uncredentialed.  Here is one report of a Gallup poll in March.

                        Best,  Terry

                        •  I'm sorry... (0+ / 0-)

                          My original comment was:

                          "of the stuff that talks about Ortega personally."

                          Which is true. The oil account crapola comes directly from those kinds of sources. And you say it funds cells to keep people from dissent.  Excellent, do you have sources or this?  Or is this the cant of the Renwal Movement people who equate electoral boards not certifying them for the election as "secret cells" stomping out dissent - as they routinely due.  Yet they don't meet the standards that other parties did, and there are more opposition parties than there are parties aligned with the ruling party after these elections.

                          You analogies here are are a non sequitur.  Saddam amassed wealth and killed his own people.  Ortega has done neither. There's no analogy there.

                          You say that Ortega has attacked and intimidated  opponents.  Where?  I know Mugabe has jailed and beaten Tsvangirai, torn up their offices, destroyed the press.  Where has Ortega done that?

                          Thye Miskita indians are under Particular threat from Ortega. There is considerable question as to the actions of the Sandinista's in the 1980's as regards the Miskita.  However in relation to his current administration I just do not see it.  There have been people involved with indiginous rights who have been arrested on charges of destruction of property. Ortega has limit funds to deal with hurricanes...is there something real here that i am missing.

                          All the complaints from former sandinistas seem to come from splinter groups like Renewal who are quasi legitimate or guys like Montealegre who LOST the election fair and square...despite leading in a gallup poll (which only hits the wealthy) in.March.for.a.november.election.

                          Ortega's getting blamed for the Chamorro thing which was the result of a lawsuit by someone else who wasn't even in government.  Ortega's getting blamed for strong arming 'leaders' an threatening them with jail because he was clearing out the old PLC people, former FSNLers who felt entitled and guess how he was doing it?  Through laws and the existing legal system  All the righties were pissed off when he folded many departments of the government into a more transparent and effective set of offices....and then foolishly installed his wife.

                          He's also blamed for the Abortion thing even though the amendment of the law is essentially the old law and was put in before he took office and the protesters lost a legal challenge in the first 2 or 3  weeks of his term...but that's Ortega's fault.

                          See..I am waiting for some actual real information that he is acting extra legally. That he is actually threatening people, muzzling them, putting them in jail, unilaterallly changing laws in violation of the existing laws, and so on.  You know, the things that would lie on the path to a dictatorship.

                          I am willing to be convinced, but you've given me nothing so far. Every single example you have stated with the exception of his daughter in law (and the facts there are in dispute) could be applied to 3/4's of the governmnets in the world including the US governments under both Democratic and Republican leadership.

                          "you have the right to your own opinion. You do not have the right to your own facts" -Daniel Patrick Moynihan

                          by SteveP on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 10:50:41 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Are you really? (0+ / 0-)

                            I am willing to be convinced

                            It is not terribly obvious frankly but I expect you are sincere.

                            You push propaganda while denying facts.  You propose all the stories from former Sandinistas opposed to Ortega come from sources that are tainted because they do not say what you wish them to say.

                            I have published a diary for your edification - and attack.

                            I have been frustrated by my failure to immediately put my finger on the name of the cells organized with money from Chavez and condemned by the outgoing mayor of Managua, a former Sandinista, among others. It is late and I am old but I will find the information if you wish.  A problem for me is that most information is in Spanish and I have lost my ability to read Spanish.  Machine translations are - not so good.

                            Best,  Terry

  •  For the love of God can somebody get (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrblifil, Sychotic1, quaoar, 4040

    This madman Mugabe out of office? What Zimbabwe needs is a military invasion by a foreign country to kill the bastard Mugabe. What Mugabe as done to Zimbabwe is sickening.

  •  I am not african (11+ / 0-)

    I am white, midwestern, 61, female and culturally fluid. I spent 4 months in South Africa in 2003 traveling and staying with friends. I think it is almost impossible to understand Zimbabwe with an American mind. Too many of the assumptions we operate with just don't work there. Many of the white africans I met were from Zimbabwe. Some were third and fourth generation. Their farms were gone, either taken by rebels or abandonded. Some of those I met had family members murdered in the process. The rebels who took the farms were not farmers and had never worked the land. Zimbabwe used to be one of the "breadbaskets" of Africa. The land was left without stewards, without people who could plant and harvest and therefore feed the people. They had neither the knowledge nor the experience of farming.
    I am not defending the land ownership of the white farmers, but would definitely defend their competency and producing food. This is a beautiful land and a tragic country. Mugabe should have been gone in the last elections.

    •  and that's what the problem has always been (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      weasel, James Kresnik, addisnana

      if you listen to the side of only the white farmers, and say they because they were producing at high levels, they should be allowed to keep land while millions of blacks are landless or homeless, the problem persists, and thugs like mugabe thrive on that.

      at this point in time, it is easy to say we have crossed the rubicon in zimbabwe, and mugabe would have to go. but whatever government takes over would have to put a judicious program in place to ensure that there is some fairness in land allocation in zimbabwe. i am not talking about forceful seizures and criminals acts such as we now find in zimbabwe; the white farmers who live in zimbabwe today are every bit as legitimate citizens of that country as the blacks, and whatever system is put in place should be fair to both them, and the blacks as well.

      western governments would have to help out; it's britain's reneging on the lancaster house accords that created the political backbone for mugabe's excesses these many years. perhaps the post-mugabe era would be better, but how it pans out would depend very much on honesty among leaders both in the west in africa. it's not enough to demonize mugabe ad infinitum; there are real hard reasons why he has maintained an inner core of support in spite of his many excesses...

  •  What a mess (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CanyonWren, mellowwild

    I hope some stability is achieved.

    And I wish that previous colonial powers do the right thing if and when able.

    "One of the reasons we were all thrilled Tuesday night is it was pretty obvious this was a collectively intelligent decision." - Al Gore

    by Marcus Junius Brutus on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 12:25:41 AM PST

  •  This won't be over until Mugabe meets a machete. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ssgbryan, 4040
  •  Anthrax (6+ / 0-)

    There has also been a large outbreak of anthrax discovered in the last couple of weeks:

    As Zimbabwe battles a nationwide cholera outbreak that has so far killed around 300 people, a surge in anthrax has also hit the south of the country, claiming the lives of villagers and their livestock.

    Matabeleland North provincial medical director, Dr Gibson Mhlanga, confirmed the deaths of two people from anthrax, but a report in the official The Chronicle newspaper said six had died and over 200 cattle had been wiped out in the province's Dongamuzi area near Lupane, 120km north of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second city.

    http://allafrica.com/...

    The spread of the disease may well be rapid as the starving population are both consuming and selling animal caracasses.

    A quarantine zone has been declared in the affected areas of Matebeleland North but, because of the desperate hunger, some families are still eating infected meat. Traders have been seen taking potentially infected carcasses out of the restricted zones to trade in Victoria Falls, which risks the disease spreading across Zimbabwe and over the border into neighbouring Zambia.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/...

    That Independent report goes on:

    Rachel Pounds, (Save the Children) country director in Zimbabwe, said: "This may be the biggest anthrax outbreak since the 1979-80 civil war and it could have appalling consequences for Zimbabwe. If it is not controlled, this outbreak could wipe out 60,000 cattle, goats, pigs and chickens that thousands of families are depending on to survive.

    That discounts the wild animals in the area. Even more worrying was this article I found while googling for links and quotes about the current outbreak. It describes the progress of the 1979/80 outbreak and comes to the conclusion that there are strong pointers to it being biological warfare by the Rhodesian Army.  That historical precedent is significant in relation to the present time as the area affected is one of the strongholds of the MDC - Zimbabwe politics, like many in Africa, the Middle East and elsewhere, have a tribal basis. Mugabe comes from a minority tribe, which he favors in appointments to his government.

    The Prime Minister of Kenya (another country where politics have a tribal element which, thankfully briefly, erupted into open violence this year) has made an even stronger statement. He has the influence in the African Union to do something about it,

    The BBC's Karen Allen in Nairobi says the Kenyan prime minister had also held talks with Jacob Zuma, president of South Africa's governing African National Congress party.

    Mr Zuma has declared a new alliance between his party and the Kenyan leader, designed to elevate the Zimbabwe issue, she says.

    Mr Odinga said that if Mr Mugabe were isolated, he would have no choice but to quit.

    "I do believe strongly that if the leadership in South Africa took a firm stand and told Mugabe to quit he will have no choice but to do so," the Kenyan PM said.

    Mr Odinga was sure Mr Zuma, who is tipped to become president of South Africa next year, would have "no hesitation in taking that step".

     

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/...

    Odinga has been a leading critic of Mugabe in the AU but this is the first time he has openly called for him to go, by force if necessary. This could, I understand, be done for humanitarian reasons under the AU Charter.

    Rosa sat so Martin could walk, Martin walked so Barack could run, Barack ran so our children could soar

    by Lib Dem FoP on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 03:53:57 AM PST

    •  anthrax - a complete melt down (3+ / 0-)

      If this is biological warfare it is a huge mistake because they will not be able to control the spread of anthrax under the chaotic conditions in Zimbabwe.

      "It's the planet, stupid."

      by FishOutofWater on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 04:19:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  But "six have died" is tiny... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mrblifil, Samer

      on the scale of what has been happening.

      600,000 -- maybe enough to get on the bar chart for mortality.

      AIDS is the big killer.

      Social breakdown => Alpha males get to fuck anything they want => AIDS explodes.

      A third of the country could die, the way things are going. Truck driver gets AIDS, passes it on 100 times, then shows symptoms.....

      This country has been going to Hell in a handbasket for 15 - 20 years. "Six have died" is near meaningless.

      Droogie is as Droogie does....

      by vets74 on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 05:17:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sad but true. nt (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        vets74, Dems 2008
      •  Livestock (0+ / 0-)

        First of all, remember these are the officially reported figures. The numbers can be far greater as people could simply have died at home and have not been discovered.

        Secondly, the potential deaths among cattle in areas where it is very unlikely they have been vaccinated means the loss of wealth and livelihood to the families concerned. Other livestock, particularly chickens, are the mainstay of the diet when meat is eaten in the rural areas of southern Africa. Then it is likely to be once a week at most or at times of celebration. Very big occasions would call for the slaughter of a goat or cow (although it is Kenya, you may recall that is what Obama's paternal family did when he was elected) How long will concentrations of anthrax spores mean that land is dangerous for livestock and people?

        Third, there is the question of dealers buying the infected carcasses and transporting them outside the area. This has the potential to spread the disease all along the route to places like Victoria Falls in the north west of the country.

        This spread along the main transport routes can be seen with the cholera infection. The area to the north of Harare where there are new infections are on the main road route to Lusaka. Similarly the peak infections and red areas are on the main road to Beit Bridge, the largest crossing point into South Africa. This would seem to confirm that the population is moving towards the next door countries in order to get treatment.

        Rosa sat so Martin could walk, Martin walked so Barack could run, Barack ran so our children could soar

        by Lib Dem FoP on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 08:26:14 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Send in Gates and Bono. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Boisepoet
  •  Zimbabwe & Iraq. (7+ / 0-)

    One of the many tragedies of the Iraq invasion is that it has discredited the idea of international military intervention.

    The U.N., or a "coalition of the willing," should have removed Mugabe by force years ago. And should've intervened in Darfur, too. But American dishonesty in initiating the Iraq invasion, and American incompetence in managing the aftermath, has made the whole idea political poison.

    "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

    by HeyMikey on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 04:54:40 AM PST

    •  Wait for it......Zimbabwe is Bush's fault!. (0+ / 0-)

      The U.N. has done such a good job in Lebanon, Congo & Darfur that Zimbabwe seems like a natural. What could go wrong?

      Alternatively, who might be on your list of "the willing"?

      •  Part of the reason . . . (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        James Kresnik

        . . . the UN has been so passive in Lebanon, Congo, Darfur is that it got burned so badly for cooperating with the USA's active role in Iraq.

        And even if the UN were willing to intervene in Lebanon, Congo, Darfur -- where are the troops gonna come from? Even if America had done an honest and competent job of dealing with Iraq, nobody would commit troops unless America committed substantial troops. And given America's dishonesty and incompetence in Iraq, now nobody will commit troops to any action that DOES include Americans. So nobody will commit troops.

        AND with all our troops committed in Iraq, and us needing to increase troop levels in Afghanistan, and us already resorting to multiple tours of duty and stop-loss to maintain our Iraq troop levels, we don't have any more troops anyway.

        See my reply to 3cardmonty.

        "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

        by HeyMikey on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 09:12:06 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  um, no. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dems 2008

      Bush's disastrous, illegal, unilateral invasion has discredited UN-sanctioned, multilateral interventions?  Not sure I follow your logic.

      •  Logic. (0+ / 0-)
        1. The UN ain't gonna do anything without American leadership -- maybe not sole leadership, but at list sharing in the leadership. And nobody trusts American leadership, which means the UN ain't gonna do anything. (I hope that will improve after January 21, 2009.)
        1. What about the African Union or some ad hoc "coalition of the willing?" That would look too much like what the US under Bush did in Iraq. No African leader wants to vaguely resemble the US under Bush.

        "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

        by HeyMikey on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 09:00:02 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Um, it is idiots that assume force will solve (0+ / 0-)

          every serious economic and political problem any country has that discredits the use of force.

          This is what happens when Democrats put winning ahead of accountability. -rolandzebub

          by James Kresnik on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 01:26:28 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You talkin' to me? (0+ / 0-)

            No, I don't assume violence will fix everything. Do you assume violence will never solve anything?

            Zimbabwe has suffered under Mugabe a long, long time, through many, many peaceful attempts at reform that have gotten nowhere. It is time for the last resort.

            And the Iraq fiasco shows that a serious commitment to managing the aftermath is as important as removing the dictator.

            The Clinton interventions in Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo were far from perfect, but they were worthwhile. Even the Bush I intervention in Somalia, though it resulted in 42 Americans killed, kept hundreds of thousands from starving to death -- definitely worthwhile.

            "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

            by HeyMikey on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 02:23:57 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yeah, cause stupid is as stupid does. (0+ / 0-)

              Let me spell this out for you. You kill or remove Mugabe by anything other than diplomatic pressure, you will spark a civi war or a brush war that will kill far more people than you saved by removing Mugabe in the first place.

              What soft hawks of the industrialized world utterly fail to comprehend is how sophisticated and ruthless these tribal backward region conflicts can get. Those tribal warlords and clan demagogues can handle their business and they aren't afraid of getting bloodied if it means getting us out of their business.

              Afganastan was invaded by at least four major powers from Alexander the Great to NATO and each occupation resulted (or resulting) in epic failure. Iraq has yet to be subddued. Iraq? Same thing. It took a very heavy hand to subdue Africa the first time around, and yet some dimrods are asking for a second go round?

              Some people appear to have a very compact memory on Somalia so I will give them the Cliffs Notes Version of the past twenty years. The US went in under a UN mission, presumably to feed some people. We got entangled in a clan power struggle, dumped tons of ordinance on a mix of civilians and soldiers in a major city. Got mauled in the process, killed the clan leader who set up said mauling helping to exasperate a growing power vacuum which was filled by an Islamic militant movement, pushed their neighbor Ethiopia to invade and displace the Islamic militant moment, which created another civil-war and occupation which has caused a further break-down in law and order which has created economic pressure and a safe-haven for pirates.

              Fucking pirates. Brilliant outcome, Commodore. Don't kid yourself in thinking we helped do anything other than fuck things up worse.

              Okay, so we kill people to feed people and the end result is fucking pirates taking over tankers. How do you propose to solve that problem? Blow up the Pirates and invade, resulting in a repeat of Black Hawk down. Brilliant.

              It would be more humane and productive to blockade the country give everyone a knife and let the clans bloody each other until someone wins outright or they all get tired of it.

              I'll give you Kosovo, the demographics made that particular situation very convenient for us. The Kosovars already had their ducks in a row. Smart fellas.

              Believe it or not, Mugabe still has quite a bit of popular support from within Zimbabwe and in the surrounding region. Any move to terminate him or force him out will necessarily mean pissing off millions of his supporters in that region. Our intervention will be portrayed as another round of interference in sovereign affairs, and provide a political platform for pro-Mugabe supporters to fight the foreign interlopers. And believe me, these guys know how to use a machete and an AK. They won't line up in nice little rows waiting to get blown up by an AC-130 and even if you could lay down a good dose of hot-lead-death, there are so many of them, they would simply bide their time and hit us at a time and place of their choosing.

              Sounds familiar?

              So, lets not pretend that this particular is incompetent at running a country, that they would be incompetent at running our asses out of their backyard, especially when they enjoy wide popular support in said backyard. We shouldn't be so eager to prove a failed interventionist theory is still a failure, for all we can do is make more dead people. Sorry, but it is the definition of stupid to kill and piss off a bunch of people to save some people who don't really want to be saved.

              Let them save themselves. Hell, they deserve it more than we do.

              This is what happens when Democrats put winning ahead of accountability. -rolandzebub

              by James Kresnik on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 03:24:22 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I agree with some facts. Not conclusion. (0+ / 0-)

                Some people appear to have a very compact memory on Somalia so I will give them the Cliffs Notes Version of the past twenty years. The US went in under a UN mission, presumably to feed some people. We got entangled in a clan power struggle, dumped tons of ordinance on a mix of civilians and soldiers in a major city. Got mauled in the process, killed the clan leader who set up said mauling helping to exasperate a growing power vacuum which was filled by an Islamic militant movement, pushed their neighbor Ethiopia to invade and displace the Islamic militant moment, which created another civil-war and occupation which has caused a further break-down in law and order which has created economic pressure and a safe-haven for pirates.

                Yep. All that's right. But we saved hundreds of thousands of people from starving to death. We lost 42 Americans. The pirates have yet to kill even 42 people. Bad as it's turned out to be, it's still better than if we'd done nothing.

                I also agree we -- or anyone -- would be crazy to try to occupy and subdue Zimbabwe. (a) I don't think we're the right people to take the lead, because Bush has shot our international credibility all to hell. But if nobody else will, then we should. (b) We and the world have learned in Iraq a lot about how NOT to do nation-building, and something about how to do it. And the "occupy and subdue" model ain't how to do it. If any outside force  removes Mugabe, I'd say there should be immediate -- say, within 45-60 days -- elections for local offices. Mayor, town council, school board, police chief, etc. Tsvangirai would become national leader, as it's pretty clear he won the last national election. And the outside forces need to give Tsvangirai and the local governments REAL money (probably Euros or dollars, and in large amounts), with REAL authority over how to spend it. Then when the locals are upset over how rebuilding is going -- as they inevitably will be -- they can put their energies into local politics, instead of into blowing up occupying soldiers.

                "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                by HeyMikey on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 03:47:59 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  you are so right. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MA Liberal

      it's an outrage. one more reason to hate bush.

      "So many institutions have failed us in the last decade that being vitriolic seems the only sane response...." Digby TBA Conference

      by Wage Warrior II on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 07:25:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Blame Mugabe and maybe South Africa for Zimbabwe (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cardinal96, 3cardmonty, terjeanderson

        but Bush? I don't get it. Bush is not responsible for everything that goes wrong on this planet. You can blame the situation in Somalia on Bush, but Zimbabwe? Come on - this is not even funny.

        •  Blame for problem; blame for lack of solution. (0+ / 0-)

          Bush absolutely did NOT create Zimbabwe's problems.

          But Zimbabwe can't solve its own problems. They will not be solved without outside intervention. (Unless Mugabe, who's 84(?), dies of natural causes.) And Bush absolutely HAS made outside intervention much harder to initiate. See my reply to 3cardmonty.

          "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

          by HeyMikey on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 09:03:30 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  A South African friend of mine graded (9+ / 0-)

    Mugabe's papers in a correspondence course on ancient history that Mugabe took while he was in prison.  Turns out Mugabe was (perhaps still is) a great admirer of Julius Caesar.

    It will be interesting to see if he meets a similar end.

    The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

    by lysias on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 05:42:57 AM PST

  •  Oil vs Non-oil (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rilkas

    How many resolutions did we have in the UN regarding Iraq?  How many 'coalition forces' to remove the 'dictator'?

    How many for Zimbabwe?

  •  An "immaculate invasion" hmmmm...interesting. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sychotic1

    the question is: will the zim army fight back? Also, SA has an unelected president who has no mandate to do anything (remember when the ANC throw out Mbecki a month or two back?).

    Still it has to be done, and the zims (or whatever they call themselves) can't seem to do it on their own.

    •  At least he's not Mbecki (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Allogenes

      that's the only reason action is even possible by SA at this point.

    •  There isn't really a Zim army left to fight back (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fedallah

      If the press reports of soldiers rioting in Harare because they can't get paid are accurate, it represents the final spiraling down of any organised military.

      Instead, the country is dealing with the chaos of armed bands of self-proclaimed soldiers (the so called "war veterans") roaming the country and attacking ZANU-PF opponents, and looting what is left of the country's wealth.

      There would be little, if any, organised military resistance -- but that doesn't mean a South African intervention would be bloodless or simple.

      Once social change begins,it cannot be reversed. You cannot uneducate the person who has learned to read...You cannot oppress people who are not afraid anymore.

      by terjeanderson on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 08:40:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Tragic that it came to this (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MA Liberal, rilkas, Sychotic1, TomP, CanyonWren

    But if this is what it takes to be rid of Mugabe, then there is at least a silver lining to this very dark cloud.

    It won't be easy for Zimbabwe to make a comeback. At least the land should be fertile - it always was, and a lot of the farms have lain fallow after being gifted to Mugabe's henchmen. But I really worry about what Mugabe has done to a generation of children now grown to be young adults in his youth camps. From what I've read, they make the Hitler Youth sound like your neighborhood's best daycare center. They could reasonably be described as monster factories... at least, that seems to have been their intent.

    I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong. - Bertrand Russell
    -5.38, -6.41

    by sullivanst on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 06:12:07 AM PST

  •  Article by Mamdani in London Review of Books on Z (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    terjeanderson, Fedallah

    puts crisis in larger historical account and must be read. The relationship between Mugabe and the political opposition has roots in colonial policy which exacerbated conflict between two main tribal groups-Shona and Nbdebele...which in turn are the social bases for Mugabe's forces and that of the opposition.

    In addition, Mugabe's base is rural and was much more involved in the war of indepependence against white Rhodesian colonists than the trades-union based and urban political opposition. On top of this is the undeniable fact that land reform, brutal though it was occasionally but not always, is very popular among Zimbabweans because the white settlers had continued post-independence maintained an extraordinary monopoly on the arable land. Mugabe was initially a moderate on this issue, but was forced to side with the squatters and those who seized land.

    It's a very complicasted tale--more so than we've been aware of. None of this means Mugabe does not have to go.

  •  it's about TIME!!! (0+ / 0-)

    all the wildlife parks that had endangered species, etc, were destroyed years ago because people were starving and needed to hunt to eat. All the animals are gone. Women prostitute themselves to keep their families alive--the African countries should have stepped in a long time ago. it's about frikin time.

    There is something wrong with us. The US is in Iraq forgetting about the rest of the world while we salivate for the oil.

    "So many institutions have failed us in the last decade that being vitriolic seems the only sane response...." Digby TBA Conference

    by Wage Warrior II on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 07:24:13 AM PST

  •  Overpopulation + Ignorance + Corruption = Chaos (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    howardfromUSA

    And yet, Bushie & the rethugs thinks we should stop funding contraceptive help to other countries.

    This might not be a popular or politically correct thing to say, but the chaos and many other poor coutries is directly related to their overpopulation. Add to that corrupt governments, greed and ignorance, and this is what you end up with.

  •  It is in large part South Africa's fault that it (0+ / 0-)

    has come this stage by continuing to back Mugabe.

  •  Zimbabweans (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    esquimaux, James Kresnik, Fedallah

    have to get over their tribal issues.  

    They have had  ready support from the American Left for many years.  It is up to them to take the initiative.

    They have had our support for many years.  We can't take back their gov't for them.

    I am tired of screaming for justice in Zimbabwe.  They have to start screaming for themselves.

    We have gone through thinking that Mugabe is done too many times.  Zimbabweans have to get rid of him.

    It's time.  And Zimbaweans have to do it.

    They're starving and dieing of Cholera.  Dammit, Revolt, already! Or you all will die!

    •  Most of Africa (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Kresnik

      has to get over its tribal issues before it can become viable.  Rwanda, the Congo - all tribal fights, with the trappings of modern politics pasted on, and occasional Western intervention.  Look at the centuries of warfare that were required to create stable nation-states in Europe.  Transpose it onto Africa.  It's not pretty.

      За новый мир!

      by Fedallah on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 10:25:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's not pretty, but it works. (0+ / 0-)

        Africa is slowly, but surely stabilizing. People are already starting to tire of constant war and are forming a unified class of econoimic interests that will displace the old tribal feifdoms. There is no amount of outside intervetion that could speed up this process.

        This is what happens when Democrats put winning ahead of accountability. -rolandzebub

        by James Kresnik on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 01:33:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I love the part about Rice (0+ / 0-)

    Espically where she talks about the
    "Sham Elections". Can't wait to hear what
    she has to say about OUR elections in both
    2000 and 2004. Not holding my breath.

  •  and besides...................... (0+ / 0-)

    we hear Zimbabwe has lots of natural resources that must also be "saved."

    Be a pity for all that to be "wasted."

    Mineral resources

    Some 30 different mineral deposits dispersed throughout the country; substantial deposits of coal, platinum and chromium ore; smaller deposits of asbestos, gold, nickel, copper, iron ore, vanadium, lithium and tin.

    Water resources and management

    Annual internal renewable water resources: 1,182 cu m Per Capita (1998); Sector withdrawals - domestic 14%; Industrial 7%; Agricultural 79%

    Land use

    Most arable land is located in the north and east; the lower lying land in the south and west is primarily suitable for grazing. There are a large number of tourist attractions, including the 26 national parks and game reserves.

    Remember, one of the justifications for us STAYING in Iraq, is that we couldn't leave it "unstable."

    Look for a decades-long occupation of Zimbabwe, and a raping of its natural resources.  Hey, they learned from the best................US.


    Every time a Republican is convicted, an angel gets its wings.

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 07:52:23 AM PST

  •  I appreciate people like this diarist (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrblifil, 3cardmonty, hulagirl, CanyonWren

    who follow and summarize far-flung world events.

    I find a little info sometimes on BBC-Am news, but otherwise the American media is a vast black hole of suck on general world coverage.

    Thank you, Mr/Ms Fish...

  •  Why would Mugabe step down? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    esquimaux

    He's going to have to be dragged out. He's the kind of suicide who intends to take as many as he can with him.

    If we're at the point where cholera is verging on epidemic and there's no water for major cities, we've gotten way beyond "Mugabe doesn't give a fuck..."

    Plus it's stupid to pretend like all you have to do to turn a country around is depose it's leader. The guys with guns who propped up an insane person had a lot to do with the deterioration and they are still around, or probably in hiding.

  •  Non-Issue Folks (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tanya

    Focus folks - We are in Depression. Before we worry about the rest of the world we have an IMMEDIATE CRISIS here at home. We are in DEPRESSION!!!

    Time to get active right now about our own futures!

    The next month may determine the next ten years - let your Congressmen know that they need to use all that bailout money to save our jobs and homes, not banks and businessmen.

    "I'm not a Maverick, but I used to drive one."

    by StephenLahanas on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 08:30:48 AM PST

    •  Not a non-issue (5+ / 0-)

      The world we live in is too small and too interconnected for that

      Economic and social collapse in Southern Africa would create even more chaos in the world economy - and hurt Americans as well.

      It is in our interest to pay attention to the whole world around us.

      And beyond self-interest, it is our obligation as human beings to respond to such humanitarian crises.

      Hiding in our caves and pretending the world around us doesn't matter is not a viable way of looking at the world.

      Once social change begins,it cannot be reversed. You cannot uneducate the person who has learned to read...You cannot oppress people who are not afraid anymore.

      by terjeanderson on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 08:35:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  We were in a Depression in the 1930s (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BWasikIUgrad, Boisepoet

      Good thing no major global crises were brewing at the time.

      (snark)

      "If we believe that all humans are human, than how are we going to prove it? It can only be proven through our actions." Lt. Gen. Romeo Dallaire

      by djs on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 09:11:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Me Me Me!!! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wezelboy

      Screw my brother, I am not his keeper.  Cute.

      There is a humanitarian disaster happening here.

      People are starving, dying of unclean water, and being murdered by a dictator and an uncontrolled army.

      No question big issues are needed to be addressed here at home.  But that desnt free us from responsibility to at least focus and bring just action for the people of Southern Africa.

  •  south africa is not an honest broker (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    djs

    not saying that we have any other option, but they, under mbeki, supported this thug mugabe even when it was obvious he was stealing the election and looting his nation.

    "I've been in an underdog position quite often in my life (niiiccce) " - Sarah Palin

    by tetsuko on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 08:41:09 AM PST

  •  Faulty Assumption (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SneakySnu, Tanya, GoldnI

    There is an assumption that most people seem to have made that underpins a lot of the discussion, thought and debate about Zimbabwe, that I consider highly likely to be wrong.
    The assumption is that Robert Mugabe is still "in charge" in Zimbabwe.
    IMHO it is highly likely that this is not the case. For many years, Mugabe has been using the Army in Zimbabwe as an extension of his political party, to intimidate opposition into acquiescence, to enforce "redistribution" of land to favoured cronies, and to generally threaten and beat people into submission. In the process of doing so, the Army has become the major arm of the government, since Mugabe long ago reduced Parliament and the judicial systems to rubber-stamps for his dicatorial rule.
    If Mugabe steps down, the first group of people in the firing line are the generals and leaders of the Army. They are going to be determined to avoid that. My guess is that even if Mugabe wanted to concede power, they would not let him, since they would then be next in line for a day of reckoning. I suspect that Mugabe has been told that if he concedes anything, he either has to get them all off the hook or they will kill him and loot what is left of the country. Effectively Zimbabwe is a military state, along the lines of some Latin American countries in the 1960's and 70's, and current Pakistan.
    The solution to the current failed state that is Zimbabwe can only occur via two simultaneous events; the sweeping out of Mugabe and his henchmen, and a total purge of the Army, with the purged individuals being jailed. Exile will simply permit them to try destabilization from elsewhere.
    Right now, the Army is a larger part of the problem than Mugabe.

  •  South Africa, huh? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tanya

    It's too bad there was discussion in the middle of this segment that got shot down.  I really wanted to hear more from those who advocated colonialism.  As a person of color I obviously do not share their ideology.  However, I most certainly believe they had a point going on.
    You know, I'd like to hear what the poverty rate is in South Africa and any other country in Africa for that matter.  Based on historical precedents do I really expect the next savior to turn out any better than Mugabe?  In my opinion racism is definitely evil. Political correctness on the other hand does not do much favor to those at the bottom of the ladder.
    I'm not a well off individual, and I can tell you that I do not simply want hand-outs.  I want opportunity.  When it comes to Africa, I believe we need a do over. The people need hard realities.  Heck, I don't need to go all the way to Africa.  I see what's happening in my backyard.  

  •  Uh, it's White Imperialism (0+ / 0-)

    Right Robert?

    It's all the white man's fault.

    This guy has been a liar, a thief, incompetent and a force of evil for decades.

    Sadly, he actually got away with claiming the root of his country's problems were caused by others.  No one denies the negative impacts of colonialism, but other countries have found ways to recover.

    The world will not miss you Mr. Mugabe.  

    I only wish the people in our government like you were gone as well.

    "We will now proceed to construct the socialist order."

    by 7November on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 09:10:08 AM PST

  •  Thank You for This Informative Post. (0+ / 0-)

    It is hopeful that the governments of South Africa and Kenya are taking steps to help the poor victims of Mugabe. Mugabe is a health threat to all of Southern Africa, as well as a political one. One wonders only why they have waited to long to do so.

    We're taking our country back. Si, Nos esperamos!

    by Justina on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 09:20:07 AM PST

  •  Last night I watched this documentary (0+ / 0-)

    http://video.google.com/...

    If you want to collapse a country, simply let some one take charge with absolute power, and then step back.  Even if they begin with the best intentions their paranoia and self-importance will eventually take over.

    This documentary is on Idi Amin who took over Uganda in 1971.  He only killed about 300,000 opponents and then fled to live out his life in Saudi Arabia until 2003.  During his reign, he also evicted the South Indians from the country (brought in by the British), who controlled 80% of the economy.

    Also the movie 'The Last King of Scotland' gives some background, although fictional.

  •  Thank you (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    qi motuoche

    Excellent diary.  With everything we have happening in our own country, it is sometimes easy to overlook these stories.

  •  Where is Morgan Tsangirai (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    qi motuoche

    in all this?  That's not a criticism of him it's a question.

    Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana. Marx.

    by Childofexpats on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 11:03:55 AM PST

  •  This guy should go after Mugabe, (0+ / 0-)

    Invader Zim
    Its already called Zim-babwe, at least they wouldn't have to re-name the place again.

    Sorry about your rights, we hope to have them restored shortly.

    by qi motuoche on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 02:20:49 PM PST

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