[Note: Foreign Affairs is the liberal intelligentsia's view of what is going on in the world. You might be able to get copies (hard or electronic) through you local library. (The writing style seesaws between turgid and lugubrious.) Still, you will learn things that MSNBC, CNN, or Fox News are not interested in.]
Zimbabwe is still being crushed under the boot-heel of Robert Mugabe. He is a dictator through and through. Corrupt police forces. Rich friends. Rioting youth attacking his enemies.
And the results are about what you would expect. Where agriculture was once the source of foreign trade income, most people are now starving, and indeed a fair number seem to be starving to death. A cholera epidemic 2 years ago killed 4000, as the health care system implodes. A full 90% of the population is unemployed.
Yet somehow, even though we took no action to put Mugabe in power and have taken no action to keep him in power, all of this pain and suffering, and especially the continued pain and suffering, is our fault.
If the United States and its allies do not put renewed pressure on South Africa and SADC, Mugabe will continue to rule as a tyrant, disregard the unity pact, and enmesh all Zimbabweans, except himself and his cronies, in a web of deceit and corruption.The really funny thing is that at one point the author compares 1965 Southeast Asia to 1965 Africa.
A sad statistic demonstrates the full tragedy of Mugabe's misrule: in 1965, most of Africa was much more prosperous than East and South Asia; today, most Asian countries are ten times as wealthy as African ones. Zimbabwe is no exception. And Mugabe, the poster child for venal leadership, is at the root of the country's poverty.Funny, but we are still fighting about our intervention in 1960s Asia, (And 1950s given the whole Korean kerfuffle.)
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has tried to bring pressure and failed. Individual countries in the region have tried and failed to make a change. The only thing that would get his butt out of the President's chair (he lost the last election, but his government didn't certify the vote) is a gun. But that would be against the UN charter. So there he sits.
But what made my eyes cross was how it all comes to down "If the United States and its allies" don't do something. How about someone else - maybe even some African country - take some decisive action? Because if WE did take any action - at least if we took any meaningful action - I am sure the headlines would talking about American Imperialism. (Or would that be "screaming about?")