March 30, 2007

Africa To Zimbabweans: Drop Dead

I suppose no one can ever underestimate the dysfunction of African governments, but the support given Robert Mugabe by the Southern African Development Community has to serve as a singular moment of disgrace. The SDAC didn't just ignore the increasingly brutal methods of Mugabe in clinging to power -- they endorsed them:

Zimbabwe’s neighbours fell in behind the brutal regime of Robert Mugabe yesterday and demanded that the West lift all sanctions on his country.

With opposition growing at home and a crumbling economy, pressure was mounting on the heads of surrounding states to urge their friend and comrade to reconsider his position. But in a communiqué issued at the end of what was billed as a make-or-break summit of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), 14 leaders reaffirmed their solidarity with the veteran President of Zimbabwe.

Their words will come as a crushing blow to campaigners who believed the tide to be turning against his increasingly autocratic 27-year rule.

Mr Mugabe smiled as he pushed past rorters in the Tanzanian capital, Dar es Salaam, and declared himself satisfied. “Excellent meeting,” he cried, clapping his hands gleefully, before climbing into a waiting limousine.

The SADC claims it pressured Mugabe into beginning a dialogue with his opposition, but Mugabe knows better than that. He just got a blank check from his neighbors to continue his purge. Not only that, but Mugabe got them to fight the Western sanctions on his country for him. It would be difficult to imagine how Mugabe could have gotten more of a free ride from his fellow members, unless they invited him to rule their nations as well.

As the SADC demanded that the West stop picking on poor Robert Mugabe, his goons hauled nine opposition leaders into court to accuse them of -- get this -- terrorism. They were charged with illegal possession of explosives as part of a conspiracy to set off gasoline bombs, which sounds like they have been charged with buying gasoline; no details on the charges have been brought forth. Their lawyers filed a motion to dismiss the charges, but the court adjourned at night without ever having addressed it.

The moral failure of these African nations is complete. Even South Africa's Mbeki collaborated in this shameful display, despite his nation's courageous fight for its own representative government. I recall when people around the world boycotted his nation in solidarity with their struggle for freedom. Now South Africa aids and abets a bloody and incompetent tyrant, even to the point of scolding the same nations that supported his cause for not selling out to a thug. South Africans should feel shame and embarrassment for not assisting their real neighbors -- those whom Mugabe has impoverished and oppressed for more than 27 years.


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Comments (10)

Posted by burt [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 30, 2007 5:48 AM

Ed, I am sure I speak for everyone who reads Captain's Quarters. We all are thinking about the First Mate and the Donor. We all are looking forward to a very successful and happy outcome, send our best wishes to them and you and both families.

Unfortunately, I think most of us think this business in Dar es Salaam came out as we expected. This group of nations doesn't give people much cause for optimism. I wasn't expecting anything good from Mbeki. In addition to his, "aids and abets a bloody and incompetent tyrant", he aids and abets AIDS.

Posted by Cybrludite [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 30, 2007 6:14 AM

Africa wins again...

Posted by rbj [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 30, 2007 7:17 AM

I for one won't be holding my breath waiting for the Left & Liberals to march in denounciation of the sell out of the Zimbabwe people.

Posted by musterion [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 30, 2007 9:01 AM

I forget where I read this, but South Africa will go down the same path when Nelson Mandela dies. He is at this point the conscience of S. Africa. When he goes there will be no conscience anymore.

Posted by Bill M [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 30, 2007 1:11 PM

I find I have to agree with both rbj and musterion above. Africa looks more and more like a lost cause. And waiting for liberals to condemn them is not worth the effort. It would require moral courage, something sadly lacking on the Left.

Posted by jgr [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 30, 2007 1:45 PM

Again Africa is its own worst enemy. It has been called utterly corrupt as a continent.

How much African blood has been shed by Africans?

It's racist to point that out, I suppose.

S. Africa itself is no garden spot today, with many of its citizens living in squalid camps, barely noticed by the government. Yet, several years ago, I happened to catch a documentary about the Zimbabweans who travelled the South African trains, illegally I think; but all were seeking anyplace EVEN THEN but Zimbabwe.

It is a measure of the moral compass of today's world situation that Zimbabwe's plight is countenanced. Even the UN has countenanced Mugabe's terrorism against his people. Mugabe was a featured guest a couple years ago at the UN Agricultural gathering, even as he starved his people.

Where are those who will fight the corruption of Africa?

Posted by KW64 [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 30, 2007 4:51 PM

Why would strong men who rule countries give any encouragement to those they rule that they can obtain change through protest whether internal or external. By thwarting any effort for reform or freedom in Zimbabwe, they discourage any similar efforts at home.

Besides, if they ever get criticized by Western governments, they can count on Mugabe to speak up for them in blaming all problems on the West rather than on native African misrule. So, there should be no surprise that these snakes will all stick together under their rock. .

Posted by Larry Rasczak [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 30, 2007 6:23 PM

The elephant in the room with regards to Mugabe is Rhodesia.

I am old enough to remember when Ian Smith and P.K. van der Byl and Lord Richard Cecil were saying that Mugabe was a Communist, Terrorist, Thug, I remember the White Rhodesians saying that putting Mugabe in charge would cause nothing but pain, devistation, and death for ALL Rhodeisans, black and white.

To speak out against Mugabe, to point out what an utter murderious mess he has made of a once rich nation would be to indirectly point out that Smith, van der Byl, and Cecil were (tragicly) right. The people living in Rhodeisa today, black and white, are not just worse off than they would have been had Mugabe not won, they are worse off than they were BEFORE Mugabe took power.

If however, anyone were to publicly point this out; they would be pointing out that another one of the Left's (and the UN and the Carter Administration's) main "crusades" was an total, bloody, failure. One would also be pointing out that Black Africans are just as good at murder, opression, and tyrrany as the White Africans and White Europeans were. This is something no one of the Left wants to do. If you point it out you also run the risk of being seen as a supporter of the racist White Rhodesian government, which is something nobody on either the Left or the Right wants to do.

So everybody goes on pretending that Mugabe isn't the worst thing that ever happened to the area, and the people of Zimbabwe just go on dying, and the folks who made it all happen just pretend that they aren't responsible.

Posted by conservative democrat [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 30, 2007 11:00 PM

So many posts denouncing the "left" and "liberals" Was it Monkei that said something about the GOP standing for the take no responsibility for any thing? That is the truest thing that could ever be said about republicans. Never take blame, blame the "left", yeah, and my dog ate my homework. IMHO the gop needs new talking points. The "the left is to blame for everything" didn't seem to work so well in the midterms. Its called denial, and people are calling them on it. That train has left the station, yesterday's news, and that dog don't hunt anymore,

Posted by Cybrludite [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 31, 2007 3:00 AM

Except the GOP wasn't the ones applauding Mugabe's rise to power, now was it, Liberal Democrat? It was the Left who supported the "National Liberation" goons in the third world, and it's the Left who should be hanging their heads in shame over the results.