Wednesday, April 11, 2007

All Zimbabwe, All the Time

More on Mugabe from the NY Sun:

“As early as the 1970's, when he was fighting the Bush War against Rhodesia's white minority regime of Ian Smith, Mr. Mugabe was endorsing the notion of the one-party state. The faction fights that he instigated with his guerilla comrade, Joshua Nkomo, waged on after Mr. Mugabe became prime minister in 1980. Despite what those in the Carter administration, who played a major role in legitimizing Mr. Mugabe over the moderate bishop, Abel Muzorewa, wanted to
believe, Mr. Mugabe was no democrat and had no pretensions to be viewed as such. Since achieving power, he has done everything to confirm that he will not tolerate opposition”

Every once in a while, the spotlight shines on thugs like Mugabe, or the Sudan, or Somalia, but we do nothing other than issue a few communiqués and grumble a bit. Much of Africa is an out and out disaster, and much that isn’t is close to the brink.

In the end, there are at least 5 factors at work here – a) limits to where and how America should intervene (not every problem can be our problem); b) what the President would call the “soft bigotry of low expectations”, i.e., the quietly held notion that not much better can be expected from Africa; c) the fear of being called racist / colonialist oppressors; d) opposition of other powerful countries, backing favored regimes for business / economic interests; and e) the sheer scale of the problems and their multiple occurrences have lead to disaster fatigue.