Saturday, July 21, 2007

A Job For The Elders: Smash Mugabe's Tyranny

Robert Mugabe has murdered more black Africans than the entire South African apartheid regime. In just one region of Zimbabwe, in just one decade – Matabeleland in the 1980s – his army slaughtered 20,000 civilians. This is the equivalent of a Sharpeville massacre every day for more than nine months.

- that's from brother Peter Tatchell's latest, which seems like a job this crowd might take up. After all: "Precisely what problems The Elders will tackle is unclear; none have yet been selected."

UPDATE: The progressive case for overthrowing the Mugabe regime is well presented here, in The New Republic. The essay's young author, James Kirchick is well worth reading on any subject.


Blogger dirk buchholz said...

Terry you surprise me.You of all people should know change never comes from the top or from outside(unless it is in support of an already resisting or fighting indigenous population)i.e When Cuba supported the people of South Africa militarily and morally against the Armed Forces of the white government.
It comes when the ordinary people have had enough and organize to resist.
It will be the people of Zimbabwe that change things.
Sure we can support them morally and by example.
But it is quit rich indeed that you write so often about how other countries i.e Canada should do this and that to bring democracy to who ever.While at home they do the opposite,i.e our own government does not practice what is preaches or supposedly stands for.
First Nations peoples comes to mind
The upper crust/classes always go where the money is,even if it means selling out the ordinary people(their own country men).They always find an excuse to do nothing.Because they know real change would also threaten them.

3:39 PM  
Blogger Transmontanus said...


For "an already resisting or fighting indigenous population," look up: "Zimbabwe."

For "It will be the people of Zimbabwe that change things," google: Apartheid, South Africa.

For "First Nations peoples comes to mind," look up any of the four books I've written on the struggles of aboriginal people in Canada.

Or just read the Tatchell piece I linked to.

5:05 PM  
Blogger Blazing Cat Fur said...

I am at a loss to understand, all these shining lights, and no call to action. What hold does Mugabe exert over them?

6:13 PM  
Blogger Transmontanus said...

Hi Blazer.

Good question. The main problem seems to be that South Africa's current government still regards Mugabe as some sort of anti-colonial hero.

Meanwhile, a report today from Reuters:

"HARARE -- Zimbabwe's government routinely arrests and tortures women's rights activists as part of a crackdown on protests against President Robert Mugabe and his policies, an international rights group said on Wednesday.

"Hundreds of women involved in peaceful protests have been arrested by Mugabe's security forces in the last two years, Amnesty International said in a report.

"Some of the detainees have suffered broken limbs as a result of random beatings and have been held in what the rights group described as deplorable conditions. . ."

11:37 PM  
Blogger dirk buchholz said...

Terry first you seem to have misunderstood.I am surprised because I have read some of your books,most chalked full of common sense,and very well argued.
That is why I don't understand.
You expect or imply that other African countries should intervene in Zim,your post also implies that they are not doing anything.Based on what?
Because they do not or have not publicly and loudly jump on the demonization bandwagon of some Western countries who name call and cajole for action.And not a mention or thought about about the West's own deplorable record,when it comes to other countries.Least we forget there is also the fact,that where these Western countries can actually do something for good they chose not to or do the opposite,i.e Iraq,Palestine,or they take steps against democratically elected leaders they have a problem with.
You seem to overlook these double standards.
At a minimum such post deserve a qualified acknowledgment that there is a difference between words and actions.And with the West words and actions are usually quit different or totally opposite.
At the present moment western interventions have resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent,you want or call for more interventions?You compare the moral standing of South Africa or question it,because they chose not to use the same rhetoric or push for intervention in Zim.Perhaps they think more is accomplished by attempting to engage,after all Zim is a neighbor that they have to live with,who knows.Perhaps there is behind the doors talks,again who knows.
You link to a guy who questions Mandala,who sees a double standard with Mandalas actions and opinion on apartheid,as compared with his,implied lack of action on Zim.An argument that also implies that somehow there is a racial component to Mandala's supposed lack of concern for the situation in Zim or his general ideas of democracy and right and wrong etc(i.e one for whites one for his fellow blacks).
Like spare me the situation is totally opposite apples and oranges.
Or you praise the Cnd govt for writing reports on implementing democracy abroad.But no where do you qualify that with a but,i.e but where the gov of Canada can actually do(rather than just talk) something to improve democracy or make a real difference in the lives of a suffering people i.e at home,say in regards to First Nation,they do nothing or do the opposite of what they said in their report you praise.
So how much is this report really worth ? is just more public posturing?

1:51 PM  
Blogger Blazing Cat Fur said...

I suspected as much Gatekeeper. A shame that this tyrant is allowed to sleep peacefully.

Mugabe and all the other bad actors on the world stage would have reason to fear an effective world body. It is a pity that the UN has been so badly compromised.

There are so many issues that coordinated action, whether economic or military, could rectify to everyone's lasting benefit.

Off Topic Odd fact I was not aware of - The Soviet Union was offered the chance to be a beneficiary of the Marshall Plan but Stalin of course declined. Imagine.

4:02 PM  
Blogger SnoopyTheGoon said...

Being out of circulation for some time, I have thought that this is a call for our services. But it looks like you mean some other Elders, Terry. Seeing the list of them all, I somehow doubt their chances. To take one example: Carter, who, as rumors go, was instrumental in elevating Mugabe in the first place, could hardly be very effective in removing him.

Methinks the real Elders could be more effective in such a case...

3:22 AM  
Blogger SnoopyTheGoon said...

"It comes when the ordinary people have had enough and organize to resist."

Dirk - with all due respect - tell this to the Cold War oldtimers. They will be happy to hear your theory re "self-destruction" of the Iron Curtain. To use only one simple example.

3:24 AM  

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