Talking to myself about foreign policy, US politics, technology, &c.

Zimbabwe Is Still A Terrible Place

High on anyone’s list of terrible, horrible, no good, very bad countries would have to be Zimbabwe.

*mulls* I guess I’d put it at number 3 after Burma and long-time reigning champ North Korea. Still, Zimbabwe doesn’t get much attention, and it’s easy to forget about. Here’s a reminder, if you missed it, on President Robert Mugabe’s misrule.

Mugabe is an astonishingly bad man. Amazing how much one man’s greed and incompetence can destroy a once stable and somewhat successful country. 1700% inflation, anyone? Alas for the stability of the good ol’ days in Weimar…

However, apparently Mugabe’s main opposition party leader Morgan Tsvangirai is not simply inept; he’s a suicidal and/or homicidal maniac. A savage beating (with fractured skull) administered by the local constabulary for his moral rectification was attributed to the fact that he and some followers attacked policemen with “killer” weapons.

I suppose having a candidate attack the police is one way to draw attention to your campaign, but perhaps not the most effective one. Bill Richardson should perhaps consider it, since he doesn’t seem to be getting much press otherwise.

It’s gonna backfire on Mugabe, though, since any attention to the loathsome conditions in his country is bad for him.

This is why I’m so passionate about giving people to opportunity to organize and mobilize through civil society. Even in countries without solid democratic institutions, if they have that chance to unite their strength and to protest they can force authoritarian government to listen, to some extent. A start, anyway.

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