Zimbabwe

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Darth_Asabrush, Jun 23, 2008.

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  1. Darth_Asabrush Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2000
    star 5
    Zimbabwe

    Over the past several years the situation in Zimbabwe has gone from bad to worse. First came Mugabe?s disastrous land reform programme, then his clearance of some of the nation?s poorest townships, then ridiculous inflation increases and plummeting life expectancy (due to the unfarmed lands of the previous land reform programme). Now, after rigged election after rigged election it has finally come to this ? blatant open and arrogant abuses of human rights. A deluded President propped up by Generals and militias. A leader who has declared to the world that he would never allow the MDC to run Zimbabwe, even if it was democratically elected, a man who has claimed divine right to rule like some medieval king, a country brought to it knees and a continent that has stood by and allowed it to happen. Of course all this has happened before in recent years in Zimbabwe but nothing to this extent and only now does Africa begin to speak louder than its shameful whisper of concern.

    Now is the time for the international community to act, now is the time for the world to do more than dance a merry jig around the diplomatic niceties, now is the time for Africa to prove to the world that it can deal with its own problems and for South Africa in particular to show that it can be the leading regional influence in Southern Africa.

    What say you Senate? Do you agree with my words or is this a larger problem? Of course there are ?Imperial? issues from colonial rule but, and imo, this is a big but, Mugabe could have been reigned in much earlier if the African nations had acted sooner rather than lay the blame at Zimbabwe?s former colonial master. Zimbabwe used to be known as the bread basket of Africa, a nation that could feed itself AND export its food stuffs to its neighbours. But, in the space of a few short years it has become one of the most mismanaged countries on Earth.

    Brief over view of where we stand
  2. Vortigern99 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2000
    star 5
    This seems like a daunting and troublesome problem. What are the options for global action? Can the people of the world make a difference here? Or is this a problem that Africa must solve for itself?
  3. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Besides the standard package of isolation, there's not much the international community can and should do in Zimbabwe.

    Again, even moving forward from the Rhodesian days, there was the civil war between the ZAPU and ZANU, the Patriot Front megre, and so on.. Currently, there's no "side" for the international community to support.
  4. G-FETT Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2001
    star 7
    Thanks for starting this thread DA.

    I've been watching the news coming out of Zimbabwe with complete horror over the last few weeks. The torture and murder that Mugabe's henchmen are dishing out supporters of the MDC is just completely shocking and deplorable!

    Where do we go with this? Well, I think in the end it has to be an African solution. We have really got to force African nations and South Africa in particular to tell Mugabe to go.

    How do we do that, I'm not sure? We (the West) give much of Africa vast amounts of money and aid every year, so maybe we could could apply pressure by promising them more money (maybe even writing off some of the debt Africa has to us?) if they act against the tyrant of Zimbabwe?
  5. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    I just don't know what is wrong with Africans. They can't blame the colonial powers for the fact their leaders are total monsters, and the ones that aren't can't or won't take action at even the grossest human rights violations.

    But besides countries like South Africa, China isn't helping anything either, but the last thing they want is for the international community to be able to act on blatant human rights violations.

    This isn't much America can or should do at this point other than shame the countries that are in a position to act.

    TIA.
  6. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    I've been watching the news coming out of Zimbabwe with complete horror over the last few weeks. The torture and murder that Mugabe's henchmen are dishing out supporters of the MDC is just completely shocking and deplorable

    But you also have to keep in mind that Mugabe's policies have been in place for decades. Mugabe's been in power now for going on 30 years, and most of that time has been wracked with one sort of civil war after another. Even Mugabe's most troubling programs, such as the forced resettlement of private farms, has been in place for almost 10 years now.

    The MDC is the latest movement, born out of the recent elections of course, but it isn't the first, and unfortunately, isn't the last.
  7. G-FETT Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2001
    star 7
    Oh, I know Mugabe's been a monster for virtually the entire time he's been in power. My country handed Rhodisia as it was then over to Mugabe, so we always take a big interest in Zimbabwes affairs here.

  8. DarthKarde Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2002
    star 5
    The MDC was in fact founded 9 years ago and have always attempted to pursue legal and democratic means. Now that they have essentially accepted that such a strategy cannot succeed we will have to wait and see how opposition to Mugabe evolves. It may not be pretty.
  9. G-FETT Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2001
    star 7
    This could desend into civil war, couldn't it?
  10. Darth_Asabrush Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2000
    star 5
    I don't have the answers but I dispair at the there's "nothing we can or should do" attitude. There is plenty the international community should do. There is plenty the UN should do. There is plenty Africa should and could do!

    Yes Mugabe has gotten away with it for years but never to this level of blatancy and Zimbabwe has never, in recent history, been so mismanaged that it has one of the lowest life expectancies on the planet and even lower if you are not a Zanu-PF supporter!

    There is a side for the international community to support - the side that advocates free and fair elections and democracy for all i.e. the MDC. Not the perfect political organisation by far but a side worth supporting OR a Zanu-PF that is willing to be led by a leader that believes in democracy - Mugabe is NOT Zanu-PF. There are factions within that wanted Mugabe gone - the Generals/Police Chiefs disagreed.

    South Africa could easily put public pressure on Mugabe and private pressure on the Generals/Militia/Political elite. This is an opportunity to prove to the world and, more importantly, itself, that Africa can deal with its own affairs - imo, while some African countries and organisations are beginning to speak up it will be like pissing in the wind if South Africa doesn't join the chorus.
  11. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    Okay, so beyond the measures Mr44 alluded to, what should WE do Asabrush?

    Troops?
  12. Darth_Asabrush Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2000
    star 5
    For starters we need to apply real pressure on South Africa to be more vocal. We need to show support, financial or otherwise to those neighbouring nations willing to speak out and we should be stronger in the UN - no soft grey "agreements" but real hard statements. The US can and should apply more leverage on China to condemn Mugabe and Co (The world shouldn?t have to rely on African dock workers refusing to unload Chinese ships full of arms for Zimbabwe).

    The financial and travel constraints in place can and should be tightened to peripheral figures and organisations in the regime, including state run media.

    I hate to say it but we should support the MDC or other viable faction (within Zanu-PF) with as much as we can legally do.

    The ICC should be involved but in the words of the BBC.. "The problem with this is that Zimbabwe has not signed up to the court and therefore proceedings cannot be taken against its leaders. Any legal action would need authorisation from the Security Council (along the lines of the tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda)."

    This is an African problem. We need to support (and cajole) Africa to act ? lets focus on South Africa and Mbeki. This is more than the standard package of isolation that Mr44 suggests.

    Troops would be the last resort and then they should be African troops under either a UN or AU mandate.

    Agreed, this isn't much but its the very least we (the international community) should be doing. I am angry. I am sad. I have friends in Zimbabwe and, being British, have close ties due to the colonial past - the very thing that has kept Mugabe in power.

    All I am asking for is that Africa stands up to be counted.
  13. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    I don't think there is anything we can do, unforunately.
  14. G-FETT Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2001
    star 7
    This is little more than a gesture, but its not before time;

    Mugabe Stripped Of Knighthood

    Infact, I'm amazed he was ever given this in the first place! :(
  15. G-FETT Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2001
    star 7
    Thats a very defeatest attitude, if I may say. DA's given us a list of possibilites.
  16. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    Infact, I'm amazed he was ever given this [knighthood] in the first place!

    Amazing. I had no idea either. Is knighthood now like a diploma from a diploma mill?
  17. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    Sure, the United States government might be able to increase some pressure, thought even it is quite limited. But as individuals, there's nothing we can do in this case, unless you actually live in Zimbabwe. It's not defeatest, it's reality. We just can't do it all, though I wish we could. There are things you can change, and there are things you just cannot change, and I feel this is something we cannot change at this moment in time. Perhaps the situation will change, I don't know. It's a bad thing, and it's worth talking about and we definitely should be talking about it, but this really is just one of those things out of our control. It's like the people who were saying we should invade Myanmar because they weren't accepting all of our aid, that would be ridiculous, there are just some things we cannot do. We would probably screw it up anyways, even if we did do something, just like we have done with Iraq and our little democracy project for the Middle East that turned on us. If we interfered, don't expect the people of Zimbabwe to greet us with flowers as their liberators and saviors either. Let them figure out their own problems, they'll probably be stronger for it in the end too.
  18. G-FETT Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2001
    star 7
    Who's talking about invading? Of course we can't invade Zimbabwe. Certainly European and US invasions would be completely innapropriate and would just back up Mugabe's case.

    However, there is much we can do diplomatically and through pressure. We can make sure Mugabe can't travel outside of his own country or certainly outside of Africa. Through the aid system we can encourage other African nations to stand up against Mugabe. And as individuals we can lobby our MP's and Congressmen to emplore their governments to take a stand. Its election year in the US. When you see your Presidential candidates, Senators and Congressmen, ask them what they think about Zimbabwe and what they intend to do.

    And what about Nelson Mandela? This man travels the world as an honourary saint. Isn't it about time we demanded a much more vocal response from him against Mugabe?

    This is much too important for the world to just stand by and collectively shrug its shoulders as we have done for so many years.
  19. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    Even Mandela was unable to get that spineless arse Mbeki to act right on the AIDS crisis, don't see him being able to effect much action on this either. Of course if South Africa were to act, as it's being urged to, who knows what could happen?

    http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23495331-details/Britain+threatens+to+block+Zimbabwe's+electricity+supply+if+Mugabe+rigs+poll/article.do

  20. G-FETT Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2001
    star 7
    Yeah, South Africa control Zimbabwe's electricty. The bottom line is, if SA wanted Mugabe gone, he'd go. The fact they let him remain in office is to South Africas shame!
    I notice that finally Mandela has criticised Mugabe.

    HERE

    He's said Zimbabwe is suffering from "A lack of leadership" Nothing about the murder, rape and torture thats going on. To my mind Mandela's comments don't go nearly far enough and I don't understand why this man is touring the world as a hero, when he's so grudging in his condemnation of Mugabe.
  21. Darth_Asabrush Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2000
    star 5
    I agree with G-Fett. Individuals like Mandela CAN have an impact and shouldn't hide behind diplomatic niceties imho.

  22. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    Re: Mandela

    The article in the Mirror today gave a couple of reasons why he hasn't opted for full condemnation right now:

    - That doing so from Britain would enable Mugabe to spin it as being colonialist and so deflect it.

    - By not being condemnatory, he has more ability to act behind the scenes and influence an African solution to it.

    It sounds barmy, but Mugabe has survived for a long time by invoking the spectre of imperial colonialism whenever criticised by western states. In a way the only thing we can do is give the bastard enough rope to hang himself and have things get so bad the other states have to act.
  23. DarthTerrious Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2001
    star 5
    Its very hard to see what any group of united African countries will achieve. Its a very weak continent in general, corruption, greed and selfishness isn't limited Mugabe.

    And that might explain why, no one before now has been bothered/upset by what Mugabe and his thugs have done to the Zimbabwean people. Even now with all the stark truth out, we still get words...empty words.

    Unfortunately I think Mugabe has the African & international community where he wants them, they don't want to risk harming the Zimbabwean people yet they have to do something which while destroying Mugabe's grip could harm the people further.

    Its a dangerous tightrope.
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