One blogger’s personal bridge to nowhere

If you can’t shield dictators in Zimbabwe anymore, try Sudan

mbekimugabeForgive me for my skepticism re: the AU’s choice of moderator for the whole ICC-Darfur mess in Sudan.

The African Union has asked former South African leader Thabo Mbeki to head a panel on how to reconcile the need for accountability in Darfur with opposition to calls for Sudan’s president to be prosecuted.

Mbeki was a notorious obstacle in attempts to pressure Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe, so I don’t hold out hope of him taking a hard line toward Sudan’s resident autocrat.  Moreover, this whole scheme seems set up for failure: the AU has made clear its opposition to the possible ICC indictment of President Bashir, so any “reconciling” here will surely only be for show.

(image from flickr user Sokwanele – Zimbabwe under a Creative Commons license)


January 29, 2009 Posted by | Africa, Darfur, Zimbabwe | , , , | Leave a comment

Zimbabwean Zimbabwe

mugabeRobert Mugabe’s legitimacy apparently rests on the incoherent repetition of one word at a time:

I will never, never, never, never surrender. Zimbabwe is mine, I am a Zimbabwean. Zimbabwe for Zimbabweans. Zimbabwe never for the British, Britain for the British.

I think we can see where this logic leads us.  I am an American, America for the Americans, America is mine.  Along with every other American’s, of course…But never for the British.  They already have Britain.

UPDATE: It’s worth noting that Dr. Evil Mugabe could legitimately ask the world for $100,000,000,000 (Zimbabwean)…and receive about $4.

(image from flickr user Gregor Rohrig under a Creative Commons license)

December 20, 2008 Posted by | Africa, Zimbabwe | , | Leave a comment

Mugabe’s positive legacy

Mugabe's legacy

Mugabe's true legacy

With all due respect, Mr. Ban

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on Friday to agree to a rapid deal on a new government to “leave his legacy in a positive way.”

…I realize that “positive” is here modifying “way” — as in, presumably, just slink off into exile, à la Mobutu, rather than stay in your palace kicking and screaming until you are dragged out of power by rebels, the military, or old age — but still, can we please not intimate that there is anything positive connected with Mugabe’s legacy?  His original anti-colonial rise is so far removed as to not count as part of that legacy in any meaningful way, and most of the past 28 years have seen Mugabe do little but lay waste to an entire country.

The only real option here is for Mugabe to “leave his legacy” to rot, while others can hopefully try to patch together the society that he has impoverished.

(image from flickr user willposh under a Creative Commons license)

December 12, 2008 Posted by | Africa, UN, Zimbabwe | , | Leave a comment

Step away slowly, Jimmy

jimmy-carterThree members of an organization known — somewhat cryptically, I admit — as “The Elders” were rebuffed in their attempt to make a peaceful visit to Zimbabwe.  The three troublemakers?  Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Nelson Mandela’s wife Graça Machel, and intimidating former U.S. president Jimmy Carter.

The Herald [Robert Mugabe’s newspaper] quoted the same source as saying that some of the three Elders were “deemed hostile to Zimbabwe,” accusing Mr. Annan of being “openly critical of President Mugabe and his administration” in the past.

From one octogenarian to another, who’s really being “hostile” here, Mr. Mugabe?

(photo from flickr user Valerie Reneé under a Creative Commons license)

November 20, 2008 Posted by | Zimbabwe | , | Leave a comment