Jul 03 2008
According to Parade Magazine, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is right up (down?) there with Kim Jong Il and the worst leadership the world has to offer from the Middle East to East Asia. The article had this to say:
Robert Mugabe once was hailed as a symbol of the new Africa, but under his rule the health and well-being of his people have dropped dramatically, which is as much an abuse of human rights as arbitrary arrest and torture. According to the World Health Organization, Zimbabwe has the world’s shortest life expectancy—37 years for men and 34 for women. It also has the greatest percentage of orphans (about 25%, says UNICEF) and the worst annual inflation rate (1,281% as of last month). He last allowed an election in 2002 but “won” only after having his leading opponent arrested for treason.
And that was before the madness of the past few months. Incidents like Mugabe’s militia burning an opposition leader’s wife alive are now pretty much commonplace (The Times Online). But anyone who has been watching the situation closely for any length of time shouldn’t be surprised. The BBC News was already reporting on Mugabe’s descent into dictatorship back in 2002 (BBC News).
Kudos to Canada’s government for having the guts to tell it like it is, condemning the recent sham of a vote and threatening sanctions (CNews). The only problem is, sanctions won’t be enough. If we’ve learned anything from past efforts against Saddam’s Iraq, the mullahs of Iran, the junta in Burma and the psychopaths in Hamas, and the totalitarian state of North Korea, sanctions only help the brutes consolidate their power by making the awarding of favors to loyalists even more valuable. Nothing short of a military intervention is going to turn Zimbabwe around from the course it is taking.
Thanks to Terry Glavin for his call to action, On Zimbabwe: Where Are You, Comrades? We’ll see if Canada’s left takes up it’s reserved place showing defiance to tyrants — a position that has grown far too cold from its absence. If any foreign policy matter could unite Canadians of all stripes, this ought to be it.