Friday, June 13, 2008

Just Wondering

Morgan Tsvangirai supporters cheer his bus
as the opposition leader pulls into Harare Weds. Photo: STR, EPA
Here's a country that has some tradition of democracy (they had a presidential vote & it was close, as opposed to S. Hussein's 98% approval the last time he ran in Iraq). But it looks as if democracy is getting the Orwellian boot in the face over & over & over. Where are the forces of democracy? Britain, as "creator"/former colonizer of Zimbabwe, & the United Snakes, as loudmouthed advocates of "liberty," "freedom" & "democracy," should be right there insuring the upcoming run off election is at least as fair & impartial as American elections. (Little joke there, people.)

Perhaps there isn't enough oil to make it worthwhile. But the invasion & occupation of Iraq wasn't about oil, it was about freeing the Iraqis or something, wasn't it? (Been so long we can't remember.) Golly, it hardly seems possible, but could the "English-speaking peoples," to use Churchill's phrase, be hypocrites?

The secretary general of the party opposed to Mugabe, Tendai Bati, was taken into custody on treason charges Thursday. We suggested above that the U. S. & U. K. might want to help a bit before we even got to this part:
"The treason charges arise from a document he authored, 'The Transition Strategy,' while the other charge is about his inflammatory statements he made after the March 29 harmonized elections," Bvudzijena said.
Authorities allege that in the document, Biti calls on Britain and the United States to topple Mugabe's government. The opposition denies Biti wrote any such document.
Two great minds, one single thought.

World opinion is generally (Mostly? Completely, except for the Chinese hoping for resources from Zimbabwe?) anti-Mugabe, although our cynical view of rightist opinion makes us think that those on the right are actually pretty happy about Mugabe's hideous rule; they think it makes a case that Britain should have kept its empire & that the duskier-skinned among us just can't rule themselves.

They certainly know how to help themselves.
Meanwhile, U.S. officials said Thursday that Zimbabwean authorities had seized a truckload of food aid meant for schoolchildren and distributed it to Mugabe supporters at a political rally.

The U.S. Agency for International Development, which contracted the truck, said in a statement that a group of military and police officers, as well as war veterans, threatened the driver, who fled to a nearby police station for protection.

"This unconscionable behavior must stop," said USAID administrator Henrietta H. Fore. "It is unacceptable for the government of Zimbabwe to steal food from hungry children."

State Department spokesman Gonzalo Gallegos said he did not know when the embassy first reported the June 6 incident or when it was made public.

Last week, Zimbabwe's government banned aid organizations from distributing food in the country, with Mugabe accusing the groups of inciting rural voters to bring down his government. About 4 million Zimbabweans, a third of the population, are dependent on food aid.

"We call on the government, the Zimbabwean authorities, to immediately reinstate permission for all aid agencies to resume their life-saving assistance," Gallegos said. "Failure to do so constitutes the government of Zimbabwean complicity in the assault, suffering and deaths of innocent citizens."
Ooooh, strong talk. Too bad all of Britain's & America's military might is bogged down occupying Iraq & losing Afghanistan (while bombing Pakistan) to do anything about the outright theft of American tax-payer dollars. Where's the outrage? This is worse than Reagan's (mythical) welfare queens!!

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