Mugabe wins

HARARE, Zimbabwe - Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai said Sunday he is pulling out of this week’s presidential runoff because mounting violence and intimidation have made it impossible to hold a credible election.

Everyone else loses.

This is some depressing shit. It’s just like, evil wins as usual and the sun rises tomorrow.

As in “wins” ?

These guys should find some oil in their country.

He both “wins” and WINS.

Are you implying that if that occurred an “intervention” would be forthcoming?

I think scourge feels it’s the frustration that the West has nothing to gain in Zimbabwe and no borders so they don’t have to worry about human refugees fleeing over their borders.

The West seems to kinda write it off and make it South Africa’s problem. Maybe Brendan can shed more light. Found a 2005 article that seems to illuminate.

It’s landlocked, so we’d have to convoy hundreds of miles across their no-roads countryside to even get there. Also generally unprofitable.

Would anyone truly want the USA to come depose their government, since we’re a team that plays an excellent first quarter offense, but has no strategy for the rest of the game?

I suggest you look for Thomas Barnett on youtube and watch it. All 160 minutes of his pentagon brief.

My question is, do you think “The West” should not write it off? Is it your position that we should take action? And why is it so frustrating that we don’t have anything to gain?

I don’t see how realistically there’s much the West can do when South Africa is perfectly happy to let Mugabe do whatever he wants.

Well, I think it’s just really sad. The last month I was very surprised when I read Mugawe was allowing elections. The news seemed to be very optimistic. Oh my god, Mugawe through a miracle somehow wants to give up power? Then the bad news start rolling in again.

I understand realpolitik and self-enlightened altruism - I’m not sure if the West should try to right all wrongs if they aren’t getting anything out of it. Maybe I really dislike is the hypocrisy of Western governments claiming altruism when it’s BS. Maybe it’s just sometimes I get really sad that I step over human beings and pretend they are just discarded objects lying in the street.

You know what? Helplessness is literally depressing. Sometimes i wish I was alive in the mythical 60s when hippies and druggies thought they could make a difference.

Try MMORPG’s if you’re having a hard time dealing with reality.

Meanwhile, in the real world, the West will have to determine to what degree we’re responsible for policing the world. I can’t help but believe that lots of people experience a high degree of cognitive dissonance when contemplating Zimbabwe, especiallly against the backdrop of Iraq.

I miss the days of the good ol’ fashioned Police Action.

How much harder could Zimbabwe be than Panama was?

My recommendation is to nuke the site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

I wonder how far the $162 billion congress just approved for Iraq would’ve gone in Zimbabwe? The notion Buch co. insists Iraq was an exercise in spreading democracy is pretty funny considering here we have a nation pleading for it, and we don’t lift a finger.

From a military standpoint, Zimbabwe’s government could be deposed in 4 hours. It is tremendously unpopular, propped up by military force and terror, and a genuinely popular opposition movement is already in place. We (and the British, and the French) have airborne units designed specifically for this sort of thing (and the French have repeated, direct experience in “replacing” African governments). The Zimbabwean military has some combat experience from the Congolese civil war but the Zimbabwean role there was mainly in looting Congo’s mineral wealth to subsidize Mugabe’s government. As I said, given the economic instability and lack of popular support, it would take a very, very brief amount of time to overthrow Mugabe’s government.

However - it will not happen. Here is why.

  1. Iraq. After the US overthrew the Iraqi government and promptly trashed the place, the appetite for “regime change” interventions - worldwide - is minimal at best. Ordinarily a situation like Zimbabwe would be a perfect case for humanitarian military intervention, but since that excuse was used after the fact in Iraq, it is pretty much tarnished for the next few decades.

  2. China. Zimbabwe is in China’s sphere of influence. China will veto any military intervention by the United Nations as they see Zimbabwe as one of their primary allies in southern Africa.

  3. South Africa. South Africa would like to see itself as the regional superpower. It has its own pretty serious issues internally but still would reject any outside military intervention, both due to nationalism (Zimbabwe being literally in SA’s backyard) and due to the fear of large scale economic dislocation from South Africa having to absorb huge numbers of Zimbabwean refugees (this being somewhat less of a concern as time passes since, well, it’s literally already happening anyway). South Africa will not intervene militarily in Zimbabwe due to “revolutionary history” (Mugabe and the ANC being battle BFFs).

  4. It’s in Africa, so the US doesn’t really care. The UK cares a lot, but has a colonial history to worry about – the sight of British paras alighting in Harare might well provoke some Zimbabweans into thinking Mugabe’s racist British-cause-all-our-problems rhetoric might have a point. The French don’t care about southern Africa, their sphere of influence is north of the Equator. China cares only in so much as the resources keep flowing back home, and Zimbabwe is about out of those anyway.

So, what options are left? Very bad ones.

  1. The status quo: Mugabe (or, more to the point, the ZANU-PF cadres who literally won’t let Mugabe step aside because they’re afraid of being called to account for their crimes) continues to rule via terror and stupidity. The economy collapses and Zimbabwe becomes a basket case dependent on humanitarian food aid from South Africa and economic support from China. The country literally depopulates as everyone who can leave does so. Eventually Mugabe dies and a ZANU-PF cohort who is marginally more sane takes power and things start getting very slightly better - at least up to the usual African level of mismanaged government. This is the most likely scenario.

  2. Kenya redux - the people start rioting in the streets, Mugabe loses control and a coalition government is imposed from outside (most likely South Africa). This is not likely because unlike Kenya, the Zimbabwean military has no problem spilling blood to keep ‘order’. If this starts to happen, expect huge massacres on the scale of Rwanda’s genocide, which may or may not provoke an international military intervention.

  3. The economy completely collapses beyond Zimbabwe’s ability to keep things barely functional. This is not likely because it is in South Africa’s interest to keep a barely functional Zimbabwean state on its border. At some point SA may “helpfully suggest” (i.e. impose) the replacement of the worthless Zimbabwe $ with the SA Rand if that occurs. This will hasten the fall of ZANU-PF since printing money is part of how ZANU-PF keeps happy and corrupt. It’s also somewhat unlikely since Zimbabwe has shown a tendency to muddle through (literally) up to this point.

  4. America says to hell with this and lands the 82nd Airborne smack in the middle of Harare. This will only happen if (a) massacres on a genocidal level start being broadcast on CNN and (b) the Republicans are no longer in power. Thanks to the above factors I rattled off it is VERY unlikely but realistically America can pretty much do whatever the hell it wants when it gets a mind to, so it is always a possibility.

I think Rwanda showed Democrats aren’t going to get involved, either. Haiti etc. were at least close enough there was refugees and whatnot.

The difference - and this shows you precisely how shallow our media is - is that Rwandans speak French and Zimbabweans speak English. Thus media coverage of Zimbabwean atrocities would get a LOT more play on US media. Also, the fact that Rwanda was allowed to happen actually can be used as a cudgel by those seeking intervention.

It’s not likely, but it is a possibility, especially if the US media makes it the subject of national outrage.