Zimbabwe: What Should We Do?

Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic

International pressure is mounting against Zimbabwe's President, Robert Mugabe, but he's keeping a defiant face in public: "The west can scream all it wants," he said, "Elections will go on." The U.S. has already said it will not recognize the upcoming election now that the opposition leader pulled out amidst the violence, and the United Nations condemned the election-related murders, beatings, and torture. The question facing outside countries now is: What to do? How far should other nations go to stop the violence? Does the long history of colonialism limit the options of Western countries?

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Westerns should never intervene with Africa in any way ever again. It is a waste of time and money. Mugabe's 1999 to present land redistribution effort has been a great success in the defeat of colonialism. Sure, Zimbabwe was the bread basket of Southern Africa with a stable economy and super productive farms. Mugabe's genius was to clean house, expel the whites, and give that land back to the black natives. Momentarily it's causing famine, skyrocketing infant mortality, and major political instability, did I mention grand-scale death and disease? Maybe farming is not the black Zimbabwean's bag. Maybe they prefer hi-tech industries to farming. Now that the whites are gone, they are free to self-actualize. Are they suffering some growing pains? Yes. But more well-meaning white-Western "help" is the last thing they need. When said goodbye to "Rhodesia" and they meant it. Let's respect that.

Sent by Sue | 2:16 PM | 6-24-2008

The United States should support democracy in Zimbabwe - just as it ostensibly did in Iraq - by helping to depose its brutal, mono -maniacal dictator, and then helping to support free and fair elections.

Sent by Christopher Evans | 3:30 PM | 6-24-2008

Refusing to 'recognize the results of this election' is an absurd solution and I liken it the
gross incompetence at the United Nations in respect to Sudan- in taking 2 years to determine if Sudanese were suffering 'genocide,' taking out the appropriate rubber stamp for the file, and then abandoning them all to die. This type of knowing incompetence is our own complicity in crimes against humanity. It's all very much larger than Mugabe, the man.

Mugabe should be detained in his own country by an elected panel of world 'servants', and then brought to trial, where it would be determined by an international juried system, if he is guilty of crimes. When a country has been so thoroughly intimidated and corrupted, no justice can be expected from it's dysfunctional systems.

It seems to me that the 'sanctity' of country needs to be rethought in our modern world
Today , what transpires within the borders of country, impacts the world like never before.
Mugabe, and others like him around the world, should be subject to an investigative court
when suspicious tyrannical behavior erupts in any nation, or when there is suspicion and esp.
clear evidence of ethnic cleansing and genocide, as in Rwanda and Sudan. Our current
gentleman's parlor technique, where people puff cigars in paneled rooms, cross their ankles, gossip and refrain from intervention until it's far too late to save lives and irreparable damage has been done to the consciousness of a populous, is self serving cowardice and an abomination.

America was in a snit when we fell from 'popularity' during our horrific pre emptive strike of Iraq. George Bush and the assenting American Public, should have been hauled into an international court with the first of our saber rattling and our heads thoroughly examined. The reality is that our actions impacted the entire world in catastrophic ways that will take generations to recover from. Just within the last two administrations,with Clinton's refusal to deal with Rwanda and Ethiopia, George W. Bush's Gulf War and then GW's unwillingness to listen to anyone but his own counsel prior to shock and awe, has trashed the world materially and ethically.

Confining the just determination to an African Union is not sufficient and a cop out.
WE, the world, must be answerable to each other in new ways, now that our populations and economies are entwined as never before and as our media eyes can now see clearly the minutae of atrocity, which formerly was hidden. It's never been more true that 'No man is an island." Well neither is a country. The United Nations is just not cutting it. As evidence, Sudan is a horror and an atrocity, Mugabe, just more of the same. Are powerful countries just letting them 'cleanse' themselves, so that seizing it's resources will be ever so much easier? Could it be that insidious?

Yes. For instance, check out Rwanda's history with Britain, Belgium, and yes, the United States. (Genocide worked well with the American Indian ..for these purposes) Then let's cast an eye on Sudan....more of the same : add Arab Jinjaweed fighters murdering babies on spikes. AFTER ALL, SUDAN HAS OIL RESERVES WHICH MAY RIVAL SAUDI ARABIA. Think about it. Despite the anti depressants, Hamlet never could wash that blood off his hands.

Colleen Williams

Sent by Colleen Williams | 3:58 PM | 6-24-2008

Westerns should never intervene with Africa in any way ever again. It is a waste of time and money. Mugabe's 1999 to present land redistribution effort has been a great success in the defeat of colonialism. Sure, Zimbabwe was the bread basket of Southern Africa with a stable economy and super productive farms. Mugabe's genius was to clean house, expel the whites, and give that land back to the black natives. Momentarily it's causing famine, skyrocketing infant mortality, and major political instability, did I mention grand-scale death and disease? Maybe farming is not the black Zimbabwean's bag. Maybe they prefer hi-tech industries to farming. Now that the whites are gone, they are free to self-actualize. Are they suffering some growing pains? Yes. But more well-meaning white-Western "help" is the last thing they need. When Zimbabwe said goodbye to "Rhodesia" they meant it. Let's respect that.

Sent by Sue | 10:48 AM | 6-25-2008

Sue, I do not understand how you can consider torture and murder to be 'growing pains'. Mugabe is not: 'they'--the 'country'. He is a tyrant enjoying twice the life expectancy of his malnourished and pulverized people.
Mugabe is a brutal demagogue who has seized and aberrated his role as steward and political servant. Until one has suffered these horrors, one can hardly preach nouveau 'politics'. Today, one can hardly consider 'Western' and 'White' to be one and the same. To point: A very large percentage of our populous in the United States are of nationalities that have also been under the scourge of tyranny and are not 'white'. They have flooded here to escape Cambodia, Rwanda, Sudan,China, North Korea, Latin America, Albania, Serbia, Bosnia, Iran, Palestine, India AND etc. to escape oppressive regimes and bone breaking poverty and tyranny to say nothing of our slave -descendant, African American population and the Native Americans. 'They' are our voting public and Western 'face' too and they know suffering. We can't confuse those who currently hold the 'seats' with the rest of us who have a vote and want to see peace and an end to political corruption and human holocaust. An 'End justifies the means mentality' is George Bush philosophy. You must consider that if the END is only money and so-called 'progress', we're all doomed.That is a 'western' paradigm after all. A colonialist model. Why indulge that once again?

I, for one, will never respect torture, intimidation and murder for as justification for the advancement of 'high tech industry' of any other industry or social instrument. If one begins to confuse and euphemize the hideous tactics of torture with terms like : 'self actualization' the boiling of the moral frog will never see an end. The racial issue is clearly not as simple as you would like to see it along duo-chromatic lines. You might consult a black woman in Sudan today -with a machete at her throat whose baby and husband have just been butchered before her eyes-
if she cares what color her rescuer might be? I fear your pulpit is simply a factoid religion and is without real experience.
Am I right?

In the end, at death's door, evil is color blind
and so is truth, mercy and justice.

Colleen

Sent by colleen williams | 7:08 PM | 6-26-2008

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