Thursday, June 5, 2008

A good, a bad in Zimbabwe

Morgan Tsvangirai was released today after being held for eight hours without serious charges. Most commentators see this as intimidation and disruption to his campaign. I see it as the first of a series of arrests. Maybe the third or fifth time Tsvangirai is taken in for questioning he'll "resist" and not make it back.

While it's good that he's out, I still hold by my near-alarmist post yesterday. Another unseemly sign has surfaced: [Quoted at length from this post on FP Passport]

Here's James D. McGee, the U.S. ambassador to Zimbabwe, describing the incident to CNN:

"Police put up a roadblock, stopped the
vehicles, slashed the tires, reached in and grabbed telephones from my
personnel, and the war veterans (Mugabe's supporters) threatened to
burn the vehicles with my people inside unless they got out and
accompanied police to a station nearby."

McGee added that his embassy felt the orders were
"coming directly from the top." Whoever gave the orders, threatening to
burn foreign dignitaries alive is a step beyond the usual Mugabe
bullying. It's sickening.

Until now, Mugabe had restrained his worst intimidation to Zimbabweans. Now he's messing with countries much more powerful than his own. Let's just say that if Iran threatened to burn US diplomats alive we'd have a causus belli if not a military action. I explicitly don't think military intervention is the right path, but maybe if Mugabe pisses off the US enough someone will take notice and issue an ultimatum. The fact that Mugabe is willing to insult the US like this shows that he takes outside equivocation for granted. Someone please prove Mugabe wrong.


Ken said...

Are you really suggesting that we should invade Zimbabwe to save it from Mugabe. An invasion, or even a threat of invasion by any western country would give the country to Mugabe and his followers.

Zeno said...

To answer you, I will quote myself from the above post:
"I explicitly don't think military intervention is the right path"

I said pressure, not invasion.