Saturday, July 12, 2008

One Last Zimbabwe Update

And, in the end, nothing happened.

The "rival Zimbabwe parties" have met in South Africa after Robert Mugabe won an election in which he was the only name on the ballot and members of the opposition party were beaten and murdered, bloggers jailed for being 'too negative', and women raped to teach them a lesson. Now, it's settled. He gets to continue ruining the country. And so it goes.

The G8 countries have agreed to sanctions against Zimbabwe, after Gordon Brown showed them pictures of the body of Joshua Bakacheza who was murdered for being a driver for the MDC party. I'm guessing that he showed them these pictures:

The UK has also straightened out their problems with allowing Zimbabwean refugees to gain asylum. They can now remain in the UK for the time being. At least, this is good.

Russia and China have vetoed the idea of UN sanctions, being a bit more sympathetic to the needs of autocrats than the rest of us are.

Of course, sanctions would need to be aimed at a rational actor to work, and they won't be in this case. Beelzebob, as many Africans are calling him, and his circle of soldiers are not functioning in the same world as those who would put in sanctions. They cannot possibly care or comprehend. And, in truth, sanctions generally do very little. They hurt those without power, while strengthening the resolve of tyrants.

South Africa could end this tomorrow. The G8 countries could help them. The African Union could take a stand. The UN could send troops too. But they won't.

Now the question is how long it will take for the rest of the world to forget Zimbabwe altogether.


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