Friday, December 12, 2008

Mugabe to the rescue


We can all rest easy now, Robert Mugabe has officially declared Zimbabwe's crisis with cholera over. All those people dying from cholera like symptoms? Must be a coincidence. In another example of Mugabe's slipping hold on power and reality he announced Thursday that the cholera problem in his country was not a concern anymore. This despite the fact that 800 people have died from this epidemic and around 16000 are estimated to be infected. This is just the official numbers and the actually infection and death rate may be much much higher. Zimbabwe is a country that is prime for strong intervention. The US, France, and UK have all called for Mugabe to not only share power (as was the idea after the disputed elections) but now to simply leave office (according to an AP story from msnbc.com). Whether it be a last legacy act by Bush or a sign that Obama is strong and concerned about the rest of the world, intervention needs to be taken to remove Mugabe from power. No better time than now exists. He has lost allies in Africa, Western Nations agree in calling for his resignation, and his long time allies in South Africa's ruling ANC party are now divided on how to deal with him. Either through direct pressure or through having South Africa apply economic and political pressure, the US needs to step up. If even more drastic actions (covert operations, CIA/US supported coup etc.) one can expect for a coup to be relatively easy and bloodless (well ,relative for Zimbabwe) given the strong opposition to Mugabe domestically, and the simple fact the country can hardly go downhill any more. In order to show the world that the US understands the sovereignty of other nations and importance of multilateral actions, the government needs to act in a way that is widely supported and viewed as responsible and ethical (i.e. world support for removing Mugabe is high). The transition would be as easy as can be hoped for, and the country deserves a better chance to break out of its rock bottom situation.