Wednesday, April 23, 2008


So I'm reading When A Crocodile Eats the Sun, which makes me regret quite a bit not having taken a class with Godwin in grad school. But c'est la vie. Anyhow, the book is an excellent read for anyone not following the election madness going down in Zimbabwe (and if you're not following it, you should be--and just go ahead and read the book).

The fact that the MDC has made it to this point is, you must understand, something in of itself. Morgan Tsvangirai, the opposition to Mugabe and the ZANU-PF, has been murdered in effigy in his own country so often by crazed ZANU supporters that his persistence is admirable -- and his temporary move to Botswana understandable. And though he won the election and has the support of both neighboring countries, England, and Amnesty, Mugabe is a wackadoodle who's going to demand "recounts" until he can turn the election back towards him. To support the MDC is take one's life into one's hand. Hardly a democracy.

So it's nice to see South Africa finally acting responsibly. Zimbabwe's a landlocked country. If you cut off its access to ports, you can essentially tell it what to do. I don't recommend this act of aggression typically, but it's past time, so it's heartening (if ever so slightly) to hear, via Reuters, that South Africa has prevented a Chinese ship from unloading its Zimbabwe-bound weapons... including mortar bombs. For a country not at war, that's quite the government purchase.

Not having the bombs isn't gonna prevent ZANU militia from burning MDC supporters' farms to the ground. The 2002 elections were a nightmare, and Zimbabwe continues to have the WORLD'S worst inflation rate--despite having quite a few natural resources. I deeply deeply hope Mugabe's attempts to commit election fraud this time are not so successful. But I don't know who's going to make sure of that...

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In summing up, I wish I had some kind of affirmative message to leave you with. I don't. Would you take two negative messages?
-- Woody Allen