It looks increasingly as if Robert Mugabe will become the first leader in history to utterly destroy his country. Tyrants like Hitler led their countries to catastrophic defeats, but the damage was inflicted by their enemies. Zimbabwe’s woes are entirely the fault of Mugabe and his cronies.
In a harrowing report from the country, the BBC’s Sue Lloyd-Roberts tells of malnourished babies dying in hospitals, policemen looting food supplies and refugees fleeing over the border into South Africa only to be robbed, raped and killed.
There’s no precedent for what’s happening in Zimbabwe today, and no telling how the end will come for a country that just a few years ago was one of the most prosperous in Africa. A mass uprising or coup seems unlikely – most people seem to have lost the will to resist, and Mugabe’s soldiers and police are among the few who are getting enough to eat.
There appears to be little prospect for things improving as long as Mugabe is alive. Lloyd-Roberts concludes:
Thanks to the ingenuity and tolerance of people still in the country and the remittances sent back by those who have left, Zimbabwe's death throes could last a long time yet.
Other African states show no interest in intervening, with their leaders happy to give Mugabe a pass out of respect for his status as a revolutionary hero. And the international community doesn’t want to know either, not least because it helped Mugabe into power. It’s instructive at this time to recall the role that Jimmy Carter’s administration played in this respect, and how Carter’s people worked to undermine Zimbabwe-Rhodesia's moderate black leaders.
For Western nations to threaten action against Mugabe and his band of crooks and thugs would also be to imply that our values were in some way superior to theirs, and no-one at the UN or the EU would be caught dead suggesting such as thing. When Western nations interfere in Africa, even with the best of intentions, it’s called imperialism; when Africans destroy their own country, it’s called self-determination.