Saturday, 5 April 2008

Oh, Africa

Ominous signs point to plans by Mugabe’s thug regime in Zimbabwe to launch a war against its own people now that he’s been rejected at the polls. Would that be part of the defense of African culture against western imperialism?

This is the time for African leaders fond of denouncing colonial interference and occidental cultural hegemony to step up and prevent a massacre. Instead, Mugabe-enabler Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, always ready to weigh in on the side of the powerful against the weak, insists that there’s no reason to do anything but wait and see what happens next.

Mbeki’s position assumes that there is continuing electoral support for a government that’s engineered a 100,000% annual inflation rate and put 9 out of every 10 citizens out of work. Even the usual dose of beatings and torture and the regime’s total control of the news media weren’t enough to stave off the electoral drubbing that apparently took it by surprise.

The West including the pious-after-the-fact Clintons were rightly criticized for standing by during the Rwandan genocide in the 1990s. But given Britain’s historical links to the white settler class that created Rhodesia that gave rise to the ZANU-PF guerrilla movement that put the disastrous Mugabe in power for 28 years, there’s not a lot more that the western powers can do. Any pressure on him is immediately turned to the regime’s advantage.

Now is the time for Africa to intervene on the side of African people threatened with a bloodbath. Perhaps our African-American presidential candidate could find a spot in one of his speeches for a comment—before the fact, not after.

No comments: