Chalk up the Zimbabwe “elections” as yet another nail in the coffin of the United Nations’ credibility. Zimbabwe’s best chance yet for meaningful change mangled by widespread coercion and intimidation, a people beset for generations by corruption-fed poverty and dictatorship, and the U.N. “regret[s] that the election went ahead in these circumstances.” Now that’s inspiring. My heart went a million miles an hour, reading the full text of the statement.
These people desperately need intervention, and the U.N. can’t even come up with a finger-wag, instead opting for the sorrowful shake of the head and tongue-cluck. What’s the matter folks? Leave your balls in Kosovo? Zimbabwe is yet another example of a humanitarian failing on this planet, and all your blue helmets are cleaner and shinier than the one worn by Peyton Manning’s backup.
Zimbabwe, along with Darfur, is yet another shining example of the concept of national sovereignty being an absolute crock. My stance on the issue might be slightly impolitic, but we really ought to be splitting democracies into 2 categories: Real and Rubber Stamps For Dictators. Real ones, like those in America and Western Europe, you may notice, are often hotly and bitterly contested. A tremendous amount of power and influence (and therefore $$$) hangs in the balance. And yet, even when the situation becomes chaotic (see Bush v. Gore), you don’t see any coups, leaders refusing to step down, or voters forced to pull a lever at gunpoint. That’s what’s called “political stability,” and if a country has it, then by all means, U.N., let that country handle its own affairs.
And then there’s countries like Zimbabwe. For God’s sake, Mugabe is sending goon squads into a flea market over there with orders to find people who lack the telltale red-dyed finger proving that they voted, and to force them to vote for Mugabe. It’s called Operation: Red Finger. Stable countries like the United States have to guard against what I have come to call “South Carolina tactics” – slanderous robocalling, push polls, anonymous fliers claiming that Barack Obama eats children – and over in Zimbabwe, the government rapes people. Now, again, political correctness be damned, that’s when you send in an international force of people with tanks, guns, fighter planes, and the Active Denial System, and you go all Pantera on the resident concubine-raping, statue-erecting, aid-diverting tyrant’s ass.
What could possibly be the argument for standing to the side when this is happening? “The people have spoken”? Bullshit, the people have spoken the way a ventriloquist’s dummy has spoken – forced to say what the guy with his hand up its ass makes it say. “Countries must be allowed to conduct their own affairs?” Yeah, and a guy should be allowed to do what he wants in his own house, but if he starts hitting his wife and dealing guns and crack out of his garage, it’s probably not out of line to get the cops over there and have them chuck a tear gas canister or two into the rumpus room.
My point is that dictators are interested in one thing – staying in power. The push for democracy in vogue as of late might pressure them to have elections, but you can bet the farm they’re going to do everything in their power to manipulate that election, up to and including making some poor shopkeeper vote to keep them in power by putting a knife to his wife’s neck. “International pressure” is a sham these days, because worse-than-shit countries like Russia and China, permanent members of the Security Council, will always find a way to prop up an evil regime as long as they can get at their natural resources and/or destabilize U.S. influence in the region. China, for example, recently took the extraordinary step of condemning the Zimbabwe sham election, but just a couple months ago had no problem shipping weapons and ammunition to Mugabe’s government. You can bargain, cajole, and sanction all you want, but a guy that refuses to play by the rules of international law only truly responds to one thing: force, the same thing that keeps him in power.
Robert Mugabe has governed at the point of a gun for long enough. Let’s see how the bastard likes it when there’s one pointed at him.