Thursday, March 27, 2008

Take Down The Dictators?

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Robert Mugabe is the 84 year-old dictator of Zimbabwe. He has held control of the country since 1980 after seizing power in a fixed election. Mugabe comes from northern Zimbabwe, where the Shona people are dominant. He oversaw the ethnic cleansing of the Ndebele people who live mainly in the south of the country.

This action, which occurred in 1983 is referred to as the "Gukurahundi," (the early rain that washes away the chaff.) A detailed report of the "cleansing" of the Ndebele people can be found here.

The eradication of the Ndebele people in the Matebeland was carried by the "Zimbabwean Fifth Brigade," a special forces unit trained by North Korean "military advisors," and led by Robert Mugabe's cousin, Perence Shiri.

Close to 30,000 people died in this incident, which Mugabe claimed was fabricated by the west in order to undermine his government.

As was the case during the Rwandan genocide, the U.S. was nowhere to be found, and we have continued to virtually ignore the abuses carried out by the Mugabe government to this day.

President Bush once said that "It is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world."

This policy, known as the "Bush doctrine," has been used by the administration to justify the war in Iraq as being something undertaken to eliminate a cruel and oppressive dictator, that is, Saddam Hussein.

While there is nothing wrong with the Bush administration wanting to eliminate cruel and oppressive dictators, the selective and uneven in which they carry out their policy begs some important questions to be asked.

Even with Saddam Hussein gone, there are still dozens and dozens of dictators left in the world just as oppressive and reprehensible. The group "Reporters Without Borders," has undertaken a study of how many of these dictators target journalists in their country, knowing full well the power of the media to expose and destroy corrupt leaders such as them.

If President Bush was truly committed to spreading freedom across the world, he would be doing it in all countries, and not bogging America down in Iraq financially and militarily while even greater evil to continue un-hampered.

The best way to destroy dictators is not by starting wars and enraging the local population. Invading armies have been beaten by small but determined guerilla forces time and time again throughout history, with the same thing happening now in Iraq.

Spreading freedom is best done by undermining the evil powers that be, instead of starting wars and occupations which only enrage the people whom we are trying to help free.

Such has always been the policy of the United States, a policy which was carried out successfully by Ronald Reagan with the demise of the Soviet Union, a dictatorship far greater than Saddam Hussein or Robert Mugabe could ever hope to be.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

You are correct when you state that Mr. Mugabe is a dictator and as a Conservative who supports democracy, I have no problem with the world getting rid of this clown. It is also true that Stalin was a bad character. However, post Stalin USSR was never quite as bad as Saddam's Iraq with regards to Human rights. It is not right to continue to insult Kurds and Shi'ites by trying to pretend that Saddam was not all that bad.

Very few Conservatives agree with every single thing that Mr. Bush and Mr. McCain stand for, but GOD Bless them for promoting freedom, Democracy and Human Rights in the Middle East; something OLD Europe failed to do time after time.

OHIO JOE

Peter said...

There are dozens of dictators in the world---why aren't we taking out them all???

Is Saddam the only bad one? Is HE the only one worth taking out? After all, that was the rationale given to us by Bush (i.e. we took him out because he was a dictator._
If that was the motivation, then why aren't we taking out more dictators?

Doesn't a policy of taking out dictators and spreading freedom across the world seem awful selective when it's only applied to ONE country?

Anonymous said...

Again, I for one have no problem taking out other dictator, but while Saddam was not the only dictator, he was one of the worst.

OHIO JOE

Peter said...

But not why not take out the other ones, too? We can't be selective about evil. We should either take out every dictator or none of them. Equivocating on moral issues like this is what the Democrats do, not us Republicans.

Saddam Hussein was bad, but does that make the other dictators less bad?

Obob said...

Our selective removal of dictators comes from public awareness. Sadaam is an easy target, we took him out in Hot Shots Part Deux. But tyrants in Africa seem to be under the radar. Partially due to our failure to really educate ourselves in foreign policy outside what the media provides.
Ask the common person on the street what country you would find Africa in or the impact of the Belgian Conference of the late 1800s

Obob said...

great blog by the way

Anonymous said...

Re the famous GOPer quiz/poll:

As a leading War Democrat
and pro-Union southerner, [Andrew] Johnson was an ideal candidate for the Republicans in 1864 as they enlarged their base to include War Democrats and changed the party name to
the National Union Party.

Anonymous said...

As a recovering lib I have always been concerned with human rights in the world. It is true there are many bad actors out there, so where does one start? Obviously we cannot take them all on all at once. We have neither the logistics, resources, nor the national will. After WW2 U.S. policy became the cold war tactic of supporting friendly regimes and opposing others based on their relationship to the Soviet Union. We turned a blind eye to human rights abuses in those countries because they opposed the communists. (think: Pinochet in Chile, Samoza in Nicaragua and even Sadaam in Iraq) I loved the " Bush Doctrine" in theory because for once, in pursuit of our national interest our foreign policy would also bring liberation to human rights victims. Ending tyranny is a noble cause but the reality is we cannot gallop over the globe bringing freedom to the oppressed unless it coincides with our national interests.

Peter said...

Which is the point I was trying to make. Bush claims that he wants to bring freedom all over the world, yet he only actively campaigns against Saddam, as if he's the only bad guy in the world worth pursuing. Something ulterior must be going with such an inconsistent policy, but I don't know what it is.

NCTradCatholic said...

Um, need I say the obvious? The folks in Tel Aviv (and their American lobby) don't care about Robert Mugabe, or his victims.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps, but accusations like that don't go well with the good old Republican yahoo crowd.

Anonymous said...

As I tried to say before the US will not police the worlds human rights abusers unless US national interests are involved. In the case of Afghanistan Al Qaeda training camps needed to be taken out in the name of our national security and so 25 million Afghanis were freed from the vicious Taliban. In Iraq 25 million Iraquis were freed from the murderous Sadaam because all of the worlds intelligence agencies said he had WMDs and he would therefore have represented a threat to give those weapons to terrorists. In both cases US national security was at stake and at the same time human rights victims could be set free. I really believe Pres. Bush would love to promote freedom and democracy the world over but unfortunately unless our national interests, (the free-flow of oil), or our national security is involved it just isn't going to happen. Also, I'm sure "the folks in Tel Aviv" hardly have the time to preoccupy themselves with human rights in Africa. Is this some kind of anti-Israeli blog?

Peter said...

How have our national interests been protected in Iraq? The price of oil is now more expensive than ever!

Anonymous said...

We used to be allies with Saddam. Maybe that was before we realized he was a "danger to the world."

Anonymous said...

With respect, Peter, the price of oil is a separate kettle of fish from the Iraq war. The price of oil is going up largely because of demand from the Far East. It is interesting that people like to complain about the price of oil & gas, but many of these same people do not take public transportation. We all make economic choices. If the price of gas is truly so bad, more people would take public transportation.

OHIO JOE

Anonymous said...

I'm no expert but from what I can gather, the price of oil, like everything else, is determined by supply and demand. With worldwide demand at an all-time high the price of oil has followed.

Peter said...

By invading Iraq, we disrupted the major flow of oil coming from there which has helped drive the price up.

Peter said...

President Bush has helped cause the oil shortage by invading Iraq and cutting off the supply coming from there but has done nothing to push the US to develop viable energy alternatives, just when we need them most.

Anonymous said...

Ohio Joe - I don't know what body count you used to say that post-Stalin USSR was better on human rights than Iraq. The Soviets supported Saddam and the Baath movement in his early years.

This so-called Bush doctrine is just right-wing rhetoric to conceal conservative moral relativism. The Reaganites propped-up and weaponized Saddam in the 80's --gave him deadly technology we didn't even give our allies fighting the Nazis-- and Donald Rumsfeld traveled to Baghdad to shake Saddam's hand after he used chemical weapons against Iran.

~FM

Anonymous said...

Body count alone does not describe the human rights situation. Tell me how post Stalin tactics in the USSR were worse than Saddam's Iraq. When did the Russian use chemical weapons against their own people?

OHIO JOE

Peter said...

Stalin didn't have to use chemical weapons, machine guns worked just as well when he killed 5 million people in the Ukraine.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I am aware Stalin was a bad character, but with respect, you failed to show how Post-Stalin USSR was worse than Saddam. Let's keep apples with apple. I remind you that Stalin was dead by the time Mr. Reagan became President.

OHIO JOE

Peter said...

5 million dead Ukranians doesn't count as "bad?"

Anonymous said...

Yes 5 million is bad, but I believe this happened before Stalin's death. It certainly happened before Mr. Reagan became President, so let's keep apples with apples and leave oranges aside.

I realize that you may not like our current President because he is Pro-War. Yes Mr. Coolidge and Mr. Reagan were good presidents, but comparing their era to our current situation is apples to oranges, not apples to apples. This is not being honest.

OHIO JOE

OHIO JOE

ipswich 1967 said...

Does anyone on this blog ever mention the Catholic church's opinion of the war in Iraq ?Immoral-thats what the Pope has said.Ditto the death penalty.Why does nobody ever mention these issues on this blog.?Why are Catholics around the world in the majority against the War in Iraq and the death penalty.Maybe they truly follow Catholic teachings and our Pope.Being pro war in Iraq and pro death penalty is a contradiction to Catholic teaching.How on earth can someone call themselves Catholic with these beliefs.??Our Pope says otherwise and our religion says otherwise.Being Catholic does not mean just being antiabortion.Or do GOP Catholics just choose what they like about Catholicism

Can someone please explain why there is not more condemnation for Pastor Hagee with McCain standing side by side accepting his endorsement.Catholics should be outraged and not voting for McCAin.Are many Catholics really Catholics or just masquearding as Catholics???