Thursday, March 27, 2008
Take Down The Dictators?
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.