Monday, 26 March 2007

Zimbabwe Has No Oil

I have always used Robert Mugabe as an example of the flaw in the Bush/neo-con doctrine or perhaps not so much a flaw as an expose of a transparent lie. The idea that the US and its allies (read: Britain) are somehow on the look out to dispose tyrants that are a danger to their own people and to the world comes with a caveat: there has to be oil present.

Mugabe and his destruction of Zimbabwe is unfortunately not the only example of selective regime change but clearly Zimbabwe has no oil, it has mineral resources and agricultural exports but apart from that very little else or worth to those that like to throw their weight around the globe. So as we’ve stood by Zimbabwe is the proud owner of the lowest life expectancy of any nation in the world, 37, which is a terrible indictment of Mugabe’s regime considering it was on a par with Europe in 1990 at just over 60, a 33% HIV/AIDS infection rate, infant mortality rates doubling and the highest inflation rate of any country in the world.

If ever there was a prime example of one dictator’s mismanagement of a fine nation than this is it, fortunately for Mugabe, Zimbabwe has no oil and he has not made any threats to Israel…not yet anyway. It probably helps that his country is mainly Catholic and not Muslim, or it would no doubt be classed as a hotbed of Islamic extremism.

There is no doubt that if the kind of acts of repression being carried out by Mugabe’s regime upon his opponents were happening in most any other country, the outcry for action and condemnation would be strong. However, European nations and the US merely mouth their disappointment as free political discourse and free elections, given democratic rights, are further erased by a dictator gone to seed.

The most worrying thing though is the total silence from Zimbabwe’s neighbours, or in Zambia’s case support of a destructive regime. It is to be expected from Botswana, which has a history of echoing edicts from close ally South Africa but that South Africa should remain silent on the matter is not only confusing but also tantamount to complicity in the acts of terror.


  1. Okay, the U.S. Marine Corps and Army is a bit tied up now and maybe even to the breaking point.... But couldn't the Europeans do more in the world?

    They spend minimal amounts on their militaries and then begs the American Empire not to withdraw their bases, fearing the same economic dislocation as communities here in the U.S. feels when we close a base.

    I like the idea of a stronger European Union saving the trans-Atlantic alliance.

    Who's going to be the world's police man?

  2. Thing is, Matt, if we weren't caught up in Bush's folly, our military could possibly do something here.

    But then, pre 9/11 Bush said that we were not in the business of nation building. Remember that?

    What an awfiul, awful man.


  3. Matt: BP has it down well but the point of the post is that the idea of the world's policemen is a fraudelent one, perpetuated by the Bush regime in order to justify the Iraqi folly. The call for European involvement misses the point, remember, Bush was certain his forces could do anything on their own and has had to return cap in hand for help.

    As for bases, to my knowledge no nation wants US bases on their land, esp in Europe. The idea Europe is moving towards is smaller spending on the military as it is basically a terrible waste of good founds.

    The Tran-Atlantic Alliance collapsed due to the offensive and isolationist behaviour of Bush regime Mark II.

  4. I thought that was a really good post.

    It is hard to knock Mugabe, for his stature of the early days of his career. The time is now.

  5. The Bush excuse for preferring to "help" countries with oil is that oil provides a huge revenue stream. It is concentrated at the points of shipment, where the government can easily collect the money, and use it to fund whatever it wants. Such as various WMD programs which Iraq had funded in the past. When they inspected after the first gulf war, David Kay was shocked at how close they were to atomic weapons.

    Had they truly followed this "denial of revenue to the dictator" rationale, they would have simply deposed and killed Saddam, then left. They would have gone in with the 250,000 troops Powell wanted, to crush all resistance, and perhaps avoided the insurgency.

    But then they would have had to leave years ago and would no longer be in position for the Iran war.

  6. I hitchhiked through Zimbabwe in the early 90's. At that time there was a drought; animals were falling over dead on the side of the road. I don't think anyone anticipated how much worse it could get. It's heartbreaking.

  7. Adopts Ali G pose:

    "Iz it bekus I iz black?"


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