April 8, 2006


The Good Guy's Guide to Overthrowing Governments (G. Pascal Zachary, April 6, 2006, AlterNet)

Sitting in a restaurant last week in the Ugandan capital of Kampala, I was introduced to an exile from Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe was once the breadbasket of Africa because of its fertile farms. Today, there are food shortages. The country's 82-year-old dictator, Robert Mugabe, has systematically wrecked his country's economy and relentlessly repressed his political opponents as part of a maniacal obsession with holding on to power. The country's currency is worthless and inflation is rampant. There is energetic opposition to the government, but Mugabe, who has ruled for 25 years, represses his opponents shamelessly. He clings to power on the strength of his reputation as a guerilla leader who forced an end to white rule in a country once known as Rhodesia (named after British imperialist Cecil Rhodes).

The exile is a professor of African history, a learned man whose mind becomes intensely focused when he hears I am an American. "Why can't you Americans overthrow Mugabe?" he asks. "Why can't you save us from our misery?"

"Well, we could," I say. But I tell him the United States won't lift a finger to save Zimbabwe because, with the Iraq exercise in regime change going so badly, Americans won't easily move to overthrow a foreign government again.

"What a shame," he told me and drifted off into the night, leaving me to nurse a Tusker beer.

As I drank alone, I got to thinking that the exiled professor had a good point. Besides, he wasn't the first person during my foreign travels to pointedly ask me if the United States would invade his country.

All it takes is for a Democrat to be in the Oval Office and the Left is down with regime change.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 8, 2006 7:00 AM

Just as Democrats are for nation-building until a Republican tries it.

Posted by: sharon at April 8, 2006 9:44 AM

Democrats of that kind no longer exist. There are only Chavez admirers left in that nuthouse of a party.

Posted by: Peter at April 8, 2006 12:52 PM

Hey, now, Peter, there's much more variety than that. Some love Castro, some Kim Jong Il, and some Mugabe.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at April 8, 2006 1:52 PM

And all of them seem to have had no problem with Saddam.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at April 8, 2006 3:28 PM

It's to our everlasting shame that we have done nothing to help these long-suffering victims of the U.N.

Posted by: erp at April 8, 2006 5:45 PM

Even if the Democrats wanted to overthrow Mugabe, once he starts shooting back, they will run.

Posted by: jim hamlen at April 8, 2006 10:12 PM

Itís a shame that we canít resurrect an outfit like Executive Outcomes. They of course had great success in Africa in the 90ís until the U.N. with the help of Clinton administration muscled the South African government to outlaw the company. A group of professional soldiers like this equipped and supplied with the newest gear could in fact take care of this problem and offer Western governments plausible deniability.

Posted by: Billmil at April 9, 2006 2:36 AM