Talking points for 23 June

Good Morning, it’s Priya in sunny West London. Thanks to Amy and John for keeping the latest blank page ticking over.

The morning meeting is in a few hours and I have a few ideas of what we might talk about:


* Morgan Tsvangarai has pulled out of the presidential run-off due to be held this Friday.

He said that there was no point running when elections would not be free and fair and when…

the outcome is determined by… Mugabe himself.

We in the MDC cannot ask [people] to cast their vote on the 27th when that vote would cost them their lives.

Zimbabwe’s ruling party said opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai had withdrawn from the poll to avoid “humiliation”.

But has Tsvangarai, by pulling out, let down his supporters and the people of Zimbabwe?

Zimbabwean journalist Basildon Peta thinks so.

* There has been a lot of handwringing over the situation. The Zambian President phoned Thabo Mbeki, clearly expecting South Africa to do something about it.
The US urged UN action over President Robert Mugabe’s “illegitimate” regime.

It’s a lot of talk, and not much action.

Does the world only act when there are natural resources or nuclear weapons at stake?

* Justice Minister and Mugabe ally, Patrick Chinamasa told the BBC:

The people of Zimbabwe had declared war against any interest which seeks to recolonise this country

War has been declared. But many feel that it is not the people but Mugabe who is waging it

Is Chinamasa right? Is western intervention ‘colonialist’?

* One more thought, whenever we post about Zimbabwe, the blog doesn’t usually get a massive initial response. Here in Britain it’s a huge story, here at the BBC it’s considered important… But are we overestimating it’s importance to you?

Do you care about Zimbabwe?



* Ian Usher, who lives in Australia, has decided to sell up and move on… sell his entire life. His house, his car, his jobs, his friends… everything.

Would you sell all or part of your life? What part would you sell?

44 Responses to “Talking points for 23 June”

  1. 1 Mohammed Ali
    June 23, 2008 at 10:41

    I think no matter the situation, Morgan Tsvangarai should have remain in the race for the whole world to know that Mugabe is not capable of winning elections any more in Zimbabwe.

    Withdrawing from the race will give Mugabe the right to declare himself winner. Withdrawing from the is an act of betrayer to those staunch and determined people of Zimbabwe who would go at any including sacrificing their lives to ensure that Mugabe is booted out of power. Withdrawing from the race is a cowardy that shows that Tsvangarai is not willing to do the ultimate sacrifice to liberate the people of Zimbabwe.

    I see no point in blaming the western world for booting out Mugabe with force as they have done in Iraq or Afghanistan. We Africans should now learn to be civilize and understand that our citizens need to be on pal with other peace loving peoples of the world. Other African leaders have taken the courage to categorically condemn Bob Mugabe. But as long as M’beki who is supposed to be a freedom fighter by virtue of the fact that he went through Aparthied in South Africa and is the head of the most power African country, the most powerful neighbor of Mugabe, is not willing to condemn or take any action against Mugabe, the suffering of the Zimbabwean people will continue.

  2. 2 Mohammed Ali
    June 23, 2008 at 10:55

    Chinamasa is absolutely wrong, western intervention is nothing of a colonialist stuff. We African are just like that. Whenever we have problem and need help we call on the western world and when they don’t come to our aid immediately, we blend them as being wicked (something I’m living testimony to as it was in the liberian situation).
    When we start to torture and kill our own people and the western world come in to civilize and tell us the value of human dignity and life, then it becomes an act of colonialism especially to the opressors. For we the opressed they are our savior and the act of intervening to save human lives cannot and must not be considered as colonialism.
    I however expect that from Chinamasa because he is part and parcel of the opressors and would want the opressed to be rehumanized.

  3. 3 John van Dokkumburg
    June 23, 2008 at 11:13

    I am not interested in leaders , i have interest in relativisme, explaining what a country realy needs . Selecting unimportant things as mugabe did ; discriminating and willing to go not for a better world .. , Never giving the commun moral a chance only thinking he must be strong … its the animals will in his soul as leader of a group , a leader to prison you,

    World .. ask the African , giving theme directly solutions and ask some behavior demandings as in return .. like having a better production of the land, let the past of conflict be and no discrimination allowed ! Collect interviews what do they realy want, because a leader that will not allowing democratie they have to push out – make your reason understandable and lets give to freedom, to one health !

    Health is a right and the worldmoral, its globle , activate (theme) and stay healty !

  4. June 23, 2008 at 11:50

    This story has raised some eyebrows…

    Deals With Iraq Are Set to Bring Oil Giants Back

    But not many, it’s not a massive story elsewhere.

    It’s supposed to be temporary measure to get around the disputed Iraqi Oil Law, which opponents claim is designed to hand over control of Iraq’s percious oil resources to American oil companies, is on hold, as all political parties cannot agree on it.

    According to Tom Engelhardt
    “With global demand for energy on the rise, why would anybody want to invade, conquer, occupy, and garrison a country that, as Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz once observed, “floats on a sea of oil”?”

    And there are people in the US who believe that the US MUST get control of Iraqi oil

    So does this mean that the war was about oil after all?

  5. 5 selena
    June 23, 2008 at 12:20

    I care deeply about Zimbabwe. But what does my caring mean? There doesn’t appear to be a thing anyone can do about the crisis.

    What is the answer? The more I think about it the more I beleive that the situation could be left to resolve itself, no matter what the cost.

    Perhaps Zimbabwe is not getting much attention on the blog because we all feel it is a hopeless cause.

    Of course, if there were oil involved the politicians would have had us all whipped up into a frenzy by now. And sheep that we are we will comply with the thinking required of us, at any given time.

  6. 6 Bob in Queensland
    June 23, 2008 at 12:37

    One more thought, whenever we post about Zimbabwe, the blog doesn’t usually get a massive initial response. Here in Britain it’s a huge story, here at the BBC it’s considered important… But are we overestimating it’s importance to you?

    No, you’re not overestimating the importance. The problem with Zimbabwe as a topic is that it’s the proverbial “no win” situation. If the outside world does nothing, it’s accused of not caring. However, there is little or no prospect of any effective intervention because this would allow Mugabe to “play the colonialism card” and muster support from other countries in the region. After all, Mugabe is already blaming all of Zimbabwe’s ills on Britain and managing to make at least some of the population believe it–intervention would be just the “proof” he needs.

    So, although most of the WHYS regulars DO care about Zimbabwe, if they’re like me they’re at a loss to suggest an effective course of action other than leave it to a regional solution.

  7. 7 steve b - uk
    June 23, 2008 at 12:40

    Bob has hit the nail on the head. I am at a loss what to say but I DO care.

  8. 8 Lubna
    June 23, 2008 at 12:44

    Yeah Priya my love.. The Iraq war was all about controlling Iraq’s vast natural resources, the most important of which is of course oil… Anyone who claims that Mr Bush is a good intentioned man who started the Iraq war in order to free us Iraqis from Saddam’s iron fist is (with all due respect) either naive or with hidden agenda… This war was started in the 1st place in order to deprive us of all our vast natural resources and make the fate of ours, our children and grandchildren decided from the oval office… Unfortunately in Iraq, there’re human beings who are Iraqis only by their IDs and who are giving much help to the American government in order to establish its suspicious and mysterious project in my country (the neo con agenda) and the biggest evidence on that is the proposed suspicious and mysterious long term Iraqi-American security agreement which makes from Iraq an American colony… Unfortunately the world attention is diverted away from Iraq at the moment and that gave a free space to the 21st century Ali Babas in both Washington and Baghdad to go on with one of the biggest armed robbery operations (if not the biggest at all) in modern history… With my love… Yours forever, Lubna…

  9. 9 VictorK
    June 23, 2008 at 12:51

    “But has Tsvangarai, by pulling out, let down his supporters and the people of Zimbabwe?”

    A country that can’t hold an election without bloodshed shouldn’t be holding elections at all. It needs a form of government other than one-man, one-vote democracy. Tsvangarai is doing the right thing. Why allow hundreds, perhaps thousands, to die for the sake of a contest whose outcome we all know? He has shown by this one act that he is better than the usual class of African politician, for whom power at all costs is the paramount consideration.

    “Does the world only act when there are natural resources or nuclear weapons at stake?”‘The world’, meaning ‘the West’, meaning the Anglo-phone countries, Holland, and Scandinavia, and perhaps also France, the only countries that actually care about places like Zimbabwe. The question is unfair on two points. Natural resources and nuclear weapons are in fact good reasons for acting (much better than ‘spreading democracy and freedom’). Kosovo, Bosnia and Somalia are all resourceless, but ‘the world’ acted or attempted to act for each of them. The DR of Congo is packed with mineral wealth, as is Tibet: ‘the world’ isn’t doing much about them except hand-wringing.

    “Is Chinamasa right? Is western intervention ‘colonialist’?” It doesn’t really matter if he’s right or wrong. That’s how many, perhaps most, Africans will regard it. Mugabe is still a hero to a lot of Africans because of his anti-colonialist credentials. They regard him as someone who singlehandedly (!) threw the colonialists out. To intervene against him will provoke an uproar amongst Africans and perhaps an armed resistance movement in Zimbabwe itself. And let’s never forget: Mugabe is like Saddam – a man of will and force. In that respect EVERY Western leader is, like Mbeki, his inferior. He won’t be bullied into submission and – as long as he has the support of the army – he is in a position to shoot back at anyone who fires on him. Just look at the Burmese generals: a despot with a will and the backing of an army is always going to see-off well-intentioned democratic milksops without one, however much force they have at their command. It’s why Bin Laden, the Taliban and the Iraqi insurgents are all likely to be victorious.

    The age of intervening for inadequate reasons – because it is ‘the right thing to do’ – is over. There’s no point doing the right thing unless there is a consensus amongst the people you want to help that supports your intervention. Mugabe may be a tyrant but he is not without support. Besides, as I have said before, if Zimbabwe isn’t important enough for African states to intervene then what business is it of the West?

    Do you care about Zimbabwe? I care enough to be willing to donate money to an indigenous armed resistance movement. I’d gladly fund arms to Tibet and Burma, too. But if the people in these countries are unwilling to fight for themselves then they can’t expect ‘the world’ to fight on their behalf.

  10. 10 steve b - uk
    June 23, 2008 at 12:54


    google ‘mugabe palace’ – it is …. can’t find the right word.

  11. 11 cinefile
    June 23, 2008 at 12:54

    I agree with Bob in the sense that it’s a “no win” situation – Zimbabwe is a terminal and desperate case. But just because it might fail the news popularity test, it’s no reason to not pursue the issue. I suspect that the so called lack of interest comes from the inability to see past this ongoing crisis and offer workable alternatives to Mugabe. Also as a friend of mine pointed out, Zimbabwe is not exactly resource rich which makes international intervention less likely.

    Peter Hain writing in yesterday’s Sunday Times called on the international community to insist on cancelling the election. That point is now moot. He called on South Africa to pull the energy plug on Zimbabwe. That would cripple Mugabe along with everyone else in Zimbabwe, and I think it could work against South Africa.

    It’s looking like the only way Mugabe will leave office is by force. But who is going to go down that road?

  12. June 23, 2008 at 12:55

    @ deals with oil giants

    Does anybody ever wonder what the 2001 Dick Cheney energy task force talked about? The American people couldn’t even get an accurate list of names of the attendees. He was out hunting the week before the case with one of the justices to hear his case.

  13. 13 Dennis :)
    June 23, 2008 at 13:34

    Hi Everyone….

    Thanks, Priya for the morning set-up on the WORLD HAVE YOUR SAY

    Hi Lubna, I hope that you GET a GREAT GRADE in your test on Tuesday…

    Zimbabwe: It is sad that Morgan Tsvangirai has left the race of replacing Robert Mugabe in the presdiential suite in Harare [zimbabwe’s capital].

    I care about the people of Zimbabwe!

    Onondaga Community College
    Syracuse, New York
    United States of America

  14. June 23, 2008 at 13:55

    Thanks a million my Precious Dennis… You do have such a golden heart my good friend ! Bless you always… With my love… Yours forever, Lubna…

  15. 15 umoh amos
    June 23, 2008 at 14:03

    @ Mohammed Ali,

    “think no matter the situation, Morgan Tsvangarai should have remain in the race”

    I am an African by ALL standards and I am NOT comfortable with your sweeping statement. Perhaps you are NOT in full touch with the reality on ground. I came back from a 3 day trip from South Africa last Thursday and what I saw and heard from Zimbabweans about events in their country in the past 6 weeks are mind-bogging to say the least.

    Maybe you need to see fractured limps, distorted faces, dead bodies, etc to better appreciate the human catastrophy that compelled Morgan (as a leader, who is answerable to his followers) to take the decision he took. Ask me any day and I will tell you that it was THE BOLDEST DECISION HE HAS TAKEN so far on this issue. Muguabe had declared WAR and was (I can no longer use ‘is’ ) intent on winning at all cost using the Barrel of the gun and every sign was already pointing to that fact and you expect Tsvangarai to go ahead and push his already battered followers to continue to endure the torture and beating in the hope that what??

    This man Muguabe is in a class of humans MUCH LOWER than animals and is high time we African and the UN take a different approach to this matter. Morgan Tsvangarai has brought in a JOKER and SADC, Regional leaders and UN need to bring FULL pressure on Muguabe. Ladies and Gentlemen, the dynamics of this matter has changed within the last 24 hours.

  16. 16 Gretchen Eldrich
    June 23, 2008 at 14:15

    I hate to say it, because so many already are wounded or dead standing up to Mugabe, but it was a right decision to withdraw from the race.

    Tsvangarai won the election the first time, and the response from the thugs was violence and reportedly chants of “Win or War!” If he stayed in the runoff, enough damage and intimidation and the scattering of opposition election observers, it’s guaranteed that the runoff would be rigged and Mugabe would claim that it proved that he won legitimately over the opposition.

    Now, Mugabe cannot claim legitimacy, it will be ever clear he only retained his position through violence and driving off of any dissent.

  17. June 23, 2008 at 14:23

    Let’s face facts; Western tn democracy is no good for Africa. At times, I think the best thing to do is for any disenchanted politician to get together a host of armed thugs so that they can take up positions in the bush and terrorize the government. It’s only then that people will negotiate with them. All this talk of ballot and democracy is waste of time.

  18. 18 sunyta
    June 23, 2008 at 14:23

    ppl of zimbabwe should dare n collect all their nerves to overthrow the jerk or the biggest crookMuguabe who thinks he is the only one who has full time job to rule the country and now its high time ppl of zimbabwe realise that they donot deserve even an inch of his ruthless dictatorship who can go to any limit like carrying genocide of his own ppl to stick into the power and i donot understand that why other african nations are not doing anything to bring him down on his knee and give up his stupid political vision that is leading country to black hole

  19. June 23, 2008 at 14:26

    The political status quo will hardly ever change on this continent. The old crooks will continue to remain in power while their Western backers will give them a blank cheque to terrorize us.

  20. 20 nicholas kariuki frm nairobi/kenya
    June 23, 2008 at 14:32

    i think un and au should do an iraq on zimbabwe.invade and remove mugabe frm power.tsvangirai had no chance agaist mugabe thugs.

  21. 21 Nick in USA
    June 23, 2008 at 14:33

    I’m going to agree with Selena and Bob on this one. We all care. Anyone with an ounce of humanity in them cares, but you can’t help people who time and again have refused to help themselves. Tsvangirai did the right thing. People don’t need to die for a rigged election. Also, this is just speculating, but who knows what else Mugabe is threatening Tsvangirai with behind closed doors.

  22. 22 John in Salem
    June 23, 2008 at 14:36

    I’ve never been there and probably never will but I do care about it, if only on principle, and I would gladly support any popular rebellion that seeks to remove Mugabe by force. The world suffers tyrants at its own peril.

    “So does this mean that the war was about oil after all?”

    Lubna summed it up quite well as “the biggest armed robbery in modern history.”

  23. 23 nicholas kariuki frm nairobi/kenya
    June 23, 2008 at 14:41

    iraq war was all abt oil.i think the next us president should remove their soldiers frm iraq.everytime people get killed am soo sad.may God bless our lovely lubna.

  24. 24 Robert Evans
    June 23, 2008 at 14:41

    Unfortunatly I don’t see or even understand what the purpose of this election in Zimbabwe is. I think that Morgan Tsvangarai is quite frankly a massive hero to his countrymen. This presidential election I feel is illegal and so should be classed as such.

    However I feel that the position of the South African president is in question as the person in charge of the negotiations between the current president and the leader of the opposition party the NDC. I think that his position is in question because these talks have been on going for something like two years now.

    The United Nations should ensure that all of the financial sanctions and all other sanctions. This is because I think it is a disgrace that the president of Zimbabwe can make a mokery of the current sanctions which are currently enforced.

    I also feel that the president should not be allowed to ignore the things that he has done to the country by saying that the former ruler has caused this sad situation because the United Kingdom gave independance to Zimbabwe in 1980. Where as the current financial situation began around the year 2000. I am appealed by this because he always claimed that it was the United Kingdom. However I have been informed by a reliable source that in 1980 Zimbabwes economy was one of the best in Africa if indeed was not the best in Africa.


    R. W. Evans

    United Kingdom

  25. 25 Katharina in Ghent
    June 23, 2008 at 14:50


    “All for nothing”, that was my first thought when I heard the news on BBC-World Service. I understand that MT doesn’t want to cause more bloodshed, but my family has this saying: “Only when you give up you will have truly lost the fight”. A lot of people in Zimbabwe already risked their lifes in order to support change, some have died, and now that MT withdrew they’re left out in the rain. Mugabe’s people know who they are and they will go now in full force after them. What’s more, the outside world is even less likely to intervene because there was now real election (whatever will happen on Friday), if MT had won and Mugabe still would have refused to step down, it might have been different. Now it seems that we have to wait until Mugabe dies of old age until something might change for the better.

  26. 26 Nick in USA
    June 23, 2008 at 14:59

    In regards to the story about oil:

    “The Iraqi Oil Ministry, through a spokesman, said the no-bid contracts were a stop-gap measure to bring modern skills into the fields while the oil law was pending in Parliament.

    It said the companies had been chosen because they had been advising the ministry without charge for two years before being awarded the contracts, and because these companies had the needed technology.”

    Well, isn’t this a convenient excuse. The companies were advising for free? Hmm, they are so nice, I wonder what they were advising them to do.

    Are there any other publications reporting on this story? How has it been kept quiet?

  27. 27 Walter
    June 23, 2008 at 15:08

    Hullo WHYS,

    If what I watch on TV is not a fabrication by the media, then Zimbabwe has gone to the dogs! Most disappointing though is Thabo Mbeki. He is a disgrace from the way he has handled the issue of anarchy in his neighbourhood. What comes out of his mouth is a total disaster. In Africa one can make a comment that: Mugabe bewitched him!

    Walter in Kampala

  28. 28 Virginia Davis
    June 23, 2008 at 15:12

    For individuals, those who do not intervene mutter: Let them hit bottom. From reading over the weeks, Mugabe has taken his country to the bottom in his decades of rule. What will there be in Zimbabwe on Saturday after the “election day?”

    What will be the situation for those on the ground? What will start to happen? What can be built? Who will there be to build? I hope Zimbabwe will regain itself. And in the end, defeat Mugabe.

    Virginia in Oregon

  29. 29 John in Salem
    June 23, 2008 at 15:18

    I think Basildon Peta’s criticism of Tsvangarai’s decision to withdraw would carry more weight if he were writing it from inside the country instead of from a safe distance.

  30. 30 gary
    June 23, 2008 at 15:31

    Most of Africa’s neighbors have historically concerned themselves with exploiting her resources. This tradition that has created the environment is which criminals like Robert Mugabe and the ZANU-PF leadership thrive, makes Western intervention in Zimbabwe exceedingly problematic. We are in most ways responsible; but any intervention will be resisted as re-colonization.
    Many outsiders care very deeply about the plight of the Zimbabwean people; but it is not love that drives political action, it is a country’s selfish need. Zimbabwe doesn’t have anything anyone wishes to steal, so we are simply going to watch. Mr. Robert Mugabe is an in insecure, paranoid, xenophobic madman. The high hangers-on of the ZANU-PF are simply desperate criminals whose illegal activities and stashes were about to be discovered. Collectively, their behaviors are understandable, if despicable. Mr. Morgan Tsvangarai’s has done the only thing he could do to save lives. His actions are far more courageous, and moral, than sending his followers out to be bludgeoned. This whole, sorry episode is another illustration of our failure, even from our days in the schoolyard, to have formulated an effective way of dealing with bullies.

  31. 31 Roberto
    June 23, 2008 at 15:36

    And there are people in the US who believe that the US MUST get control of Iraqi oil

    So does this mean that the war was about oil after all?

    ——– Keep in mind that the big corporate energy giants and super patriots have always pounded out a steady beat about controlling things in a historically unstable but very strategic region of the world.

    The average American usually doesn’t bother to vote and thinks America already has the world at it’s beck and call.

    Johnny one note liberals are at the forefront of boiling the Iraq war down to oil, but conveniently forget that they were constantly bleating out the steady histrionics over the US stranglehold via UN sanctions on post Gulf War Iraq, claiming that a half million children had died at the hands of the US.

    So, GDub steps in after a bitterly, viciously contested election and is inaugurated with a recession bringing about comparisons to Herbert Hoover by the liberals. Then 9/11 attacks which was like a mass dose of sudden electroconvulsive therapy for Americans, leaving everyone dazed and confused until they can regather their wits and start to realign themselves in this new world order of global terrorism.

    GDub vaults to massive popularity, afterall, he was a collegiate cheerleader and he now has the US team against the Them team. He and his All Star cabinet set out to take on the Al Queda and Taliban operating out of Afghanistan and the Pakistani border. This has wide support in the American population, Congress, and UN, but unfortunately, no oil.

    Now comes the sticky part, Iraq. Facts are that Iraq had been engaged in producing and stockpiling WMD. After the Gulf War most of their programs had been dismantled, but Saddamn kicked out inspectors and began a cat and mouse game with his mideast rivils and the world.

    If you look at the core of GDub the man, you see a very unsophisticated, unstudied partyboy, Yale degree not withstanding. He meets his Cinderella, finds religion, dries himself up, and wakes up one morning in the whitehouse. So, what next?

    Daddy was something of a legend whose legacy was sealed in a brilliantly conceived and executed war against Saddam that was also a diplomatic masterpeice. Afghanistan is just small peanuts. Iraq is where the glory is and the world is in agreement that Saddam is a dangerous, nasty strongman up to no good.

    In the corporate take over model that runs modern American politics, the marketing up front which is where all the quick and easy money is. So Colin Powell, one of the most trusted and reputable men in the US is given a power point presentation for the global stage and hits all his talking points like a pro. Congress rolls over with a 99.9% vote to support the president and and the UK lines up behind their natural ally. The rest of the world considerably less supportive, but that’s of no concern to the corporate model. A done deal.

    Like any good CEO who is trying to pound the round block into the square hole, a massive pile driver can be designed to accomplish the job, and BINGO, Mission Accomplished. The pile driver being the American Military Shock and Awe program of course.

    So, GDub finishes up what Daddy just fell short of, settles an old score with Saddam, blesses the Holy waters of the Euphrates with peace and democracy, and restores the US presidency from the juvenile titterings of Monicagate, and rides into the sunset a hero.

    Oil has always been at the forefront, but all these other factors also played into it, a perfect storm as it were.

    GDub will realize later that the road to Hell has always been paved with good intentions at the end of that sunset. The record will show that he manipulated the facts, failed to plan for the peace after a 100% sucessful victory parade into Bagdad, and was completely undressed by his closing act.

    Gonna look mighty stupid and sunburned riding off in the sunset like that.

  32. 32 umoh amos
    June 23, 2008 at 15:53

    @ Walter,

    …“What comes out of his mouth is a total disaster. In Africa one can make a comment that: Mugabe bewitched him!”

    No one has ever said it so PERFECTLY. Your comment has generated such laughter inside me. How so true are your thoughts? The man Mbeki has been overtaken by a devil and he doesn’t know it. The burden appears to be on Faith based groups. Prayers still move mountains though……

  33. 33 ahmed Dirie
    June 23, 2008 at 16:14

    we have learned from Abu gharaib prison, also all over Iraq and Afghanistan and from somalia, western countries cannot any more talk about or discuss about democracy , equality,justice . we have had enough we will not import that kind of democracy.

    hosni mubarak the presidnet of egypt has won the last two or three elections 99% of the votes. and he claims legitimacy and the west particularly Britain and USA , say YES. MR you right.

    this is a double standard policy west will not critisize the legitimacy of hosni mubarak.
    why MUGAMBE ?
    my question is what is the difference between hosni mubarak and Mugabe?

    mugabe at least he didnot get rid of Morgan Tsvangarai , but hosni mubarak locked and prosecuted leaders of the oppostion parties some were even get killed by the regime of cairo .

    Is Chinamasa right? Is western intervention ‘colonialist’ he is right and the west should stop intervenening between the zimbabweans , let africans solve their differences. did the west intervene hosni mubarak’s policies? answer is NO.

    ARE THE PUPPETS OF THE WESTERN COUNTRIES fullfiling the dreams of GEORGE BUSH AND LIKE TONY BLAIR. WE are not hearing any critics from the west.

    tell me about ghadafi say some thing from him , but 24 hours you are talking bout mugabe.

    if you not then your democracy is double standard. and am fed up of the BBC NOW ADAYS 24 HOURS SAYING mugabe is this and that.


  34. 34 VictorK
    June 23, 2008 at 16:58

    @Ahmed Dirie: putting aside some of your more extravagant claims, you have a very solid point. Why Robert Mugabe?

    What is the Western obsession with this particular despot in a world of despots? His democratic credentials, as poor as they are, are better than those of the Beijing Dictatroship. Yet our Prime Minister, Brown, was recently in China shaking hands with members of the Chinese regime and doing deals on behalf of British business. Did Tianemen never happen? Is Tibet free? Is China now a democracy with an opposition? Mugabe’s democratic credentials are superior to those of the Saudi regime. Yet the British government is not only eager to trade with the House of Saud but recently terminated a corruption inquiry (A British company was accused of using bribes to win Saudi contracts) effectively under instruction from the Saudis, like obedient dhimmis. Mugabe has at least contested and won a democratic election (albet a generation ago); how many elections have the Burmese generals ever won? Yet I’ve never heard the British and other Western governments making as much noise about them (hands up anyone who can name a single Burmese general?). The Russians have slaughtered more people in Chechnya than Mugabe has managed, even with his notorious Fifth Brigade, to murder in Zimbabwe: but Russia is a trading partner that the EU and US treat with respect and deference, despite its bloody record. Zimbabwe is far from being the worst humanitarian crisis on the African continent, but it receives more attention than the DR of the Congo, Somalia and Darfur put together, despite the greater individual significance of each of those countries.

    I can see why some Africans are suspicious of Western motives. Why Zimbabwe? Why Mugabe?

  35. 35 nicholas kariuki nairobi/kenya
    June 23, 2008 at 17:38

    at least other dictators in the world are not killing their citizens like mugabe is.

  36. 36 Venessa
    June 23, 2008 at 17:45

    I think a lot of people have nailed it on the head. It was good for Tsvangirai to pull out of the election. People are needlessy dying. The fact of the matter is that even if Tsvangirai did win I highly doubt Mugabe would even step down. Most likely there would be a retaliation and/or murder of Tsvangirai. Bob is right that sadly this does seem to be a “no win” situation. Africans need to help themselves and want aid before the outside world can assist them. Many many people care but are helpless to do anything.

    As far as inaction goes Gary makes a fine point “it is not love that drives political action, it is a country’s selfish need. Zimbabwe doesn’t have anything anyone wishes to steal, so we are simply going to watch.”

  37. 37 Venessa
    June 23, 2008 at 18:03

    @ Dwight

    I certainly do wonder about 2001 Cheney energy task force. I find it hard to believe the case was not brought up in discussion on their hunting trip. Just another lie handed to us by the Bush administration to cover up whatever the frat club is doing in their own interests.

    Lubna you are absolutely correct in your assertion that this war is the “biggest armed robbery operation” ever. The most horrible part about it is we know and it still continues!

    @ Nick
    “It said the companies had been chosen because they had been advising the ministry without charge for two years before being awarded the contracts, and because these companies had the needed technology.”

    It’s exactly what you say; a convient truth. Of course there was some compensation somewhere….No one does anything for free when special interests are involved. Make no mistake there was some sort of pay out. If there wasn’t I will happily retract the statement because it would probably be a first!

  38. 38 Jens
    June 23, 2008 at 18:05


    do think by repeating yourself three times your opinion will be more acceptable.

    let’s face it two wrongs do not make one right. the discussion about mugabe is a legitimate one, since he is a self glorifying brutal dictator, who has about as much of an idea of running a country as i have about rocket science. the discussion is on because he cheated in the first election, killed and beaten hundreds of thousands of people and has ruined a perfectly self sustained country.

    that other leaders are brutal dictators, does not excuse mugabes behaviour.

  39. 39 ahmed dirie
    June 23, 2008 at 18:17

    nicholas don’t listen BBC and western propoganda.

    the last three months the main news in BBC day and night was about robert mugabe about zimbabwe.

    is Tsvangirai their man a puppet for west? yes very very clear. isn,t there another zimbabwean to compete for presidency since 2000 or zimbabwe just they have MR TSVANGIRAI
    to race against mugabe?
    media propoganda is stronger than weapons, there fore we africans should understand particularly the BBC .
    i recall the BBC when they were commenting bout EDDI AMIN, I WILL NEVER FORGET .

    They said in their comments that eddi amin eats a human flesh,that mr amin is married to more than 10 women, that mr amin sleeps different women in one night.

    morgan tsvangirai cannot let down the people of zimbabwe because zimbabweans know what he is,

    he is MR yes for westerners.
    mugabe is a hero and he will fight for africa and if he dies defending his people and his country he is a MARTYR,.

  40. 40 Shirley
    June 23, 2008 at 18:32

    Priya asked in the header: Does the world only act when there are natural resources or nuclear weapons at stake?

    In terms of political leaders, yes. We have all seen what happens when there is oil or water at stake for the U.S. or its allies. Fairy tales regarding terrorist networks, nukes and WMD are invented, propaganda is increased to hype up public sentiment and fear, and finally war is waged. It’s nothing short of state-sponsored terrorism. Meanwhile, agressive nuke-holding states and nuke-holding states whose governments could fall into the hands of extremists any day are left alone. And those states are either already allies or have no oil. Fake oil studies must be carried out in zimbabwe with all urgency [sarcasm].

    Do you care about Zimbabwe? [A]re we overestimating it’s [sic] importance to you?

    Perhaps what we are missing are pro-Mugabe voices to argue against. Or maybe it’s just the lack of sex scandals eminating from the region. Goodness knows that as soon as any topic has anything to do with sex, people are all over it like maggots on a carcass. Perhaps it‘s time to break a fake sex scandal in Zimbabwe, along with those fake oil studies.

  41. 41 John van Dokkumburg
    June 23, 2008 at 18:46

    Mugabe needs a way out to ease tensions , if he is a good men .. he has nothing to fear for a court and he can make a case to defend his direction for Zimbabwe , and we confront the world what they done wrong .. but if he is a bad men .. then he overthrouw this court , not giving it a chance anyway and everywhere . Brains will kill the fantasie , Do we deal with a coward our has a case thats 100% ok …

  42. 42 Venessa
    June 23, 2008 at 18:54

    @ Shirley

    I couldn’t agree with you more!

  43. 43 John van Dokkumburg
    June 23, 2008 at 19:03

    I know this above isnt The solution , there is allot we need to do but i want to look to the people .. did we hear from the Zimbabweans that they are unsatisfide with the past 10 years situations ? : where those situations the base for poor /poverty ?

    What should the West do with thoose people who cant stand on his own feed ?? Should we Let them die ? No we have a world to win . And what would you say if GB never was intervired in Africa ? Because Doesnt the history proved , Africas always kills there nighbours ? ? Who is bad , who could tell The African ther history ? Everysituation and – thing of state – must be seen twice .. Who is the thief ..

  44. 44 ahmed dirie
    June 23, 2008 at 19:30

    @ john van .

    the boers and the british farmers in the southern part of africa are upholding TSVANGIRAI .
    we know who is bad.—- we can tell the africans their history,sorry, as you said who is the theif …

    we don’t want tobacco to be grown in our land .
    and now ask your self whp is the thief…

    africans always kill their neighbours lets agree with you for time being.

    but europeans kill people in Iraq, nuke japan,afghanistan,vietnam etc. ask who are the killers then.

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