Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Was Mugabe Progress?

I get the sense that those who try to make the claim that despite all of Mugabe's "flaws" it is better than when Zimbabwe under British Colonial rule, feel compelled to do so out of a certain level of political correctness.

This raises the question though of why objections and concerns haven't come up earlier. While it's difficult to get numbers, his worst crimes may have been committed in the aftermath of his initial rise to power with the crushing and mass murder of his opponents. I can't help but wonder if, at least in part, the lack of condemnations for his tactics is at least in part because of the shame for the colonialism that came before him (and that some would have preferred to forget) and possibly also in no small part to the socialistic/communist ideologies as espoused by Mugabe's party.

Of course if one were to paint this in racial divides one could also suggest that while Mugabe was just killing his fellow and black comrades, the world looked away but it was only when he started taking away farms from white people that the spotlight shone on Mugabe. Heck, Britain gave the man a knighthood as late as 1994 (and the Queen quite belatedly stripped him of the honour only today).

In any event, Megan McArdle, a former writer with the Economist, considers the choice between two "incredibly awful" evils having made the point that Zimbabwe had been better under colonial rule. Writers at the New Republic wonder whether America's two Presidential candidates will recognize Morgan Tsvangirai as being the President based on the previous runoff election results. I wouldn't bet on it... that might take political courage (h/t Instapundit).

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