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June 25, 2008 | by  | in Online Only |
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The world’s poorest billionaires… (click for the image)

The latest bank note issue from the Zimbabwean reserve bank. With inflation currently at over at 100,580.2 percent its no wonder Morgan Tsvangirai pulled out of the election. That, and the fact that Mugabe’s revolutionary guard were probably trying to kill him…

But I put it to our dear readers, if there was ever a time for a justified case concerning the invasion of a country and replacing its despotic leader, would it be Zimbabwe?

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About the Author ()

Conrad is a very grumpy boy. When he was little he had a curl in the middle of his forehead. When he was good, he was moderately good, but when he was mean he was HORRID. He likes guns, bombs and shooting doves. He can often be found reading books about Mussolini and tank warfare. His greatest dream is to invent an eighteen foot high mechanical spider, which has an antimatter lazer attached to its back.

Comments (16)

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  1. bisky risness says:

    but they havent got enough oil to warrant such an action

  2. Intervention would only be worthwhile if you could convince the Zimbabwean people that Tsvangirai is a legitimate ruler, even though he would be relying upon our force, and even though they have been bombarded with pictures of his face turning into George W. Bush’s in Zanu PF ads. Given that Tsvangirai is already the elected leader of Zimbabwe, if it is possible to intervene in such a way that Zimbabwe accepts him then, yes, we should do so.

  3. Matthew_Cunningham says:

    Tristan: Maybe i’m being pessimistic here, but I disagree – I don’t think there is any way that the UN, or anyone else, can intervene militarily in Zimbabwe and not have it blow up in their face. Tsvangerai’s popular support would evaporate overnight if he were to be associated with the ‘imperialist aggression’ that Mugabe totes in his daily dose of rhetoric, whether or not said intervention is justified.

    I try to avoid resorting to name calling, but in this case I will make an exception. Robert Mugabe is a monster. He is a power-hungry, paranoid dictator who has ravaged his own country, its economy and its people, whilst twisting his actoins around to seem as if they serve the cause of Zimbabwean nationalism and anti-imperialism. Regrettably, I don’t see anything changing until Mugabe dies of old age and his party dissolves without its leader.

  4. Jackson Wood says:

    Jacksons’ How to invade Zimbabwe for dummies.

    Plan A.
    1. Station troops in the hills to the north east of Harare to stop northern escape
    2. Secure main roads out to Zambia, Mozambique, South Africa and Botswana
    3. Helicopter gun ships drop in covet teams in and around Harare with mission to capture Mugabe. If these fail:
    4. Mobile Troops (LAV’s and light tanks) stationed in Kariba to the North west, and Francistown in Botswana pincer into Harare while paratroopers are dropped among the hils along the border to Mozambique to the east.
    5. Once Mugabe is captured declare martial law and international directorship of Zimbabwe.
    6. Create puppet reigeme in Harare, sentence Mugabe to life in solitary confinment, make him watch the entire run of Home Improvement on repeat.
    7. Scratch head when Zimbabwe goes from ‘Failed State’ to something that is even more fucked up and worse.

    Plan B.
    Burn it down. Start again.

  5. “Tristan: Maybe i’m being pessimistic here, but I disagree – I don’t think there is any way that the UN, or anyone else, can intervene militarily in Zimbabwe and not have it blow up in their face. Tsvangerai’s popular support would evaporate overnight if he were to be associated with the ‘imperialist aggression’ that Mugabe totes in his daily dose of rhetoric, whether or not said intervention is justified.”

    Would your view change if it was the African Union doing the invading?

  6. Sam C says:

    Why do you feel the need to put down the people who are just answering the very open question you posted? Tristan put forward an idea to solve the problem you posed. You offered very little critical input. If you want to have an argument go to deb soc and have one, or actually make your a point in the post.

    Is it some superiority complex you suffer from where you have to prove you are right to people who thought they were just answering an honest question (and might not know who you are, or even worse might be the editor of the magazine you work for).

    I don’t even intend to make a point, because there is no point if you are going to hog the debate yourself and herd everyone into thinking the same way you do by your posts which I guess you think are pithy, but are really just the meanderings of someone who doesn’t actually want open debate.

  7. Karl Marx says:

    lol! What the fuck! Conrads question to Mathew is perfectly legitimate and _furthers_ the debate! Would Matt’s position change if the African Union was doing the invading, as this would remove the image of the ‘invader’ as being another colonist. Jeez….i thought most people were clever enough to pick on up this inference, perhaps you are not Sam C. My advice – stick to QueensGate mall.

    how does asking a sensible question of another poster constitute “putting someone down”. What an obvious troll.

    oh, and conrads post was in response to Matt, not tristan, you fucking mongoloid.

  8. Karl Bronstein says:

    “I don’t even intend to make a point, because there is no point” then why do you clog our comments with pointless chatter and try to question the honesty of people you know very little about. “if you are going to hog the debate yourself and herd everyone into thinking the same way” well if people go to his side of the debate it may be because he’s arguing it better than you “but are really just the meanderings of someone who doesn’t actually want open debate” and you do? all you have done is resort to personal attacks, and bad ones at that.

    please fuck off.

  9. Matthew_Cunningham says:

    Conrad: “Would your view change if it was the African Union doing the invading?”

    That’s actually a good point, as it does remove the ‘imperialist aggressor’ element from the military intervention.

    However, I don’t think it’s likely. Mugabe belongs to an elite club of men and women on the African continent who were responsible for throwing off the shackles of their oppressors, despite the fact that through his corruption of everything this image represents he isn’t fit to stand in their company. There’s a certain loyalty in this club through shared experience that seems to preclude open confrontation. It’s only recently that leaders of the AU countries have started verbally condemning Mugabe for his actions.

    Sam C: I don’t get it – was your comment directed at Conrad or at me? Either way it was rude and inappropriate. I wasn’t trying to shout Tristan down – I have a lot of respect for the guy, so much so that I am willing to disagree with him. And Conrad posed a very valid question.

  10. I think the larger point is the fact that even though it would be nice for the AU to step in, practically they dont have the pan-african commitment to do so. Nor do they have the institutional resources.

    Not to mention the fact that the organisation is dominated by South Africa, whose leaders are part of this ‘elite’ club u speak of.

    Sigh, cmon Africa, pull your socks up.

  11. Helping Zimbabwe get to the state where it has an economy rather than a crazy-numbers-fun game is surely going to require some sort of intervention. Y’all have established that military intervention won’t work, because it will result in more dissention and backlash. What we need is for Zanu PF to work with the MDC, and sort their agricultural shit out. Some might suggest bribing Mugabe with training and investment programmes if he works with the MDC – but a) he generally denies that Zimbabwe is suffering, so he’d probably tell us he doesn’t need our aid, and b) bribing dictators is unsightly.

    We could of course take a similar approach by threatening sanctions, except we would have to get China to agree for these to be effective. And there’s the rub, for it isn’t in China’s interests to demand free and fair elections. Not yet, anyway. I’m still somewhat optimistic that China can become a more democratic global power, even after Salient’s run-in with the Chinese Students’ Association, who have delivered a petition signed by 133 people upset that we made fun of Hu Jintao…

  12. Karl Marx says:

    Sanctions don’t work Tristan, they just promulgate economic suffering and hardship in a country that is already rife with such problems. The didn’t get rid of Saddam, and they wont get rid of Mugabe.

  13. Tristan Egarr says:

    So… if we’ve discounted invasion, bribery and sanctions, then we’re left with… do nothing? I suppose that’s also the cheapest option, though I’m guessing that’s no consolation to the MDC.

    Arguably both military action and sanctions could work to some degree if carried out by Zimbabwe’s neighbours rather than “us”, but even if this is true it’s not our responsibility so… do nothing. Jesus.

  14. Matthew_Cunningham says:

    Ahhh, the beautiful world of international politics… do nothing and you’re a monster… do something and you’re still a monster… is it a case of choosing the lesser of two evils and accepting the consequences, or is there some way to take action that the international system hasn’t yet thought of?

    I agree with Conrad and Tristan – i.e. ‘military action and sanctions could work to some degree if carried out by Zimbabwe’s neighbours rather than “us” ‘ – so perhaps it is our responsibility to put pressure on the AU to take action to ‘protect their own backyard’, so to speak.

    Question is, would military action by the AU be viewed by Zimbabwe as Western ‘imperialism’? Mugabe has already blatantly categorised Tsvangerai as a British stooge, but it was interesting to note that when Mandela spoke out against him last week he was quite reserved in his response – merely citing ‘Western pressure’. If the AU and its leaders were to step up the diplomatic (and possibly military) pressure against Mugabe, maybe he would have no choice but to bow to said pressure – or else risk alienating himself entirely from the ’cause’ he claims to represent.

    Then again, when has Mugabe done the logical thing anyway?

  15. Matthew_Cunningham says:

    Oh, and P.S: Karl Marx: ‘Sanctions don’t work’ – I don’t entirely agree with this. I think TARGETED sanctions can work very well.

    You’re right that broad, sweeping sanctions usually do nothing except ‘promulgate economic suffering and hardship’ amongst the population whilst the leaders have crab flown in for every meal and have one of the world’s largest private movie collections (can anyone guess what Dictator i’m referring to here?). But targeted sanctions aimed at a country’s financial and political elite, coupled with some economic ‘carrot-dangling’ to encourage cooperation, can eventually win out (ala Iran, which is now considering the latest offer by the West).

    However, influence still seems best when it comes from your nearest neighbours. To go back to my example of Iran, the West would have far more success if a number of countries from the Middle East were to come together and issue some kind of condemning statement. The situation in Zimbabwe would be much the same.

  16. Karl Marx says:

    “But targeted sanctions aimed at a country’s financial and political elite, coupled with some economic ‘carrot-dangling’ to encourage cooperation, can eventually win out (ala Iran, which is now considering the latest offer by the West).”

    I see the logic in what your espousing here, but even targeted sanctions have had little effect, for every good example there is a counter example.

    Iran – good, Iraq (oil for food) – Bad, USSR – Good, North Korea – Bad.

    But Mugabe is a special case, as Tristan has elucidated. Sanctions of ANY kind are going to have little effect, hes already halfway towards running his country into the ground, why would we stop now?

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