Colin Powell has written an Op/Ed in The New York Times offering money for Zimbabwe if its current leaders give up power.
There is a way out of the crisis. ZANU-PF and the opposition party can together legislate the constitutional changes to allow for a transition. With the president gone, with a transitional government in place and with a date fixed for new elections, Zimbabweans of all descriptions would, I believe, come together to begin the process of rebuilding their country. If this happened, the United States would be quick to pledge generous assistance to the restoration of Zimbabwe's political and economic institutions even before the election. Other donors, I am sure, would be close behind.
Reading this, Robert Mugabe and his cohorts may cry, "Blackmail." We should ignore them. Their time has come and gone. As Archbishop Ncube has said, "Things in our country can hardly get worse."
Zimbabwe's economy currently is in its worst crisis since independence in 1980 with 269 percent inflation, widespread unemployment and the near collapse of commercial agriculture since Mugabe started redistributing 5,000 white-owned farms to black Zimbabweans. Mugabe,79, has been in power for 23 years.
Powell's op/ed came right on the eve of a new US State Department report on human rights that also calls for the ouster of Myanmar's government.
Introducing the report, which focuses on 92 countries where it says serious human rights abuses occur, Lorne Craner, assistant secretary for democracy, human rights and labor, said the United States is pushing for the nonmilitary ouster of the governments in Zimbabwe and Myanmar.
"We've made very, very clear that in both cases we hope that a negotiated process will lead to the exit of those who currently hold power and a democratically elected government," Craner said.
The report Supporting Human Rights and Democracy: The U.S. Record 2002-2003 can be viewed in HTML or PDF.
One has to wonder: Is the CIA getting any funding to work to overthrow the governments of Zimbabwe and Myanmar? How far is the Bush Administration willing to go in pursuit of regime change in nations that are either significant terrorism supporters nor working on weapons of mass destruction? While the benefit to US security from overthrowing either of these governments would be fairly small the costs would likely be small as well.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2003 June 25 01:35 AM|