Wednesday, April 23, 2008

ZIMBABWE - April 10, 2008

As we all look in amazement and horror on the firestorm in Zimbabwe, some of the comments in UK revolve around adverse observations on the failure of democracy in Africa. My second thought is of the similarity to the Mexican election of July 06, in which the world went to bed that day on the news that Sr. Obrador had won, only to be met the next day by the announcement from Pres. Fox that his party’s candidate had won and his dogged refusal over the next months to submit to any verification of that assertion. His party had the army, & street protests made no difference. Not only was I not surprised to hear that Bush was supporting the coup, but I would be if it were proved to me that the CIA had no role in supporting his decision to effectively negate the election by fiat. We have seen it so often, and the level of outrage seems to rest solely on who was WH’s candidate. The capper to this is that the US, which pretends to be the paragon of democracy, has little to show in the matter of electoral integrity these last 10 years. In fact, the acid test of democracy is the willingness of someone who is running for election to play fairly by the rules and hand over power without deceptions, threats or a struggle if they lose. Against that, we have the Lombardian dogma that “winning is the only thing”. In the era of the Cold War, US has been the outstanding disciple of this Lombardianism. In 2006, Mexico played by those rules, and today it is Mugabe. And Condoleezza Rice, who no doubt knows better, fulminates as though butter would not melt in her mouth against him, while her government, and ours, supports equally crooked politicians around the world. Of course these,are like Trujillo of the Dominican Republic, who was in the words of FDR, “a son-of-a -bitch, but our son-of-a bitch.” And that’s where the body is buried. And Mugabe is a son-of-a-bitch, but not ours.

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