Well Plaid friends, this is a first attempt at a blog for me, so here goes. If you are interested in the hot news stories of the day, with a bit of inside analysis and background to make you smarter….then you have come to the right place. The Plaid Avenger strikes!
Top Plaid story of the day: Robert Mugabe is a serious asshole. Out of Harare, Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has once again promised the world that he will survive in office forever and ever, no matter what ‘the West’, the African Union, or even the people of his own country do to get rid of him. Wow. What a testament to controlled use of power and democratic principles. And all while his country is being completely flushed down the shit-pipes. Thus: he is a serious asshole.
Some background: this dude actually used to be a good guy! He led the struggle for independence of his country from colonial power over three decades ago. And they did it. He was a hero. As such, he was elected president: a post which he has now held for 27 years. And that is where the problem arises. Mugabe is the best living example of one of Africa’s most pressing problems: corruption that power brings. So many of Africa’s presidents are popularly elected, and then find the power so intoxicating that they cannot bring themselves to relinquish it when the time comes for another election. Most of the longest ruling ‘presidents’ in the world are out of Africa; many have ruled for decades, and several like Mugabe, are continuing to increase their records as every day passes. No matter how destructive their rule may be to the folks in their country. The true mark of an asshole.
So why the hullabaloo? Why is this even in the news, and why does the UK, the US and possibly the wider world even care about this country? Well, Zimbabwe was trucking along at a pretty good clip for the last couple of decades…it was even a model for positive growth in Sub-Saharan Africa for a while. Then for various reasons, Mugabe’s popularity started to slip a bit, and other political parties started more aggressively to challenge his long-standing leadership. As a counter move, about three years ago Mugabe thought of a brilliant plan to re-gain his popularity: to take land and possessions from the white minority and give them to the black majority. A genius ‘populist’ strategy. And if those whities accidentally get beaten or killed during the process, oh well! This caused widespread violence, which caused domestic turmoil, which caused an economic breakdown, which caused international investors to haul ass out of the country. It also caused international outcry which led to an international embargo and sanctions against the country. And now you know why they are poor…and getting poorer by the day.
Now the Plaid Avenger is not going to debate whether these policies were good, fair, or just ways to combat African poverty. Quite frankly I don’t know. But what I do know is that when any state leader advocates and allows–and even encourages–violence against a minority, it is never a good thing. Never. Ever. Did you hear me say never? It never works out well.
So as international criticism against this guy has grown, what has he done to prove them wrong? Well, he has continued to solidify his hold on power constitutionally. He has helped thwart and discredit all other political opposition. He has destroyed the independent press. He has jailed opposition leaders, and then they mysteriously get the shit kicked out of them while they are in jail (that was just reported on last week). Starting to get the picture here? Mugabe has become the ‘African voice that hates the West’, which routinely gets him visits from folks like Hugo Chavez et al. President Mugabe denounces ‘the West’ as trying to reestablish colonial rule, as well as blaming them for the impoverished state of his own country. And today he said: “Nothing frightens me, not even little fellows like Bush and Blair. I have seen it all, I don’t fear any suffering or a struggle of any kind.”
Great Robert! Your people are starving to death, and you are berating all world leaders who disagree with your actions. What a brave, bold voice for Africa you are! But I guess its not hard to be bold and brave when you live in a big palace and never want for hunger or security or hookers or whatever the hell else you want. Too bad most Zimbabweans don’t even have enough to eat. Must be nice to be so well off. What an asshole.
Is the Plaid Avenger suggesting that the US and the UK are totally right, and that Mugabe is totally wrong about all their disagreements? Of course not. As with everything, the truth about most issues lies somewhere between the loudest voices. But the Plaid Avenger fights for global justice, and Zimbabwe is in dire need of some. Any world leader, from any state, has to put the good of the people first. And ESPECIALLY in a state that is supposed to be democratic! People first dude! When you have 1700% inflation in your state, and people are fleeing from the country, and most people are hungry–you have to change your tune man! That shit just ain’t right. The Plaid Avenger always gets pissed when the suffering of people is accepted just so damn world leaders can save face. Or save themselves from losing their palaces and riches. Corruption of power is a blight anywhere it happens, but is accentuating more when so many folks in the country are suffering so much.
President Mugabe, why is it you are holding on to power? Is it because you truly believe you can save your country? Or is it because you truly just want to save yourself? If it is the former, then how do you foresee pulling your country out of this mess? What is your plan? If it is simply the latter: then you are an asshole.
So that’s the rant for the day. Disagree with me? Fine. Post me a message. Agree with me? Post and send a letter to your Senator too. Want to know more? Send a message.