Saturday, April 26, 2008

Arming the opposition?Reality check

my argument against previous WSJ editorial, posted at BNN:

Summary: The mashona are passive by culture, and those best at fighting have already left to find jobs. The real danger is if rage causes an uprising, like Ruwanda. (even a small snake has a tooth).

...So arming the remaining few opposition supporters who are well educated, have no experience shooting guns, have no military experience, and whose culture emphasizes passivity to rebel against a government with a trained military is nonsense. There is no hunting culture, so there is no familiarity with guns, and those most likely to fight back have fled the country.

The WSJ article is correct in one point: Mugabe’s military and paramilitary would probably melt away if faced with a real threat that others would fight back. Some are bullies, not willing to fight a real opponent, and many others, especially professional military and police, don’t support Mugabe but only are trying to hold a job.

But there is a way to “arm” the opposition: You recruit and train youth from the Zimbabwe diaspora to form a liberation army, and then support them to invade and take over the country.

That’s how Mugabe got into power in the first place.

But who would do the training and arming? South Africa, whose president Mbeki has essentially vetoed all peaceful pressure to get Mugabe to resign?

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