Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The West should invade Zim to remove Mugabe

rom the Irish Times.

Yup. I can just see Ireland sending down a dozen Garda to arrest President Mugabe. What the author means is "let George do it", or let the UK do it...
an excerpt from the article:

".....Words and mild slaps have been going on for years. If they were ever going to work, they would have done so by now, at least to some extent, but they haven't. Mugabe has made it abundantly clear that he will never leave office, that "only God" can remove him. And this is wise because his lifestyle if not life will be in immediate danger the moment he steps down. In 2002, Ian Smith, the country's last white ruler, laid down a challenge: "If Mugabe and I walk together into a black township, only one of us will come out alive. I'm ready to put that to the test right now. He's not."

Only direct military action - not words, not sanctions - will remove him and only the West has the military capability. It won't be difficult (though many will doubtless scream "illegal war").

In 2000, British prime minister Tony Blair deployed a crack task force to Sierra Leone, which in just six weeks defeated rebel forces who had been waging civil war for nine years. A few months later, he sent in a handful of SAS and SBS commandos who rescued a dozen military hostages from a different group of rebels deep in Sierra Leone. These decisive actions were instrumental in turning the country into one of the African Union's 22 democracies.

At the first sight of professional soldiery, you can be sure the Zimbabwe army and police, who have no idea how to deal with anyone who isn't an unarmed civilian, will discard their weapons and uniforms and simply melt away, much as Gen Mengistu's powerful, 400,000-strong army in Ethiopia did when confronted with rag-tag opposition in 1991....

The author forgot Tanzania overthrowing Idi Amin.

The problem? None of those countries are better off for getting rid of the murderous dictators.

Half measures won't work: You have to rebuild the country and get rid of those who terrorize ordinary folks (both militants and criminals, groups that overlap).

And when you do this you have to rebuild the country's institutions of law and encourage economic growth.

This can be done: Magsaysay did it in the Philippines, and the US is slowly doing it in Iraq. But it takes time, commitment, and money. The UK could do it, but won't. Bush could do it, but is tired of the criticism he has reaped from removing Saddam, a murderer and warmonger who makes Mugabe look like an amateur. And don't hold your breath for President Obama: He is all theory, and knows little or nothing about the military, less about actually running things, and sees foreign affairs through a left wing simplistic lens. (think President Carter redux: and President Carter supported Mugabe over others who actually won the election).

Invasion to remove Mugabe is easy: Botswana could do it. But no, I don't support invasion or military overthrow, which will leave a vacuum and civil war.

Not unless the invasion was followed up by economic development and peacekeepers to keep people safe while the Zim diaspora returns and rebuilds their country.


I have expanded this to a full article, and have posted the essay at

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