A Lesson From Zimbabwe

We must find ways to deal with countries like Zimbabwe–Until a few years ago Zimbabwe was a success story. It had a certain stability and economic prosperity. It had problems, but it also had a future. In the last couple of years and certainly in the past year Zimbabwe had degenerated into a chaotic state with the economy is totally dysfunctional, unemployment the norm, food shortages and hunger an everyday occurrence, a health care system that is non-existent and now the threat of a cholera epidemic. It’s a man-made crisis, mainly the consequence of what appears to be the mental imbalance of its president Robert Mugabe. The situation is so dire that even Bishop Desmond Tutu last week suggested that if Mr. Mugabe does not step down, he should be removed “militarily”.
There has to be a better way than to allow countries to deteriorate into the level of suffering now being witness in Zimbabwe. I have no answer only the seed of an idea. The diplomatic apparatus of stable countries needs to include a plan or two for dealing with such cases. The United Nations must be empowered to create a special force. A protocol must be developed as to when this force is to be deployed. The point is that we cannot sit there lamenting the situation as we do with Congo, with Darfur, with Somalia, can no longer satisfy ourselves that the voices of celebrities sharing ugly facts is enough to act. It’s all too reminiscent of the fate of Jews in Nazi Germany. We’ve had enough genocides and crises since to accept that we must find a way to deal with governments that hurt their own citizens. If not we become accomplices in the horror and fail in the responsibility each human being has towards his and her human siblings.