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The agony of Zimbabwe
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, October 02, 2007

If you want to read a compelling first hand account of what is happening in Zimbabwe, may I recommend Cathy Buckle's blog. If you have any interest in the ongoing agony of that country, it is a must read. No food, no electricity, reduced to cooking over an open fire, people like her continue to attempt to live through it.
Milk is like gold in our town, as it is almost all over the country. When you appreciate that the shops are empty and there is no food to buy, no protein, no meat or eggs and now not even bread, you understand that people are desperate for nourishment. A phone call to the local bulk dairy marketing outlet this week went as follows:
Q: Hello, Do you have milk please?
A: Nothing.
Q: What about lacto (sour milk)?
A: Nothing.
Q: Any cheese?
A: (Bored) Nothing
Q: Ice Cream! ?
A: (Slightly annoyed) No, we have nothing. We are playing football in the car park!
Trust me, once you start reading, you won't be able to quit. She chronicles the destruction of this once vibrant country and society by the mad men who now run it. And she's still there, because it is her country as well.
I end with a story about a man who is epileptic and visited the local government hospital for his regular check-up this week. It took four hours before he was seen by a nurse who scribbled in his book that this was a known case and that the hospital pharmacy should dispense his prescription of 90 phenobarb tablets at no charge - as they usually do. This major provincial government hospital had no phenobarb however so the man went to the biggest and busiest pharmacy in the town. They said the phenobarb would cost 1.2 million dollars - this is ten times more than the man's government stipulated minimum monthly wage. I offered to help and took the prescription to another pharmacy. The exact same tablets cost 250 thousand dollars - nearly five times cheaper. When I gave them to the man, his eyes shone with tears and he thanked me - 'I thought I would have to die' he said.

What a way to live, and to die.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

There was a good essay about Zimbabwe in Sunday’s Los Angeles Times, pointing out how all the Left-wing journalists, politicians, and academics who have been Mugabe cheerleaders are now trying to cover their tracks.

Some samples:
As Zimbabwe’s president, Robert Mugabe, presides over what might be the most rapid disintegration yet of a modern nation-state, it has become de rigueur for journalists, politicians and academics to offer what has become a near-universal analysis: Mugabe, who has ruled his country uninterrupted for 27 years, was a promising leader who became corrupted over time by power.

This meme was popularized not long after Mugabe began seizing white-owned farms in 2000. Four years ago, in response to these raids, the New York Times editorialized that "in 23 years as president, Mr. Mugabe has gone from independence hero to tyrant." Earlier this week, Archbishop Desmond Tutu said that "I’m just devastated by what I can’t explain, by what seems to be an aberration, this sudden change in character."
But this popular conception of Mugabe — propagated by the liberals who championed him in the 1970s and 1980s — is absolutely wrong. From the beginning of his political career, Mugabe was not just a Marxist but one who repeatedly made clear his intention to run Zimbabwe as an authoritarian, one-party state.
And over several years in the early 1980s, Mugabe executed what arguably might be the worst of his many atrocities, a campaign of terror against the minority Ndebele tribe in which he unleashed a North Korean-trained army unit that killed between 10,000 and 30,000 people.

Yet, even in the midst of these various crimes, Mugabe never lost his fan base in the West. In 1986, the University of Massachusetts Amherst bestowed on Mugabe an honorary doctorate of laws just as he was completing his genocide against the Ndebele.
In 2000, at the start of Mugabe’s seizures of white land, New York Times columnist (and early Mugabe fan) Anthony Lewis admitted, on behalf of quite a few journalists, diplomats and academics in the West, "how wrong we were" about Mugabe. But he offered the qualification, "at least over time." Lewis, and everyone else who ever feted Mugabe, was not just proved wrong about the despot "at least over time." They were wrong the minute they endorsed him.

Written By: Aldo
URL: http://
You mean like this guy Aldo?
Written By: Retief
URL: http://
Score one for you, Retief. Reagan received a visiting head of state, and the White House put out a pro forma press release saying complimentary things about him. That is a red herring, though, and I think you know it.

The same type of ideological blinders that caused the Left to reflexively condemn the Duke Lacrosse players had them shaking pom-poms for Mugabe long after it was clear that he was a monster. And now they are starting over again with Hugo Chavez.
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://
It’s the Democrat’s dream vision for America, with them as an American ZANU-PF smashing a boot into human faces forever.
Written By: E. Brown
Of course it is Aldo. Funny how easily you recognize a red herring when it’s about Reagan praising Mugabe and in the next sentence continue with your "liberals love the monster Mugabe" claptrap.
Written By: Retief
URL: http://
Nope, it’s fully documented that they supported him wholeheartedly for years, your Orwellian desire to erase the truth notwithstanding
Written By: E. Brown
Funny how easily you recognize a red herring when it’s about Reagan praising Mugabe and in the next sentence continue with your "liberals love the monster Mugabe" claptrap.
That’s a bogus comparison. Your single example of the Reagan White House performing an act of diplomatic Kabuki theatre in the early 1980’s does not change the fact that it was not Reaganites who were propping up Mugabe’s image in the West for 30 years, but the Left, blinded by ideological affection for a black, Marxist, post-colonial regime.

I used the example of the Duke case, but the better analogy is the Left’s, support for Stalin. The very institutions in our society that are charged with truth-seeking, academia and journalism, were the ones rushing to offer Mugabe the cover of legitimacy, with their honorary degrees and fawning coverage.

If you missed them do it with Stalin, and Fidel, and Mugabe, don’t worry. We’ll see it again with Hugo Chavez and maybe even A’jad.
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://
"We’ll see it again with Hugo Chavez and maybe even A’jad."

Yep, Chavez is a fascistic Peronista who’s smart enough to make red his favorite color instead of brown. Look at how the leftfilth eat him up.
Written By: E. Brown
Of course it is Aldo. Funny how easily you recognize a red herring when it’s about Reagan praising Mugabe and in the next sentence continue with your "liberals love the monster Mugabe" claptrap.
By the time Reagan was in office, Mugabe was already in power thanks to Jimmy Carter.

I suspect that if Reagan won in ’76 the Mugabe disaster may have been averted. Winning the cold War was key with Reagan, and he was willing to fight in Afganistan, Angola, El Salvador, etc., so he likely would have fought in Rhodesia as well.
Written By: Don
URL: http://

No way would we have fought for Rhodesia.
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
And, that was one of decolonialization’s last wars. The United States has pretty much supported decolonialism, and would have been hard pressed not to welcome Mugabe right after his victory, especially since it was a negotiated one and they had won free elections.

This is quite similar to Chavez now, where we don’t like him, but he did win "elections" so we tolerate him. And perhaps progressives actually like him for his policies.

But when we get to North Korea, Zimbabwe, etc., you are only going to find hard, hard left people liking those regimes. Stalinists, etc. Not social democrats.

Cuba is different, I think, because of the cool music, rum, and the revolutionary chic aspect, so it attracts perhaps more mainstream leftists, as a fantasy really.
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
Mugabe’s been on my list of "World Leaders most deserving a MOAB" for years.
Written By: SDN
URL: http://

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