Saturday, 12 July 2008
So much for that then
Was anybody really surprised that the UN vetoed the proposed sanctions against Mugabe and his boys? There have been questions over the call from Mr Brown to hit the country with sanctions (hypocrisy anyone?) Others may disagree, but I think an embargo on arms sales at least has to be a step in the right direction.
Do we really think any more that the 'international community' actually gives a fuck about anything except self-interest? That arms dealers in Russia and China are more protected than innocent little children is a sobering thought indeed, but one whose parallels have been there for all to see since the shameful days of the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the final total abnegation of any semblance of decency by our 'world leaders'. I'm not trying to say that these bastards were exactly beacons of moral rectitude prior to that, but it was a very high profile symbolisation of the end of any pretense towards caring for the rights of humans, which - as all good AI members should know - is the mainstay of the United Nations. How many times are we going to hear that this country will go down the pan if BAE don't sell another load of jet fighters to Saudi Arabia?
It may be a simplistic question, but it's always puzzled me. Why, if Dubya, Tone and the others were able to kick ass so mightily out in the Gulf, were they not able to let loose a bit of shock and awe on the leader of Zanu-PF? The fight from Saddam's elite guards wasn't exactly a major one, but I think even that would put to shame the efforts of Mugabe's armed forces. But of course, nothing was done, and nothing will be done. What does it matter if some little known opposition politician gets his eyes gouged out and ends up with his body dumped in a piece of scrubland? Not at all.
I have a couple of friends from Zimbabwe - one white and one black - and the pain they feel for their loved ones still living there, and for the country itself, is plain to see. As is the sense of hopelessness. Just under a year ago, I took part in a charity cycle ride to raise money for books for schoolkids in Zimbabwe. I was told that if the identity of the man who would use these books to teach kids (in an open air 'school' under a tree) was revealed, he would be in genuine danger of death. Just yesterday, after the 'world's biggest polluter' had kissed goodbye to his 7 buddies, the Home Office (finally & temporarily) backed down on a threat to return Zimbabwean refugees from whence they came. Pointless it may be, but if the ride takes place again this year, I will be taking part.
I watched a freedom demonstration pass my office yesterday afternoon, and my thoughts and wishes go with the poor people of this troubled land. What a terrible world we live in.