Monday, April 21, 2008

Birds of a Feather: Mugabe, Mengistu, and China

In reading up on the Ethiopian Civil War, I ran across this gem. Haile Mariam Mengistu was the Soviet-supported dictator of Ethiopia in the 1970s and 80s who caused the famine that unfortunately is what Ethiopia is still so famous for, and killed half a million people during his purges (as estimated by Amnesty International). He was basically the African Stalin. What's most interesting is not just that Mengistu is still alive, but where he's still alive. Mengistu has been granted asylum in Zimbabwe, and of course Robert Mugabe granted it.

Let's get this straight. Robert Mugabe, who's made a career of railing against European imperialism in Africa, is supporting a man who killed half a million African citizens, while that man was propped up by a European power. What's more, Mugabe is refusing to allow Mengistu's extradition to Ethiopia since he was convicted in absentia for war crimes. Just beyond belief.

It's getting to be a regular Legion of Doom down there in Zimbabwe. Mengistu gets asylum there...China ships them least it's easy to tell who the bad guys are - they all associate.


Mike said...

An even bigger crime is that South Africa's Mbeki has pretty much allowed Mugabe to do as he pleases.

And this is ignoring all those folks who've died of AIDS since they couldn't get cheap retrovirals owing to Mbeki not believing HIV causes AIDS.

And then there's Idi Amin still alive in Saudi Arabia ...

Thomas Paine Jr. said...

I've heard several critical comments from African activists about Mbeki, but not the outcry you would expect. Apparently talking tough to the British Commonwealth gives you a blank check for human rights abuses and fraudulent electioneering. Disappointing. And what's scary is he's not nearly the only African leader who doesn't think that HIV causes AIDS.

mklasing said...

You are so right--birds of a feather. Maybe they can form a new alliance of evil and bring in North Korea, Iran and the leader of Hamas--oh and Jimmy Carter.

Thomas Paine Jr. said...

Classifying Jimmy Carter with Mugabe is unfair. Carter was far more incompetent. I think Carter wanted 100,000% inflation, he just couldn't get his sh*t together to make it happen. Hamas hasn't realized that having him on their side will surely doom them. Maybe it's our secret plan, who knows.

Funny story: I know someone who ended up sitting next to old Jimmy on a commuter flight into State College, PA, where he used to go fishing. This guy started asking Carter political questions (not particularly confrontational ones), and Carter crankily said he didn't feel like talking to him. The questioner said, "Goddammit, I paid your salary for four years, and you're going to answer my questions whether you like it or not." I still don't think the discussion was satisfactory.