Sunday, August 21, 2011

Ever Heard of Mugabe?

Have you ever heard of a country in Africa called Zimbabwe?  It used to be called Rhodesia.  I'm not sure why the name changed but it happened when I was in elementary school (I think).  Since 1980, Zimbabwe has been ruled by a man named Mugabe (Moo GAH bee).  I tell myself that I am pretty up to speed on world events and civil rights abuses, but this one has gone completely under the radar for me.

I have been reading a book called Mugabe and the White African, which has just recently been released.  The atrocities this leader has committed are horrible.  He has systematically driven his country into poverty and desperation in an attempt to force every white person in his country to leave and abandon their farmland, so that he can turn around and give it away to political supporters.  If they don't leave of their own volition, then his henchmen beat the residents until they are brutally killed.  He is vocal about his intentions, and has compared himself favorably to Hitler.

Under his regime, Zimbabwe has gone from the number 3 food producer in the world, to the lowest producer with abject poverty.  It has gone from a 90% literacy rate to almost 0%.  The life expectancy has gone from 69 y/o for women and 64 y/o for men, to 37 for men and 34 for women--the worst life expectancy in the world.

Apparently, this is no secret.  There are UN sanctions galore, and many countries, including the US, have imposed their own sanctions.  It is also common knowledge that he has rigged and sabotaged his 're-elections'.  So, why isn't anything being done?  I don't know what the answer is, but there has to be something.  How many lives could have been saved if someone had tried to stop him sooner?

What if the world had taken the same stance with Hitler?

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