Less than a week after my last post on this subject “The fate of Zimbabwe, was Mugabe rotten from the start?”, I see that the LA Times, no less, have published an excellent essay on the same subject entitled “Mugabe: a tyrant from the start”.

Of course they’re right, but I sure wish that this had been recognised way back in the 1960s and 70s, when I spent 13 years as a young soldier fighting against Mugabe’s terrorists in Rhodesia’s own “war against terror”.  Instead we Rhodesian soldiers were vilified by the west.  Looking at what is happening in Iraq and Afghanistan today and our decent, brave American and British soldiers fighting out there, I get a powerful sense of déjà vu – especially seeing western liberals criticising what our soldiers are risking their lives for.

Mugabe was not just a tyrant from the time he assumed power in Zimbabwe (he changed the name from Rhodesia to Zimbabwe).  He was a ruthless terrorist leader long before then; one of his first degrees was from Marxist oriented University of London.  Mugabe was an unashamed Marxist who promised murderous rule long before he ever came to power, saying that “a multi-party system is a luxury”, and that if Zimbabweans did not like Marxism, “we will have to re-educate them…”  He has always been a great admirer of North Korea’s rulers and has more recently demonstrated his affinity for the current rulers of Iran.  Mugabe’s best friends are the west’s most dangerous enemies.

But twenty-seven years ago Mugabe was hailed by western media and governments as a great African liberator and freedom fighter, bringing democracy to Africa’s “newest nation”.  At least the west is beginning to see his faults – Mugabe’s fellow African rulers still regard him as a hero and refuse to do anything about him, even though he heads one of the most oppressive and failed regimes in the world today.  Like in North Korea, his people are starving.  Opponents are incarcerated and/or killed.  An estimated quarter of the total Zimbabwean population have fled as refugees, mainly to South Africa – that’s 4 million out of an original population of only 12 million.  Mugabe has made it clear that he approves of this massive depopulation in his country – he only wants people who will submit to his Marxist rule to remain.  A further 4 million are on the edge of starvation – these are the people who are unable to escape Zimbabwe (too old, too young, too weak from hunger, or too sick – an estimated one third of the population are HIV infected, and life expectancy is the lowest in the world at 34 years for women and 37 for men.)  And, of course they are members of the “wrong tribe” – Matabele instead of Shona (Mugabe’s tribe).

Can it get any worse?  I doubt there will be any demonstrations in Zimbabwe on the scale that we’ve seen in Burma this past week.  Unlike the Burmese people, Zimbabweans are without food and Mugabe is keeping it that way.

Meanwhile, the USA should make sure their liberals are not allowed to weaken USA resolve in their own, modern “War against Terror”; the consequences are too terrible to contemplate… just look at Zimbabwe’s fate.

END
Peter Davies was a soldier in Rhodesia from 1963 to 1975, where he took part in the capture and interrogation of terrorists. Davies’ novel, Scatterlings of Africa, is based on his own experience in the war, and personal observations of how terrorist activities impacted Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and its people.

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