Thursday, March 23, 2006
Genocide - When most people hear this word they think of direct systematic killing by firing squads and mass graves. This is indeed the "conventional" method of eradicating another race or religion, or even an opposing political group.
Robert Mugabe used this conventional method in the early 1980's in the Matabeleland area of Zimbabwe. Mugabe (a Shona) sent his North Korean trained 5th Brigade in the hope of eliminating his chief political rivals and tribal enemies. The Matabele people. Conservative estimates say 30,000 people died before outside pressure forced Mugabe to pull out his uniformed terrorists. The 5th Brigade was ultimately disbanded and the thugs were dispersed throughout the regular army.
Mugabe is evil but not stupid. He learned from his failure and now is conducting his genocide by other means. He is no longer limiting himself to the Matabele either. He wants ALL his opponents dead, including his own Shona tribesmen. His new methods are much more subtle and attract much less attention.
Dydimus Mutasa, Mugabe's right-hand man and Minister of National Security and Land, has notoriously shrugged his shoulders at Zimbabwe's high death rate from AIDS and hunger-related illnesses, saying, "We would be better off with only six million people . We don't want all these extra people." (current poplation is 11.5 million)
We've all seen the headlines and primetime TV reports about Rwanda and the Sudan. How many have you seen about the thousands of deaths every week in Zimbabwe, through starvation, AIDS (currently around 50% of adults), malaria, TB, cholera etc., etc., etc.? None! You really have to go looking to find more than a paragraph about Zimbabwe. Of course, most of the people who search for information that hard, are already aware. The word is not getting out.
Most people think these conditions are just a tragic side-effect of an inept government, that has ruined its nation. In reality, he has intentionally created the circumstances which led to the current state of the country. He has continually used food as a political tool, refused aid (both medical and food) from western nations. What food aid does come in is divided among his vassals, before a paltry amount is ditributed to only a few of the poor, and only IF they have their ZANU-PF party card.
He has siezed nearly all of the commercial farms and given the best to his insiders, who don't farm, but use them as weekend retreats. He refuses to give title deeds to the few peasant farmers that have gotten land, therefore they cannot get loans that would enable them to begin farming. Mugabe is a devoted communist, and his plan is obvious; once enough people have died, the remainder will be pushed back to their old villages in the TTLs (Tribal Trust Lands) and all of the farmland in the country will become state owned.
People cannot rise up if they are too weakened by hunger and disease to stand.