Monday, March 26, 2007

The left can't be bothered

From Front Page Magazine:

Last week Morgan Tsvangarai, the head of Zimbabwe’s opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), was beaten to near-death after taking part in a demonstration against the tyranny of Robert Mugabe. In what was falsely described as a police detention, Tsvangarai and his colleagues, including two prominent female officials, were brutalized and left for dead.

There are other tragic cases. Mourners at the funeral of another anti-Mugabe activist, shot dead by the regime, came under fire from government police. One corpse was taken miles away and buried by the authorities to avoid a further demonstration. Last weekend Tsvangarai’s spokesman, Nelson Chamisa, was stopped at Harare airport and brutally beaten as he was preparing to leave for a conference in Belgium; it is feared he has a cracked skull. Arthur Mutambara, leader of one of the factions of the MDC, was re-arrested last Saturday, and is now being held at Harare's central police station. MDC members Frail Grace Kwinje and 64-year-old Sekai Holland, who also suffered beatings in the police roundup, were recently detained just before boarding flight because officials claimed the women needed a supplemental “clearance letter from the ministry of health” in order to leave the country.

For many on the political Left, the fate of these opposition activists does not bear thinking about. One reason, it appears, is that the United States has taken up the cause of Zimbabwe’s opposition. Indeed, it was the U.S. envoy to Zimbabwe who protested and was reported to have been instrumental in getting the wounded activists to a hospital. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice also intervened. President Mugabe reacted by threatening to expel any Western envoys who interfered in the running of the country.

In stark contrast to America’s response is the reaction that has come from the anti-war, anti-Bush campaigners and hangers-on. I recently called a colleague who is active in the anti-war movement and she very nearly deafened me with a screaming rebuke that went something like this: “There are plenty of people dying in the Congo and Rwanda and nobody is making headlines about that.” I tried to explain that Zimbabwe, once the agricultural orchard of Africa, was now suffering 80 percent unemployment and 1700 percent inflation. Both white farmers and black opposition leaders have suffered under Mugabe’s savage rule. Yet this activist informed me that she “did not care” about the plight of Morgan Tsvangarai and others who risked their lives to challenge Mugabe‘s dictatorship.

[. . .]

This is a sorry state of affairs. The same Left that rails against Israel and the United States and organizes marches for the “liberation” of Palestine will not acknowledge the political crisis in Zimbabwe because it would mean siding with America.

Someone finds this a surprise? Radical left-wing feminists in the US side with the Taliban against the US. They prefer those who treat women as slaves to the man who liberated the woman of two nations. Giving the women of both the first chance they had ever had to vote and the women of one (Afghanistan) the first chance they had ever had to walk outside without a husband or male relative to escort them.

Another reason that the left is silent on the suffering of Zimbabwe is that to admit that they were wrong all those years ago when they were working to remove Rhodesia's white government. It their world view the ultimate evil was a minority white government ruling over people of color.

To protest Mugabe's criminally insane policies would be to admit that those who warned that the black population of Rhodesia were better off with the white government than they would be under "one man one vote" were right.

So in Zimbabwe things will never get so bad that the left will raise its voice, let alone its hand, in protest.