Obama: Mugabe is a ‘Threat’

Diplomatic hostilities resumed today between Zimbabwe and the rest of the world, as Barack Obama lead several countries in pouring condemnation on Robert Mugabe’s regimen. The decision to uphold trade sanctions against Zimbabwe for another year is hardly surprising, but what is really noteworthy is Obama’s choice of rhetoric:

The crisis constituted by the actions and policies of certain members of the government of Zimbabwe […] has not been resolved. These actions and policies pose a continuing, unusual and extraordinary threat to the foreign policy of the United States.

Seems rather similar to a certain G.W. Bush nearly six years ago:

The terrorist threat to America and the world will be diminished the moment that Saddam Hussein is disarmed.

I’m not comparing Obama to Bush, or suggesting that an Iraq-style campaign against Zimbabwe should be undertaken. However, it seems like ‘threat’ is a very active noun for Barack to use, and it suggests escalating action in the near future. He may not refer to terrorism, but the choice to call this an ‘extraordinary’ threat sets up Zimbabwe as an unavoidable issue.

The main reason the UN has not interfered in Zimbabwe so far is that the only threat Mugabe poses is to his own people. Whilst his actions and policies may result in a domestic humanitarian crisis, it is not a crisis of international relations. Therefore the rest of the world contentedly sits on the sidelines and prefers to act via aid rather than intervention or, dare I say it, regimen change.

One thing is clear: Zimbabwe cannot stay the way it is for much longer.

6 thoughts on “Obama: Mugabe is a ‘Threat’

  1. When Obama sends US troops into Zimbabwe, Sudan, and Kenya his constituency will approve of it because they will paint it as a war to liberate the people of the nations from tyrants.

    Oddly, they will still denounce Bush for liberating the Iraqi people from the tyrant and genocidal maniac, Saddam Hussein.

    Obama’s wars will be, by their very nature – Obama-approved – accepted as just and righteous by the Liberals.

  2. Invade? Who said invade? This would – if it happened – be a peace-keeping mission to ensure a free “pro-Odinga” election and to quell the resulting violence.


  3. So….. sending peace-keeping troops (who cannot engage in combat nor affect the government or politics, and are mainly there to show local forces that the world is watching) to Kenya would be a bad, cynical thing to do, and invading Iraq, killing a lot of people in the process, hijacking their natural resources and reducing the country to one of the most dangerous places to live on earth is “liberation”?

    That is the most twisted logic I’ve seen in a long time.

  4. charlottekss,

    I think you missed my sarcasm. If Obama sends troops to Africa, it will be to engage in combat. It just wont be labeled as such.

    BTW: Your interpretation of our involvement in Iraq is one of the most twisted and America-hating ones I’ve ever encountered. Sadly I encounter it a lot.

  5. I don’t hate Americans. The UK sent troops too, and I am a UK citizen. I just don’t agree with the war, and I think it was a horrific mistake. Don’t confuse being against the war with being against Americans. In fact, I don’t want American teenagers to come home in coffins fighting against a country that had NOTHING to do with Al-Qaeda. Saddam Hussein and Obama bin Laden hated eachother. The Ba’ath party was essentially a secularised authoritarian regime, using Islam as a legitimist tool, but not fundamentalist Islam. Fundamentalist Islam only got big in Iraq after the invasion, mainly because the invasion was very badly planned and resulted in civil disorder. You don’t even need to do your homework to know that!

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