Zimbabwe\'s Un-natural Disaster

More dangerous than a speeding tornado...

More destructive than a chaotic blaze...

Is it an earthquake? A typhoon? A Tsunami?

Nope, it's the government of Zimbabwe.

From The Telegraph:

It is a wasteland. Street after street razed in a scene that looks like a natural disaster. The hundreds of thousands who have been left homeless are calling it Zimbabwe's tsunami. But man, not nature, is to blame for the destruction enveloping this country.

The full force of Robert Mugabe's state is destroying homes and lives in what it calls Operation Restore Order. But all that can be seen is chaos and trauma. There is no compassion, only carefully executed brutality.

At Hatcliffe orphanage, run by Dominican sisters, the nuns, workers and 180 orphans were given a day to get out before the bulldozers arrived. Many of the children had lost their parents to Aids. Now, thanks to what the regime justifies as a crackdown on illegal settlements and traders, they have lost the roof over their heads and have nowhere to go.

Harrowing details of shattered lives tumbled from the lips of Sister Patricia Walsh. "There were people all over the place. There was smoke coming up from where some things had been burned. It was one of the most painful experiences I've ever known.

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Interesting. I think the US

Interesting. I think the US (government) ought to do nothing about this. Even though I think your export plan would stand a good chance of saving Zimbabwe and possibly giving US citizens and companies a new swarm of healthy trade partners, I don’t think state intervention is justified. To reject statism wholeheartedly we have to oppose charitable government intervention even (and especially) when we find it entirely worthwhile from a consequentialist standpoint. It’s hypocritical to promote capitalism by taxing citizens to finance the training and arming of foreign revolutionaries.

If a private organization recognized the benefit of a Zimbabwean revolution and took up the task of raising money for M-16s and training in constitutional law, I’d probably donate; like I implied, I think your strategy is worthwhile. Asking the government to do it is just a shortcut we should dedicate ourselves to not taking.

The world is a strange and

The world is a strange and horrible place.

OK, so things are terrible in Zimbabwe. Way, WAY beyond terrible. And its all the fault of Mugabe and the stupid things he does.

Great. Now that that's established, what are we supposed to DO about it?

Direct interventions rarely, if ever, work out well for the US. Sending troops to overthrow this punk only gives him legitimacy in the eyes of many in the third world who, somehow, manage to hate the US more than they love their own children. Anything we do to directly stop the slaughter will only strengthen his hand and get US soldiers killed for nothing.

Does anyone remember Mogadishu?

Instead, I say the US needs to become an active exporter of revolution. Bring people from oppressed dictatorships around the world to the US, and train them rigorously in BOTH military skills AND constitutional law, and return them to their homelands - with some free M-16's as a going away present.

Help the world by helping people help themselves.

er, substitute "Rainbough"

er, substitute "Rainbough" for "Trent" above. That's what I get for reading a bunch of posts together at once.

Trent: More dangerous than a

Trent: More dangerous than a speeding tornado... [etc., etc.]

Well, not to come across as the humorless scold, but really what's happening in Zimbabwe is beginning to sound more and more like an echo of forced de-urbanization. Like. In. Cambodia. I fear that it's rapidly passing the point at which even the most sardonic humor is appropriate.

Marc: Instead, I say the US needs to become an active exporter of revolution. Bring people from oppressed dictatorships around the world to the US, and train them rigorously in BOTH military skills AND constitutional law, and return them to their homelands - with some free M-16's as a going away present.

"Exporting" United States Constitutional law in its present form strikes me as about as useful to a freedom-loving insurrection in the Third World as the free M-16s.(1) Especially when the understanding of the law is being doled out by the United States government.

(1) N.B.: mass-produced AK-47s are far better suited to the kind of work that guerrillas have to do and the kind of conditions they have to do it in than finicky, expensive M-16s.

That said, there is nothing that I know of that prevents you, now, from doing this -- except, perhaps, the M-16s, which might come under federal arms control laws. You could gather the money, rent some land out in the country, make some contacts with Zimbabweans and Zimbabwean ex-pats over the Internet, and hold a Zimbabwean Freedom Summer Camp every summer. Heck, since you don't have to count on the good graces of U.S. government functionaries anymore, you could even do something more useful -- like giving them a crash course in the works of Lysander Spooner and supplementing militia training with a solid grounding in, say, the history and tactics of nonviolent passive resistance. And then help them gain the organizational skills and resources necessary to create similar camps in safe areas in sub-Saharan Africa (say) to do the same thing.

If you really want to "Help the world by helping people help themselves," why not start by helping yourself instead of depending on the government to do it for you?

Or maybe you libertarians

Or maybe you libertarians could find out which monopolized commodity that has impelled these atriocities?

Wherever strife exists in this world there is a corporation backed by a government handing out "free m-16s" to the ones committing the atrocities.

BTW, you might want to go with the free aks instead, much cheaper and more reliable. Kind of urks you that the ak was designed by a commie don't it?

Without free and fair markets, political freedom will not survive or ever evolve. Put that in your political equations.