Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 16, 2008 / 13 Sivan 5768

A blind eye to Mugabe's reign of terror

By Jeff Jacoby

Jeff Jacoby
Printer Friendly Version
Email this article


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The agonies being inflicted on Zimbabwe by its corrupt and brutal president are worsening. Earlier this month, the government of Robert Mugabe ordered international aid agencies to put a halt to the operations that have been keeping hundreds of thousands of Zimbabwe's people alive. With most of the country's population out of work and in dire poverty, the food and other humanitarian assistance provided by groups like CARE and Save the Children are more desperately needed than ever. By shutting them down, Mugabe and his henchmen were knowingly condemning countless vulnerable Zimbabweans to death.


Mugabe claimed, preposterously, that the humanitarian agencies were trying "to cripple Zimbabwe's economy" and bring about "illegal regime change."


Actually, it his own demented and dictatorial misrule that has destroyed the country, turning what was once a prosperous land into the world's most rapidly collapsing economy. And it is his determination to cling to power by any means - including starving and terrorizing voters who support a change in government - that has filled Zimbabwe not just with hunger and sickness but with savagery and bloodshed as well.


Less than two weeks remain until the presidential election runoff between Mugabe, Zimbabwe's autocratic president for the last 28 years, and the popular opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who leads the Movement for Democratic Change. Tsvangirai and the MDC won the first round of elections in March, and supporters of Mugabe and his ZANU-PF ruling party have been waging a vicious campaign of intimidation and violence against them ever since.


Opposition rallies have been obstructed by police, and Tsvangirai has repeatedly been detained for hours at a time. On Thursday, the MDC's secretary general, Tendai Biti, was arrested and charged with treason. Thousands of opposition supporters have been attacked, arrested, or forced to flee for their lives. Homes have been torched; scores of people have been killed.


International aid workers say they were shut down to keep them from witnessing the government's increasingly lethal crackdown.


The depravity of those attacks is suggested by UNICEF, which has said that 10,000 children have been driven from their homes by the violence, and that schools taken over by progovernment forces are being used as torture centers. Peter Osborne, in a dispatch from Zimbabwe for The Mail on Sunday, a British newspaper, itemizes the methods of abuse favored by Mugabe's men: pouring boiling plastic on victims' backs, burning their extremities, and administering whippings violent enough to transform an adult's buttocks into a horrifying "mess of raw flesh."


The latest description of Zimbabwe's reign of terror comes from Human Rights Watch, which in a new report documents numerous cases of brutal repression by Mugabe supporters.


"ZANU-PF and its allies have . . . established torture camps and organized abusive 're-education' meetings around the country to compel MDC supporters into voting for Mugabe," the report says. Hundreds of voters have been flogged with sticks, whips, bicycle chains, and metal bars. In one "re-education" meeting May 5, "ZANU-PF officials and 'war veterans' beat six men to death and tortured another 70 men and women, including a 76-year-old woman publicly thrashed in front of assembled villagers."


In other meetings, military officers have threatened to kill anyone who votes for the opposition. "Each villager would be given a bullet to hold in their hands. Then a soldier would say, 'If you vote for MDC in the presidential runoff election, you have seen the bullets, we have enough for each one of you, so beware.' "


Mugabe's savage onslaught is likely to achieve its goal. Faced with starvation, dispossession, and threats of revenge, how many Zimbabweans will muster the courage to stand against him?


But why do the rest of us do nothing? Why is the free world so indifferent to the enormities committed by Mugabe and his bullies? Where are the worldwide demonstrations outside Zimbabwe's embassies? Where are the international boycotts, the UN resolutions, the presidential and papal condemnations? Where is the International Criminal Court indictment of Mugabe for his long career of murder, torture, and other crimes against humanity?


Let us be honest: If the people of Zimbabwe were being terrorized by a white despot - if it were a white ruling party whose goons were beating them and burning their homes - the whole world would be aroused on their behalf. Surely they deserve no less just because their oppressor is black.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Jeff Jacoby is a Boston Globe columnist. Comment by clicking here.

Jeff Jacoby Archives

© 2006, Boston Globe

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles