Megapundit Extra: Robert Mugabe, so misunderstood


Mohamed Elmasry‘s astonishing defence of Robert Mugabe, which appeared in yesterday’s Montreal Gazette, somehow escaped our notice until today. It’s difficult to summarize without spoiling its inherent, terrible beauty. But basically, while Elmasry concedes a certain “clumsiness” in the Zimbabwean president’s approach to redressing “100 years of social injustice in his country,” his position is that in reality Mugabe is “no worse than many leaders in the developing world,” and that his people are purely the victims of Western sanctions born of sour, racist grapes.

Mugabe was trying to implement a land reform [in the 1980s]; to redistribute the land of about 5,000 white farmers to his country’s poor black people. And that is a great sin. So he was and still is in the West called a dictator, an arrogant, aging autocrat who has run the economy into the ground, fanned racial hatred and abused his power to suppress political foes, the courts and media, etc. etc.

Western media seldom report that Mugabe was and still is popular especially in the rural areas; his land reform has won him support among his own people.

As for that horribly dodgy runoff election, which was so roundly condemned by colonialist oppressor nations like Canada, the United States and Britain… and, er, Tanzania, Botswana, Liberia and Rwanda? Well—and this is definitely our favourite part—at least Mugabe’s on the side of Zimbabweans.

Mugabe decided to hold a run-off election last month. But [Morgan] Tsvangirai pulled out and sought refuge in the Dutch embassy, which to some observers is a proof that he is a stooge of Western powers.



Megapundit Extra: Robert Mugabe, so misunderstood

  1. Wow indeed. That’s some out of touch world this freelancer lives in. Obiviously this fellow’s filtre in which he sees the world is mared in resentment and other personal bias to see the objective reality of this poor country, the thousands hurt, mutilated, and worse killed, rigged elections, intimidation and some of the worlds highest inflation rate rending what little money the poor have useless.

  2. Wow indeed, indeed. Mugabe’s only possible gift to his citizens would be immediate suicide. No surprise that Elmasry has got his back: freedom-loving western democracies are calling him names, so Elmasry obviously concludes he can’t be all bad.

  3. This is the guy who went after Macleans.

  4. I think the point can be made that Mugabe is no worse than many other dictators AND that the west does make more of a fuss (far more of a fuss) over Zimbabwe than it does over other countries that have far worse fraud etc. occurring (For example, if it weren’t for Mark Thatcher, would any of us have ever heard of Equitorial Guinea).

    However, that fact (that there is an inherent western bias, probably based in the white versus black conflict) does not lead to any defence of Mugabe – if all you can say is “why are you picking on him, he is no worse than the others” well, that is a pretty weak base to build your defense.

  5. Most of the Zimbabweans actually, still think Mugabe is a hero. Even those who have ran away from Zim to Botswana, they still refer to Mugabe as a founding Father. Which I find very suprising!

  6. What an astonishingly naive and ignorant person. Race has nothing to do with what is going on in Zimbabwe. Anyone who is considered an opposition supporter or a threat by those in the Zanu(pf) structure is a target for violence of the most extreme kind. And most of the persons affected by the violent attacks perpetrated by Zanu(pf) thugs happen to be ordinary black Zimbabweans who are bearing the brunt of the illegitimate regimes anger, while suffering extreme poverty and malnutrition. What kind of liberation is this? Freedom to starve while being brutally beaten by the ‘liberator’?

  7. It’s perfectly true that land redistribution was one of the original tenets of the liberation struggle in Zimbabwe.

    What Elmasry fails to mention is that the brutal land grab that has finally resulted in the vast majority of white landowners quitting Zimbabwe had very little to do with actual land reform. In the referundum held in 2000, white farmers openly supported the MDC and the referendum was defeated. Mugabe and his Zanu(PF) henchmen were furious and set out to punish the white farmers and their farmworkers and to neutralise them as a political force.

    Very little of the land has ended up in the hands of Zimbabwe peasants. The beneficiaries have mainly been the Zanu(PF) elite and some of the so-called “War Veterans” most of whom were not even born before 1980 and could not have participated in the liberation struggle in the 1970s. Of course, no more than a handful of the new land owners have any farming skills, and hence, most of the land is either lying fallow or is used for subsistence farming where people are able to get seeds and implements.

    The accusation that Morgan Tsvangirai is a stooge of Western powers has a certain amount of truth to it. Tsvangirai is not highly educated like Mugabe or Mbeki and he is probably not aware of the nature of Global Corporations and the World Bank and IMF and what their real agendas are, and hence he has indicated that if he is elected, he will welcome the World Bank and IMF to “help” Zimbabwe to recover.

    It’s time that Mugabe retires and allows younger people to take over. However, he is right that those that take over should not simply deliver Zimbabwe into the hands of the economic players whose only real interest in Zimbabwe is the mineral wealth.

    Of course, it is the Zimbabwe peoples’ right to choose their leaders, and on March 29, they chose Tsvangirai and the MDC and so the Zimbabwe people must deal with the consequences of that choice, once the current impasse is sorted out.

  8. Mugabe’s time has come and gone. He should go.
    But two points:-
    Race matters. Mugabe is still honoured because
    of the years in the jungle fighting the British
    farmer/country club set. That set built the
    country but built it on African tribal land and
    the backs of cheap African labour. History matters too.

    Secondly,Mugabe has some paranoia about Western
    influence. Some of that paranoia may be justified.
    Some may think that the toppling of governments
    comes out of nowhere with a “spontaneous” uprising of “the people”,such as the mythology
    surrounding Solidarity, the “Orange Revolution”,
    Eastern Europe generally. Usually “the people”
    are mobilized (and killed) but with a lot of
    Western “support”,both overt and covert.
    I’m sure Mugabe and his handlers (he is very
    old) know this. But he should go.
    Resistance is futile.

  9. How is Mugabe equivalent to 2008 Western world leaders? I don’t see Dubya going around everywhere encouraging women to be raped, and provoking a youth coalition to destroy his countries social fabric with assault (his black followers taking the place of whites two or more generations ago is a hollow victory for equality).
    I don’t see Dubya threatening to unleash anarchy in the USA if he loses a close election.
    I think Harper’s position is correct, and the G8 for this single issue have their heads screwed on right.
    The Hawkish line is to redirect aid destined for Zimbabwe and to a lesser extent Mugabe supporters, to other domestic projections. Maybe tax credits to domestic desalination, farm equipment, fertilizer miner, seed, “mailable” solar panel, malaria and aids drug/biotech, companies. The dovish line is to redirect the aid to progressive nations like Botswana, and to a lesser extent to those who take a progressive AU stance like Kenya.
    What is South Africa doing? True they have to accommodate refugee inflows, but they are hosting the World Cup in a few years. They have the chance to addresss this issue now, instead of then. They won the right to host the World Cup in part because of an acknowledgement ending aparthaid was a good move. Now they are privy to the early stages of ethnic cleansing. Here’s an idea, Mbeki: pretend Tsvangarai and his supporters are white.
    The African Union is off to a rocky start; historic wrongs can’t be righted in an environment of self-inflicted wrongs. Foreign aid is unfortunately very limited at present, if Zimbabwe can grow wheat but is choosing not to, that is less foreign aid for other needy nations that haven’t intentionally plunged wheat yields, mostly in the African Union.

  10. Typo. I meant for Mbeki to pretend Mugabe and his militia were white. The world has changed since the 70’s and 80’s. Take a look at the upcoming US election if you don’t believe me.

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