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 July 15, 2008 / 13 Tamuz 5768

The shame of Africa

By Nat Hentoff

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Global attention, following Robert Mugabe's blood-drenched extension of his presidency in Zimbabwe, was on the summit meeting of the leaders in the African Union. At the start, Asha-Rose Migiro, deputy secretary general of the United Nations, spoke plainly: "This is a moment of truth for regional leaders," with Mugabe having created "the single greatest challenge to regional stability in southern Africa."

A few African heads of states agreed with her — notably Kenya's Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who said of his reigning colleagues: "They should suspend (Mugabe) and send peace forces to Zimbabwe to ensure free and fair elections."

This heretic was ignored, and the unscathed Mugabe — "Africa's Hitler" — was asked only to consider forming a power-sharing unity government with the opposition Movement for Democratic Change. And the United States, as of this writing, is pushing the U.N. Security Council to impose garden-variety sanctions on Mugabe's swashbuckling government.

Even if those sanctions were not vetoed by China, Russia and South Africa (which has disgraced itself through President Thabo Mbeki's appeasing "mediation"), Mugabe's total control of Zimbabwe's military, judiciary and his hordes of thugs will not be affected.

As for the likelihood of the dictator's "good faith" efforts to work with a unity government, the BBC reported on July 4 that he has already taken care of the annoyance in the first election (May 26) that gave the Movement for Democratic Change control of the parliament. This was only a 10-seat majority for the MDC; and ominously, as the African Union leaders were meeting, the members of the legislature had not yet been seated.

That fragile majority is now broken. The BBC disclosed that the obstructive 10 MDC members are now in prison or otherwise charged and unavailable to take their seats. This will require, of course, bi-elections, which, as in the runoff, will be supervised by poll watchers with clubs and some other forms of Mugabe-style electioneering likely to cause the demise of unpatriotic voters.

The MDC, understandably, has many conditions before negotiating for a "unity" government.

But what of the people of Zimbabwe in the wake of their liberator's smiling return from the African Union summit? There has been little world press attention on the millions who have not been able to flee from what Mugabe is fond of calling "the Zimbabwean way" of governing.

Due to a July 2 report from Harare, Zimbabwe's capital, by the United Nations' IRIN news service, we have some sense of the result of the African Union's (and the United Nation's) utter failure to be of any use to these people.

Chamunorwa Shamhu, an employee of one of the few nongovernmental organizations the Liberator allows to function in Zimbabwe, says of his colleagues: "This is no joke — people have been operating like zombies. People are listless, dejected, have no interest in their work."

This heavy pall is not limited to that workplace. IRIN News adds: "Psychologist Paddington Japajana said people appeared to have symptoms akin to post-traumatic stress disorder — a condition associated with horrific experiences. "'The condition manifests itself,'" Japajana said, "'through profound sadness, fear, depression, apprehension, failure to concentrate, failure to participate in usual activities.'"

Also quoted is Sharon Dube, "who has two children and is a junior at an advertising agency." (Even in a wasteland like Zimbabwe, there apparently is always a place for an advertising agency.)

Dube, whose existence is of no interest to Mugabe or, for that matter, to Mbeki, says: "My children are growing up and they need to eat, but my earnings are not able to sustain them. I have all along had led a pretty decent life, but as things stand (in recent years), if the hardships continue, the only option left to me would be prostitution."

Also revealing of the world's abandonment of what leaders running for office like to call "the ordinary people," there are messages received by Jonathan Clayton, a Times of London reporter who had been jailed in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second-largest city, for sneaking into the country to cover the first round of elections.

Text messages he now regularly gets from released former cellmates include: "I am begging you Mr. Jonathan pliz (sic) help us. ... We cannot stay in this country any longer, it is mad place now." In the June 30, Times of London, Jonathan Clayton writes: "My cellmates all had a naive belief that the outside world would not stand by and watch President Mugabe cheat his way back to power. They desperately sought reassurance. I never said what I truly believed — that once again Mr. Mugabe would get away with murder."

But elsewhere, life goes on. Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican of California, says of sportsman George W. Bush's attending the opening of China's Genocide Olympics: "a president ... promoting democracy and human rights loses credibility (attending) ceremonies of the Olympics in a country that is the world's worst human-rights abuser."

Not quite the worst. There are a number of ardent competitors for this title. Mugabe may yet win that gold medal while Zimbabwe's people wholly drop out of the news.

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.

Nat Hentoff is a nationally renowned authority on the First Amendment and the Bill of Rights and author of several books, including his current work, "The War on the Bill of Rights and the Gathering Resistance". Comment by clicking here.

Nat Hentoff Archives

© 2006, NEA