I can’t help feeling at least some pleasure at the news that Robert Mugabe, former dictator of Zimbabwe, has shuffled off this mortal coil. He was personally responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of his people, and transformed Zimbabwe from a flourishing economy, the breadbasket of Africa, to a famine-stricken wreck of a country. As former Rhodesians were wont to say cynically, “People used to come to Rhodesia to see the Zimbabwe Ruins. Now they come to Zimbabwe to see the ruins of Rhodesia.” That was, overwhelmingly, Mugabe’s doing.
My friend Lawdog has written a less restrained farewell to Robert Mugabe. He doesn’t mince his words. Go read it for yourself.
The biggest tragedy is that, in African terms, Mugabe was a pretty common-or-garden tyrant. He was merely one of a number of them, all just as bad as each other, and some worse. Mobutu of the Congo, Amin of Uganda, “Emperor” Bokassa of the Central African Republic, Charles Taylor of Liberia, and many others join him in the pantheon of pariahs.
The fact that so many of them exist in Africa is one reason why that continent is in such dire straits. Its people are desperate to flee anywhere that can offer them a better life, whether or not they are welcome there. They’re trying in their thousands to reach the USA, and are causing a real problem for Mexico right now in the process. It’s only going to get worse.
By tolerating the existence of such brutal dictators, the West has basically made the problem of Africa much worse . . . both for Africans, and for the West as a whole.