Thursday, 11 December 2008

Letter to The Times on Zimbabwe (unpublished)

The Editor
The Times


Sir,

Zimbabwe is a failed state whose malicious government through design and omission is bringing about conditions of starvation and disease. The Zimbabwean people are tyrannised and are unable to rise up. The neighbouring African countries, with a few brave exceptions, have utterly failed to modify Mugabe's behaviour, are unwilling to intervene and are militarily incapable of the task. The UN has been supine as it was in Rwanda, Darfur, Saddam-era Iraq and Bosnia. Western powers have ruled out military intervention, citing practical difficulties and overstretch while hiding behind the convenient shield of colonial guilt. Is there anyone left? I contend that the answer might be nearer to home than we think.

The collective outrage of ordinary citizens throughout the world ought to be channelled into toppling Mugabe. If enough people donated money, it should be possible to assemble a mercenary army using established, highly trained security companies which do so much quasi-military work in countries like Iraq and Afghanistan. With the correct leadership and resources, such a force could inflict a serious blow on the Mugabe regime, which might shame other actors to intervene. We must not allow our Governments and the UN to abdicate themselves, in our name, of their responsibility to protect the people of Zimbabwe at their time of need. Most people would view this as a ludicrous suggestion. I need only remind them that when fascists rose up in Spain, 30,000 civilians from over 50 nations formed the international brigades and put their action where their mouths were. Would today's generation show such courage?

Yours faithfully,

John Slinger

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