Friday, June 27, 2008

Zimbabwe and the death of Responsibility To Protect (update 5: the West's diabolically clever use of Croatia)

The election "runoff" between Robert Mugabe and nobody went ahead today despite a chorus of international opposition. The US and UK want the Security Council to pass a Presidential Statement stating that the election results "have no credibility or legitimacy" and insisting that the March 29 results -- won by MDC candidate Morgan Tsvangirai by a 48-43 margin -- be respected. In other words, the Council would be saying that Tsvangirai should be President. ("Are we certifying elections now?" wondered South African Ambassador Dumisani Kumalo.) However, the US and UK don't want to play into Mugabe's "imperialism" rhetoric. So they gave the resolution to Croatia and had THEM table it, so that it wouldn't appear to be a case of Western powers ganging up on poor little Robert Mugabe.

South Africa, for one, was not fooled. "And now they're using Croatia!" exclaimed Kumalo. "Some countries," he confided to an amused UN press corps, "they probably can't find Zimbabwe on a map."

US diplomats, meanwhile, suggested that if South Africa blocks their -- er, Croatia's -- proposed Presidential Statement from passing, then the US will bring a sanctions resolution. Which China will block.

Did I mention I'm probably going to have to come back here and work Saturday because of this?

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