Zimbabwe.

AuthorTopic: Zimbabwe.
Shaper
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So, I was watching the news last night, and apparently, a large number of Zimbabwean people have taken to the streets in protest against President Mugabe. The way the newsreader was talking, it sounded as if a civil war could break out.

Now, I can't for the life of me find any links on the BBC website, or anywhere else for that matter, and the details I have are sketchy, but should something happen over there, and we have a chance to remove Mugabe from power, do we act upon it?

So far, I can see a few positives, obviously, but also several key negatives.

Firstly, we don't want another Iraq/Afghanistan. Our troops are too bogged down as it is, before we even consider another conflict.

Secondly, if just the Brits go, we're looking at potential alienation from the people. Old colonial powers sticking their noses in Africa's business is something that the African's I speak to seem to hate without limit.

I could also state a third point, but, well, it's too controversial, and probably overtly subjective, and me ranting about how our nations screw over Africa isn't the point here.

Anyway, what does everybody think? Do we support the civil movement, but stay out from the conflict in all ways? Do we have nothing at all to do with it? Do we give the people weapons? Or do we go and fight along-side them?

Or, something completely different?

Edit: For anybody who isn't aware of anything about Zimbabwe, here is a BBC profile. It's pretty crappy, but it's okay for basic info: Zimbabwe on the BBC

[ Friday, March 02, 2007 09:12: Message edited by: The Walrus xx ]

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Posts: 2864 | Registered: Monday, September 8 2003 07:00
Law Bringer
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Zimbabwe has no oil and no money. Hence, no intervention.

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Isn't that in the Caribbean?

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Posts: 4114 | Registered: Monday, April 25 2005 07:00
Law Bringer
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I don't think the U.S. will be doing anything else until Iraq/Iran is semi-resolved. Supporting democracy has to take a backseat to fighting terrorism. :P

But yeah... the last thing Zimbabwe needs is a few more years of Mugabe.

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Posts: 4130 | Registered: Friday, March 26 2004 08:00
Law Bringer
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The US only helps out now for oil or to fight Al-Qaeda. We'll leave it to the Europeans.

[ Saturday, March 03, 2007 21:42: Message edited by: Randomizer ]
Posts: 4643 | Registered: Friday, February 10 2006 08:00
Guardian
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By Eph:
quote:
I don't think the U.S. will be doing anything else until Iraq/Afghanistan is semi-resolved. Supporting democracy has to take a backseat to fighting terrorism.
FYT. Really, the States needs to help out with cleaning up Mess #1 before they start Mess #3 on their own. It's becoming increasingly unlikely that Canada will extend its term, and while I don't know about the Dutch political situation, I doubt they'll want to be in Kandahar alone.

EDIT: Spellin.

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[ Friday, March 02, 2007 20:54: Message edited by: Dintiradan ]
Posts: 1509 | Registered: Tuesday, January 10 2006 08:00
Agent
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By Spent Salmon
quote:
Isn't that in the Caribbean?
I hope you're joking. And if you aren't, Zimbabwe is in southern Africa.

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WWJD?
Posts: 1384 | Registered: Tuesday, February 6 2007 08:00
Agent
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Zimbabwe is an entirely different situation from Iraq, Afghanistan or even Kosovo, and there is no chance of military action.

For one thing, any US/European intervention would upset South Africa too much.

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Posts: 1104 | Registered: Monday, March 10 2003 08:00
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:rolleyes:

When Salmon says something like that, it's a fair bet that he's joking.

[ Saturday, March 03, 2007 15:10: Message edited by: Cryptozoology ]

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By Committee
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Zimbabwe is the classic case for no intervention: no oil, no islamicists, no worries! There isn't even one ethnic group hosing the other (all the white people have pretty much gotten out of town); it's just an old-fashioned failed state.

I'm willing to bet though that it will start to straighten itself out within the next five years. The first move, of course, will be exercising the entrenched government.
Posts: 2242 | Registered: Saturday, April 10 2004 07:00
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I apologise for being misinformed. It turns out Zimbabwe is the fancy new name for Rhodesia. I know where Rhodesia is, God bless Cecil's soul. The middle of nowhere, right? They do seem to be in a spot of trouble, ever since the early 9th century when they were invaded by land hungry neighbors from the north. That repeated, although strangely the Islamic tribes never bothered. Sure, they came and traded (wisely), but never tried to command. Huh. Maybe there was wisdom in that.

[/rollover induced ramble]

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quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

Well, I'm at least pretty sure that Salmon is losing.


Posts: 4114 | Registered: Monday, April 25 2005 07:00
Shaper
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Wait, wait... this just in, the country's new name is: Pepsi Presents Zimbabwe.

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Posts: 2156 | Registered: Thursday, August 24 2006 07:00
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Zimbabwe is widely execrated by US foreign policy and targeted by US destabilization-by-NGO groups - but we stop well short of actively interfering in the country as we do in the Middle East.

Why? Because Zimbabwe is a Chinese colony.

We want to weaken China strategically by knocking over the government, which is extremely friendly to Chinese capital and industry. We don't want to piss the Chinese off, or we at least want to avoid it if we can. But they're a strategic rival and we treat them as such. Zimbabwe is part of that.

It's a prototype for the new colonial scramble, really. The methods we pioneered for destabilizing a government with close historical ties to another in countries like the Ukraine and Central Asia are fine and good, but they're not perfect. The government destabilization model is one we're constantly tinkering with.

In east Africa, the Chinese hope to build a tidy little neo-colonial empire. We hope to stop them - and to make sure we've got our methods for destroying governments without overtly lifting a finger down pat.
Posts: 794 | Registered: Tuesday, October 11 2005 07:00
Law Bringer
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quote:
Originally written by Spent Salmon:

God bless Cecil's soul.
You are Tully. Busted.

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Posts: 8752 | Registered: Wednesday, May 14 2003 07:00
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Hmmmm. RLY?

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quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

Well, I'm at least pretty sure that Salmon is losing.


Posts: 4114 | Registered: Monday, April 25 2005 07:00
Agent
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By Protocols of the Elders of Zion
quote:
Why? Because Zimbabwe is a Chinese colony.
Since when is Zimbabwe a Chinese colony? I'm taking world history as an elective, and the countries who colonized Africa are all from Europe.

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WWJD?
Posts: 1384 | Registered: Tuesday, February 6 2007 08:00
Agent
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quote:
Originally written by Excalibur:

By Protocols of the Elders of Zion
quote:
Why? Because Zimbabwe is a Chinese colony.
Since when is Zimbabwe a Chinese colony? I'm taking world history as an elective, and the countries who colonized Africa are all from Europe.

quote:
Originally written by Protocols of the Elders of Zion:

In east Africa, the Chinese hope to build a tidy little neo-colonial empire.
Read before you post.

Also, you probably shouldn't put much weight on what you learn in a world history class. For one, you don't actually learn much about any one area. For another, the information you may be taught might be incorrect or possibly interpreted in a different way. Finally, for more recent history, almost no school is going to have accurate and up-to-date textbooks.

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quote:
Originally written by Kelandon
Well, I'm at least pretty

Posts: 1115 | Registered: Sunday, May 15 2005 07:00
Off With Their Heads
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quote:
Originally written by Calphrexo:

For another, the information you may be taught might be incorrect or possibly interpreted in a different way.
In other words, don't believe anything you ever learn from any source? :P

EDIT: There is a way in which that is reasonable (don't believe it, just learn it as the best information you have at the moment), but that's another issue.

[ Sunday, March 04, 2007 21:04: Message edited by: Kelandon ]

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Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
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quote:
Originally written by Excalibur:

By Protocols of the Elders of Zion
quote:
Why? Because Zimbabwe is a Chinese colony.
Since when is Zimbabwe a Chinese colony? I'm taking world history as an elective, and the countries who colonized Africa are all from Europe.

The dude above's snippy dismissal misses why you're wrong, and I'm feeling nice today, so I'll explain.

There were two prehistorical (before the study of colonialism as a social science) colonial periods: the conquest of the new world in the 1500s-1700s and the scramble for Africa in the 1800s-early 1900s.

During the Cold War, something like colonies were built up via one global power or the other directly controlling or severely influencing the government. This could constitute a third form of colonialism.

What we are experiencing now is a supranational imperialism: rather than being bent to the influence of a foreign country, countries providing labor, materials, markets, or all of the above are bent to the influence of foreign investors. The Zimbabwean government has signed agreements with the Chinese government which offer Chinese investors extremely low prices for land and resources in Zimbabwe, and has been selling off state-owned or confiscated mining and farming operations - largely to Chinese companies, who enjoy a large advantage in pricing.

This is called 'neo-colonialism': where investors from one country subdue the government of another to collude with their interests. The final stage will all too likely involve the country as more or less a private fief of a few large corporations - like you see in cyberpunk, only lodged in a third-world hellhole.

To the extent the government of China is involved in Zimbabwe at all, it is to further the interests of the corporations - because the corporations have bent the Chinese government to their will, too.

The way the new imperialism works isn't that the US government beats up or butters up the Chinese government and forces it to manufacture for Wal-Mart, but that Wal-Mart beats up or butters up both the US government and the Chinese government, and both sign increasingly synergistic agreements to accomodate Wal-Mart.
Posts: 794 | Registered: Tuesday, October 11 2005 07:00
Agent
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Hmmm... I've nver heard of neo-colonialism, so I thought you were saying that Zimbabwe was a colony the same way that America was a colony. Unless mercantilism and neo-colonialism are similar.

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Posts: 1384 | Registered: Tuesday, February 6 2007 08:00
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quote:
Originally written by Excalibur:

Hmmm... I've nver heard of neo-colonialism, so I thought you were saying that Zimbabwe was a colony the same way that America was a colony. Unless mercantilism and neo-colonialism are similar.
Different types of 'colonies' are actually extremely different. The kind of paternal relationship between England and America also existed, to varying degrees, between France and Chad, Italy and Abyssinia, and the USSR and Poland.

Each of those could debatably be called a kind of 'colony', although some fall under 'satellite' and some were just an Imperial possession. But the basic idea is the self-determination of one group being suborned to another on the pretense of their superiority in some way; that's the one continuity between all colonial periods.
Posts: 794 | Registered: Tuesday, October 11 2005 07:00
Nuke and Pave
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quote:
Originally written by Calphrexo:

...Also, you probably shouldn't put much weight on what you learn in a world history class. For one, you don't actually learn much about any one area. For another, the information you may be taught might be incorrect or possibly interpreted in a different way. Finally, for more recent history, almost no school is going to have accurate and up-to-date textbooks.
The history teacher vs. a random anonymous guy online ... whom to trust ... such a hard decision ...

I know, let's trust the random anonymous guy, because history classes are always incomplete, biased, and generally evil.

More seriously, while it's good to have a healthy dose of scepticism, you need to apply your scepticism equally well to all sources of information. And there are very few circumstances in which words of an anonymous online poster should carry more weight than words of journalists, teachers, or other people who have to follow at least some professional standards.

[ Tuesday, March 06, 2007 11:07: Message edited by: Zeviz ]

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Posts: 2649 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
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quote:
Originally written by Zeviz:

quote:
Originally written by Calphrexo:

...Also, you probably shouldn't put much weight on what you learn in a world history class. For one, you don't actually learn much about any one area. For another, the information you may be taught might be incorrect or possibly interpreted in a different way. Finally, for more recent history, almost no school is going to have accurate and up-to-date textbooks.
The history teacher vs. a random anonymous guy online ... whom to trust ... such a hard decision ...

I know, let's trust the random anonymous guy, because history classes are always incomplete, biased, and generally evil.

More seriously, while it's good to have a healthy dose of scepticism, you need to apply your scepticism equally well to all sources of information. And there are very few circumstances in which words of an anonymous online poster should carry more weight than words of journalists, teachers, or other people who have to follow at least some professional standards.

Zeviz, did you actually go to high school in the United States? We do not have what you would call the most comprehensive attitude towards history.

You'd need to run through advanced classes your entire time in high school to get the equivalent of even a fairly dopey college HIST105/HIST106 course, let alone the higher-level classes.

A HS World History course is so broad and basic as to be almost useless as serious history. It will prevent someone from being completely ignorant to what Bush's fan club means when they are calling him Churchillian, but it will leave that same someone at a complete loss to say why they're lying and whether or not that's a good thing.

The stuff I'm going over on colonialism is college-level stuff. And unlike the sciences, which are awesome but completely rot their students' ability to think in a nuanced fashion (and with a contempt for nuance that hides behind 'critical thinking' but in reality generally stems from their humiliating learned tendency to call a rake a spade), what is true at basic-level history is not only not applicable in higher-level history, it's often out-and-out untrue.

In basic-level history, 'colonies' are just the strictest definition of the word - the 16th-18th c. period during which European countries settled the United States, having decimated its native population. For a class whose primary job is to prepare students to understand American history in context, that's an okay definition. In the broader history of colonialism, that's not only wrong, but uselessly wrong - the majority of colonial systems don't work that way, because for only the post-Columbian situation and Australia is the situation even remotely like that.

There've been at least a dozen different types of self-determination subordinations, from the colony system of ancient Greece to neo-imperialism (which is a huge and active area of study in sociology and history) and everything in between. Lumping 'em all into the United States with different flags is okay if and only if your only concern with history is why you're getting checks for research work from a place called Berkeley instead of Universidad Tecnical del Norte.

In general terms, when an expert and an amateur come into conflict, you're right: go for the expert. But in this case, whatever the expert might know about the subject, it's not his job to talk about it. On the other hand, it is my job to talk about it. So there you go.

[ Wednesday, March 07, 2007 01:25: Message edited by: Protocols of the Elders of Zion ]
Posts: 794 | Registered: Tuesday, October 11 2005 07:00
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quote:
Originally written by Protocols of the Elders of Zion:

The stuff I'm going over on colonialism is college-level stuff. And unlike the sciences, which are awesome but completely rot their students' ability to think in a nuanced fashion (and with a contempt for nuance that hides behind 'critical thinking' but in reality generally stems from their humiliating learned tendency to call a rake a spade), what is true at basic-level history is not only not applicable in higher-level history, it's often out-and-out untrue.
For what it's worth, I haven't found this to be the case in general. In fact, I'd say your statement itself shows something of a lack of nuanced thinking. :P

(Oh, and things that are true in basic science tend to become untrue in advanced science too. Teachers simplifying to the point of out-and-out lying to their students seems pretty universal.)

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Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
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To paraphrase Alec, my World History textbook did not have anything on Zimbabwe. However there was some talk about the various European protectorates in the sub-continent. Including Rhodesia.

In the early 80's.

But the manner in which the textbook industry determines cirricula is a matter for a different topic.

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quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

Well, I'm at least pretty sure that Salmon is losing.


Posts: 4114 | Registered: Monday, April 25 2005 07:00