Thursday, June 26

Zimbabwe's election

The Internets have been abuzz these last couple of days with pundits inveighing on what to do about Zimbabwe. Nobody really has a good answer, as far as I can tell. A couple pieces that stood out nonetheless:
  • Blessing-Miles Tendi and Francesca Salvi say that a proper election exercise is probably not in the cards within the next few years, and so a solution probably shouldn't focus on elections (Guardian).
  • Timothy Garton Ash offers some concrete steps short of military intervention that people in the West can take to influence the situation in Zimbabwe, even though, as he admits, they're kind of lame (Guardian).
  • Gayle Smith acknowledges that what's needed is for African states - not Western states - to step up pressure. Not much on what the West itself can do, beyond announcing that it's ready to step in with generous assistance packages if Mugabe goes (Washington Post).
I'd like to know why Western policymakers didn't think harder about a response to the current situation ahead of time. I'm not surprised that they didn't, and I'm not saying it would have been easy to come up with an effective response. But the current situation has been entirely predictable for months, and it seems that something beyond the total absence of ideas we're seeing now could have been conjured up.

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