Tuesday, July 26, 2005


NYT Makes Two Good Editorial Points in One Day

Truth Telling on Zimbabwe - New York Times: "She has now reported that the forcible clearances, which began in May and have cost 700,000 people their homes or livelihoods, were carried out in an 'indiscriminate and unjustified manner' with 'indifference to human suffering.' The damage from this 'virtual state of emergency,' she reported, will take years to undo. In the name of the United Nations, she demanded that the razing of homes and businesses be immediately halted, that the campaign's architects be prosecuted and that the victims of this 'manmade disaster' be compensated. It is winter in the Southern Hemisphere, and hundreds of thousands of uprooted people, many of them women and children, are shivering in tents.
Mr. Mugabe, a tyrant, is increasingly out of touch with reality in the style of Stalin and Mao. He is starving and killing his own people, and the unwillingness of some of Africa's most prestigious leaders, like Presidents Thabo Mbeki of South Africa and Benjamin Mkapa of Tanzania, to challenge him publicly is especially disturbing at a time when these same leaders prate on about a commitment to accountable governments and peer review of one another. Mrs. Tibaijuka's unflinching honesty shames their silence."

While our diplomats have to be very careful how they handle these things, this is another story that the public isn't thinking about or weighing in on. The diplomats may see it differently if the public were pressuring them to do something. Polls probably couldn't even be done about this here in America, because so few Americans even know this is happening. This is not to say that just because the American public wants something done, the government would be able to do anything any differently. We have found, however, that the collective American voice can initiate change. As we sit in our air conditioned homes on our fluffy couches, we should take some time to put thought to how to draw a collective voice and what that voice should utter.

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