Bloggers on the Zimbabwe elections and Robert Mugabe.

The latest chatter in cyberspace.
April 1 2008 5:15 PM

Mugabe's End?

Bloggers ponder the wonderful notion of a Mugabe-free Zimbabwe and try to figure out what Nancy Pelosi really thinks about superdelegates and a prolonged primary season.

Mugabe's end? After 28 years of brutal authoritarian rule, Robert Mugabe may be on his way out. According to the New York Times, the Zimbabwe president's attempt to falsify last weekend's election results are failing, and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai is in negotiation with Mugabe's top advisers about brokering a transfer of power.

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This is Zimbabwe's Sokwanele quotes one democratic activist: "i am so happy to see change is finally coming to my country. i have worked for 10 years. i think after change we will have a rainbow zimbabwe made up of tolerance and i pray for a prosperous zimbabwe. my president believes that in 100 days we can feed our children again. sehambile!!!! (he is gone)" Nancy Reyes at Mugabe makaipa puts one concern to rest: "[T]he major worry is that Zimbabwe will turn into another Kenya. The main difference is that in Kenya, the riots were tribal factions backing different men. In Zimbabwe, the Ndebele oppose Mugabe, but many of the opposition leaders, including Morgan Tsvaigirai, are of the majority Mashona tribe. So unlike Kenya, you do not have danger of a tribal war."

But at the New Republic's Plank, James Kirchick, who knows Mugabe's history well, is wary of celebrating the fall of the tyrant just yet: "[W]hile it's tempting to hold out hope that reports of his imminent demise are true, there is very little about Zimbabwe's history or Mugabe's own behavior to suggest that he would ever retire without handpicking a successor, or that he would ever be forced out office without a fight." As Lawhawk at A Blog for All cautions: "Mugabe will have to be given quite the golden parachute to make that happen. He still has support from the military and unless the military sees the writing on the wall and chooses to follow the election results that show the opposition clearly winning, they may continue to enable Mugabe's hold on power to the detriment of all Zimbabweans."

But Kel at the left-wing Osterley Times notes: "[T]he speed with which the results are being delivered, alone, tells us that Mugabe has been thrown off course and is frantically trying to fix things in his own favour. It's interesting that reports are coming out that he has been persuaded from simply pulling off a military takeover, as I would have imagined this to have been the first place his mind went."

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air says: "[t]he international community needs to increase its pressure on the situation as well.  The West has no influence with Mugabe, but it does on his African associates.   South Africa's Thabo Mbeki has  been one of Mugabes' closest allies, to the shame of Mbeki's own nation.  Britain and the US should make clear to Mbeki his responsibility in convincing Mugabe to abide by the actual will of his people and depart forthwith."

Read more about Mugabe.

Nancy's about-face: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi previously said Democratic superdelegates should vote according to the will of the people (read: for Obama), but she's changed her mind, apparently. She told Good Morning America: "These superdelegates have the right to vote their conscience and who they think would be the better president, or who can win, but they also then should get involved in the campaigns and make their power known there." Now how'd that happen?

Conservative Jimmie at the Sundries Shack feels sorry for Pelosi: "A smart person in her position would have ducked every election question. The Speaker of the House doesn't ahve a lot to do with the election and you could forgive Pelosi for wanting to stay out of the steel cage match that the primary has become. Besides, she has plenty of other stuff to do, like seeing if she can hit single digits before November. Instead, she decided, what the heck, why not just see if both of her feet could fit into her mouth in the same week."

Wonkette describes Pelosi's history of statements about the election as a journey from  "Pelosi is just another Obama freak riding the Hope Express all the way to President McCain's inauguration day" to "In other words, she is totally gay for Hillary Clinton. Right?" In conclusion? "What a tease."

Jules Crittenden sees a pattern to Pelosi's logic: "Let the election play itself out, as long as everyone gets behind one candidate long before the election. There's some Moebius logic in there. It's kind of like supporting the troops, while cutting all support for them."

And Strata-Sphere's AJ Strata follows the money: "Must be in response to democrat top donors threatening the purse strings if she did not stay out of the fight. Seems the power is still in the purse - all those hidden purses who yank the chains of the "public servant". Now it is clear who runs Washington, as if there ever was any doubt."

Read more about Pelosi's comments.

Michael Weiss is the director of communications at the Henry Jackson Society, a London-based think tank that promotes democratic geopolitics. He is also the spokesman for Just Journalism, which examines how Israel and the Middle East are portrayed in the U.K. media.

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