Monday, July 02, 2007
Zimbabwe's leading cleric has called on Britain to invade the country and topple President Robert Mugabe. Pius Ncube, the Archbishop of Bulawayo, warned that millions were facing death from famine, unable to survive amid inflation believed to have soared to 15,000%.Reynolds follows this up by asking, "Can't somebody just bump him off?"
Mugabe, 83, had proved intransigent despite the "massive risk to life", said Ncube, the head of Zimbabwe’s 1m Catholics. "I think it is justified for Britain to raid Zimbabwe and remove Mugabe," he said. "We should do it ourselves but there's too much fear. I'm ready to lead the people, guns blazing, but the people are not ready."
Some parts of Zimbabwe have seen 95% of crops fail, leaving families with only two or three weeks' food supply to last a year. Prices in the shops are more than doubling every week and Christopher Dell, the American ambassador, predicts that by the end of the year inflation could hit 1.5m%.
Ncube said that far from helping those struggling on less than £1 a week, Mugabe had just spent £1m on surveillance equipment to monitor phone calls and e-mails. "How can you expect people to rise up when even our church services are attended by state intelligence people?"
Remember Bishop Ncube's plea the next time you hear some pacifist bleating that "War is not the answer." In fact, war is (part of) the only answer to tyranny. Read on.
Having said, the the remarks of both Ncube and Reynolds bring up related issues also worth remembering. First of all, any free country has the right (but not the obligation) to invade Zimbabwe. This is because the Mugabe government, clearly dedicated to violating the rights of its citizens, is effectively a criminal cartel and cannot claim the legitimacy of existing to protect its people.
However, the decision by any country concerning whether to conduct such an invasion should be based solely on whether doing so would protect is own citizens from foreign aggression. It is wrong to demand that soldiers risk life and limb for any other purpose.
Were such things better understood generally, I wonder whether the situation would have ever gotten so bad in Zimbabwe in the first place. Would other African nations that had depended on Zimbabwe for food stood by while Mugabe stole property from white farmers to pass out as loot to his incompetent cronies -- thereby destroying his nation's agricultural sector? Would Zimbabweans, knowing that their country poses no military threat, have seen that the task of their liberation would very likely fall to themselves, and so have revolted by now?
Finally, while things are so bad that "bumping off" Mugabe would almost have to improve the situation in Zimbabwe in the short term, the underlying cultural forces that make a ruler like him possible will hold any real improvements in check beyond a certain point. As powerful and rich as Britain is, Zimbabweans will ultimately have to become able to take care of themselves.
Until altruism is dislodged as the overwhelmingly dominant moral code of Zimbabwe, people will continue to see criminal behavior on the part of the government as legitimate; they will continue waiting to be rescued rather than acting to claim their lives for their own; and they will remain wretched pawns in bloody chess games started by whatever tyrant happens to come along. Ultimately, Zimbabwe will have to save itself regardless of whether anyone else saves it from its current crisis. There simply is no other way.
Here, too. And more so.
This post over at Noodle Food gave me a sympathetic chuckle.
Please do not send me messages via the messaging systems of web sites like FaceBook, ObjectivismOnline, and the like. I cannot stand to use them: I want all my messaging in one place, with one interface, and one archive.And she at least checks hers! If anyone wishes to contact me (and doesn't know how to already), here are the instructions.
That reminds me: Since the Smithsonian has its eyes on my current cell phone, I'm hunting around for a new one and my wife wants me to be sure to have texting ability. (Can you even avoid having that anymore?) She wants to be able to text me things like shopping errands and the like, which is fine by me, as long as it's in somewhat proper English.
Aside from finding text message abbreviations annoying on aesthetic grounds, sending a text message strikes me as a great way to combine the inconveniences of both the telephone and email. Maybe I'll learn otherwise, but I see this as one more thing I'd prefer not to bother with.
(Hah! And I still don't do IM! I recall having a comment exchange with someone -- the Resident Egoist, I think-- some time ago about that.)
Hmmm. Since I'm talking about cell phones anyway.... I'm looking for a good, basic phone. I use Sprint right now, but feel no particular loyalty towards them. I don't want or need to be able to take pictures or surf the web with it, either. Any recommendations out there for providers or phones?
Look who's happy about flooding!
It seems that blaming the victim for natural disasters is neither confined to America nor to those used car salesmen of religion, the televangelists:
The floods that have devastated swathes of the country are God's judgment on the immorality and greed of modern society, according to senior Church of England bishops.This really is no surprise coming from a religious figure. But it is yet another warning sign that religion is generally on the ascent again in the West. This is a laughable assertion made for despicable reasons, and yet it will be taken into serious consideration by many people.
One diocesan bishop has even claimed that laws that have undermined marriage, including the introduction of pro-gay legislation, have provoked God to act by sending the storms that have left thousands of people homeless.
Watch that Soy!
I haven't gotten to read them, but Bo posts quite a few links about what does and does not occur in soy, that staple of the loony left. Here's an excerpt from one of his excerpts:
Soy milk does not contain the nutrients that children need for their growth. In fact, the idea that soy milk is healthy, in and of itself, is a complete myth. Feeding your baby soy milk will lead to severe vitamin, mineral, fatty acid and amino acid deficiencies that can clearly be deadly.That milk also, according to these articles, contains a type of fatty acid that displaces another crucial for normal brain function.
With New York having just banned trans fats from its restaurants, could you imagine the hysterics and demagoguing that we'd be seeing these days if soybeans were a human invention? Leaving aside the many other issues such bans raise, we see once again in this double standard that the environmentalist movement (as exemplified in its food hysteria branch) is fundamentally anti-reason.
No food has everything we need. That is why man is an omnivore. Furthermore, every food contains harmful chemicals. The underlying difference between what gets banned and what doesn't is this: What did man invent and what didn't he invent?
Note that such laws are "sold" to us on the basis of what is good for us, and yet, the decision as to what is or isn't "good" derives from the view that the application of human intelligence is inherently bad -- as opposed to what is required for man's survival!
And, oh yeah. Memo to conservatives: The proper reaction to this isn't to tell the liberals they should ban soy products in the name of avoiding "hypocrisy". It's to make a strong case that banning anything from the diet of an adult is morally wrong.
Today: (1) Corrected a typo. (2) Added a clause to soy section.