International pressure on Mugabe is long overdue. Zimbabwe’s inflation rate is an unfathomable 231 million percent, while unemployment is above 80 percent. Everyone from human-rights activists to opposition-party leaders are routinely abducted and murdered. Most pressingly, a cholera epidemic is ravaging the country. The latest World Health Organization report find 14,ooo cases of cholera infection, and some 800 dead, though some critics call those numbers far too low; meanwhile, millions of sick and impoverished Zimbabwean refugees are flooding into neighboring countries. The UN estimates that this particular outbreak will ultimately kill one in ten Zimbabweans.
Dr. Roger Bate, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, (…) points out that neither President-elect Obama nor his future Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and his likely UN ambassador Susan Rice have said anything about Zimbabwe since June. Bate believes that Washington needs to publicly support the country’s opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, perhaps even using foreign aid as leverage. He hopes that the Obama administration will not “engage in South African-style quiet diplomacy, which basically means it’s too difficult to do anything so they ignore the issue.”
Mark Steyn comments on the increasingly wacky statements Mugabe is making on the cholera epidemic. (Conspiracy theories AND “sarcasm”!)