Hasn’t Wikileaks made things interesting lately? I’m serious. The recent “dumping” of diplomatic cables gives the average American news viewer/reader the intrigue of politics from the perspective of 13 year-old girls gossiping in the bathroom. If I had known being a catty bitch made you a decent diplomat I would have definitely pursued it as a career option. Alas, I’m merely a catty bitch with a website, shall we proceed?
Personally, I was on the underwhelmed side as the media started sifting through the giant mass of diplomatic cables released on Wikileaks; but buried within those releases little nuggets of a pet project of mine started popping up. That’s right folks, Zimbabwe made Wikileaks! This has got to be the equivalent of having Weird Al Yankovic spoof you; you know you’ve arrived.
There is the whimsical “Warthogs delay US ambassador’s arrival in Zimbabwe”, which explains that Charles Ray was delayed in taking his post as ambassador in 2009 due to a plane in the Harare airport hitting warthogs and destroying lights on the runway. However, this amusing anecdote is shadowed with dread by stating, “Passengers on the Air Zim flight were stuck in the plane for about two hours; security authorities forced passengers to surrender any photographic evidence of the crash before they were allowed to leave.” Heaven forbid the rest of the world sees that a plane hit a warthog. Hakuna matata indeed.
Diplomatic cables from 2009 give conflicting insights into President Robert Mugabe. European Union officials describe him as “physically fit, mentally sharp, and charming”, but later in the year Ambassador Ray (having taken his post despite the nefarious warthog conspiracy) described Mugabe as frail, stating, “Mugabe appears uncomfortable when seated – he slouches and frequently turns his body as if to find a better position, and then sits straight up and speaks in a louder voice for a few seconds before lapsing back into the barely audible soft voice.”
The previously mentioned EU delegation all referenced a certain event that occurred during their meeting with Mugabe, “During the delegation’s meeting with Mugabe, a strong, young man entered with a bowl and pitcher of water on a silver tray. He knelt in front of Mugabe, who made a show of washing his hands with this subservient man at his feet.” John Clancy, spokesman for the EU Trade Commission, surmised “it showed that Mugabe has lost the plot of normal human interaction and the responsibility of leaders toward their people.”
Most interesting is learning that in 2007 a group of exiled Zimbabwean businessmen had been plotting a bloodless coup to remove Robert Mugabe as president. Keep in mind folks Archbishop Desmond Tutu told the BBC in 2008 that he “urged the international community to intervene in Zimbabwe – by force if necessary.” Have you seen an interview with Archbishop Desmond Tutu? If you can make this adorable, kindly, little man of God want to put a bullet in you, you’re being a very naughty president. Sadly, this “bloodless coup” being discussed in 2007 is pretty much the power sharing agreement that came to pass with Robert Mugabe as President and Morgan Tsvangirai as Prime Minister. I think my most recent letter regarding Zimbabwe sums up how well that has worked out. Of course, former US ambassador to Zimbabwe Christopher Dell didn’t have a lot of faith in Tsvangirai to begin with, so go figure.
What’s funny about all of this is that it’s just a preamble to my announcement that I got a letter from K Nokku of the Asylum Policy and Correspondence Team in Croydon, Surrey. Yes! A letter from Britain in response to the letters I sent in October regarding Britain’s plan to resume enforced returns of Zimbabweans who failed to gain asylum in the country. You can read my letter here, but to sum up I sent a note saying, huh?The letter itself is unremarkable. It essentially quoted parts of the press releases back to me and at no point addressed any of the valid points I felt I had raised. That said, I got a response. A response that appears to have been personally typed. A response that is longer than a postcard. A response that came in its very own enveloped post marked Great Britain. In other words, much like it is with television, Britain has surpassed the quality of what I’ve seen in the United States. Congratulations K Nokku! I’d say I tip my hat to you sir, but I don’t know if K is male or female. I guess this probably means we won’t be Facebook friends.
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