Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Jimmy's Pals

Jimmy never ceases to amaze…

Q:  Why is Mugabe's picture included? He wasn't a dictator when Carter hosted him after his win in the 1980 election.

A:  Carter's meddling in Zimbabwe goes back to the start of his administration. His Zimbabwe policy was a combination of disdain for the Ian Smith government and a willingness to turn a blind eye to the thuggish regimes in the area. This included ignoring Mugabe's campaign of terror leading up to and through the 1979 elections when Muzorewa became PM through majority vote.

Because whites still held 28 percent of the parliamentary seats, African leaders refused to support the new government and Mugabe threatened more war. Carter, in a move that presages his career in and out of government ever since, sided with the anti-democratic African leaders and persuaded Congress to maintain sanctions on Zimbabwe. So, the new Zimbabwean government was isolated and left to fend off Mugabe's thugs alone. Ultimately, the Muzorewa government collapsed and new elections were scheduled for early 1980.

Carter's meddling continued when he declared that, although the 1979 election was fair he could not support the outcome because Mugabe did not participate. That plus Mugabe's threat of continued violence if he did not win the election ultimately resulted in his coming to power. Carter, as he is wont to do, declared the 1980 election 'free and fair' and lifted sanctions. A little more than a year later, Mugabe initiated Zimbabwe's downward slide from democracy by suggesting a referendum be held to determine if the country should be a one-party state.

So, in summary, Carter's meddling then and thereafter has earned him the company illustrated above.

Trackposted to Rosemary's Thoughts, Big Dog's Weblog, third world county, Woman Honor Thyself, and The Yankee Sailor, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

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