EDIT: just to be clear not every person in charge is ex-slave or something, but as a country even if they started financially strong it does not mean they had the culture to support it
From today: listen to this from around 8:10 (it starts at 6am, so skip to 2:10)
That was never confirmed
Those were the same military men who said that the military had custody of Mugabe, so it's somewhat confusing.
“We are only targeting criminals around him who are committing crimes that are causing social and economic suffering in the country in order to bring them to justice,"
This doesn't look good.
The former vice president, Mnangagwa (who was sacked by Mugabe last week, so that his wife Grace could take the #2 spot) is acting president, according to an army statement.
Also, reports of gun and artillery fire from northern Harare - the district where Mugabe and his cronies live.
Also, predictably, the army claims this is not a coup, and that they are merely acting to preserve the constitution and the republic. (That being said, if one is to stage a coup somewhere, one could find a less deserving country than Zimbabwe; let's just hope the army has the good sense to hand over power to civilian authorities ASAP.)
The situation in Zimbabwe is bad enough that things could hardly get much worse. Worst case, one corrupt dictator gets replaced by a different successor than would otherwise have been the case. It's not like a military junta could be less democratic or more corrupt than the existing regime, after all.
...wait, those are all things that occurred under Mugabe. How much worse can things get? (Mind you, I have no particular reason to think the coup will make things better, inasmuch as it seems to have been conducted by close allies of Mugabe is order to maintain power, rather than a different faction looking to seize it.)
But they'd get accused of colonialism if they actually tried to help directly like that (and perhaps it would be true). So they're left in the untenable position of dealing with mass migration or funding warlords.
Not all of them make it. The vessels aren't particularly seaworthy, and they're not allowed to dock, so effectively they dump their passengers in open boats and rely on the coastguard rescuing them and taking them to Italian soil.
Russia used SC veto 7 times just in last 3 years. The last time USA has blocked any resolution was 2011.
TL;DR: Regime in cambodia genocides about 1/4 of its population between 1975-79, is removed from power by Vietnam. UN helps recovery from destruction of society by previous govt & transition to new govt which after some initial chaos stabilizes. It's still not a proper democracy, but at least it isn't genocidal.
Considering the extremely difficult circumstances (a genocide so bad that it destabilized society & vietnam being an authoritarian regime), I am actually impressed by what the UN managed to pull off.
This is the real reason for a maximum of 2 or 3 terms. Power corrupts.
It's still easy to be gamed, see Putin-Medvedev-Putin switch.
When? What did he do that was good? He didn't implement democracy; that would have been good.
Largely to me it seems he started with genuinely 'good intentions' that didn't work out, vs being a 'good leader'. Good to me includes both vision and execution.
Even today, here in neighbouring South Africa, there is a big gap in the average literacy rate of Zimbabwean and a South African.
Mugabe totally stuffed up the country later. But credit where credit is due.
There are multiple cases in developing countries where the family/friends takes over in case of someone powerful going senile.
Evil is a choice, not a consequence of time. He destroyed that country, at the expense of the poor and to the profit of his cronys.
I wonder if this will impact North Korea. Zimbabwe is a major source of hard currency in exchange for weapons.
I smell CIA. :- )
In many countries these days, you are simply voted out of office or leave it when your term is up.
I wonder how much and in what way they are related to the U.S. changing its long-standing policy from being the guarantor of international order, and from being an advocate for democracy as a universal right. Some examples in my list started before the current US policy went into effect, but perhaps the US is accelerating a trend, merely responding to it, or even taking an active hand (during the Cold War the US played an active role in such things, from Congo/Zaire to Chile to Iran to Indonesia to many other places). Perhaps others are taking active hands now that the US is out of the picture (to a significant degree) as guarantor.
That trend, away from democracy, is very serious and is the headline here for me. Generations fought, struggled and died to establish the legacy of democracy and human rights that we inherited; what are we building for the next generation? It feels like we are just gambling away the family inheritance.
Second, I myself consider the degradation of the current state of affairs in the world to be due to the global slowdown of economic growth. Less growth means less disposable income, means more social unrest and the rise of autocraty to maintain order.
And what are you basing the "global slowdown of economic growth" on? Gross World Product has been growing at around 3% since the second world war, and hasn't slowed down recently at all: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gross_world_product
And particularly, Africa is growing faster than anywhere else.
Please see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_involvement_in_r...
Although I recognize a HN post can't possibly be able to enumerate and compare the magnitude of all possible ways the US influenced the world and tell objectively if it added more benefit than harm.
How did the US improve the stability of Middle East on the 1953 Coup d'Etat of Iran? Supporting Taliban in the 80s?
How helping overthrow (lots) of elected governments in South and Central America help them?
How is it that the US is a democracy champion but is more than happy to support cruel and corrupt military or religious dictatorships for it's own benefit? How does that help the world?
Are you really taking into account the implications of these actions and how they helped shape the current stage on your benefit-harm balance?
It is fair to discuss if the global economic growth is slowing or not. I still think that is the case, excluding China, India and Africa. And that the GDP growth is not a good number for this, as it can be artificially inflated by government policies, without increasing the median income/buying power of the population.
You said "It sounds as if the U.S. were a benefactor to the world. It is not...". In the majority if cases, the U.S. has clearly had a positive influence, meaning that it is indeed a benefactor to the world.
> I still think that is the case, excluding China, India and Africa.
Of course by excluding 53% of the world's population, including the country in question, it's really easy to say that GDP growth is slowing, but that makes no sense.
Order is not democracy or freedom; the US had the role of maintaining international order - preventing chaos. My comment pointed out many times when the US did not support democracy, including some of the same examples used by the parent.
However, I'll point out here that while imperfect, democracy expanded rapidly under 'Pax Americana' from WWII until recently. Almost all of Europe and all of the Americas are now democratic; there are some African countries, India, East Asia, SE Asia, and more. It has been an incredible time for liberty, despite the many and substantial setbacks.
I'm actually curious if the wealth gap is part of what caused the slowdown -- the super rich got greedy, ate into their seed corn by taking too much wealth from the productive parts of the system, and now won't make the massive investments and restructuring of intake from them necessary to restore the system.
It was hard to get out of that state of emergency precisely because it was 1/ popular 2/ politically dangerous (what happens if a major scale attack happens right after it is being lifted?).
> I am not sure it is fair to call it "undemocratic".
> It was hard to get out of that state of emergency precisely because it was 1/ popular 2/ politically dangerous (what happens if a major scale attack happens right after it is being lifted?).
If we define 'democratic' in the literal sense, majority rule, then I agree. But that's mob rule and not what people mean when they talk about democracy. Civil rights - protection of the minority from the majority - are assumed to be essential, and the state of emergency (if I understood correctly) suspended those rights to a degree. Civil rights exist specifically for situations like this one.
The way I remember it is the saying: 'Democracy must be more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what's for dinner'.
Also it’s funny that you’re referring to the US - the greatest supporter of Saudi Arabia - as the noble protector of democracy and human rights. Seems like someone drank too much Kool-Aid?
True, and I used the term "undemocratic assumption of power", which is also true.
I didn't say they were democracies, though I understand why someone might take that implication. My point was that these governments are moving away from democracy to having power more consolidated and away from the rule of law to the rule of one person. In contrast, the leaders could have moved toward democracy, announcing reforms in that direction.
> Also it’s funny that you’re referring to the US - the greatest supporter of Saudi Arabia - as the noble protector of democracy and human rights. Seems like someone drank too much Kool-Aid?
I didn't mean to imply any nobility or altruism about it, and I purposely omitted that kind of language to avoid provoking a tangential debate on it.
Beyond a doubt the U.S.'s behavior, going back to its beginnings as a world power over a century ago, has been self-contradictory and complicated; sometimes the U.S. works in favor of democracy and sometimes against it. But also beyond a doubt, promotion of democracy has been one strong aspect of it, and it's been bipartisan until now. Reagan was a strong supporter (and yet undermined others). GW Bush claimed democracy promotion was part of his reason for invading Iraq, and they fully expected to establish a nascent democracy there and in Afghanistan. In this White House, establishing and supporting democracy is no longer discussed and is openly disparaged, and the White House openly admires dictators who consolidate power (including in China and Saudi Arabia).
Saudi Arabia and China have not had coups, and are not democratic countries, so any change is "undemocratic", but that's not a chance and means little. Xi's actions are hardly different that Deng's or, before him, Mao's. Lumping them in with Turkey, which is experiencing a slow motion coup, is bizarre.
Conversely, Japan and France have neither had coups nor an "undemocratic assumption of power", so clearly don't belong in the same list as Turkey. Lebanon I'm not really familiar with, and I don't even know what Eastern European country you're talking about, so I can't comment on them, but the rest of your list makes no sense. Nor does Zimbabwe fit on your list; the coup is a best neutral in terms of democracy, and could be a step towards greater democracy.
> I wonder how much and in what way they are related to the U.S. changing its long-standing policy from being the guarantor of international order, and from being an advocate for democracy as a universal right
Unless you're talking about the second President Bush's much maligned (and mostly unsuccessful) foreign policy, I have no idea what you're talking about. The US has not traditionally advocated for democracy as a universal right, and it spent much of the Cold War backing dictators and, in some cases, overthrowing elected governments.
> That trend, away from democracy,
By which you mean "Turkey"? (And maybe Lebanon; again I'm unfamiliar with the situation there.) I see no trend.
In China, for example, the tradition of a rotating presidency, which party members had a role in choosing, has become a lifetime dictatorship; and rule of law has been replaced by rule of man. Free speech has become increasingly restricted. In contrast, Xi could have taken steps to devolve power more; he could have stepped aside, and introduced a law enshrining the tradition of limited terms for presidents (instead of discarding the tradition), or empowering the legislature. He could have announced open elections at the village level, and opened up speech and the press, as some of his predecessors did.
Japan has consolidated power at the executive level and taken steps to restrict some speech, and I already discussed France's emergency powers. Zimbabwe's coup is undemocratic. You may hope it will work out well, and so do I, but there was no democracy involved. These all are changes of degree, to less democracy.
Some comments in the parent are factually incorrect:
> Xi's actions are hardly different that Deng's or, before him, Mao's.
The actions of Mao, Deng, and Xi are starkly different. Deng is known almost as the anti-Mao (though he would never say that), for undoing the totalitarian ideological disaster of Mao, for putting China on a road to stable governance, and for opening it up economically and politically. The Tienanmen Square protests of June 4, 1989 were a culmination of Deng's political openness (obviously he changed course that day, but they were far more open when he stepped down than when he started). Deng purposely avoided taking on Mao's cult of personality, even to the extent of being cremated and having his ashes scattered in the sea so there would be no mausoleum like Mao and Lenin (IIRC). Deng began the tradition of limited terms for presidents, which Xi now has discarded; Xi also has pursued a cult of personality, in contrast to Deng. The foundation of Xi's legitimacy is the wealth of right-wing capitalism, in great contrast to Mao's foundation in the utter rejection of and work against such things, and his communist social and economic ideals and experiments.
> The US has not traditionally advocated for democracy as a universal right
I'm not sure what to say here. While the U.S. certainly has not always acted in accord with its words, it certainly has advocated exactly that repeatedly, loudly and strongly for generations, from Wilson, at least, through Obama. It's in the Declaration of Independence as the foundation of the country - "all men" are endowed with these rights, was the argument for independence.
I wonder how much it related to the U.S. deciding to become a global military empire after the fall of the Soviet Union, instead of declaring victory and seeking to create a world where the rule of law was respected.