Wednesday, 6 July 2005

Mugabe begins confiscating guns ... what's next?

Robert Mugabe has begun confiscating guns. Why do you think that would be?
Authorities in Zimbabwe have ordered civilians to surrender their firearms, with police sources saying the move was a precautionary measure following the government’s action against informal dwellers and hawkers.

The police said licences for certain categories of guns had been revoked in terms of the Firearms Act, reports ZimOnline. The government last cancelled firearm licences during the peak of its farm seizure programme in 2000. That move was targeted at white commercial farmers who at that time held a number of assault guns for self-protection.
And we know just what happened to those white farmers, don't we? It's worth remembering that the primary reason the US Founding Fathers wrote the right to bear arms into their Bill of Rights was to allow citizens to protect themselves against tyrannical government. This is precisely why. [Hat tip Gun Control]

And it seems the Guardian is now coming in behind Mugabe ... "The vilification of Mugabe is now out of control," it says. Nothing like a socialist rag to support Forced evictions, brutal land grabs, slum clearances and murder. [Hat tip]


  1. Pete,
    The Guardian is not "coming in behind Mugabe" at all. The Guardian has been covering the atrocities in Zimbabwe in recent weeks just like all the other British papers and there have been plenty of columns condemning Mugabe.

    Did you actually read that column? If so, can you explain to me how a column which contains the quote "The summary removal of people at gunpoint from their homes is indefensible, almost certainly unnecessary, and probably economically counter-productive, but it is not unusual in the developing world" could be considered "coming in behind Mugabe"?

    "Indefensible" does not sound much like support to me. The column highlights what the columnist sees as hypocrisy and selective memory on the part of western leaders. For what it's worth, I disagree with him strongly, and I find his playing down of the current atrocities in Zimbabwe both misleading (e.g. he cites the population of Harare to call the numbers of the evicted into question - conveniently ignoring the fact that Operation Murambatsiva is also being carried out in Bulawayo and other smaller cities around Zim as well, and his suggestion that only 3 people have died "accidentally" does not gel with hat I've been reading coming out of Zimbabwe itself) and objectionable. I also don't accept that a poor record in the past on other atrocities is a good reason not to do anything this time around. Nor do I accept that the fact that other appalling things are happening in other places around the world is a reason to turn a blind eye to what is happening in Zimbabwe. Rather, that says to me that we need to be doing more to highlight and combat the atrocities occurring elsewhere, not backing off Mugabe. So, you see, I'm not defending the columnist who I think has got it wrong, but it is *very* misleading for you to portray the Guardian as being behind Mugabe.

    As for the Guardian being a socialist rag. Well, that would indicate to me that you don't read much of the Guardian these days. Sure, it's more left wing than you would be comfortable with but to suggest that it is either socialist or a rag is just silly. And how telling for NZ journalism that a newspaper that you dismiss as a "rag" is light-years better in terms of quality and coverage than *anything* we have in New Zealand. Sad, but true.

  2. "And how telling for NZ journalism that a newspaper that you dismiss as a "rag" is light-years better in terms of quality and coverage than *anything* we have in New Zealand. Sad, but true."

    Well, here we agree.

    But on nothing else. No matter what else the 'Grauniad' might say, when it argues "The vilification of Mugabe is now out of control," then it gives Mugabe succour IMO.


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