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Wikileaks and Democracy In Zimbabwe 669

OCatenac writes "The Atlantic has an interesting story on the collateral damage of exposing diplomatic communications in Zimbabwe. From the article: 'The reaction in Zimbabwe was swift. Zimbabwe's Mugabe-appointed attorney general announced he was investigating the Prime Minister on treason charges based exclusively on the contents of the leaked cable. While it's unlikely Tsvangirai could be convicted on the contents of the cable alone, the political damage has already been done. The cable provides Mugabe the opportunity to portray Tsvangirai as an agent of foreign governments working against the people of Zimbabwe. Furthermore, it could provide Mugabe with the pretense to abandon the coalition government that allowed Tsvangirai to become prime minister in 2009.' Undoubtedly there are lots of things that our governments hide from us which should not be hidden but it's a shame that no one from Wikileaks could be troubled to consider the potential repercussions of this particular exposure."
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Wikileaks and Democracy In Zimbabwe

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  • Re:Mugabe (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 29, 2010 @06:40PM (#34704320)
    Just try searching the web for info on the author of that hit-piece at the Atlantic.

    Nothing very old -- even though he was a freelance web designer for four years. Articles in support of the US military as a diplomatic force. Articles regarding internet security. Close ties to the Navy.

    I'm calling it right now -- Christopher R. Albon is a government mouthpiece. I'd be willing to bet he's on the payroll of some TLA.
  • Re:wrong way round (Score:1, Informative)

    by aristotle-dude ( 626586 ) on Wednesday December 29, 2010 @06:53PM (#34704540)

    WikiLeaks leaked private communications between a force for reform in Zimbabwe and western nations. Those communications may have irreparably damaged efforts at reform by giving Mugabe and his thugs material to discredit reformers.

    You seriously think that a crazed psychopath like Mugabe needs actual, real facts to discredit his opponents?

    In any case, what would you think if a politician in your country was conspiring with foreign governments to block trade with your country in order to gain political power? I think I'd be a bit pissed at them, myself.

    Are you completely insane or just someone with a reading comprehension problem? Mugabe could be as crazy as he liked but the leaked documents made him aware of what someone in the government was doing. He was not psychic you fool. Wikileaks has jeopardized the reform movement in that country.

  • From a Zimbabwean (Score:5, Informative)

    by beneppel ( 1378655 ) on Wednesday December 29, 2010 @07:05PM (#34704686)
    I grew up in Zimbabwe (my family still live there) and there are probably a few things that are worth pointing out about this:
    • This is not the first time Mugabe has had Tsvangirai charged with treason
    • The sanctions placed on Zimbabwe are "smart sanctions" against specific members of ZANU (PF) (Mugabe's party) and their personal interests
    • The state media in Zimbabwe consistently blame the country's economic hardships on the sanctions, which is clearly preposterous - but fools a lot of people who have no access to alternative media
    • There is likely to be an election in the next 6 months, and this is mostly a ploy to sabotage it
    • If it wasn't for Wikileaks, something else equally infuriating would undoubtedly have happened anyway (i.e. political turmoil in Zimbabwe is hardly collateral damage of cable gate)

    I think Wikileaks is great. I am sure Zimbabwe would be a different place if the majority of people had access to unbiased information - the vast majority of people only have access to state media check out [] and [] for a taste of what that's like!

  • PsyOps (Score:4, Informative)

    by AftanGustur ( 7715 ) on Wednesday December 29, 2010 @07:50PM (#34705204) Homepage
    I see the US PsyOps team have all created /. accounts ..
  • Re:Mugabe (Score:4, Informative)

    by Alaska Jack ( 679307 ) on Wednesday December 29, 2010 @07:50PM (#34705212) Journal

    Myth. Sadam didn't need U.S. help getting into power. There are some things that happen, believe it or not, without the all-powerful USA pulling strings behind the scenes.

    Don't get me wrong -- the CIA was all over the Middle East in the mid-to-late 1950s, and they had peripheral involvement in just about everything. But there is no evidence whatsoever that the CIA played any kind of fundamental role in his acendancy to party power.

    The "we put Saddam in power" thing is willful disbelief at its worst -- just a trope trotted out by those who can't bring themselves to admit that at least SOME good was done in forcibly removing a psychopathic dictator from power. The only rationalization they can come up with is, "Well, that wouldn't matter if the US was the one that put him there to begin with!" So they believe it.

      - AJ

  • Re:Mugabe (Score:4, Informative)

    by DesScorp ( 410532 ) < minus author> on Wednesday December 29, 2010 @10:56PM (#34706656) Homepage Journal

    Hmmmm.....seems to have worked fairly well in Germany and Japan.

    Indeed, the "you can't force Democracy" trope is just a variant of "violence doesn't solve anything", which is also a pile of manure, as violence has settled quite a bit in human history... especially Germany and Japan.

I owe the public nothing. -- J.P. Morgan