Yes, Robert Mugabe, dictator-for-life of Zimbabwe, is an evil man. He lives up to just about every benchmark George W Bush and Tony Blair once set for being part of the ‘Axis of Evil’. Saddam Hussein was removed as leader of Iraq for being an evil man. (When the WMD-issue fell through, of course, but still.) Robert Mugabe, however, is still leader of his nation and it doesn’t look like he’ll be ousted anytime soon. Instead, European leaders in Lisbon in the past days stumbled over each other to find enough microphones in order to shout down Mugabe. Without one hint of irony they lambasted him for being a cruel, evil dictator who has created massive inflation and uses every violent means available to him to repress and kill Zimbabweans. At least the EU leaders had the gall to beat up on the little guy.
Imagine a nation with an inflation that seems virtually unstoppable, and where the people have to struggle day by day in order to be able to buy food. In fact, imagine food shortages. Imagine that only a small part of the people living in the cities is able to buy a bit more than the day-to-day groceries, while much of the rest of the population is impoverished, hardly able to get medical care for themselves or their children. They have a choice between working 16 hours for $0,50 or 12 hours for some food, and perhaps — once a month — some clothes.
Imagine the (tribal) minorities in that nation being repressed by violence, as the police and the army are firmly controlled by a fearsome powermachine that will not let anybody get close enough to power to even smell it. Imagine that even the smallest form of dissent is crushed by blinding force, usually following betrayal because the powermachine’s secret informants network is omnipresent, much like the StaSi intelligence service of the former East-German communist republic, where every 3rd person you knew was a government collaborator.
Now imagine the world’s leaders taking a stance against that country. Imagine the leaders of all the EU nations lining up behind a microphone to criticise that government in the harshest of tones. Imagine EU leaders calling that nation’s leadership “criminal”, “repressive”, “dictatorial”. Having read the above, you’d think those world leaders would have every right to publicly bash that corrupt nation’s leadership.
And now imagine that country not being Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe. Instead, imagine it is China.
Indeed: you can’t imagine it. Yes, you can probably imagine all the bad things I mentioned above, and associate them with China in one go, as much of what Robert Mugabe is being chastised for is exactly what the Chinese ‘communist’ government is doing to its own people. Entire housing blocks are being demolished as we speak, just to create room for new apartments and sports facilities. The inhabitants of the old demolished, impoverished sheds? The government doesn’t care where they go, as long as they keep working in the Western factories.
So, I’m curious: when will the leaders of the world line up behind a microphone to denounce China’s regime for all it is doing to its own people, and those that are not “its” people, such as the Tibetans?
Communicatiestrateeg en schrijver van het boek ‘Megafoonpolitiek‘. Op Twitter te vinden als @kajleers. Politiek bewust, voormalig financieel-economisch journalist, muziekmaker, professionele kletskous, schrijver. Geeft ook social media-trainingen, denkt graag met je mee over communicatiestrategie. En ja, content is en blijft King.