Hal G.P. Colebatch has a good piece in the American Spectator on the plight of some 12,000 British citizens who are currently living in Zimbabwe. Even after Mugabe and his friends in Zimbabwe have confiscated farms from white settlers, devastated the rich farmland thus causing massive starvation, 1,800% inflation, forcing hundreds of thousands of the poor(Supporters of the opposition MDC), and sicking his thugs on the opposition party MDC, there are a lot of elderly British citizens who are concerned about their future but are stuck there because they can't afford to buy the gas(It's being rationed) or aren't in the shape to travel the long distance to South Africa. Here's a look:
OF THE 12,000 BRITISH PEOPLE remaining in Zimbabwe, it is estimated that about half are aged pensioners (except that Zimbabwean inflation and economic collapse has made their "pensions" worthless). Many are World War II veterans or the widows of veterans. Private charities, such as "Zimbabwe, A National Emergency" are trying to help them, but it appears the British government is doing nothing and has no interest in doing anything. (It is spending about $20 billion, so far, on the London Olympic Games, however.)I know that it is really the responsibility for these folks to get out of Zimbabwe when things started to slide but much like when we evacuated American citizens(On our dime) from Lebanon during the recent war between the Israelis and Hezbollah, the British should go and retrieve these people because it's the right thing to do. One can only imagine what these loyal British subjects will experience if they remain in the hell known as Zimbabwe. Since the West, the African Union as well as the Southern African Development Community, aren't willing to step into the fray and end such madness , then this is least the British could do.
The first big wave of white persecutions by the Mugabe regime, beginning in 2001, was the first major foreign-policy crisis, with large numbers of British lives at stake, for the Blair Government. Mugabe had shown his colors (which he had never bothered to hide much anyway) as a terroristic tyrant by the genocidal massacres of many thousands of Ndabele people previously. Prime Minister Blair and the Foreign Secretary, both then on holiday, left the matter to a junior Foreign Office Minister, Baroness Amos, who said and, as far as one could tell, did nothing whatsoever. In January 2002, she told the Today program that "in different parts of the world we see different countries turn to bad leadership and bad politics, and we've seen that coming in Zimbabwe for some years and it's a tragedy." That was it.
A plea by Prince Charles, who reportedly wrote privately to the Prime Minister's office asking that the British people trapped in Zimbabwe be helped, was apparently ignored. With the situation now desperate and complete chaos and civil war in Zimbabwe looking nearer every day, the stage is being set for a particularly cruel and unnecessary criminal tragedy.
*Here's an interesting piece from The New Yorker(They're liberal but do have some good stuff once in a while) on Zimbabwe.