Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Mugabe and his henchmen should be allowed to go in to exile

Appalling as it sounds I was forced to this conclusions while listening to the 9th June edition of Start the Week on my bike ride this morning.

One of the guests, John Laughland, has written what looks look like a fascinating book about the history of political trials from Charles I to Saddam Hussein. In it he argues that the war in Yugoslavia was prolonged by 3 years because of the insistence of the international community to extract "justice". He also discussed similar issues over the pardons for the former members of the Argentine Junta with Amnesty (I respect) and other organisations baying for these pardons to be over turned.

This got me thinking about Zimbabwe (the discussion ends up there eventually) and whether it would be better to let Mugabe and his henchmen go in to exile so that the country can start to rebuild sooner rather than later. Distasteful as it is this is what used to happen and dictators were more willing to listen to international pressure if they thought they would live in comfort. Even Idi Amin was allowed to go in to exile.

Having listened to the programme I am persuaded that the likes of Amnesty are may be morally wrong in their desire to set up tribunals for all human rights abuses but we should hold our noses in the interests of peace and relieving oppression and let Mugabe go in to exile.

The only draw back is in the past the exiled dictator was often replaced by an even more authoritarian regime, so we would need safeguards to ensure that democracy is the end result.

Try to find the time to listen it is worth the 10 minutes or so it lasts. It starts about 30 minutes in.

1 comment:

Mark Wadsworth said...

Going into exile is a splendid least-worst option for all concerned. I bet Saddam is kicking himself for not taking up the offer of doing so.