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02/10/2009

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Oh, geez. Mugabe. My blood has automatically grown hotter in my veins every time I've read an article about him for five or so years now, ever since THE ECONOMIST brought him to my attention with their focus.

I like the fact that in general, I'm not one of those people who wishes bad ends on people, but this man is an exception I've not been able to shake, even when I've tried.

I'm on board, but then I've got a low threshold for these sorts of decisions.

I'm a little surprised at you though. Wouldn't just poppin' the dude be a violation of several laws of international conflict? Certainly in some ways this would be a greater violation of your morality than torture?

Perhaps you're suggesting that after considerable hand wringing we vote on an act of congress, an invasion and then a trial with the outcome execution. Been there, done that and, as far as I know, no oil in this case. So no thanks.

You want to pop the dude though, then yes I'm good to go. Get back to me with details, I'll arrange a closing dinner and cocktails in the rooftop garden of the Meikles hotel. Lovely spot, gentle breeze, nice views, and the chef does marvelous things with the local game. Plus, the helo pad can get us out of there quickly if things don't go according to plan.

Robert Mugabe is one of the reasons I find your vitriol over Castro a bit out of proportion. Castro- cheesey second rate dictator of a country he entombed in the 50's.
Mugabe- evil and greed personified. A man who is driving an already impoverished nation into the stone age, economically and into the Spanish Inquisition, culturally.

Well, I think Castro could easily be accused of fostering a Spanish Inquisition-like culture... especially since he actually speaks Spanish. And I think the idea that he's only anchored his country in the 50's is what the Cuban media would like us to believe.

But yes, between the two, Mugabe is the far greater devil.

You mean we should form a bi-partisan consensus to send our military to invade a sovereign nation just the dictator is a murderous thug? A nation that didn't attack us on 9/11 or any other date? A nation with no strategic value to us? Are you also suggesting we cowboy up and go it alone, without full support from the U.N. and the international community to which we are suddenly acceptable again? Should we squander the good will we only so recently attained by finally electing the right sort of person into office?

Why, you sound positively Rovian in this post, Tom.

The difference being that when I say it, it's a wisecrack. When Rove said it, it became a real, live war.

And you will note, Wally, that I have not advocated the killing of Castro. I've just urged him a rapid death. Castro isn't as bad as Mugabe, but he's still bad. "Entombing" ones society in the 1950s -- innocent though you make it sound -- is a comprehensive enterprise requiring pervasive suppression of freedom.

To once again repeat myself, I reiterate that I am not a fan of Castro. I just think that most of the thugs we have supported are worse than he is. We gave weapons to Saddam and Reza Pahlavi (can you say "Savak") but vilify Fidel for nationalizing US assets when he took power. It has never been about morality or freedom, it has always been about the "Benjamins".

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Well, for the record, I'd like to pop a cap in both their asses.

I have never even mentioned the nationalization of assets. I'm uninterested in the nationalization of assets, as I'm uninterested in most injustices committed 50 years ago. There's not a lot we can do about that.

I'm a lot more interested in the suppression of freedom right now. That's why I don't like Castro.

There's another thing: blogging is a constant search for material, and those who are clownish will tend to get a disproportionate amount of attention. That isn't fair, but I've got to write something. Castro is clownish, even in his dotage. (Seriously: the jogging suit just makes it worse.) So I write about Castro. If I liked Castro, that writing would be affectionate, but I don't like Castrol so I arrange gambling pools based on when he's going to die.

Tasteful? Of course not. Some kind of horrible injustice? Not even a little. In fact, maybe we should hold a little contest to see who can come up with the most ironic cause of death for Fidel.

That's actually kind of a good idea.

In the spirit of the post, let me be on the record as completely on board.

May I suggest a predator drone strike turning the old tyrant into a fine red mist.

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