I would happily volunteer for Zim And I would also fight for Israel as a righteous gentile The news last night, yet more kids murdered by scum And at one time my best friend at school was a Palestinian.. that said her father was shot dead in London by a rival group of Arab killers: at that time I did not know what PLO or representative meant
Point taken Not in Zim no perhaps a different thread along the line s of 'Truly Worthy Causes' However in answer to your question I shall parry; with does Blair encourage the IRA Leadership with his no holds barred surrender policy
PTP, I get your point but.... Sharon has released several hundred prisoners in return for.....a suicide bombing so far. The PNA has failed to deliver on anything at all....it cannot even be said to speak for the Palestinians in general. Call me cynical but are there parallels here with a certain Western Democracy on the edge of Europe? Israel has given ground etc in return for peace (and yes I can hear the Arabist clamour) But that was ground gained after having been attacked by hostile nations whose sole declared intent was the destruction of the Jewish state. I would, from a neutral point of view consider that to be an attempt at Holocaust part 2. So if we were to continue that thread and take it to a conclusion; given that Arab States are mostly strictly Islamic, can Arabic/Islamic states be classed as Nazi's given their highly publiscised sympathies/tolerance to other Religeous practices etc within their own 'Nation' States
One minor nit. Because the PA and its police/security forces were seen as being compromised, every time the IDF went into "punishment mode" in the West Bank / Gaza Strip, PA facilities seem to have been particularly targetted; offices trashed, police stations and equipment destroyed, PA office PCs/records destroyed where possible, etc.
After making significant efforts to destroy the effectiveness of the PA, it's a bit rich to complain that it's not effective enough all of a sudden.
Comparison: should Britain have abandoned the peace process in NI after the Omagh bombing? Splinter group, wants to disrupt the peace process, kills lots of people.
Of course, once upon a time the British Army used to destroy the houses of people who attacked them, regardless of the remaining occupants. Mind you, it was Ireland in the early 1920s and late 1910s, so of course it must have been successful in suppressing rebellion without alienating the local populace (not)....
Can we liberate Zimbabwe?
Mike Dewar concludes that the best way to topple Mugabe is to enlist South Africas help As Mr Mugabe continues to flout international opinion, suppress democratic opposition to his regime, and reduce this once rich nation to abject poverty, some commentators are asking if it might not be desirable to remove this despot by means of military intervention.
Its goodbye, Mr Chips.
I leave it to others better qualified than I am to debate the legality in international law of such an action. And, of course, whether or not the United Nations would sanction military intervention is a big question. But leaving aside these enormous issues, is it militarily practicable to mount such an operation?
Zimbabwe is bordered by Zambia in the north, Botswana in the west, Mozambique in the east and South Africa in the south. Only the last two have deep-water ports, of which Beira in Mozambique is the closest to Zimbabwe. A prerequisite for any serious military operation in Zimbabwe would be a port of entry in a neighbouring state to bring in the necessary logistical support and infrastructure to sustain any military operation. It would also be necessary to create a military base from which to mount the cross-border operation. This presupposes the political agreement of either the South African or Mozambique governments to such an idea. Again there are those better qualified than I am to make this call, but the likelihood of either agreeing is probably nil. Let us pursue the idea further nevertheless.
How seriously would any invading force have to take the opposition? The Zimbabwe army consists of about seven brigade equivalents (or about 40,000 men). The air force is some 4,000-strong, with some MIG-21s and some Hawk aircraft. The quality of the military is extremely suspect. But it would be foolish to undertake a military operation in Zimbabwe with less than an air-mobile division. This would mean a force of at least 20,000 men. It would require air support, mostly fighter ground-attack aircraft, attack helicopters, transport and reconnaissance aircraft. Even though a rapid collapse of the opposition would be likely, it is the occupation and subsequent peace-keeping task that would be the most manpower-intensive. We have recently witnessed this phenomenon in Iraq.
Zimbabwe is a large country, some 500 miles across and some 500 miles deep. The two main centres of population are Harare and Bulawayo, and it would be necessary to secure both. But it would also be necessary to clear remnants of Mr Mugabes Zanu-PF supporters from towns and villages across the country. The so-called war veterans have been particularly aggressive. They are poorly armed and organised, but would need to be policed following any military operations. To what extent the existing police force would be available is open to some doubt. Some sort of occupation over a period of years would be likely.
The next question is which country, if any, would be likely to provide a division to remove the regime in Zimbabwe. There are no likely European candidates. France, the only nation with a history of intervention in Africa, is unlikely to be willing to offer its troops, particularly in the light of M. Chiracs invitation to Mr Mugabe to a recent conference of African leaders in Paris. The United States is very wary of intervention in sub-Saharan Africa. South Africa is the only other candidate, and the likelihood of Mr Mbeki agreeing to armed intervention, let alone providing troops, is very low. That leaves the United Kingdom. The chances of the UK going it alone are virtually nil. Moreover the ability of the armed forces in the wake of the second Gulf war to mount yet another division-sized operation is suspect. Indeed, the Chief of the Defence Staff has made it clear that Britain will not be able to mount significant expeditionary forces for at least two years, except in circumstances of national emergency. It should not be forgotten that the UK sent some 45,000 military personnel to Iraq to remove Saddam Hussein. Some 11,000 remain there. One third of the British army was deployed in Iraq, while other operational requirements were undertaken in Northern Ireland, the Falklands, Bosnia, Kosovo, Cyprus, Afghanistan and in Britain to replace striking firemen. Even though 19,000 extra troops are available for deployment with the end of the fire strike, the 11,000 extra troops still deployed in Iraq need to be subtracted from this number. To risk involving UK forces in another long-term occupation when they are likely to be in Iraq for years to come is unthinkable.
An operation in Zimbabwe would not be simple. It would probably not require armoured formations, although Zimbabwe does have a few ageing and ineffective main battle tanks. But it would require the deployment of three brigades. In that the army has only one truly air-mobile brigade, two brigades would need to deploy overland. This would be a time-consuming and possibly messy exercise.
It is arguable that some sort of coup de main undertaken with the support of special forces might be sufficient to topple the regime. However, it would be extremely embarrassing if such a high-risk strategy failed; and, in any event, there would be no troops available for the subsequent peace-making or peace-keeping tasks.
Given that such an undertaking is almost certainly impossible without US participation, and given US lack of interest in sub-Saharan Africa, it is safe to conclude that such an operation is a non-starter. Moreover the likelihood of a neighbouring African state providing either basing facilities or even an overflying agreement is extremely low. Add to this the recent over-commitment of Britains armed forces in the Gulf and elsewhere, and conventional military intervention is not going to happen.
So what is the answer? Some sort of destabilisation operation is a possibility, but no government is likely to own up to inserting special forces to lead a counter-insurgency operation. Serious sanctions are a possibility. Both the US and the EU have played at sanctions, but in a rather half-hearted manner. In any event the likes of Libya and South Africa will provide most of the goods needed by Zimbabwe. Nevertheless, sanctions might accelerate the implosion of Zimbabwe, which is bound to occur eventually how soon is difficult to forecast. But if the internal situation gets a lot worse, South Africa may be persuaded to take a tougher line and perhaps even impose sanctions herself. South Africas support is crucial to toppling Mugabe. In fact it is the key. A serious diplomatic offensive by the British government to achieve a change of attitude by South Africa is the best chance of effecting regime change in Zimbabwe. And if troops were ever to be used, even if only as a peace-keeping force, the participation of South African troops would make the whole operation politically acceptable to Africa as a whole. But military intervention per se its not on the cards.
I say (yet again) that Black Africa has GOT to start taking responsibility for what happens in it's region - the old colonial powers have moved on, got involved in their own wars and are just not as interested, and nor should they be.
It is a necessary and painful exercise in leaving Zim for the other Black powers to deal with. Until S Africa, Nigeria and the others have been forced to make these sensitive and politically difficult decisions, and to ACT on them, they will not become the sophisticated and experienced governments that we need them to be.
Of course I feel desperately sorry for the whites in Zim, I have friends who have left behind their businesses and families, and will probably not get their money out either................but, that is a terrible tradgedy that happens to all sorts of people.
re old bloke remarks regarding miltary intervention is unfortunatly correct in the cold light of the day as much i want to bash mad bob , there is tendency for african nation to go to pot as soon as they become independent south africa is bucking that trend for now if all the whites leave south africa i would bet you it will go to sh1t in no time , whats really bugging me is that OUR govt is refusing political asylum to some of the white farmers who escape to here, also i would NOT give any food aid to zim as it will only go direct to mad bob so i say let the whole country go to sh1t then the people will take out mad bob themselves then and only then will we get involved and evicting illegal squatters form the farms and getting compensation for the rest of the whites and black who oppossed mad bob