- Ku Klux Klan group holds recruitment meeting in Maryland
- Airport assassination: Mayor, 3 others killed at Manila airport
- Tea party-type lawmakers take mysterious, off-books trip to Mideast
- North Korea warns South: We’ll attack ‘without warning’
- Congress sends sweeping defense bill to Obama
- Multiple injuries as balcony collapses at London’s Apollo theatre during performance
- Egypt rights center raided, 2 Mubaraks acquitted
- New Mexico Supreme Court rules same-sex marriage constitutional
- Blame Bush: 5 years later, that’s still the mantra, pollsters find
- Dutch prostitutes demand same retirement benefits as soccer stars
Question of the Day
END IS NIGH
Zimbabwean strongman Robert Mugabewill “cling to power” for as long as possible, and a popular revolt against him would result in a bloodbath, according to a former U.S. ambassador to the southern African nation that Mr. Mugabe has ruined through disastrous economic and racial policies since 1980.
“He will not go quietly, nor without a fight. He will cling to power at all costs, and the costs be damned,” Ambassador Christopher Dell wrote to the State Department in a confidential cable in 2007 that has been released by the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.
Mr. Dell, now U.S. ambassador in Kosovo, was so convinced that Mr. Mugabe’s days were numbered that he titled his cable, “The End is Nigh.” Three years later, Mr. Mugabe remains president, but he has to share power with a political, pro-Western rival, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
By promoting democracy and free markets, Mr. Dell frequently clashed with Mr. Mugabe during his term as ambassador from 2004 to 2007. Mr. Mugabe once summoned Mr. Dell to his office to tell the U.S. envoy to “go to hell.”
In the cable, Mr. Dell said the most peaceful way to get rid of Mr. Mugabe was through a free and fair election. However, Zimbabwe has never had one that met international democratic standards since Mr. Mugabe rose to power in 1980.
“The other scenarios are all less attractive,” Mr. Dell added. “A popular uprising would inevitably entail a bloodbath, even if it were ultimately successful; Mugabe’s sudden, unexpected death would set off a stampede for power among [political cronies]; a palace coup … in which Mugabe is removed, killed, exiled or otherwise disposed of could well devolve into open conflict between the contending successors.”
As for U.S. policy, he recommended that Washington continue applying pressure for democratic reform.
“But he is running out of options, and — in the swirling gases of the new Zimbabwean constellation that is starting to form — the economic, political and international pressures are concentrating on Mugabe, himself.”
The authoritarian president of Turkmenistan is so paranoid about assassination attempts that even a cat crossing his path can set off alarms in the Central Asian nation, where human rights are regularly abused.
A classified U.S. Embassy cable related the story about the suspicious cat, explaining that a member of the presidential security detail was fired in November 2009 after the animal ran in front of a car transporting President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedovto a mountain retreat about six miles from the capital, Ashgabat.
Why the cat crossed the road and what became of it are not addressed in the cable released by WikiLeaks. However, an accidental encounter with a presidential motorcade in December resulted in serious consequences for a driver in Ashgabat and for police officers blamed for a breach of security.
“A motorist allegedly drove through a blocked-off intersection in front of the president’s cortege,” Ms. Curran reported. “It is not known how the car managed to bypass the police and Ministry of National Security officers that cordon off the streets where the president’s motorcade is going to pass.”
Mr. Berdimuhamedov apparently was enraged. He ordered the dismissal of the chief of the traffic police and two deputies, and another police officer was thrown in jail.
The errant driver was “reportedly beaten black and blue” and locked up, Ms. Curran added.
Mr. Berdimuhamedov replaced President-for-life Saparmyrat Niyazov, who died in December 2006.
• Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297 or e-mail email@example.com.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
James Morrison joined the The Washington Times in 1983 as a local reporter covering Alexandria, Va. A year later, he was assigned to open a Times bureau in Canada. From 1987 to 1989, Mr. Morrison was The Washington Times reporter in London, covering Britain, Western Europe and NATO issues. After returning to Washington, he served as an assistant foreign editor ...
- Embassy Row: India strikes back over diplomat's arrest
- Embassy Row: India 'shocked,' 'appalled' by consular officer's arrest
- Embassy Row: Wife of Christian held in Iran feels abandoned by Obama
- Wife of jailed U.S. Christian in Iran calls for White House help
- Most Americans want no Iranian uranium enrichment: poll
Latest Blog Entries
By Michael P. Orsi
Edward Snowden should declare his patriotism in court
- Citing 'unfair system,' Obama commutes sentences for 8 crack offenders
- Homeland Security helps smuggle illegal immigrant children into the U.S.
- Gov't wasted $30 billion on 'pillownauts,' crystal goblets -- buying human urine!
- Huge backlash mounts over suspension of 'Duck Dynasty' star Phil Robertson
- Deportations under Obama plunged to just 1 percent last year
- Sebelius adds yet another exemption for Obamacare
- Congress sends sweeping defense bill to Obama
- EDITORIAL: Red faces at the White House
- Obamacare 'pajamas boy' gets roundly mocked
- Bill Gates: The Secret Santa disguised as a 'friendly fellow' on Reddit
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Southern Fried Politics from the Lens of a Persian-American Millennial
All of the world’s problems, solved on your back porch
Paul Rondeau exposes the propaganda, media tricks, and government policies that undermine our families, faith, freedom…and even life itself
Implement these actionable tips, how-to’s and best practices in 10 minutes or less to leverage online communications and technology for brand, business and career development.
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow