Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
--C.S. Lewis--

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

What Would Reagan Think?

I'm currently reading this book, a collection of speeches written by Reagan himself. One piece, entitled Nigeria (pages 16-17) struck me. Written in 1979, Reagan decries the influence that Nigeria was reportedly able to exert on the US, which in turn guaranteed that Robert Mugabe would end up as president of Rhodesia/Zimbabwe instead of the non-violent Bishop Muzorewa. (though Reagan was unaware of this further development at the time)

As a short recap for those who are unaware, Rhodesia was much like South Africa in that it had a black majority ruled by a white minority. The country was under extreme external pressure to reform, and finally agreed to do so. The white population brokered an agreement that they felt would allow for a peaceful transition that would give the black population power while protecting them from reprisal. It called for elections with a set number of seats reserved for whites. Mugabe's violent ZANU party and it's equally violent ally ZAPU did not participate. After Bishop Muzorewa won, his government was refused recognition by the rest of the world. Despite it's advocacy of non-violence, and the established thuggery of Mugabe, the international community (always a defender of good versus evil) forced negotiations that lead to a second election in 1980. Due to his widespread violence and intimidation, this time Mugabe participated and won. Ever since then, he's dragged his country further into poverty, violence, and chaos. (Another foreign policy victory for the Carter administration.)

The violence currently going on in the country simply underscores how bad the decision was. Reagan blamed it at least partially on pressure from Nigeria. So how was a dinky, third-world dictatorship able to pressure one of the world's two great super powers? Oil sales. After all, the 1970's were a time of poor economic growth and high oil prices. A major exporter like Nigeria would have been capable of severe harm by cutting off the spigot.

30 years later, the president of the US is begging the Saudis to produce some extra barrels of crude while the US economy continues to slow. Meanwhile, the Saudis use that money to export radical Islam and abuse their hired help, while running one of the world's most repressive regimes. And yet, every REALISTIC opportunity to strike a blow for freedom while moving toward energy independence has been blocked by the left in this country; meanwhile they insist on wasting money on disasters like ethanol and hamstringing the economy in the name of global warming. The more things change, the more they stay the same.