Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Just A Coincidence, I'm Sure

This eye-popping story began last week and has now taken an intriguing turn:

Mr Mugabe made his first public comments on last week's fatal crash, reportedly telling mourners at Tuesday's church service: "I plead with you to accept it, it's the hand of God."

Suspicions have swirled over Mrs Tsvangirai's death given past acrimony between the prime minister and president.

But Mr Tsvangirai said on Monday it was unlikely foul play took a part in the collision, which involved an aid lorry.

You have to know, tho, that Tsvangirai is playing his cards close to his chest. That it took Mugabe nearly a week to come out and say anything publicly about the death of the wife of his alleged "partner" in governance...well, imagine if Jill Biden died in a car crash in which Joe Biden was also injured. How quickly would Barack Obama offer his condolences and sympathy?
And too, it's a curious comment to make at a memorial, the "hand of God" bit. Almost sounds as if the reporter is signalling to the world that Mugabe, who is not exactly known for his subtleties, had a hand in this.
We're all familiar with the classic line from The Godfather: "Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer." Is there anyplace closer as president than to have your sworn enemy and rival as Prime Minister, where you can keep a eye on him?
It seems pretty clear what Mugabe's intent is here, if you follow this line of thinking to its logical conclusion and take the background of the election at its face: Mugabe, having lost the popular vote to Tsvangirai, rammed through a Bush SCOTUS-like overturn of the election results.
And now that he has what he wants, he intends to kill Tsvangirai. Indeed, it is something of a miracle that he survived the crash.

How a convoy of three vehicles, with one in the middle carrying the second most important person in the land, got involved in a car crash, is what has perplexed many people.

The oncoming lorry, which apparently belonged to a partner of the US government aid agency USAID, is thought to have crossed into the prime minister's path, sideswiping the right bumper of Mr Tsvangirai's Land Cruiser, which then rolled off the highway.

You read that correctly. This magic truck managed to pick off the middle vehicle of a heavily armed convoy. What makes this story troubling to us here in the States is the apparent if probably unintentional involvement of a truck with ties to the United States. 
What to make of this, assuming that indeed it was an assassination attempt? Was it an attempt to draw the US into the African conflagration? Was it a clumsy and ham-handed assassination plot? Or was it just a fortuitous happenstance? Who the intended audience for that message is will be the factor that decides what the motivation for using that truck is.  
Sadly, it will not surprise me if, when the uproar over the USAid truck gathers momentum, the right wing in this country starts using this incident to prove Obama's Muslim ties run deeper than a dalliance in a school in Indonesia.
Nevermind that millions if not billions of lives hang in the balance in this part of Africa and the effect this assassination would have beyond Zimbabwe's borders (to North Africa, China, and the Middle East). These numbnuts will focus on a truck that was probably planted.
Just a coincidence. I'm sure.