Writing in The Guardian, Morgan Tsvangirai asks the U.N. to send peacekeepers into Zimbabwe:
We envision a more energetic and, indeed, activist strategy. Our proposal is one that aims to remove the often debilitating barriers of state sovereignty, which rests on a centuries-old foundation of the sanctity of governments, even those which have proven themselves illegitimate and decrepit. We ask for the UN to go further than its recent resolution, condemning the violence in Zimbabwe, to encompass an active isolation of the dictator Mugabe.
For this we need a force to protect the people. We do not want armed conflict, but the people of Zimbabwe need the words of indignation from global leaders to be backed by the moral rectitude of military force. Such a force would be in the role of peacekeepers, not trouble-makers. They would separate the people from their oppressors and cast the protective shield around the democratic process for which Zimbabwe yearns.
Full article here.
Tsvangirai is not specific, but he seems to be suggesting a Chapter VII peacekeeping mission–the only one that allows force, and one that can enter without the consent of belligerents.
Is this bluster, desperation, or dangerous naivete?
For peacekeepers to enter without the consent of a sitting Government and attempt to force a new election strikes me as an unprecedented move. There is disorder, but not war. There are great crimes being committed, but they are not war crimes.
Moreover, any intervention would almost certainly be met by force, and the country held under occupation for a time.
Tsvangirai did all but say that liberated Zimbabweans would throw flowers to the conquering troops. We have heard this before from darker quarters.
In our adulation for the heroes of the opposition — whether it is Odinga in Kenya, Besigye in Uganda, or Tsvangirai in Zimbabwe — we seldom wonder or worry whether our protagonist is as much a fool or a thug as the sitting President we despise. I still recall the Western press’s short-lived love affair with Laurent Kabila, who overthrew the titan Mobutu in Zaire (now Congo). Tsvangirai’s rash and provocative op-ed is cause for concern.
Update: The Guardian retracts! All a gross misunderstanding?