Last week, my summer class ended the term with a showing of All the President’s Men, which prompted one of the students — who is, unlike me, old enough to remember Watergate with more than a toddler’s sophistication — to remark on how insane it was to see many of the Nixon conspirators recover enough of their reputations to be taken seriously as public figures over the next several decades. It’s a point that’s been made ten thousand times before, but it never gets old.
Three decades from now, I expect I’ll be able to offer a more or less similar observation when names like Paul Wolfowitz come up in the course of discussion. Though it’s axiomatic that the WSJ opinion pages serve as a rolling open mic for shitheads, I’m unable to comprehend why anyone would allow anything like this to pass through the gauntlet of laughter that even the best of Wolfowitz’s ideas deserve:
Given the strength and ruthlessness of the [Mugabe] regime, change will not come easily. Nevertheless, developing a concrete vision for the future would help to rally the people of Zimbabwe around a long-term effort to achieve a peaceful transition. It would give Mr. Tsvangirai important negotiating leverage. And it could attract disaffected members of the regime.
Most importantly, dramatic action by the international community could embolden other Africans to confront the tragedy in their backyard.
Because if Wolfowitz’s “international community” has anything for which to congratulate itself, it’s the development of a concrete vision for African development. And if the past five years have taught us anything, it’s that “dramatic action” by the same “international community” has produced durable and worthwhile transformations in other parts of the world. All that’s missing is a Weekly Standard editorial demanding that “Mugabe Must Go.”