Admonishing Mugabe

I haven’t opined much on the situation in Zimbabwe, mostly because it speaks for itself and because Africa isn’t my primary realm of international relations specialty. But James Kirchick makes sense with this proposal:

So here’s a question for Senators Obama and McCain. Back in April, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer declared Tsvangirai the winner of the March 29th election, and certified that he won over 50% of the vote. Recognition of him as the duly elected president of Zimbabwe — with all of the diplomatic measures that would imply, specifically spelled out today in a New York Sun editorial — should have been forthcoming, yet the State Department has been reluctant to go that far. With Tsvangirai hiding in the Dutch Embassy for fear of his life, will either of you call upon the United States to recognize him as the elected president of Zimbabwe?

I’ll do him one better; the United States should recognize Tsvangirai as the legitimate President of Zimbabwe and endorse arresting and trying Mugabe for crimes against humanity.

In the more crass vein, this could be a chance for Obama to flex some diplomatic muscle. One has to wonder how much influence he could carry weighing in on such a situation with African leaders.