The more I think about that fertile land, the more I wonder — not why Mugabe is doing what he has been for the past years, but why he was such an abstinent for fifteen years after toppling Ian Smith. Mr. Mugabe, who holds a PhD honoris causa (in terrorism, I suppose) from the Moscow State University, showed superhuman reserve and restraint until he could hold back no more. Let the party begin, he bellowed, so it did. I cannot properly attribute this hypothesis, but there’s a theory that Mugabe didn’t let his thugs loose while he could keep them put with promises and handouts, but at some point they rebelled and demanded more. He had no choice but… etc., etc. Poor old Bob. Sometimes terrorists change for the better — take some of the Irgun men — but the outlook for those who rape passengers of a crashed airplane must be bleak.

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