Kubatana.net ~ an online community of Zimbabwean activists

Where is the brink?

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It has been widely reported in the press, today, that Kenya has “stepped back from the brink” following the swearing in of opposition leader Raila Odinga in to the Prime Minister’s position. Over a thousand people died so that the “will” of the people could be reflected by this appointment. So it is it fair to assume that, had two thousand people died, Kenya would have gone over the brink?

Who sets the brink? Is present day Iraq before, in, after or recently back from the brink? Is Iran speeding towards the brink or does Dick Cheney think not fast enough? What about Darfur? Is Somalia, with its gung ho pirates who could not organise a piss up in a brewery, way beyond the brink and in the abyss? How many steps does Somalia need to take to climb out of the abyss and then take that monumental step back from the brink? How many people does it take to die for there to be brink?

Is there a crisis in Zimbabwe? Starting when? With the deaths of twenty thousand people in the early eighties or was that a different kind of brink? An inconvenient brink during the cold war? Should we colour code brinks and have a brink-o-meter? In fact, should we have a brink-o-meter for the economy as well? Because at 165 000% official inflation, Zimbabwe is not at the brink. It does not even have a crisis! It is simply setting a world record. The Tiger Woods of failed economies. There is, however a “crisis” according to many because election results have not been released. Mbeki does not agree; his benchmark for a crisis could well be that 1000 dead bodies mark. Before that, it is a manageable solution. Was Rwanda not manageable before the radio broadcasts began?

What about a stable country, like say Botswana or Swaziland, with some of the highest rates of HIV AIDS infections and related deaths? Does that constitute a brink or an impending catastrophe? Is Arsene Wenger, having thrown away what was to be surely a premiership championship on the brink?

Back to Kenya, a reporter asked who the opposition was going to be since everyone one is now in government. Given that there is no longer an opposition in place, is democracy there on the brink? Has Kenya really stepped away from the brink? What brink?

2 comments to “Where is the brink?”

  1. Comment by Joseph:

    What we class as brinks (brink) varies per country and situation. there is no one given strata of measurement. What the world saw as cold war, post 1980, was politically acceptable to politicians internationally. Mind you personally, i think it was old Bobby getting his own back on another tribe! The reason given then was to stabilize the country from those whom ere bent on causing disruption in a new “DEMOCRACY”. That was bringing the country away from the so called brink of anarchy. There is no democracy in Kenya. When does it do anyone any good when for political expediency and stability you bring in someone to sit beside you to rule .What was the voters decision, What this means is that from now on All that people need to do to get into power is have a few thousand people fight fro you and hey presto you become the next vice president or prime minister. Thank heavens by that you have brought the country from the BRINK. Where is the so called democracy.


  2. Comment by Kubatana.net speaks out from Zimbabwe » Blog Archive » How many more must be beaten?:

    [...] As James Hall wrote, is an African life so cheap, that 1,000 must die before there is a “crisis?” [...]