Saturday, January 25, 2003
Zimwatch: An Idiot writes - 24th January 2003, 00.08

Whoever coined the neologism 'idiotarian' should desist from its usage because 'idiot' is a far finer and succinct word to describe people like Imran Khan. The former Pakistani captain has called for a cricketing boycott of England because of Great Britain's support for a campaign in Iraq. As a Pakistani Muslim, this is not an unexpected response.

However, he has the temerity to compare this with the situation in Zimbabwe.

If these are the questions that have preoccupied politicians, pundits and sports fans in England, though, the Zimbabwe boycott affair has posed a rather different one in the minds of many of us in this part of the world: how can it be that England is obsessing over the morality of playing cricket in Zimbabwe at precisely the same time that it - along with the United States - is leading the world to the brink of a grossly unjust and potentially catastrophic war against Iraq? Doesn't Mr Blair's acute sensitivity to the plight of the Zimbabwean people look just a little ironic next to his apparent readiness to vaporise thousands of Iraqis? A little rich, even?

But if and when this cynical war begins - and especially if it inflicts large numbers of Iraqi civilian casualties - other cricketing countries will have to ask themselves a tricky question: should they play in England, a country quite prepared to visit far more destruction on Iraq than Mr Mugabe has ever visited on his own land? Perhaps it is time to entertain the unthinkable: a cricket boycott of the home of cricket. Might that be one language Mr Blair would understand?

This is the passage where Khan becomes a babbling amoral fool, descending into the victimised mindset that even blames the rise of the fundamentalist religious parties in the North West Frontier Province on the US rather than, er, the Pakistani electorate. (They didn't vote for Imran, you see). If you were to compare Mugabe with anyone, it is with Saddam Hussein, since both are monstrous leaders who have inflicted horrific human rights abuses on their own populations. Khan manages to blame the US and belittle the plight of the Zimbabwean people in one article. Breathtaking.


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