Reuters has an interesting story up on Robert Mugabe's birthday celebration, hosted by the new soft imperialists, communist China. Last year, the Zimbabwean dictator's 85th birthday was globally mocked as an embarrassing Marie Antoinette moment (one of many, really), as Mugabe spent a huge sum on a lavish party while his once prosperous population starved. Seems he learned his lesson this year, letting China foot the bill.

It wouldn't be the first time. China was instrumental in Mugabe's rise to power, supplying his ZANU forces with resources, advisors, and weapons during the Rhodesian Bush War. When Mugabe --after having successfully adopted Mao's population centric insurgency strategy-- came to power, he made the mistake of adopting Mao's approach to economics as well.

China adjusted course and ditched the Great Leap Forward bunk. Mugabe continues to seize productive commercial farms and -- just this past week -- announced that he would force successful foreign companies to sell majority stakes to Zimbabwean locals (he wants a 51 percent stake for his cronies).

So let Mugabe eat cake. Maybe he'll learn something useful from his Chinese pals, who -- at the very least -- had the good sense to shake off disastrous Maoist economics.

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