MORGAN Tsvangirai and the MDC were faced with a horrible choice: either to go through with the charade of an election run-off, hoping that the backlash against the violence and intimidation unleashed by what are supposed to be the forces of law and order and Zanu-PF thugs would ensure victory, or pull out because the attacks on MDC supporters had become too high a price to pay. It is ironic that apartheid South Africa was able to pull the plug on the Ian Smith regime and bring it to the negotiating table in quick time. With that example, there is absolutely no doubt that Zimbabwe’s neighbours, collectively if not separately, had the power to exert meaningful pressure on the dictator if they had had the will to do so. But that political will was tragically lacking. Instead of action to topple the tyrant, we have had mealy-mouthed platitudes about “the leadership coming to some agreement about what happens to their country”.