Despite months of work in bringing to the world’s attention the anti-democratic violence of Robert Mugabe, the Zimbabwean Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s two acts of self-defense were the ones to spark action, or at least talk of it, from Zimbabwe’s neighbours and the global community.

His decision to abandon this week’s scheduled presidential run-off election and, yesterday, his bid for protection from arrest in the Dutch embassy in Harare, seem to have raised alarm among potential allies to levels that may finally translate to assistance.