It's always wise to hear both sides of the story. You might only find partial-truths on both sides. That's usual. The fact can not be denied though that capitalists place harsh sanctions on poorer nations (socialist-leaning) and then condemn the leaders of those nations for failing economically. It doesn't explain every aspect of hard times, but it explains a great deal.
The Herald (Harare)
10 April 2008
Posted to the web 10 April 2008
While the majority of people across the world may be generally agreed on the notion that the United States has become a perfect image of an unthinking bully, it is strikingly ironic that the US and its Western allies rely on a foreign policy that strongly preaches good intentions.
For the West in general, and the US in particular, the image of righteous exceptionalism and goodwill has always been the credo upon which foreign policy is formulated.
In fact, the US foreign policy has a clear standard story line in scholarship and in the media. It oscillates between two conflicting theories — the Wilsonian idealism, which is based on genuine and noble intentions and sober realism, which says that the limitations of the US's good intentions must be realised.
Woodrow Wilson subscribed to the former while the likes of Francis Fukuyama, Condooleeza Rice, Dick Cheney and George W. Bush are hard-core realists and would inflict any amount of harm on any nationality in the name of good intentions, always coming in the name of democracy, liberty, justice, human rights and freedom.
The illegal economic sanctions behind Zimbabwe's prevailing problems are enshrined in a sanctions law, the so-called Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act.
This is basically ruthless legislation that has brought so much suffering on innocent families and the generality of Zimbabweans. The US did not name the sanctions law the Zimbabwe Sanctions Act — something that would have been more accurate.
No, the image of righteous exceptionalism has to be maintained and the doctrine of good intentions has to be promoted and upheld. Precisely, this is why the naming of the Act wrongly suggests a recovery of the economy and that of democracy as well.
The evil pain coming with the US's sanctions law has been wrongly attributed to the alleged shortcomings of President Mugabe and Zanu-PF. The economy has faltered as a result of the economic warfare and strangulation that has been orchestrated through the abuse of the Bretton Woods institutions, mainly the IMF and the World Bank. There has been an eight-year blockade on balance of payments and lines of credit but the world is made to believe that President Mugabe has been deliberately starving his own people because some of them support the insidious opposition MDC.
The West has generally been blocking investors from investing in Zimbabwe and influencing companies already operating in the country to freeze operations. The rationale for this absurdity has always been the pretence that the economic strangulation is a way of applying pressure on an "evil" regime.
The operative rhetoric for the US-led Western alliance has always been this vainglorious veil of good intentions, but the truth is what historian Arno Mayer observed when he said that the US has, since 1947, been a major perpetrator of state terror and other rogue actions — causing immense ruin and harm in the name of democracy, liberty and justice.
John Stuart Mill, an otherwise man of high intelligence and moral integrity, seemed to succumb to the pathology of the false doctrine of good intentions. When Britain was at the peak of its crimes against humanity in India and China, Mill wrote what was described as a classic essay on humanitarian intervention, urging Britain to undertake the enterprise of invasion vigorously — never mind that the action would be "held up to obloquy" by backward Europeans who could not comprehend that England was "a novelty in the world".
Mill went on to describe Britain as a nation that acts only "in the service of others", selflessly sacrificing herself and bearing the cost of bringing peace and justice to the world.
Is this not the same attitude behind the proposals for intervention in Zimbabwe? When one reads the debates about Zimbabwe in the House of Lords, they would be forgiven if they thought the whole House was composed of the descendants of Mother Teresa. Sadc, the African Union and the United Nations are all painted as less righteous groupings that are either blind to the "evil" nature of the "Mugabe regime" or even complicity in making Zimbabweans suffer.
It just becomes ludicrous when they wrap it all by criticising China for its investments in an economy they want to see completely dead. It becomes more revealing when they start to debate on British companies that are still doing business in Zimbabwe, together with those British investors who have shown interest in doing business in Zimbabwe.
These apostles of righteous exceptionalism will debate all night-through on how to make the Zimbabwean economy collapse and then posture as concerned humanitarians who cannot stand the suffering of the ordinary people of Zimbabwe — a suffering directly resulting from the orchestrated economic collapse.
This is just absurd — but there are many people out there who have been fooled by these apparent contradictions, not least among them Zimbabweans themselves. This recent election pitted Zanu-PF against the economy. While Zanu-PF was telling people that the economic hardships they are facing are a result of the ruinous sanctions imposed by the West at the request of Britain, the MDC was telling the people that the economic hardships are a direct and deliberate act of brutality by Zanu-PF and the Government it leads — all in a bid to make people suffer; just like that.
The same Tsvangirai who has globetrotted grovelling for sanctions from any one who cared to listen was posturing as a man of the people and dangling rescue packages for a fire that his Western overlords and himself are responsible for starting.
It would appear that many people have suffered so much that all they cared about was relief from the pain inflicted by the sanctions. That way they accepted the pawn that fronts their oppressor as the liberator. In all his naivetÃ© and political illusions, Simba Makoni was right when he said the US$10 billion Tsvangirai was dangling was not enough to end the economic challenges bedevilling Zimbabwe.
In fact, that money, if ever it were to come to Zimbabwe, is not meant to make the life of Zimbabweans any better. The West does not think or operate in such terms. That money would only be a veil covering the operative rhetoric of spreading the false doctrine of good intentions. It would be meant to be the anaesthesia designed to send Zimbabweans into a deep slumber that will enable the imperialist gang to rape the country at will.
This is the money that is supposed to send everyone into a big slumber while the white settler farmers make a return to the land that the Government has acquired and redistributed to landless peasants. But is such a slumber achievable? This writer thinks not. This is the money that is meant to reward Tsvangirai and his gang of reactionaries as they play the role of henchman holding Zimbabwe down while the imperialist gang rapes the country with unparalleled savagery. This is the money that is meant to pacify the people while Western companies get a free reign on Zimbabwe's natural resources.
Are they not in countries like Ghana where the country is hailed for selling a gross of US$2,5 billion worth of gold in 2007? What they will not tell the world is that only US$501 million came Ghana's way while the rest went to benefit the home countries of these "good-intentioned" investors.
The larger picture for the MDC is that they are a subversive outfit fronting an imperial onslaught meant to re-establish white supremacy in the economic affairs of Zimbabwe. The ousted white farmers cannot wait to come back to "their" land and the Western investors are dying to exploit the Indo-Chinese market for coal, platinum and other minerals.
All the MDC can do for the people is to get the sanctions lifted and all that will happen economically after the lifting of the sanctions is something that could happen easily even if we allowed the Child Parliament to run the affairs of Zimbabwe.
It is pretty much a restoration of easy access to fuel, foodstuffs, public transport and basic medicines.
The level of change will just be enough to keep the people passive while the West loots all they can lay their hands on. There is not going to be an expansion of infrastructure, no expansion of cities, no meaningful fall in unemployment, no improvements of note in health delivery and, of course, the country is not going to be any richer.
The MDC is essentially telling people to refuse to own their own destiny and to surrender their souls to the Western masters. They are telling the people to kowtow Western dictates and then live happily ever after.
One reader sent me an email saying: "Let us sell the country for once and then we will see what happens." This is the attitude the MDC has cultivated in so many Zimbabweans.
The question remains whether the country should allow such an attitude to prevail simply because "vanhu vatambura Wafawarova" as this writer keeps getting in some of the feedback mail.
The US has declared that they are positive Zimbabweans voted "for change" and, of course, that change refers to a stop to independent nationalism, sovereign rule and autonomy in the control of natural resources, particularly the land.
To the US, Zimbabwe's land reform programme is a reminder of Salvador Allende's democratic socialism in Chile. Henry Kissinger called the impressive achievements of Allende's government a "virus" that spreads contagion. The Chile was "virus" was extirpated on September 11, 1973 — thanks to Chile's own Tsvangirai, one General Augusto Pinochet, the renegade general who attacked the Chilean presidential palace on behalf of Washington.
March 29 was supposed to be the day the Zimbabwean "virus" was to be extirpated — our own September 11 — albeit one of economic terrorism. The attack was launched and the missile used was Tsvangirai, with back-up arsenal in Makoni.
The attack was obviously disastrous but not fatal. The result was that false victory in House of Assembly seats and a stalemate in the presidential race. The presidential run-off is a God-given opportunity for self soul-searching among Zimbabweans and it is incumbent upon the revolutionary forces of the agrarian revolution to ensure that the masses are clear of who the real enemy is.
This is a time to expose the hidden agenda behind every word uttered by Tsvangirai. It is a time to expose the grand plan behind the gospel of change as preached by Tsvangirai and his notorious sidekicks.
An election featuring President Mugabe and Tsvangirai is an election featuring heritage and treachery respectively. It is an election between the soul and silver. There are no good intentions behind and ahead of the MDC and Tsvangirai.
All there is are vested interests of the imperialist club.