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Zimbabwe: America's Version of Democracy a Sham
Posted: Tuesday, March 6, 2007

By Reason Wafawarova
The Herald (Harare)
March 6, 2007

IT is very interesting to follow the trend of U.S. hegemony as it rose from 1945, the time its cousin authority, the British Empire was collapsing.

U.S. hegemony has grown to what it is at the expense of weaker nations and driven by the strategy of exploiting stand-for-nothing governments and non-state actors.

As Antonio Gramsci says, a crisis arises when something starts being born in a place occupied by something that has not finished dying.

As the British colonial empires began to collapse in the 1950s and the U.S. capitalist global hegemony was being born there was a crisis emerging as the former British, French and Portuguese colonies embraced the socialist and communist ideology ahead of the U.S-led capitalist agenda.

The crisis of the dying British Empire and the emerging U.S. Empire became what we now commonly know as the Cold War.

This was a crisis characterised by the Mutually Agreed Destruction; absolute dirty games in the intelligence world, the rising of U.S./British sponsored dictators in Latin America, Asia, the Middle East and Africa as well as the notorious proxy wars. The club of sponsored dictators included Zaire's Mobutu Sese Seko, Uganda's Idi Amin, Chile's Augustino Pinochet, Iraq's Saddam Hussein and Juan Vicente Gomez of Venezuela.

The club of proxy warlords would include Angola's Jonasi Savimbi, Mozambique's Alphonso Dhlakama and Osama bin Laden in the Afghan-based war against the Soviet Union.

From the onset of its launching, the U.S. empire has sought to support and prop up ideological blank pages by packaging sets of highly attractive but often irrelevant ideas into the minds of any identifiable ideological tabula rasas.

Zimbabwe's own main opposition political party, the MDC, is a classical example of a political party whose leader is a top class ideological blank page. The U.S. often addresses such people as moderates or simply as democratic.

The founding president of the now-fractured MDC has been described as such by the western media on many occasions and this is why it is important that we uncover the U.S. project with unprincipled people or what we would call ideological tabula rasas.

As already mentioned one of the first strategies to thwart the spread of communism and socialism was the use of force.

This was the era of military coups and U.S.-sponsored civil wars in Latin America, Africa and Asia. U.S.-backed rebels became a common phenomenon in the second half of the 20th century.

The justification for these wars was a recklessly packaged propaganda parcel that said communism was so evil that one was meant to share his wife with all other man, to leave your ignition keys on when you park "your" car so that anyone who needed the car could have access to it and where a poor man could just walk into your mansion with a legion of mucus-covered kids and occupy part of your mansion.

It was a war of ideologies which had gone so bad that the Americans had resorted to using force and media power to counter their rivals, the Soviet Union who were basically enjoying admiration from the new states which were breaking the yoke of colonialism.

Needless to say, there is no success story with any of the sponsored rebels including those who managed to take over power.

There is always no success story with associating with the Americans as Saddam, Mobutu, General Noriega, Idi Amin, Abel Muzorewa, Jonas Savimbi and Alfonso Dhlakama would easily testify.

As a follow-up to the proxy wars and military coups of the Cold War the U.S. came up with a post-Cold War neo-liberal package which it successfully imposed on many indebted countries, Zimbabwe included.

This was the 1989 Washington Consensus codified by John Williamson.

This was a neo-liberal programme to spread the ruthlessness of crude capitalism on former socialist and communist countries through a ten-point plan which latter became widely known as ESAP or Economic Structural Adjustment Programmes.

This is the programme one can easily get killed for praising in Singapore, Malaysia, Venezuela, Peru and many other countries which were ravaged to rock bottom poverty by the IMF-driven Washington Consensus.

Zimbabwe embraced the poison in exchange for promised loans and debt relief from the IMF and that is how the country bade farewell to its expanding mass education programme.

That is how Zimbabwe first met the reality of inflation, this was when people on social welfare were told to tighten their belts.

That was when the country privatised accommodation and catering services at state universities, that was when the young workforce was retrenched amid promises of endless job opportunities after a bit of belt-tightening.

Yes, that was when the Government of the people first had problems with its own urban population as the belt-tightening game ceased to be fun.

Indeed, that was the perfect opportunity for the U.S. and its Western allies to quickly identify "moderate democrats", the euphemism for puppets and that is how Zimbabwe ended up with this clownish outfit trading as Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC.

The MDC united or split is basically a group that knows no principles, ideology or policies. The factions are united on a protest resolve to allow western forces to operate freely in Zimbabwe's economic space while the puppets occupy the political space.

Their feeble attempt at talking policy would always hide the phrase "western forces" under the rhetoric of "market forces".

It can not be denied that we have a Government that was once partly fooled and coerced into enforcing policies that created the very disaster which gives the MDC the platform to hijack urban protests to mobilise an ideologically confused protest movement.

The error of the 1990s does not make another U.S. project admirable.

ESAP was a Washington economic project in as much as the MDC is a Washington political project and supporting the MDC is therefore akin to having a defensive soccer player allowing a repeat of a humiliating dribbling stunt from the same striker.

That is a terrible experience for all that have played or followed soccer and it is normally a sign of coming defeat.

The U.S. has closed the era of the SAPs as they call ESAPs and has embarked on a new campaign to perpetuate its hegemony.

This is the campaign of neo-liberal democracy, that other shiny package of "limitless freedoms" and liberties which the MDC preaches so much about but has no clue on its implementation even within its own organisational structures.

This is a campaign on absolute freedoms based on speech, expression, association, property rights and the right to make the country ungovernable.

Neo-liberal democracy is the pretext upon which the Americans invaded Iraq and now they have a crisis on how they should be handling their defeat there.

It is the pretext they used to be in Afghanistan and the same pretext they used to come up with the so-called Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act.

It is the pretext they use to call their perceived enemies "axes of evil, dictators, despots, tyrants, extremists and rogue or failed states."

Democracy as a model of governance will always be excellent but America's version of democracy is a sham.

It is not designed for governance but for fomenting conflict between the middle class and the lower class of the developing countries.

The major problem Zimbabwe faces today are the converts of neo-liberalism, the western-trained or western convinced economists, lawyers, politicians and even hangers on.

These are the people who do not see beyond the riches neo-liberal capitalism has bestowed on them through ESAP while sidelining the rest of the people to untold suffering.

They squeak and cry foul when the poor are given land, they shout in bitterness when multinational companies are made to pay the right amount of tax, they urge the Government to do everything possible to keep their masters happy in the economy because that way they continue to benefit.

Part of Zimbabwe's middle class, together with the MDC; have agreed to be part of the hand that continues to oppress citizens.

All well-meaning Zimbabweans should swear before each other and by God that they will not rest before breaking this yoke of oppression that changes form and format at the nation's expense.

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