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Let's unite, defend Zimbabwe
Posted: Tuesday, April 29, 2008

By Reason Wafawarova
April 28, 2008
The Herald

THE United States' ruling elite is gleefully keeping fingers crossed in an envisaged opportunity that presents a Zimbabwe they see as ready for the picking.

On the 15th of April, US ambassador to the UN, one Zalmay Khalilzad, described Zimbabwe as "the most important and urgent issue in Africa".

Said Khalilzad: "It would be very surprising that we will have a meeting on Africa in which quiet a number of African leaders will be there and not talk about the most important issue, the most urgent issue on that continent, being Zimbabwe."

Now, Jendayi Frazer, the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, has been gallivanting across Southern Africa lobbying, or is it arm twisting the regional leaders one by one, in her assignment to ensure an ouster of President Robert Mugabe and the liberation nationalist party, Zanu-PF.

Zimbabwe's former colonial master and the US's trusted lapdog supporter and ally, Britain, has been running all over the show in a bid to restore her battered sense of supremacy over the affairs of her former colonies – states whose affairs Britain runs through the Commonwealth. David Milliband, the British Foreign Secretary has already told the world that his country cannot wait to have Zimbabwe back in the Commonwealth.

Milliband's most unassuming boss, Gordon Brown has already complained that his patience is "wearing thin" on Zimbabwe and he reckons that this personal feeling can safely be interpreted to be representative of the attitude of the "international community" a term now cynically monopolised by the West with arrogant disregard for the rest of this world.

South Africa, under Thabo Mbeki has refused to be the equivalent of the pre-1979 Iran, an Iran that was the hub of US interests in the Middle East, and the West is badly looking for an alternative to Mbeki. When the shah of Iran was ousted by a popular revolt in 1979, the US created Saddam Hussein, just across the border in Iraq. Hussein, immediately attacked Iran on behalf of the US and for eight years he was armed to the hilt by Washington – killing millions of Iran civilians and Iraq Kurds in the process.

The recent utterances by Jacob Zuma to the effect that the US and her Western allies wanted South Africa to attack Zimbabwe militarily are not only revealing but also very characteristic of US foreign policy.

The so-called quiet diplomacy approach by President Thabo Mbeki has not only irked George W Bush and his administration but it has also been seen as a failure to establish a client state in Southern Africa.

If South Africa could play an Israel in the region, then the US interests would be protected – interests vested in the region's natural resources and possibly the setting up of AFRICOM; that unwelcome idea of a US military base meant to control Africa.

It is this background that makes the US consider Zimbabwe the "most important and urgent issue on the continent" of Africa. Khalilzad was only speaking on behalf of George W Bush's administration. This is the official US State Department's position and it is the same view held by the UK and the rest of the West.

Tsvangirai becomes so relevant because Zimbabwe has a history of military supremacy in the region. They played major roles in stopping Angola's Jonasi Savimbi, defeating Mozambique's Renamo and also in stopping the overthrow of Laurent Kabila of the DRC in 1998.

Zimbabwe is rich in its agricultural potential and in natural resources, like platinum, gold, coal and other minerals. It has a relatively big population by the region's standards, a population estimated at 14 million.

Above all, Zimbabwe has Morgan Tsvangirai, a man who rides on the suffering of people – a suffering in which he has played a major role as the chief mobiliser of economic sanctions from the West. Zimbabwe has Morgan Tsvangirai, a man Washington can deeply trust as a tabula rasa in terms of policy. The man is ideologically illiterate and that is the perfect scenario for the US. He is motivated by power and money and not by popular policies and for Washington, there is no better candidate.

Morgan Tsvagirai, if ever allowed to rule, is most likely going to neutralise the militant war veterans of Zimbabwe's liberation war. He is most likely to restore the white dominated agrarian regime, as was the case before 2000. He is most likely going to carry out Washington's instructions on the sub-region – that without causing so many problems like Mbeki of South Africa is seen as doing.

A Morgan Tsvangirai-led Zimbabwe is likely to be armed to the hilt by Washington – all for purposes of whipping each country in the region into the imperial line.

It is hoped that South Africa will remain relatively controllable, as is the case right now and that it does not develop into another Iran in a region where Zimbabwe will be playing an Israel.

The West's reaction to Israeli offensive was revealingly fraudulent and unusually more apparent. Just a day before the capture of Corporal Shalit, on the 24th of June 2006, Israel had kidnapped two civilians in Gaza, the Muammar brothers. Obviously, this was a far more serious crime than the capturing of a soldier, especially when one considers that the Muammar brothers were abducted to Israel in violation of the Geneva Conventions.

They were swallowed into the Israeli prison system, where over 1000 people are currently held without charge, hence kidnapped. There was neither notice nor reaction in the West, in fact in the West nothing happened in Palestine on the 24th of June 2006.

There is general agreement to the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestine conflict among the Arab states, including Iran, and Hezbollah has also said they would respect this kind of a

solution, although it is not exactly their preference. Hamas has also indicated that it is prepared to negotiate for a settlement in the two-state terms.

The United States and Israel continue to block this political settlement, as they have done for the past thirty years, never mind the brief and inconsequential exceptions often meant to hoodwink the Palestinians before each major onslaught. Denial of this attitude is preferable in the West, but the victims of US-Israeli brutality do not exactly enjoy this kind of luxury.

US-Israeli rejection of reality is not only in words, but also more importantly, in action. With precise and decisive US backing, Israel has been systematically pursuing its programme of annexation and dismemberment of shrinking Palestinian territories, and imprisonment of what remains by taking over the Jordan Valley. This is the so-called convergence programme, which Washington astonishingly calls "courageous withdrawal."

This is exactly why the Palestinians are facing national destruction. The only meaningful support for Palestine is from Hezbollah, which was formed in reaction to the 1982 invasion of Lebanon.

Hezbollah is basically a prestigiously supported group, mainly because of leading the effort to force Israel to stop its aggression on Lebanon in 2000, as well as for its popular social service provision programmes.

The US-Israeli planners would want Hezbollah and similar Islamic organizations like Hamas severely weakened or most preferably destroyed – just like the PLO had to be evicted from Lebanon in 1982.

In the same way, the US would want every liberation movement in Southern Africa severely weakened if not completely annihilated. Zimbabwe's Zanu-PF, Namibia's SWAPO, Angola's MPLA, Mozambique's Frelimo, Zambia's ousted UNIP and South Africa's ANC are all viewed in the same light with Hezbollah, Hamas and every other popular Islamic group.

The Western dream to weaken or annihilate these popular movements can only be enhanced when people like Morgan Tsvangirai, Alphonso Dhlakama and others like them, avail themselves as willing mercenaries to push forward the reactionary imperialist agenda.

The main reason Hezbollah has not been destroyed is that it is deeply embedded within Lebanese society that it cannot be eradicated without eradicating much of Lebanon just like its virtually impossible to destroy Hamas without eradicating much of Palestine.

It still remains very hard for the US to destroy Zanu-PF without having to eradicate much of Zimbabwe. The same goes for all the other liberation movements and even the ousted UNIP of Zambia just refused to die under the spirited efforts by Fredrick Chiluba.

Chiluba even tried to arrest everyone who mattered in UNIP and he even attempted to make legislation that would strip Kenneth Kaunda of his right to Zambian citizenship and identity.

No doubt, a Tsvangirai government, if ever there could be one, would be assigned to do similar efforts on Zanu-PF and what the West now calls Mugabeism.

This is the kind of Zimbabwe that Washington would want. They want a Zimbabwe that is totally divorced from its own liberation legacy, a Zimbabwe totally disenfranchised by their own history and a Zimbabwe totally depended on the Western doctrine of donor funding.

This is why the MDC derides war veterans, preaches the gospel of the "international community" more than they preach nationalism and above all believe in borrowing more than they believe in production.

When they say Zimbabwe is on the brink they mean the country is on the brink of being a client state to Washington.

We are on the brink of servitude to Western ideals and economic supremacy. Can this be allowed to happen? If yes, the question is why?

Some have written this writer saying if the people want imperialism and Western domination, let them have it. In other words, a country can be handed over to its oppressors if the oppressors are cunning enough to deceive a large chunk of the population.

This is the predicament that Zimbabwe finds itself in, a very sad and precarious predicament. The envisaged run off in the presidential election is just but the last option to choose between rule by Washington and self-determination.

That is the plain truth, despite the apparent temptation for people to try and stop the economic crisis via the ballot box.

People are being coerced to vote for the lifting of sanctions while handing their sovereignty right in the hands of the US-UK alliance.

Are we going to stand aside and look?

Is Sadc going to stand aside and watch?

Are Zimbabweans in their majority going to allow this travesty to occur?

It is homeland or death.

Together we will overcome.

Reason Wafawarova is a political writer and can be contacted on

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