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West must stop living in the past
Posted: Thursday, December 11, 2008

By Reason Wafawarova in SYDNEY, Australia
December 11, 2008

"LET'S bowl Bobby out!" This was a screaming header in a centre page article by mesmerist writer Alan Howe in the December 8 issue of The Herald Sun, an Australian daily.

The bowling parlance was directed at none other than President Mugabe, whose accompanying image to the article was escorted by the images of Adolf Hitler, Saddam Hussein, Slobodan Milosevic and Benito Mussolini.

Alan Howe introduced his piece by asserting definitively that President Mugabe is but just the only remaining "giant of the 20th century genocide".

He mockingly describes this "giant" as "a wrinkled, poisonous poppy whose time has come".

It is ironic that the piece carried Howe's own ancient face with a multitude of wrinkles and that his style of writing would seriously tempt one to borrow from him the "poisonous poppy" phrase if there was any need to describe the writer.

Howe proudly reveals to his readers that there is a common trend of "a penchant for elegant (neck) ties" by all the five "tyrants" whose images accompanied the piece.

Howe alleges that President Mugabe is "like many a despot in overheated former British colonies".

This obviously an expression of the revisionist line of thought that says Africans were not ready to rule themselves and that the fall of colonial empires and the dawn of independence was an ill- advised idea.

In fact, Howe incorrectly but shamelessly blames Jimmy Carter and Malcolm Fraser for helping President Mugabe come to power.

Howe makes a passionate wish that his hope is that he does not see a day when President Mugabe "turns out at another Commonwealth Heads of Governments Meeting... wearing a necktie".

According to Howe, this is because "Mugabe is an unforgivably mad, genocidal mass murderer".

This description is given with no regard to the scientific meaning of the word "mad", no consideration of the internationally accepted definition of the term "genocide" and a reckless throwing of the phrase "mass murderer".

This is how tyrants and despots are made in Western media. You just describe them continually until the label sticks.

Howe bemoans the failure by the Commonwealth to deal with President Mugabe decisively, and for that he describes the organisation as "the Queen's preposterous and shameless glee club".

This writer will agree that the Commonwealth is a preposterous and shameless glee club but for different reasons.

It failed to recognise the importance of Zimbabwe's Land Reform Programme and undemocratically suspended Zimbabwe before slapping the country with wide-ranging sanctions shamelessly called "travel bans".

Britain, India, Canada and Australia are singled out in the article as having "done close to zero to tame Mugabe".

This is despite the fact that Britain's number one foreign policy agenda since 2000 has been Zimbabwe. This is also despite that the ravaging sanctions on the country have been mobilised by Britain and her allies.

Howe clearly thinks that the sanctions slapped on Zimbabwe by his country and other Western countries are of a benign effect and of no consequence.

Rather what is to be blamed is "the preposterous and shameless" Commonwealth that has stood by "while Mugabe has sentenced even those tribespeople nominally on his side to death by poverty and starvation, and – cholera".

So the Commonwealth that suspended economic dealings with Zimbabwe, joined the EU and America in blocking credit lines and balance of payments, is the same Commonwealth that is supposed to stand up and stop the poverty and starvation of Zimbabwe's "tribespeople".

How amazing!

Howe is not only obsessed with the delusions of grandeur he has about the Commonwealth.

He is still alive all alone in his own world of the good old days of the British Empire – the days when Great Britain was running the world.

In his article, he writes absolute lies as facts and no doubt many of his readers would fall victim to his wandering and fictitious mind.

Says Howe: "Think of this: The Union Jack flies in the top corner of the flags of three of the four poorest countries on earth. Two are British controlled, two Australia's Commonwealth allies."

Howe lists the three as being among the following five – Swaziland, Mozambique, Zambia, Sierra Leon and Lesotho.

Canberra displays all flags for the 192 countries of this world and not even one of these five countries carries the Union Jack at the top left-hand corner.

Just like with Rhodesians and the apartheid racists of South Africa, some people will never accept that the world has changed.

Despite the usual blaming of Mugabe for HIV and Aids, orphans, cricket team performance, inflation and so on, Howe urges Australia to "look beyond its traditional allies and, working with new South African President Kgalema Motlanthe, who recently replaced the Mugabe apologist Thabo Mbeki, should work towards a new coalition of the willing to invade Zimbabwe".

He further says: "Zimbabweans would be delighted and surprised, if we bothered." Surprised yes, but delighted NO.

This writer does not think there is any sane Zimbabwean that cherishes the idea of invading Westerners as something to cheer about.

In the typical fantasising that drove George W. Bush into Iraq in 2003, Howe wrote that soldiers, doctors and nurses "will line the streets to greet us".

This writer bets they would, but with petrol bombs, spears, arrows and every weapon they can lay their hands on, just as was done in Baghdad.

Those who think the Tsvangirai-Ian Khama alliance is a piece of nothing must revise their thoughts because the military mood towards Zimbabwe is badly shaping up in the West.

Condoleezza Rice says she has already discussed what needs to be done with David Miliband of Britain.

Back to what we started with, we have these "despots" whose main qualification is their stance against the Western alliance.

At the end these need to be attacked through military invasions.

This is the thinking that made The Herald Sun accompany the image of President Mugabe with the five other characters whose countries were all invaded by the Western forces at one time or another.

Hitler and Mussolini were fighting the war of expansionism – basically a war of European murderers and robbers bent on invading and colonising other territories to expand their empires.

The two felt they had been left out in the rush for colonies and Hitler's Germany had pulled out of the League of Nations in 1933 with Mussolini following suit in 1937 after the League had imposed sanctions on Italy for the invasion of Abyssinia.

Mussolini was feted as Europe's premier statesman after the glory of the Munich Peace Agreement of 1938 and he sought to consolidate his newly acquired status by having the "Pact of Steel" with Hitler leading to the invasions of Czechoslovakia, Albania and Poland in 1939.

Now, purely based on the colonial and imperial prowess of Hitler and Mussolini, we have the labels of despot, dictator, tyrant and so on and so forth.

The excesses of these other leaders were but an official excuse to justify a war between unrepentant robbers.

President Mugabe is a revolutionary African leader who made a decision to give back his country's land to its landless masses and his crusade cannot be compared with the colonial brutalities of Hitler and Mussolini.

It does not matter the reasons given for the comparisons, such an analysis is puerile and full of political mischief.

Milosevic was made infamous for "Serbian nationalism" and the Western media heavily criticised him for allegedly telling Serbians that were clashing with police that, "You will not be beaten," and, "No one should dare to beat you again".

These words were allegedly spoken on April 24 in 1987.

Surely, if one opposition leader from Zimbabwe says he will remove Mugabe "violently" he is hailed as a democrat but a "communist" Milosevic is not even allowed to tell his people that they should not be beaten up by the police.

Bill Clinton accused Milosevic of seeking to "expand his power by inciting religious and ethnic hatred in the cause of Greater Serbia, by demonising and dehumanising people, especially the Bosnian and Kosovar Muslims..."

His Secretary of State Madeleine Albright further accused Milosevic of starting four wars including Kosovo.

Christopher Smith, a US Congress representative, said Milosevic "relied on virulent Serbian nationalism to instigate conflict".

At The Hague, the core charges against Milosevic were centred on allegations that he desired to create a Greater Serbia.

All this was despite the fact that Milosevic supported and agreed with the Vance-Owen and Vance-Stotenberg peace plans, both rejected by Bosnia and others at the instruction of Washington.

James Barker, the former US secretary of state, wrote that despite the fact that Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia seceded in violation of the Helsinki Principles, they still received support and recognition at the UN by Western Europe and America.

Reynaud Theunens, the prosecution analyst at The Hague, admitted that they had no evidence that Milosevic ordered Serbian fighters in Croatia and Bosnia to carry out any subversive acts.

Despite this other side of the story we are told in no uncertain terms that Milosevic was guilty at The Hague even after having died of natural causes before the trial.

He is a convicted tyrant and despot just like Robert Mugabe.

If allegations of supporting and directing acts of subversion and banditry were the criterion for tyrants and Hague candidates then the world must prepare itself for the trial of George W. Bush.

As for Saddam Hussein's picture in the company of President Mugabe's image, well, this is a calculated move to whip up emotions and also to psyche the readers for such a travesty as was seen at the sad joke that was called a trial at the end of 2006.

Hussein was raised, natured, armed, backed and established by Washington and London.

He was a Reagan and Thatcher favourite and a good friend of Bush Senior up until he mistook the strength of his masters for his own.

Like Idi Amin of Uganda he fell out with the Western masters and was duly labelled a monster.

His similarities to President Mugabe can only be of having differences with the West and that is where the similarities start and end.

The motivation of the West in coming up with labels of dictatorships and tyranny is purely based on Western interests and not on such moral standards like the firebrand human rights gospel that is preached to us daily by irrelevant zealots like Alan Howe.

Yes, the world's history is littered with nasty acts that any decent human being is bound to denounce and such acts we will all denounce.

However, the rhetoric by those whose history and present tell us of a people with hands dripping with the blood of weaker peoples cannot be taken seriously by those who genuinely seek international social justice.

Zimbabweans we are one and together we will overcome. It is homeland or death!

Reason Wafawarova is a political writer and can be contacted on or or visit

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