US can't teach us anything
Date: Wednesday, November 04 @ 14:12:47 UTC
November 04, 2009
THE Western alliance's reaction to the abortive presidential run-off in Afghanistan should show all who were led to believe that Anglo-Saxon opposition to President Mugabe's re-election was about the professed platitudes of electoral democracy, that they were sold a dead donkey.
American and British opposition to President Mugabe's victory was because, in their own words, "he continues to pose a continuous and extraordinary threat to the foreign policy of the United States (and the British governments)".
A foreign policy, that we all know, is about plundering other people and their resources.
A bit of history will suffice here.
Zimbabwe held harmonised presidential, Senate, House of Assembly and local government elections on March 29, 2008 that saw the presidential contest failing to produce an outright winner when none of the four candidates garnered the 50 percent plus 1 votes required for a first round win.
A run-off was, therefore, called for June 27 pitting President Mugabe and MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai. And after gauging the mood of the electorate, and with just days to go before the poll, Tsvangirai announced his "withdrawal" from the run-off, alleging violence against his supporters.
The British and American governments immediately began casting aspersions on the legitimacy of the outcome, saying they would not recognise President Mugabe's legitimacy.
This was despite the fact that legal experts had described Tsvangirai's "withdrawal" as a legal nullity since the run-off had already begun with the deployment of election officers and observers countrywide.
Fast forward to August 20, 2009, the day Afghanistan held its presidential election pitting two US-anointed candidates, incumbent Hamid Karzai and his erstwhile foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah. Though Karzai initially claimed outright victory with over 53 percent of the vote in the first round, a UN probe into electoral irregularities unearthed massive fraud involving over 20 percent of the votes credited to Karzai.
The votes were docked necessitating a run-off that had been slated for Saturday, before Abdullah announced his withdrawal saying the run-off was going to be equally fraudulent.
What shocked many was that even before Abdullah's withdrawal, the Obama administration had enthroned Karzai as Afghan president for another five years, saying "even if he were forced into a second round of voting he would almost certainly win it".
More was to follow after Abdullah's withdrawal as the US was first off the block in congratulating Karzai even before the Afghan electoral authorities had declared him the winner.
This is not to say we expect the legitimacy of our leadership here to accrue from US blessings, no. All we are doing is exposing the hypocrisy of the self-appointed "international democrats" and "moral authorities" who, ironically, only yesterday opposed our own fight for democracy here.
A bit of history again.
When Ian Smith declared his UDI on November 11, 1965, the progressive world was naturally outraged and the UN Security Council responded by slapping the Smith regime with a raft of sanctions beginning that year till the brief restoration of British rule in December 1979.
Though the terms of the sanctions forbade trade or financial dealings with Rhodesia, the US supported the beleaguered settler regime regardless and covertly channelled assistance through apartheid South Africa.
US allies, among them Portugal (then under Marcello Caetano), Israel, and Iran (then under the US proxy Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi), also assisted and traded with Rhodesia. In an attempt to bypass the UN sanctions, the US passed the Byrd Amendment in 1971 and continued to buy chrome from Rhodesia in violation of the UN sanctions.
As if that was not enough, the US also contributed to the establishment of an armaments industry in Rhodesia that enabled the Rhodesian Front to kill over 50 000 innocent Zimbabweans whose only "crime" was daring to demand majority rule.
The US also provided the technical knowledge and support, again through apartheid South Africa, towards establishing the 700-kilometre Border Minefield Obstacle along Zimbabwe's borders with Zambia and Mozambique. Mines aimed at stopping aspiring cadres from crossing to training camps and blowing up trained combatants crossing back into Zimbabwe.
Yet today, the US and its allies are trying to re-invent and pass themselves off as champions of democracy in Zimbabwe.
We urge all those who may have been swayed by the Anglo-Saxon rhetoric to acquaint themselves with our history to tell friend from foe.
Such knowledge is also vital to understanding the political dynamics at play in our country today lest we are led down the garden path.
The US can't teach us anything.