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 Robert Mugabe, yet another man the West loves to hate

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Date d'inscription : 01/06/2005

MessageRobert Mugabe, yet another man the West loves to hate

by William

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Robert Mugabe is bit like Osama bin Laden, if
he didn’t exist they’d have to invent him, and invent him they have, with a

Now I’m not a supporter of Zanu-PF, for me their
politics have always been suspect. Back during the Apartheid years, Zanu-PF
never acknowledged the ANC as the leader of the liberation struggle in
South Africa, preferring instead to support the PAC (the Pan Africanist
Congress). Well you win some, you lose some.

Zanu-PF has oscillated wildly in its choice of political position, veering
from the quasi-Trotskyist to the Maoist and ending up as Mugabeism. Since
gaining independence in 1980, Zanu-PF have had well over twenty years to do
something about real land re-distribution (the Lancaster House
‘agreement’ notwithstanding), and whilst recognizing the conniving and
hypocritical role of the Brits in the process (what else is new?), Mugabe,
who cares not a whit about what the rest of the world thinks about his
policies, has his sights firmly fixed on the Zimbabweans themselves and
staying in power at all costs.

And as long as Mugabe left Britain’s ‘kith and kin’
alone (the settler farmers), it was quite happy to let Zanu-PF spout all
kinds of socialist rhetoric, as long as he didn't actually implement any of
it. Thus all the statements out of the West about the ‘miracle’ of
Zimbabwe, the “bread basket” of Southern Africa.

Zimbabwe, like its neighbor, South Africa, has (or at
least had) a highly mechanized agricultural economy geared for export, with
over 80% of the most productive land owned by a handful of white farmers.
But here the parallel ends, for unlike South Africa, Zimbabwe’s rural
population are largely peasant, subsistence farmers and importantly
Zanu-PF’s power base. The divide between urban and rural could not be
starker with the majority of the MDC’s supporters members of Zimbabwe’s
small, urban working class.

And this is what it’s all about — land and the
political power that goes with those who control it. Unfortunately, since
independence, Zanu-PF has done little to actually deal with this issue
failing, until recently to return the land to its rightful owners and then
making a right mess of it because it did it for all the wrong reasons.

Ever since independence was gained in 1980, Zimbabwe
has been a one-party state with Mugabe long proclaiming an allegedly
socialist, anti-Western message without a single bleat of protest from the
UK, even knighting the guy (just this week withdrawn by the ‘Queen’). So
what changed? Why has Mugabe become the man the West loves to hate?

Basically, it’s sheer convenience together with a
deeply ingrained racism that has propelled Mugabe into the media meat
grinder and for no other purpose than to rationalize its own
actions of intervention and mass murder in the name of
human rights and democracy.

We saw the same demonization of Myanmar (or Burma as the West chooses to
continue calling it) even as major Western oil cartels continue to suck oil
from the ground.

The pattern is plain for all to see: keep diverting attention
away from the actions of the pirates by making a big song and
dance about other countries’ when the reality is that the West doesn't give
a damn about the people of Zimbabwe, Myanmar, Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine,
Venezuela, Cuba, or any country that fits the profile—allegedly
anti-democratic, trashing human rights, this is after all, the current
propaganda line of the West, a case of do as I say but don’t do as I do.

I think the following sums up one of the the results of interfering so
blatantly in what are the internal affairs of the sovereign state of
Zimbabwe regardless of what you think of the Zanu-PF,

“And yet the effective
cancellation of the election [after the MDC’s withdrawal from the
presidential runoff], followed by Tsvangirai’s calls for the United
Nations, the African Union and South Africa to intervene in order to
prevent a ‘genocide’, also shows up the dangers of internationalising local
conflicts. The events of the past 24 hours demonstrate that Western
governments’ relentless exploitation of the Zimbabwe crisis has helped to
disenfranchise the Zimbabwean people. Literally. The logic of Western
pressure has made the MDC reliant on the favour and flattery of external
forces, rather than on the grit and the votes of its own mass support
— ‘Disenfranchising
the people of Zimbabwe’ By Brendan O’Neill, Spiked, 23 June,
But then this is the entire point of the exercise, to back
Mugabe into a corner, make Mugabe the centre of attention. Had the UK
really wanted to solve the land issue in Zimbabwe, it could have assisted
the Zimbabwean government in compensating the settlers and helped the
government in the development process (as it promised to do), for example
in training and education to assist Zimbabwean peasant farmers in making
the transition to mechanized farming.

As for the MDC, I think their leader Morgan Tsvangirai
is a political half-wit, he should have stuck to running the trade unions.
He has so compromised himself with his choice of ‘friends’, let alone his
judgement, or lack of it, that he has really screwed up what was, in the
early days at least, a real opportunity to create a viable alternative to
Mugabeism, which as a political (let alone economic) solution to
post-colonial Zimbabwe, has clearly failed.

Accusations that Tsvangirai is in the pay of foreign agents, may or may
not be true, I have no way of knowing but regardless, it's his political
cowardice that undermines him and finally calling for foreign intervention
reveals his complete lack of political courage.

The land question, something that is at the core of existence in
every agrarian society, has been used by Mugabe to win votes and
by so doing he has played right into the hands of the Western powers.
Contrast Zimbabwe's Mugabe with Venezuela's Chavez. Sure, they’ve tried
their damnest to demonize him too, but because his real power
resides in the people, Western propaganda campaigns have not achieved the
desired result, to isolate and present him as an 'extremist'.

Mugabe for his part, has been very astute at exploiting
the ‘Pan Africanist’ position viz a vis the black-white issue, again this
is all for domestic consumption but still it’s up to the Zimbabwean people
to decide what happens. More’s the pity that Tsvangarai is an inept and
totally compromised politician.

As usual it’s the role of the Western media that is
central to the process. Without its active complicity in covering up the
crimes of the West and its participation in the Mugabe diversion, the USUK
axis could not get away with its own anti-democratic and illegal actions
around the planet.

The BBC are the worst culprits, conducting an endless
diatribe against Mugabe, even accusing him of genocide. It’s reached the
point where I just can’t watch the BBC news anymore, nearly every
news broadcast opens with a story about Mugabe in what has to be a
government-inspired propaganda blitz. The last BBC diatribe I watched found
the reporter calling for military intervention.

But the UK, as the original ‘broker’ between Ian
Smith’s pre-independence regime and the liberation movements of that time
(1979-80) puts it in a difficult position, thus we read in a BBC
Today story, the following:

“Long after his name
ceased to resonate in British politics it is still possible to go to
Zanu-PF rallies in Harare and hear a blood-curdling denunciation of Harold
Wilson, and the pernicious treacheries of the 1960s and

“This is of course understood in the British
government, which wants the conflict to be between Robert Mugabe and the
world in general.”
— ‘Zimbabwe awaits
day of reckoning’ By Allan Little, 24 June, 2008. BBC Today
You betcha! No flies on whoever wrote this. The last thing
the UK wants is the history of successive British governments’ (both Labour
and Tory) double-dealings in Zimbabwe being exposed as it connived to
protect its investments and the white settlers (the majority of which are
of British ‘stock’).

In part, it explains why, unlike its sanctions drives against other
countries, with Zimbabwe they have targeted individuals (could it be
because Barclays Bank is a major investor in Zimbabwe?).

Whatever one thinks of Zanu-PF’s policies, demonizing
the country, because this is the end-product of the vicious propaganda
campaign being conducted, we have to remember that the propaganda blitz is
aimed not at Mugabe or the Zimbabwean people but at our domestic
population (just as Mugabe’s propaganda about the evil Brits is aimed at
his support base).

Mugabe’s shenanagins are insignificant when set against
the USUK murder in Iraq and Afghanistan or the actions of the settler
government of Israel in its genocidal activities in the Occupied
Territories, thus by focusing in on an individual, by making it
personal, masks the political reality of imperial
intervention wherever it chooses to.

The propaganda blitz has two objectives: 1) to divert attention away from
the crisis of capital and the loss of legitimacy in the West and, 2) to
justify its interventionist policies around the world, based as they are on
the fiction of spreading human rights and democracy.

Some of us on the left seem to be defending Mugabe for all the
wrong reasons in a perverse version of ‘if you’re not for us you
must be against us’, but unless as socialists we adopt a principled
position and expose the underlying reasons for the media blitz, we are
doomed to be caught between a rock and a hard place, for it’s not a case of
defending or attacking Mugabe but of exposing the phony human rights
message being peddled by the pirates.

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