Friday, 16 May 2008

McGee, we wear sanctions as badge of honour

McGee, we wear sanctions as badge of honour

By Caesar Zvayi

THE news in South Africa over the past week was that the US State Department had decided to remove ANC leaders, among them Nelson Mandela on whom the Westerners dote so much, from a Terrorist Watch blacklist.

ANC members, past and present, who wish to travel to the US have to get waivers from the State Department and to this day, even President Mbeki — is allowed to travel only to the United Nations headquarters in New York but not to Washington DC or any other parts of the so-called Free World.

Matters came to a head when former South African Ambassador to the US, Barbara Masekela, was terror-flagged when she attempted to visit a dying cousin in the US, by the time she was cleared, her cousin had already died.

On May 8, the US House of Representatives adopted a bill aimed at taking Mandela and other ANC leaders off the terror blacklist.

The House agreed to give the State Department and Homeland Security Department powers to overlook the ANC’s anti-apartheid activities when determining whether to allow members and former members into the US.

Please note, ‘‘anti-apartheid activities.’’

A similar bill is moving through the US Senate with supporters hoping to get it passed before Mandela’s 90th birthday on July 18.

ANC leaders were naturally elated with many of them lauding the US for a ‘‘progressive decision.’’ It, however, appears not many saw the irony in Uncle Sam’s actions.

Here is a country and leadership claiming to be paragons of liberty and democracy but which had no qualms placing the leaders and members of a liberation organisation that was fighting the evil system of apartheid in occupied South Africa on travel and other forms of sanctions. Instead of recognising that the likes of Oliver Tambo, Mandela and Walter Sisulu were fighting a just war against settler oppression, they were instead labelled terrorists as the US government maintained open relations with the racist regime in Pretoria.

Ironically, Washington put the ANC leadership under sanctions while it refused to impose sanctions against the racist regime that was oppressing the black majority in South Africa, preferring what they called ‘‘constructive engagement.’’

This approach, constructive engagement, was the brainchild of the then US assistant secretary of state for African Affairs in the Reagan administration, Chester Crocker who argued that instead of imposing economic sanctions on, and divestment from Pretoria, the West had to ‘‘use incentives to encourage South Africa to gradually move away from apartheid.’’

‘‘Constructive engagement" latter became Washington’s official policy towards apartheid Pretoria.

It is important to note that this duplicity was born of the same Crocker who, in a foreign policy testimony to the US Senate in 2001, proposed imposing sanctions on Zimbabwe for, according to him, "to separate the Zimbabwean people from Zanu-PF we are going to have to make their economy scream, and I hope you senators have the stomach for what you have to do."

These words, which were borrowed from utterances made by the then secretary of state Henry Kissinger who said the US had to make the Chilean economy scream to topple the leftwing government of Salvador Allende in 1973, culminated in the drafting of the US sanctions law, the so-called Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act that was signed into law by George W. Bush on December 21 that year.

The ZDERA not only provides for the cutting of Zimbabwe’s lines of credit from all multilateral lending institutions but also funding for the MDC and other quasi-opposition groupings in Zimbabwe in pursuit of the regime change agenda.

But what is the point here.

The point here is that Washington, which wants to pass itself as a progressive democracy that supports ‘‘democratrisation’’ throughout the world was opposed to democratisation in South Africa, and instead covertly supported the apartheid State to delay black majority rule.

The same way it supported the racist Smith regime in the then Rhodesia by by-passing UN sanctions to continue trading with Smith and helping him, again, through apartheid South Africa.

A bit of history may help the historically na├»ve, particularly one James D. McGee who is proving to be every bit the House Negro I predicted many moons ago, to appreciate the destructive role Washington played during Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle and how those actions served to delay the dawn of independence at a cost of over 50 000 innocent lives, the same way Washington’s illegal sanctions today seek to torpedo Zimbabwe’s quest for economic independence.

When Rhodesian prime minister, Ian Douglas Smith made, his Unilateral Declaration of Independence on November 11 1965, the progressive world was naturally outraged and the UN Security Council promptly 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 so-called Byrd Amendment in 1971 and continued to buy chrome from Rhodesia in violation of the UN sanctions arguing that the mineral was a strategic raw material yet it went on to adorn the chrome-plated bumpers of America’s monstrous vehicles.

As if that was not enough, Washington also contributed to the establishment of an armaments industry in Rhodesia that enabled the Rhodesian Front to decimate over 50 000 black Zimbabweans whose only "crime" was daring to demand black majority rule.

The US also provided the technical knowledge and support, again through apartheid South Africa, toward establishing the 700-kilometre Border Minefield Obstacle along Zimbabwe’s borders with Zambia and Mozambique in an attempt to stop aspiring cadres from crossing to training camps and to blow-up trained combatants who were crossing back into Zimbabwe.

Furthermore, other American mercenaries and US servicemen joined the Rhodesian Security Forces ranks, with many of them bringing back to Rhodesia military ideas and concepts from Vietnam where the US had just been routed in 1975.

But again what is the point here.

The point is that the US has always been opposed to progressive liberation movements for the simple reason that they advance the interests of the black majority over those of white capital. Thus the illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe today, just like those that were imposed on the ANC at the height of the struggle against the apartheid regime, should be seen in that context.

What is more, the US has never, never supported any progressive liberation movement throughout the history of decolonisation.

I challenge McGee to name just one progressive movement that had the baking of the US in the history of mankind.

Washington has, instead, always been found on the side of stooges like Mobutu Sese Seko over Patrice Lumumba in the DRC; Jonas Savimbi’s UNITA over the MPLA in Angola, Aphonso Dhlakama’s MNR over Frelimo in Mozambique, the same way it continues to support MDC-T’s Tsvangirai over President Mugabe’s Zanu-PF in Zimbabwe.

If anything, the US has been implicated in the assasinations and deposition of progressive leaders in Africa beginning with Kwame Nkrumah in Ghana to Laurent Kabila in the DRC.

As such McGee, our black brother getting angry on behalf of white America must know that his ranting and theatrics do not fool us at all.

Contrary to his delusions, McGee is not fighting for the democratisation of Zimbabwe but is just a big player in the Uncle Tom role long conceived by America, their America. A script that seeks to preserve Western hegemony over all other parts of the world.

The sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe only serve to notify the progressive world that Zimbabwe is waging a noble fight. McGee’s obsession with Tsvangirai and the MDC-T only serve to tell us that, Morgan is the latest in a long line of White America’s adopted children among them the Tshombes, Savimbis and Dhlakamas.

We wear the sanctions like a badge of honour. History is on our side, we will be vindicated just as the ANC has been vindicated.

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