Jump to content
The Education Forum

Does no-one care about Zimbabwe?


Recommended Posts

All I ever see are claims against the US government, claims of secret societies or New World Orders, calls for people to throw off chains of supposed oppression by the US (and on far lesser occasions, the UK).

Does no-one care about Zimbabwe? Why aren't Forum members voicing concerns that the western world is not doing anything (or much) to stop a dictator, whether that action be political, economic, or military?

A lessor situation occurs in Fiji, where a military junta rules. Is this fair to the Indian population? Are they being treated justly?

Why aren't Forum members (specifically those who spend the majority of their time here making posts) making people aware of these situations, instead of concentrating on anti-US comments? Do they not care? Are they biased?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 41
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Guest David Guyatt
All I ever see are claims against the US government, claims of secret societies or New World Orders, calls for people to throw off chains of supposed oppression by the US (and on far lesser occasions, the UK).

Does no-one care about Zimbabwe? Why aren't Forum members voicing concerns that the western world is not doing anything (or much) to stop a dictator, whether that action be political, economic, or military?

A lessor situation occurs in Fiji, where a military junta rules. Is this fair to the Indian population? Are they being treated justly?

Why aren't Forum members (specifically those who spend the majority of their time here making posts) making people aware of these situations, instead of concentrating on anti-US comments? Do they not care? Are they biased?

Evan, speaking personally, I think my reluctance is related to fatigue about Zimbabwe. There has been much appearing in the MSM these last few years. Friends of mine who used to live there (and who still have family there) but left because they could see the writing on the wall, provide some insights into Mugabwe's rotten regime.

Another reason is that I really don't know very much at al about the deep background about Zimbabwe since the days of the Smith regime, and am cautious about commenting due to this lack of insight.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Stephen Turner
All I ever see are claims against the US government, claims of secret societies or New World Orders, calls for people to throw off chains of supposed oppression by the US (and on far lesser occasions, the UK).

Does no-one care about Zimbabwe? Why aren't Forum members voicing concerns that the western world is not doing anything (or much) to stop a dictator, whether that action be political, economic, or military?

A lessor situation occurs in Fiji, where a military junta rules. Is this fair to the Indian population? Are they being treated justly?

Why aren't Forum members (specifically those who spend the majority of their time here making posts) making people aware of these situations, instead of concentrating on anti-US comments? Do they not care? Are they biased?

Now, if the Zimbabwians only had some oil.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

All I ever see are claims against the US government, claims of secret societies or New World Orders, calls for people to throw off chains of supposed oppression by the US (and on far lesser occasions, the UK).

Does no-one care about Zimbabwe? Why aren't Forum members voicing concerns that the western world is not doing anything (or much) to stop a dictator, whether that action be political, economic, or military?

A lessor situation occurs in Fiji, where a military junta rules. Is this fair to the Indian population? Are they being treated justly?

Why aren't Forum members (specifically those who spend the majority of their time here making posts) making people aware of these situations, instead of concentrating on anti-US comments? Do they not care? Are they biased?

Good point. I have been meaning to post about this for some time. I disagree with Peter about this. I for one would support the use of an African/UN force invasion as long it was used just to arrest those of war crimes and to oversee elections. Mugabe is just a figure-head and therefore it is of no use waiting for him to die. The military leaders have to be removed from the political scene.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sadly, sanctions and such would hurt those who are at the bottom of the society - NOT those thugs at the top.

Isn't this always the case? Why do politicians so readily jump on a "sanctions" bandwagon against any government they don't like? When has it ever worked? Can anyone cite some examples of success? How, for example, have sanctions ever hurt Fidel Castro, or his brother Raul? How did they ever hurt Saddam Hussein? Whom have they ever hurt whom they intended to hurt, while hurting everyone else in the targeted country? I'm sure they have worked now and then against their intended victims, or sanctions wouldn't be such an immediate knee-jerk reaction. I'm just not educated on where they have worked.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Stephen Turner
Sadly, sanctions and such would hurt those who are at the bottom of the society - NOT those thugs at the top.

Isn't this always the case? Why do politicians so readily jump on a "sanctions" bandwagon against any government they don't like? When has it ever worked? Can anyone cite some examples of success? How, for example, have sanctions ever hurt Fidel Castro, or his brother Raul? How did they ever hurt Saddam Hussein? Whom have they ever hurt whom they intended to hurt, while hurting everyone else in the targeted country? I'm sure they have worked now and then against their intended victims, or sanctions wouldn't be such an immediate knee-jerk reaction. I'm just not educated on where they have worked.

Ron, I think they helped to bring about an end to the apartied regime in South Africa, but where by no means the only element.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest David Guyatt
Sadly, sanctions and such would hurt those who are at the bottom of the society - NOT those thugs at the top.

Isn't this always the case? Why do politicians so readily jump on a "sanctions" bandwagon against any government they don't like? When has it ever worked? Can anyone cite some examples of success? How, for example, have sanctions ever hurt Fidel Castro, or his brother Raul? How did they ever hurt Saddam Hussein? Whom have they ever hurt whom they intended to hurt, while hurting everyone else in the targeted country? I'm sure they have worked now and then against their intended victims, or sanctions wouldn't be such an immediate knee-jerk reaction. I'm just not educated on where they have worked.

Speaking of Saddam - and not really wishing to throw a spanner in the works here with an Elvis story - but rumours continue to speculate that the death of the Butcher of Baghdad was exaggerated, and that a secret deal was struck with Bush for him to disappear.

Apparently to Las Vegas (trust the "mob" to be involved, eh).

elvishussein.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Speaking of Elvis (this hardly relates to Zimbabwe, but it does relate to conspiracy), I'm sorry for you Brits and other foreigners that you never got a chance to see Elvis perform live on your native soil. Even in his heydey, Elvis never gave a single overseas performance (unless you count Germany, where he served as a U.S. Army draftee). Needless to say, this cost him untold millions of dollars in concert revenue. What is the explanation? A one-man conspiracy, as word is that Elvis's manager Colonel Tom Parker was an illegal alien from the Netherlands, and the Colonel wouldn't set foot outside of the U.S. lest he be found out and not be allowed to return. And Elvis couldn't go overseas without the Colonel, because the Colonel had to be there to sell trinkets at the door of any Elvis concert. Elvis, in sum, was basically an idiot to let this crook run his career, not only keeping him from touring overseas but putting him in an endless string of bad movies. I imagine that you Brits and others, having heard Elvis only on discs and seen him only in those abominable flicks, must have wondered what all the fuss was about. But he really put on a good show, at least before he got too hefty to move around.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

All I ever see are claims against the US government, claims of secret societies or New World Orders, calls for people to throw off chains of supposed oppression by the US (and on far lesser occasions, the UK).

Does no-one care about Zimbabwe? Why aren't Forum members voicing concerns that the western world is not doing anything (or much) to stop a dictator, whether that action be political, economic, or military?

A lessor situation occurs in Fiji, where a military junta rules. Is this fair to the Indian population? Are they being treated justly?

Why aren't Forum members (specifically those who spend the majority of their time here making posts) making people aware of these situations, instead of concentrating on anti-US comments? Do they not care? Are they biased?

Evan,

We've been waiting for Anglo-American to tell the UK and US governments what to do next.

Paul

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sadly, sanctions and such would hurt those who are at the bottom of the society - NOT those thugs at the top.

Isn't this always the case? Why do politicians so readily jump on a "sanctions" bandwagon against any government they don't like? When has it ever worked? Can anyone cite some examples of success? How, for example, have sanctions ever hurt Fidel Castro, or his brother Raul? How did they ever hurt Saddam Hussein? Whom have they ever hurt whom they intended to hurt, while hurting everyone else in the targeted country? I'm sure they have worked now and then against their intended victims, or sanctions wouldn't be such an immediate knee-jerk reaction. I'm just not educated on where they have worked.

Ron, I think they helped to bring about an end to the apartied regime in South Africa, but where by no means the only element.

But a very important element. The sanctions were targeted at the white business class. Although they were racist they cared more for profits and eventually supported the move to majority rule. That is why Ronald Regan and Margaret Thatcher were so much against sanctions. They knew they would work. Remember, they also dismissed those attempting to bring down apartheid as "communist terrorists".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

All I ever see are claims against the US government, claims of secret societies or New World Orders, calls for people to throw off chains of supposed oppression by the US (and on far lesser occasions, the UK).

Does no-one care about Zimbabwe? Why aren't Forum members voicing concerns that the western world is not doing anything (or much) to stop a dictator, whether that action be political, economic, or military?

A lessor situation occurs in Fiji, where a military junta rules. Is this fair to the Indian population? Are they being treated justly?

Why aren't Forum members (specifically those who spend the majority of their time here making posts) making people aware of these situations, instead of concentrating on anti-US comments? Do they not care? Are they biased?

Now, if the Zimbabwians only had some oil.

I think that is a key point; they don't have anything that the Western world wants.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So what is the answer? I don't think sanctions will work - at least not for a very long time.

What about UN police action? If so, exactly what are the objectives?

I'd see something like supervision of elections, protection of people / villages, etc. I'd also think that a suspension of Mugabe's powers could be considered. There is a fine balance, of course, between preventing him from unfairly influencing elections and preventing him carrying out fair campaigning. The supervision of elections must be sure, so that if the country DOES want Mugabe, they are left to their own fate. If he is deposed, he must be protected from retribution... unless that retribution comes in the form of justified charges brought by the world court.

We have to have a clear path to follow if we are to act.

What about Fiji? No comments about that so far.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest David Guyatt
All I ever see are claims against the US government, claims of secret societies or New World Orders, calls for people to throw off chains of supposed oppression by the US (and on far lesser occasions, the UK).

Does no-one care about Zimbabwe? Why aren't Forum members voicing concerns that the western world is not doing anything (or much) to stop a dictator, whether that action be political, economic, or military?

A lessor situation occurs in Fiji, where a military junta rules. Is this fair to the Indian population? Are they being treated justly?

Why aren't Forum members (specifically those who spend the majority of their time here making posts) making people aware of these situations, instead of concentrating on anti-US comments? Do they not care? Are they biased?

Evan,

We've been waiting for Anglo-American to tell the UK and US governments what to do next.

Paul

Paul, I think AA are well ahead of the curve in Zimbabwe and don't really give a toss about having a tyrant run the country, so long as he does what they want him to. This might be one reason why Mugabwe is so smug about himself -- he knows he's got protection from the people who really matter. And as the Oppenheimer mob showed during WWII, they would do business with Hitler as much as Churchill or Roosevelt. Indeed, they preferred Hitler over Roosevelt. Tyrants are dear to them.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/worl...icle4207971.ece

June 25, 2008

Outrage over £200m UK investment in Zimbabwe

David Robertson, Business Correspondent and Philip Webster, Political Editor

Anglo American, the London-based mining giant, is to make what is believed to be the largest foreign investment in Zimbabwe to date, just as the British Government puts pressure on companies to withdraw from the country.

Anglo will invest $400 million (£200 million) to build a platinum mine in Zimbabwe — a move that has raised concern among some of the company’s shareholders and been condemned by politicians.

The Foreign Office was investigating tonight whether the company’s investment breached sanctions against Zimbabwe. Anglo insisted that its involvement in the country did not break the law.

The decision, which was criticised roundly as likely to give succour — and possibly money — to the Mugabe regime, is in stark contrast to the policy of nearly all other main British corporations in Zimbabwe. They are either withdrawing from the country or waiting for Mr Mugabe to be deposed before expanding their businesses.

Lord Malloch-Brown, the Foreign Office Minister, said this week that Britain could push for tougher sanctions against Zimbabwe and put pressure on companies doing business there to withdraw. The Government will also call a halt today to next year’s tour of England by the Zimbabwean cricket team.

International condemnation of President Mugabe and his regime intensified today when the UN Security Council issued a statement condemning the “campaign of violence against the political opposition ahead of the second round of presidential elections”.

Despite the political concern about President Mugabe’s regime, Anglo American is pressing ahead with its plans to build a mine at Unki, in central Zimbabwe. The company employs 188 people and a further 450 contractors at Unki and hopes to be producing platinum, one of the world’s most expensive metals, by 2010. A spokesman for Anglo said: “We are developing the Unki platinum project because we have responsibility to our employees, contractors and the local community. We are keeping the situation in Zimbabwe under close watch.”

Zimbabwe is rich in mineral resources and has the second-largest deposits of platinum but most large miners are avoiding the country or have put their investments on hold. Rio Tinto, the world’s second-largest miner, has a small diamond mine in the country but said yesterday that it would not invest further until President Mugabe was gone.

British American Tobacco, which makes Benson & Hedges cigarettes, and Barclays Bank also have operations in Zimbabwe. Both companies said that they would remain for the good of their local employees but neither would expand there. BP and Shell jointly own a chain of petrol stations in Zimbabwe and tonight said that they were reviewing their presence in the country. The advertising agency WPP is selling its 25 per cent stake in a Zimbabwean media company part-owned by one of Mr Mugabe's relatives. The agency is understood to be desperate to offload the stake and willing to sell at any price.

Almost no large investments have been made in Zimbabwe for years over uncertainty about the Mugabe regime. Anti-Mugabe campaigners said that the Anglo investment was likely to be the largest ever in the country.

Some of Anglo’s shareholders said that they would raise the investment with the company amid concern that it may breach pension fund ethical guidelines. Legal & General is Anglo’s largest single shareholder with about 5 per cent of the company. A spokesman said: “We have a corporate and social responsibility policy and that overrides all investment activity. We do engage with companies to ensure they act in an appropriate fashion.”

The mine plan provoked a chorus of condemnation. Roy Bennett, treasurer of Zimbabwe’s opposition MDC party, said: “Any company doing business in Zimbabwe is keeping that regime alive. Anglo American is complicit with the regime as whatever they are doing in Zimbabwe has the endorsement of the regime. The money they invest is a lifeline to the politicians and government of Zanu (PF).”

Ed Davey, the Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesman, said: “Such an investment could only bolster this discredited evil regime and shows how pathetic the current sanctions regime is. It must now be time for the UN and EU to get serious about sanctions. If Anglo American go ahead with this, it will be the worst mistake in their history and the biggest PR disaster imaginable.”

Peter Luff, Conservative chairman of the Business and Regulatory Reform Select Committee, said: “This is a curiously bad investment. Robert Mugabe may interpret this move as a vote of confidence in himself. How can a company possibly satisfy itself that this investment will be seen truly ethical in its nature at this moment.

Zimbabwe will change and those who will be seen to have supported the old regime may in the long term pay a heavy price for that decision.”

Kate Hoey, chairwoman of the all-party Zimbabwe group, said: “Clearly this is not a time for any British company to be investing in Zimbabwe.”

William Hague, the Shadow Foreign Secretary, said: “Companies investing in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe . . . should examine their consciences very carefully. No British or international company should in any way help to prop up the regime, whether by an investment in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe or by any kind of dealings with it.”

Peter Hain, the former Work and Pensions Secretary, urged the company to put the investment on hold. “It’s unacceptable to be handing this to Mugabe on a plate at a time that mini-genocides are happening across the country.”

Earlier Mr Davey said in the Commons that British companies were operating through subsidiaries in Zimbabwe. He asked what ministers were doing to end the “scandalous situation where a British bank, namely Barclays, still bankrolls Mugabe’s thugs by operating through a local subsidiary, thereby bypassing EU sanctions”. This was, he said, an insidious loophole that flouted the spirit, if not the letter, of the sanctions against the Zanu (PF) hierarchy.

Barclays said that it complied with all European Union sanctions.

David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, said: “I condemn anything that gives succour, either financial or moral, to the Zanu (PF) leaders.” He was not aware, however, of any British company breaking sanctions and added that companies operating in the country could offer employment and support for ordinary Zimbabweans as well as succour for the regime.

Andy Burnham, the Culture Secretary, is to write to the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) stating that the Government will not allow the Zimbabwean team into the country. This means the tour is off and the ECB will not face compensation claims from the International Cricket Conference (ICC) for pulling out. Mr Burnham will also urge the ECB to begin moves to exclude Zimbabwe from next year’s Twenty20 World Cup in England.

African mineral riches

— Anglo American was founded by Sir Ernest Oppenheimer in South Africa in 1917. Oppenheimer had already taken over De Beers, the diamond corporation, from Cecil Rhodes, who founded the country that became Zimbabwe

— Anglo still owns 45 per cent of De Beers and is the fourth-largest mining company in the world

— The company’s headquarters are just off Pall Mall, Central London and is listed on the FTSE 100. It employs 162,000 people worldwide

— It is being sued over working conditions in South Africa during the apartheid era. Miners claim that they were treated as slave labour, The company denies wrongdoing

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Zimbabwe has its full share of all the problems that have stunted political development in the rest of Africa south of the Sahara. They are familiar and depressing. Many Africans regard Mugabe as a great hero in the fight against colonialism and neo-colonialism, and up till now so have Zimbabwe's neighbouring governments. A good Zimbabwean I know was still saying good things about him weeks before the election. He did after all fight a successful guerrilla war.

You will hear African politicians saying they must stop blaming everything on colonialism. They are probably right, psychologically speaking, to say that, but not in terms of a historical judgement. Colonialism, and various kinds of exploitation that preceded it, set the scene for today. In the 1880's Africa had, despite four hundred years of European bullying, some strong states that were beginning to adjust to industrialisation. Their fate was sealed when the continent was divided up at the Congress of Berlin in 1884, and the whole of Africa was given over to European interests.

I think the present Zimbabwean problems stem from the particularly brutal British invasion in the 1890's, carried out by a British company. 'Rape' is the most accurate description of what happened both politically and humanly. The laws of Southern Rhodesia then 'legitimised' the dominance of one people over another, and vast areas of agricultural land were taken away from Africans and given to Europeans. Towards the end of colonial rule all sorts of 'democratic' devices were brought to bear on the problem of creating a viable state, including the idea of the Central African Federation of Northern and Southern Rhodesia and Nyasaland. None of these democratic solutions had much to do with one-person-one vote. Neither at this point, nor in the negotiations that brought Independence in 1981, was the British colonial legacy of the land problem tackled in a way that related to the original 'land-grab' of the 1890's.

Where world governments could do more, to solve this problem and others, is to be prepared to intervene in an appropriate way. Africa for example can provide good peace-keeping forces if other countries can supply the logistics. We need, more urgently than ever, to have an effective UN Security Council. O.K., perhaps that's a lost cause, but simply getting Britain and France to work together on an African policy would help (and might have helped avoid what happened in Rwanda.)

The second thing we can do is learn about the culture. I am reminded of the story of the British officer in British Somaliland in early colonial days who had taken the trouble to learn the Somali language. His African troops seemed to appreciate the effort he had taken, but they would smile and laugh in a rather disturbing way when he gave orders. It turned out that he had learned the language through a young Somali lady with whom he had an arrangement, and he had learned the language spoken by Somali women, which was apparently noticeably different from that used by men. More seriously, most Westerners see Africa through thick cultural lenses - Some Americans for example seeing Somalia in terms of 'Black Hawk Down', and some British people still believing Africa needs another 200 years of colonial rule.

Thirdly, I would like to see countries which have an obsessively nationistic approach to History, such as Britain and Serbia, begin to teach more world history.

However, going back to Evan's original point, I think that politics, like history, has tended to be a male-dominated subject, where power is more important than humanity. Looking at it this way, Africa becomes the slum area of the global village, which only makes the news when one of the gang leaders pulls off a particularly nasty murder (or pedals a particularly valuable commodity.)

When I was teaching 20th Century World History to teenagers, I did one summer holiday get so fed up with teaching the subject, that I thought I would read a book about the obscurist people I could find. I found a book about the Falashas, a tiny African tribe in Ethiopia who practised a pre-Temple version of the Jewish faith, and claimed descent from a Jewish garrison planted by the Pharoahs to guard their Southern border. I was about half-way through the book, when I looked up at the TV to see them being airlifted out of Ethiopia to Israel. So much for my idea of finding an obscure people.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm reminded of the long-time CIA lady (whose name escapes me at the moment) who claims that the AIDS virus was manmade, and that the purpose was to wipe out the African population, so that the continent could then simply be taken over. Does such a scenario make any sense at all? (Not asking sarcastically, just asking. If AIDS was indeed manmade, what would be the motive?)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...