Zimbabwe: Human Rights Report - US shoots own feet
Posted: Wednesday, May 2, 2007
By Caesar Zvayi
THERE are a few stubborn facts the pretentious Bush administration has to know are common knowledge.
Firstly, the United States is not an independent country, but the largest settler colony that has systematically decimated the original inhabitants, the Amerindians, the same way Australia has deposed Aborigines and New Zealand, the Maoris. As such, Americans have no moral ground on which to claim to be spearheading the liberation of any other people when they have not granted independence to the rightful owners of the land they claim is theirs.
Zimbabweans know that at the height of the Second Chimurenga, when the progressive world closed ranks against Rhodesia and the UN, for the first time in its history, imposed mandatory legal economic sanctions on the rogue Smith on December 16 1966; which it broadened to a total embargo on May 29 1968; the US had no qualms engaging in illicit trade with the Rhodesian regime. Washington actually passed the so–called Byrd Amendment of 1971 that it used to circumvent UN sanctions in order to get chrome from Rhodesia to use on its monstrous automobiles.
So to Uncle Sam, chrome–plated car bumpers were more important than downtrodden black Zimbabweans.
Secondly, it is common knowledge that the US is the largest abuser of human rights dating back to the days of the Trans–Atlantic Slave abductions when millions of black people were yoked like animals to work in plantations and help build the so–called Free World.
To this day, the descendants of African slaves live like captives in the country their forebears broke their backs to build.
Thirdly, the US is the largest sponsor of terrorism across the world, a fact proved by the likes of Osama Bin Laden whom it created and used against the Russians in Afghanistan, but who it disowns today, simply because he has chosen to give Uncle Sam a taste of his own medicine.
Fourth, though it has a federal structure, the US is just another country, one of the 192 members of the United Nations whose charter espouses "equality between states, big and small," as such it was never ordained by anyone to masquerade as a global policemen.
Fifth, the US is guilty of more crimes against humanity, probably more than all other states combined. One needs only look at the use of atomic bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, banned weapons like cluster bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuses, and the continued detention of people of primarily Arab descent at Guantanamo Bay simply because they look like Osama Bin Laden.
It is against this background that the US State Department report: "Supporting Human Rights and Democracy: The US record — 2006," should be dismissed with the contempt it deserves.
The first contradiction is in the title of the report itself, as the US did a lot to undermine human rights and democracy across the world in 2006 such that to have Washington make pretensions at safeguarding these values is akin to having the devil preach Godliness.
One needs only look at US actions in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the senseless war on Lebanon where innocent civilians were annihilated with the aid of banned weapons of mass destruction to understand the depth of Uncle Sam's depravity last year.
As such, the report is a clumsy attempt to disguise American destabilisation by deodorising it as a quest for democratisation.
As Russia pointed out, the report, covering all countries, portrays the human rights situation in countries that kow–tow to US foreign policy favourably while those that refuse to indulge Washington are portrayed as human rights abusers.
The most revealing aspect is that Israel, a state that committed so many atrocities against the Lebanese and Palestinians, has been omitted, probably because Uncle Sam could not find anything to disguise Israel's crimes.
Though the report has sections dealing with all other countries in the world, Zimbabwe was given extensive treatment as it has the largest section. More so, the entire report opens with a quotation from the self–exiled publisher of The Independent and The Standard, Trevor Ncube, who is reported to have said:
"If they think they can stop me from speaking against injustice, corruption and misgovernment . . . then they are mistaken. It will not stop me."
The use of this uninspiring quotation from Ncube, who is identified as "a Zimbabwean journalist harassed by the Government," was clearly meant to ensure that any reader would not miss the section on Zimbabwe, and by extension gave the impression that the entire report was on Zimbabwe.
What is even more scandalous is that though the report claims to be covering the period January to December 2006, it surprisingly opens with scatological remarks about the 2002 presidential elections and the March 2005 general election that it dismissed as having been unfair.
Yet these elections, when compared to the charade that brought George W. Bush to power in 2000 and again in 2004, were models not only for Africa but the entire world, one needs only look at what happened in Nigeria last week for emphasis.
The report then delves into alleged arbitrary arrests and torture of political opponents, though nothing of that sought happened at all. Through it all, the MDC factions which were battering each other all over the place before US ambassador, Christopher Dell struck an armistice, are presented as the great victims of State repression.
Nowhere in the report was Tsvangirai censured for his violent forays into the Mutambara camp though people like Trudy Stevenson, David Coltart, Gibson Sibanda and Welshman Ncube gave harrowing accounts of their torture at the hands of Tsvangirai's goons.
Operation Murambatsvina, which occurred in mid–2005, was also roped in and Anna Tibaijuka's lies that 700 000 people were displaced were given pride of place yet the disgraced UN–Habitat official admitted that her numbers were based on mathematical formulae and not actual findings. More so, official statistics released by the Zimbabwe Republic Police showed that by June 28 2005, the time the operation wound up, only 50 193 illegal structures had been demolished in all ten provinces, and 40 000 people were affected, which is realistic, for the reasons cited above.
Perhaps the most laughable attempt was the US' claim that the Government had restricted freedom of speech:
"The Government regularly used repressive laws to restrict freedom of assembly, speech, and press. In an attack on the independent media, the Government jammed broadcasts of the popular Voice of America Studio 7 programme, one of the few sources of uncensored news throughout the country, and seized radios belonging to listening groups in rural areas."
Is there no end to Uncle Sam's contempt for all people outside the US?
Who does not know that Studio 7 is not an independent station, but a special broadcast by the US propaganda station Voice of America that is funded by the same State Department that released the scandalous report?
So how independent is Studio 7, and independent from whom? At least we now know that everything labelled "independent" by Washington will be intrinsically linked to the US' policy of subversion.
Zimbabwe, if indeed it did, had every right to jam the pirate broadcast the same way the US itself blocked broadcasts from Radio Moscow at the height of the Cold War by removing the Short Wave band from all radio receivers produced in the US.
The same goes for the alleged confiscation of the receivers distributed by US running dogs in the rural areas. Zimbabweans do eat US propaganda, what they need is the immediate revoking of that illegal sanctions law, the so–called Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act.
That racist law, more than anything else is the reason the economy continued to decline, with skyrocketing prices, widespread shortages, and rapidly deteriorating social services," not the alleged "Government's command and control economic policies," which the US gloated about.
Another blatant lie was the claim that the US had managed to "expand international support of sanctions against Government and ruling party officials responsible for human rights violations."
US sanctions are not against the Government and ruling party officials as Uncle Sam and his henchman Christopher Dell would have people believe. The US sanctions law clearly says in Section 4 (c):
" . . . The Secretary of the Treasury shall instruct the United States executive director to each international financial institution to oppose and vote against; (1) any extension by the respective institution of any loan, credit, or guarantee to the Government of Zimbabwe; or (2) any cancellation or reduction of indebtedness owed by the Government of Zimbabwe to the United States or any international financial institution."
Thus, only a fool would read "Government of Zimbabwe" as referring to Zanu–PF, because the Government borrows on behalf of the country, as such what the MDC and other myopic people celebrate as "targeted" sanctions, are sanctions against the people of Zimbabwe.
And as many saw last year, US executive directors compelled the IMF to deny Zimbabwe voting rights and access to lines of credit in terms of this illegal Act.
Contrary to US claims that support for the sanctions expanded, it was actually the converse as we saw at the African Union Summit held in Banjul, The Gambia, where the then outgoing UN Secretary General Kofi Annan pledged to use his offices to have the sanctions scrapped. His efforts were, however, a little too late as Mr Ban Ki–moon of the Republic of Korea was already standing at the door.
Washington needs only look at the outcome of the extra–ordinary summit of Sadc heads of state and government held in Tanzania at the end of March to see the hollowness of that lie.
The only good thing about the US report is that it explains Dell's strange behaviour as it explicitly exposed US involvement in Zimbabwe's internal politics, Washington clearly acknowledged that it is bankrolling the opposition's attempts to unseat the Government.
"The US strategy for fostering democracy and human rights in the country is three–fold: to maintain pressure on the Mugabe regime; to strengthen democratic (read opposition) forces; and to provide humanitarian aid for those left vulnerable by poor governance . . . To encourage greater public debate on restoring good governance in the country, the United States–sponsored public events that presented economic and social analyses discrediting the Government's excuses for its failed policies."
What followed was a shocking detailed expose of the extent of US funding for opposition activities in Zimbabwe, and the so–called civil society comprising non–governmental organisations and "non–governmental individuals," so–called advocacy groups, newspapers, newsletters, some Church leaders and journalists.
In short, the report confirms that Uncle Sam has the entire opposition camp in his pocket, and the noises the so–called activists make are merely sponsored psalms for their supper.
Particularly interesting was the State Department's revelation that that it sponsors, and has editorial influence in certain weeklies that peddle anti–Government sentiment. Uncle Sam waxed lyrical about how his commentary is given acres of space, and alleged human rights abuses prominence in the newspapers.
The newspapers are identifiable by the way they almost go pornographic with lurid displays of inflamed buttocks of opposition activists they allege would have been tortured by the Government.
Far from serving its intended objective of mobilising opinion against Zimbabwe, the US report actually confirmed that the US, and its lackeys, is not on a democratising mission but a mission of subversion to serve American interests.
The report is, thus, a greater call for action on the part of Government to tighten the registration of NGOs and to re–table the NGO Bill as a matter of urgency.
Zimbabwe can not afford to continue suffering the excesses of sponsored groups, whose only agenda — apart from the selfish profit motive — is the realisation of the Anglo–Saxon neo–colonial agenda.
There it is then, with such a background, can anyone in his/her right mind expect an objective report from the Bush administration that openly confesses — in the same document it hopes trashes an opponent — that it is "seeking to discredit the Government" by "supporting people who criticise the Government?"