A question about Zimbabwe (was: Re: Timor again (sorry Lou))

Macdonald Stainsby mstainsby at SPAMhotmail.com
Thu Nov 18 03:31:28 MST 1999

>From: "Patrick Bond" <pbond at wn.apc.org>
>>Date: Wed, 17 Nov 1999 17:42:41 +0000
> > > From: Macdonald Stainsby
> > > Both Mandela and Gusmao ... sold their soul for a little bit, to give
>up the
> > > real game. Something that Kabila and Mugabe appear not to have done,
> > > them on the "bad" list.
> > Could someone (one of the South Africans, perhaps?) give us a bit of
> > information on what Mugabe is doing these days?  I've read that there is
> > bit of popular opposition to him.
> > Alan Bradley
>Well, comrade Macdonald isn't looking too closely, I have to
>say. Being on the "bad" list doesn't mean not selling their soul.
>Both have. Kabila to US, Canadian, SA and Zimbabwe capital (and in
>the latter case generals). Mugabe to the IMF, to which he turned
>over virtually all state power via an August 1999 US$193 mn loan.

I apologise for slinging names without clarification. My point wasn't that
being on the "bad list" equals good politics, or that Mugabe and/or Kabila
are some saintly radicals. It was based on some policies that I hold do
equal more than Mandela.

Mugabe does indeed talk left and do right, in many cases. However, the
"talk" is not entirely based on consolidating power. A leader of a
revolution that smashes the legal vestiges of Apartheid should not settle
for sharing public washrooms. Mugabe has much to atone for, not least his
scapegoating of the homosexual community, but sttling put at "just" the
destruction of Rhodesia is not one of these things. Zimbabwe has
consistently had a far more anti-Imperialist foreign policy than S Africa
under Mandela's ANC. Mugabe's Zimbabwe has defended both the beleaguered
post-Portugal Angola and Democratic Republic of the Congo. South Africa has
called for "talks" in Angola, and, under Mbeki, actively backed the puppets
who engage the war on new Congo. The ANC has actually held forum with the
Ugandan/Rwandan/former Mobutu governments. This is the arena I (debate that
if you want, but it is my position) put the dividing line in- are you with
the Imperialists or against 'em?

Mugabe, at great cost to Zimbabwe like the cost to Nyerere's Tanzania, has
intervened in an outright Imperialist sponsored conflict. Granted, Mugabe is
not Nyerere. Nonetheless, it is a similar Pan-Africanist move. And that is
indeed progressive.

Why are the Western powers, particularly West Europe, trying to topple
Kabila? Of course, he did sell off the program he once had in the brush with
Chè. He will deal with Europe with a ferocity. But,and this is the cardinal
sin, his government has attempted to put tarriffs on exporting Diamonds from
DR Congo. A country/corporation has to leave the technology it used to mine
behind when it uproots diamonds. That is what Deng's China did to "open up",
and it ain't too popular.

For these reasons, without calling for a brigade of Mugabista or  Kabilites
from forming, I indeed defend them to much greater lengths then I do
Mandela, or even less, today's ANC.

Unfortunately, Imperialism is currently THE game. Those who have
anti-Imperialist politics are more significant to me than all the others
could ever be. To be finally clear: I do not look upon either as THE answer,
but they are doing SOMETHING.


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