An letter to Against the Current

Grinker & Assoc. grinker at mweb.co.za
Sun May 20 13:12:20 MDT 2001


Patrick Bond:
> No, since the MDC and civil society are too scared (really!) to
> support sanctions, there are no leftists I know of in South Africa
> who are pushing the line... but that may change...

Maybe not actively but that's the general approach.  Where, I wonder does
Patrick stand?

> Come off it, comrade Russell, this aversion to quality control is
> what gives the left a bad name. Mugabe a "nationalist leader"
> when his economic policies--in league with the WB/IMF for most of the
> last two decades--have wrecked national sovereignty? And his brutal
> political authoritarianism disqualifies unconditional support.

One could say the same about Saddam, Gaddaffi and probably Milosevic.  So
what?  In a situation of war or imminent war between imperialism and these
people one takes sides against the west. Unfortunately most of the left in
imperialist countries tend to choose exactly such moments to discover a
multitude of "political" reasons for evading doing so.  That's what has
really given the left a bad name amongst the masses in the periphery.

> Ah, Russell, would you therefore oppose Clare Short's recent
> imposition of aid sanctions?

As I'm sure you agree, aid is generally tied to western agendas anyway. I
don't have a position one way or another on its withdrawal. What I do oppose
is sanctions which effectively declare economic war on Zimbabwe and wreck
its economy further.

Russell





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