Aid at any cost unacceptable


THE US’ recent threat to flex its financial muscle by cutting aid to countries that don’t vote with it at the UN is, at best, sick diplomacy and at worst rabid bullying.
Zimbabwe and SA are identified among the 10 worst culprits.
Zimbabwe, with the distinction of being the worst, last year voted with the US only on six occasions and 69 times against.
SA, which is deemed to be marginally better, voted with the US just nine times on 77 occasions.
But this is not to say the rest of the UN members normally vote with the US.
What seems to worry the US is that only last year, the rest of the other countries voted with the US just 31 percent of the time.
However, under normal circumstances, to expect to see all UN countries voting with the US sounds like strange diplomacy.
It should be accepted that each sovereign state, first and foremost, makes decisions based on its national interests and values.
Voting coincidence should therefore be determined by how much different countries have in common.
The US is very wrong by taking voting coincidence as a return on investment as this shatters the doctrine of sovereignty.
This kind of dangerous thinking is as despicable as President George Bush’s assertion that ‘…if you are not with the US then you are against.’
There is no middle road.
We are told the US started to make a record of how countries voted at the UN when it decided to coerce compliance with its decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Many countries, Zimbabwe included, sympathise with the Palestinians who were displaced when the West and the US, created a state for the scattered Israelis on their homeland.
That is why, based on moral grounds, the rest of the world supports the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with the eastern part of Jerusalem annexed by Israel in 1967 as its capital.
That is the very Jerusalem the US has taken a unilateral decision to donate to Israel as its capital.
It boggles the mind why the US, based purely on self-interest, wants the rest of the world, Zimbabwe included, to support the ill-treatment of Palestinians.
This is not the only instance where the interests of the US, no matter how strong, are genuinely at variance with most of the world.
As far as Zimbabwe and many other countries are concerned, the Kyoto protocol of 1997, which sought to control gas emissions served their interests.
However, this is at variance with a country like the US which is heavily industrialised.
To protect their own interests, the US had to withdraw before ratification.
What about the International Criminal Court (ICC)?
The US is not a state-party, unlike the rest of the Third World.
The US bombs caused the death of thousands when they wrongfully accused Saddam of keeping weapons of mass destruction.
Would President Bush have expected support from the rest of the world if the ICC had tried him for genocide and crimes against humanity like Charles Taylor?
The US must accept that unquestioned compliance with their wishes will remain a pipe dream — aid or no aid.
There are values like homosexuality which are respected in the US but abominable to Africa.
Forced to comply with US demands, these are the occasions when Zimbabweans, as proud descendants of Mbuya Nehanda, might have to tell the US to go away with their aid.


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