By Tafadzwa Masango
THEY call it the ‘land of the brave and the free’ and yet, in actual fact, it is the home of the oppressors and oppressed, depending on which side of the racial divide you stand.
Those who control the levers of power in Washington have one purpose and that purpose is to ensure their interests supersede any other whether this is in the US or anywhere across the globe.
The terms ‘world police’ and ‘leader of the free world’ are used to describe America’s so-called role in international affairs and yet these descriptions are parallel to the US’ role in global politics.
The US preaches democracy during the day while sleeping in the beds of despots at night.
The list of tyrants who have been in bed with the US since time immemorial is by far longer than that of democratic leaders whom it has supported.
The greatest threat to US power brokers today is democracy. You see, democracy has the unfortunate result of sometimes putting power in the hands of parties and groups that do not favour US interests and this makes it a threat.
Imposing or propping up dictators subservient to the US has long been, and continues to be, the preferred means for American policymakers to ensure those leaders and parties who cannot serve US interests are never anywhere near the levers of power.
Political analyst Glenn Greenwald writes:
“The foreign policy guru most beloved and respected in Washington, Henry Kissinger, built his career on embracing and propping up the most savage tyrants because of their obeisance to US objectives.
Among the statesman’s highlights, as Greg Grandin documented, he ‘pumped up Pakistan’s ISI, and encouraged it to use political Islam to destabilise Afghanistan’; ‘began the US’ arms-for-petrodollars dependency with Saudi Arabia and pre-revolutionary Iran’; and ‘supported coups and death squads throughout Latin America’.
Kissinger congratulated Argentina’s military junta for its mass killings and aggressively enabled the genocide carried out by one of the 20th Century’s worst monsters, the Indonesian dictator and close US ally Suharto.”
In February 2011, Stephen M. Walt, a professor of international relations at Harvard University, was enraged by an editorial comment by The Wall Street Journal and he wrote:
“The Wall Street Journal is a fine newspaper, but its op-ed page is like listening to O’Reilly, Beck, or Limbaugh but with a better vocabulary.
And it usually makes about as much sense as they do. Yesterday, The Wall Street Journal editors told us that pro-American dictators are ethically superior to anti-American tyrants and potentates.”
In the Middle-East, the US considers the likes of Israel, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and in Africa, Egypt and Morocco as some of its key allies.
According to reports, the largest recipients of US aid are Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
In February this year, Reuters reported that US senators who had just returned from a trip to Israel called for an increase in the US$38 billion in military aid the US is currently providing Israel, signalling support for more funds for Israeli missile systems.
Senators Lindsey Graham, a leading Republican foreign policy voice and Chris Coons, a Democratic member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said they considered the provision of US$38 billion over 10 years, ‘a floor’.
Note well, Coons is the guy who recently campaigned for renewed sanctions on Zimbabwe.
For those who are not clued in, the Israeli Government has been criticised for issues regarding Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories, its treatment of Palestinian Arabs, the conduct of Israeli Defence Forces during conflicts and the blockade of the Gaza Strip, of Palestinian territories.
Other historic issues with ongoing consequences have also been criticised including the refusal to allow post-war Palestinian refugees and their descendants to return to their homes as well as the prolonged occupation of territories gained in war and the construction of settlements therein.
Israel operates much like apartheid South Africa, complete with a two tier justice system, discrimination, racism and assassinations, among other atrocities.
In spite of all this, Israel is the largest recipient of US aid. Apparently, the Israelis need billions of dollars in aid to protect them from a bunch of Palestinians whose only defence are rocks.
The US has been key in not only blocking any resolutions by the UN that seek to criticise Israel for its human rights abuses.
The 2017 announcement that Saudi Arabia would be part of the UN commission that promotes gender equality outraged a UN monitor as at that time women in that country could not drive and needed permission from a male guardian to travel, work, marry, access healthcare and even leave prison.
Hillel Neuer of UN Watch summed it up with the comment: “Electing Saudi Arabia to protect women’s rights is like making an arsonist into the town fire chief.”
An excerpt from Amnesty International 2017/2018 Report reads:
“In May, the UN Special rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism concluded that Saudi Arabia’s anti-terrorism law did not comply with international standards, and urged the government to end the prosecution of people including human rights defenders, writers and bloggers simply for expressing non-violent views.
US President Donald Trump visited Saudi Arabia in May to participate in the Riyadh summit, attended by representatives of more than 55 mostly Arab or Muslim-majority states.
A US$300 billion arms deal between
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the US and Saudi Arabia was announced during the visit.
The Saudi Arabia-led military coalition supporting the internationally recognized government in Yemen continued to bomb areas controlled or contested by Huthi forces and their allies, killing and injuring civilians.
Some attacks amounted to war crimes.
A UN report, released in September, found that the Saudi-led coalition continued to be the leading cause of civilian casualties in the conflict (see Yemen entry).
In October, the UN Secretary-General listed the Saudi Arabia-led coalition in his annual Children and Armed Conflict Report, creating a new category specifically designed to limit condemnation of the coalition.”
Summarising all this, a report by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace reads:
“Despite US$47 billion in US military assistance over 40 years, the Egyptian military has struggled mightily to contain an ISIS-affiliate numbering no more than 1 200 militants.
The Saudis barely used their American-made advanced combat aircraft in the US-led anti-ISIS operation in Syria, and US$89 billion in arms sales to the kingdom over the last 10 years has not prevented Riyadh from getting bogged down in an increasingly costly quagmire in Yemen with US-supplied weapons.
The US has sold hundreds of billions of dollars in military hardware to Persian Gulf countries and yet collectively they are not capable of defending the free flow of oil from the Gulf against a militarily weaker Iran without US assistance.”
The US is not interested in democracy, but uses the democracy card as a vehicle to gain control of strategic resources within nations and regions.
Zimbabwe, much like South Africa and the DRC are key to US interests in that they are rich in raw materials and minerals that the US needs for its continued economic hegemony.
Zimbabwe makes an interesting case study in that the US has been pulling out all stops and tricks in the book for close to two decades.
Shot of bombing us to high heaven and assassination there is very little that Zimbabwe has not seen in this war for its resources.
Platinum, lithium, diamonds, nickel and gold, among other minerals, Zimbabwe is one of the four countries that is rich in the minerals of the future.
The minerals that are essential in the manufacturing of cutting edge technologies, cellphones, military weapons, ships, tanks, you name it, Zimbabwe, South Africa, the DRC and Russia have them in abundance.
Zimbabwe is not perfect, but many Zimbabweans have failed to ask the question why a small country, whose population makes it less than average, is the focus of such immense attention.
Zimbabwe is measured by a scale that is very different from that of many of its neighbours on the continent.
The time invested in Zimbabwe is not proportionate to its size, politics and economics.
In a world where countries detain 12-year-old girls for going to school, jail 15-year-old boys for throwing rocks at occupying forces, execute critics, hold journalists for indefinite periods without trial, women are handled like property, police officers gun down unarmed minorities and children work in sweat shops, surely the US should have its hands full ‘democratising’ all these nations.
So when American senators and legislators come to Harare and attempt to lecture us on democracy, peace and reforms, one should not take them seriously, especially when they choose to ignore the human rights abuses and undemocratic actions of their own Government.
Guantanamo Bay anyone!