‘Zim open for business, not abuse’

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WHEN the US announced last week that it would cut aid to countries, among them Zimbabwe, that do not vote with it in the UN, there was something not only fundamentally flawed with that revelation, but it was a further exhibition of Uncle Sam’s bully tactics.
So brazen has been the US’ quest to rule the world over the course of time that it has not hesitated to export its recklessness and abrasiveness when targeting its enemies, real or perceived.
Blatant violation of international law, shameless breach of UN protocols and open provocation have been tactics that the US has employed with no morality, compassion or shame.
Added to that, gluttonous love for other countries’ natural resources have been the driving force behind the US’ war-mongering.
However, in Zimbabwe, the US has found a force that has proved to be no pushover when it comes to matters of sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Zimbabwe has stood firm in the defence of its integrity and is not about to be accosted into endorsing the latest madness by the US.
The latest threat by Uncle Sam will do little to quell fears by concerned Zimbabweans that the US is coming to the re-engagement table with dirty hands.
Last month, in its typical bullying style, the US came up with a raft of pre-election demands that sounded like the opposition MDC-Alliance’s list of absurd demands.
The MDC-Alliance, led by Nelson Chamisa had unveiled a high-sounding but woefully devoid-of-substance document they termed ‘PEACE’ at Harare Gardens.
Zimbabwe, which has been a victim of the US’ bullying over the past two decades, is among those countries which have studiously refused to be waylaid into America’s recklessness when it comes to its foreign policy.
The southern African country was slapped with illegal economic sanctions by the US Congress on December 21 2001 after embarking on the Land Reform and Resettlement Programme in 2000.
Since then, relations between Harare and Washington have been frosty, with the latter taking notes from opposition members on how to ‘make the Zimbabwe economy scream’ as was said by former US Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Chester Crocker while lobbying the US Congress to put Zimbabwe under sanctions in September 2001.
Said Crocker: “To separate the people of Zimbabwe from ZANU PF we have to make their economy scream, and I hope you Congressmen have the stomach for what we are about to do.”
These words would come to pass as indeed the Zimbabwean economy ‘screamed’.
Yet that was not enough for the US.
They wanted more.
On July 10 2008, Britain and the US’ efforts to ‘pressurise’ Zimbabwe came to an abrupt halt after Russia and China vetoed a UN Security Council Resolution seeking sanctions on Harare.
The Resolution called for, among other things, an arms embargo and financial sanctions on Zimbabwe.
Undeterred, the US insisted Zimbabwe was a threat to regional security, a statement they still proffer to this day.
“There should be no doubt that what is happening in Zimbabwe affects peace and security in the region,” said a State Department spokesman, Robert McInturff.
Therefore, the latest onslaught by the marauding US is indicative of that country’s desperation to annihilate Zimbabwe, especially on the back of the impending elections.
It is clear the US prefers any electoral outcome that is outside of a ZANU PF victory.
Yet they have a premonition of doom.
Sadly, for them, that premonition will come to pass.
For SA, its announcement recently that it would embark on a land reclamation drive without compensation is a foretaste of things to come – sanctions are in the offing.
This is why it is important to unpack the US aid threat at great length.
The US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, made the aid-cut threat in a statement after the State Department had released its annual report on UN voting trends
Harare was listed, together with Burundi and SA as the three African countries refusing to partner the US in its abuse of the UN.
Using a system replete with spying mechanisms, the US State Department compiled a report on voting practices at the UN.
The report was then given to the US Congress where attempts were made to seal Zimbabwe’s fate in 2001. A perusal of the report shows increasing defiance to the US aggressive foreign policy by other countries in the world.
For instance, of the 93 resolutions that were voted on in 2017, other countries only voted with the US a mere 31 percent of the time.
A worried US State Department reluctantly conceded that this is a 10 percentage point drop from 2016.
Among the 10 countries listed on the report are nations that have long opposed US interests, such as Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela and Syria.
“The American people pay 22 percent of the UN budget – more than the next three highest donor countries combined. In spite of this generosity, the rest of the UN voted with us only 31 percent of the time, a lower rate than in 2016,” the miffed Haley said.
“That’s because we care more about being right than popular and are once again standing up for our interests and values. Either way, this is not an acceptable return on our investment.
“When we arrived at the UN last year, we said we would be taking names, and this list of voting records speaks for itself. President Donald Trump wants to ensure that our foreign assistance dollars — the most generous in the world — always serve American interests and we look forward to helping him see that the American people are no longer taken for granted.”
This was also confirmation the US uses its supposedly ‘hefty’ support of the UN budget to further its not-so-hidden agenda of causing anarchy, mayhem and despondency through the many wars that it has created across the world by overriding the UN Security Council.
The UN website explains the role of the Security Council.
It says:
Under the Charter, the Security Council has primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security.
It has 15 members, and each member has one vote.
Under the Charter, all member states are obligated to comply with Council decisions.
The Security Council takes the lead in determining the existence of a threat to the peace or act of aggression.
It calls upon the parties to a dispute to settle it by peaceful means and recommends methods of adjustment or terms of settlement.
In some cases, the Security Council can resort to imposing sanctions or even authorise the use of force to maintain or restore international peace and security.
The Security Council also recommends to the General Assembly the appointment of the Secretary-General and the admission of new members to the UN.
And, together with the General Assembly, it elects the judges of the International Court of Justice.”
But all this was violated by Britain and the US when they invaded Iraq in 2003.
In September 2002, George Bush, the former US President put the Security Council under strong pressure, claiming Iraq had ‘defied’ UN resolutions for over a decade.
That was a lie but one which scared the Security Council.
“Will the UN serve the purpose of its founding principles or will it be irrelevant,” Bush asked in his speech to the General Assembly in September 2002.
Months later, Iraq was reduced to ashes.
It was only on September 15 2004 that former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan openly admitted, for the first time, that the US-led war on Iraq was illegal.
Annan revealed the invasion was not sanctioned by the UN Security Council or in accordance with the UN’s founding Charter.
He told the BBC World Service Broadcast that: “I have indicated it was not in conformity with the UN charter.
From our point of view and from the Charter point of view, it was illegal.”
Libya too suffered a similar fate.
In September 2016, the British Parliament revealed that the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO)’ s invasion of Libya under the pretext of protecting civilians was a ruse created to kill the North African leader Muammar Gaddafi.
A report by the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee based on interviews with all of the key British decision makers found that the Libyan war was based on lies, that it destroyed the country and that it spread terrorism.
This is what the report says in part:
“Former French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé, who introduced Resolution 1973 (imposing a no-fly zone over Libya, and laying the groundwork for overthrowing the government), asserted in his speech to the Security Council that ‘the situation on the ground is more alarming than ever, marked by the violent re-conquest of cities’.
He stressed the urgency of the situation, arguing ‘We have very little time left – perhaps only a matter of hours’. Subsequent analysis suggested that the immediate threat to civilians was being publicly overstated and that the reconquest of cities had not resulted in mass civilian casualties.”
The report goes on:
“The proposition that Muammar Gaddafi would have ordered the massacre of civilians in Benghazi (which was the basis for the West’s war to overthrow Gaddafi) was not supported by the available evidence.
The Gaddafi regime had retaken towns from the rebels without attacking civilians in early February 2011.
Gaddafi regime forces targeted male combatants in a civil war and did not indiscriminately attack civilians.
More widely, Gaddafi’s 40-year record of appalling human rights abuses did not include large-scale attacks on Libyan civilians.”
With the US having shown signs that it is not about to treat President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa with the respect that he deserves, it is high time we show them as Zimbabweans that Zimbabwe is open for business, not abuse.

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