Hands off Zimbabwe

Editorial, Workers World, 29 August 2002

In a spasm of arrogance fitting an ancient emperor, the Bush administration announced it considers Zimbabwe's government “illegitimate and irrational.” They say they will work to overthrow President Robert Mugabe, whose recent election victory they assert was “marred by fraud.” More to the point, Mugabe is now carrying out a long-promised land reform.

Isn’t this the same Bush gang that won an election in 2000 by blocking the count of Black voters in Florida? Wasn’t that election thus “marred by fraud” and by bribery? The bribers were George W. Bush's buddies who ran the giant monopolies that later went bankrupt and are now being investigated for record-breaking fraud and theft. Didn’t Vice President Dick Cheney grow rich at Halliburton from the same schemes that brought these other speculative firms to disaster?

Aren't they meeting in Crawford, Texas, where the agenda may be secret, but which will certainly end up pouring many more hundreds of billions of dollars into the most destructive military in human history? Haven’t they spread U.S. “advisers” and combat troops to the Philippines, Colombia, Afghanistan and all over the Persian/Arabian Gulf region to prepare a massive invasion of Iraq, to kill how many more million Iraqi civilians?

This gang dares to talk of “illegitimate and irrational”?

Perhaps we are confused and this isn’t the same administration that refuses to even join talks about the dangers of global warming and the threats of industrial pollution to the environment. Such industrial pollution is a probable cause of the African drought that starved 1.2 million on the continent. (See article, page 10.)

Instead they are blaming President Mugabe for hunger in southern Africa because he is seizing the land of wealthy farmers who grow tobacco. The experts at the U.S. Agency for International Development who attacked Mugabe have failed to explain how the tobacco will feed the people of Zimbabwe.

At present Bush and Co. don’t seem to worry that using the terms “illegitimate and irrational” will boomerang. But they should.

We wonder if they will somehow accuse the Zimbabwe leadership of being in league with “terrorists.” The “War on Terror” is the Bush gang's usual excuse for intervention. Since Sept. 11, 2001, they’ve found this to be an easier pretext for war and intervention than “the need to defend human rights and democracy,” the favored excuse of the Clinton group.

We want to be clear on two points:

First, neither the U.S. government nor the former British colonial rulers of “Rhodesia” nor any of the imperialist countries in Western Europe or NATO have any right or any business whatsoever intervening to undermine the Zimbabwe government, let alone sending military forces to intimidate or invade that people. Nor have they the right to use economic threats, withholding food aid, etc., to carry out changes in the government there. The imperialists owe this aid as a minimal part of the reparations due Africans for the colonial and slave eras. Progressive forces in these countries should do whatever is possible to prevent such intervention.

Second, the Bush gang are more and more dependent for their continued stewardship of U.S. imperialism on the raw power of the state apparatus they have their hands on. They manage on the one hand a declining economy and on the other an endless war. They are the prime example in the world of “illegitimate and irrational” rule, and they are the gravest danger to humanity. And more and more people not only throughout the world but here in the United States are daring to say it and raise a challenge to this illegitimate regime.