Home » General » U.S. Diplomats Spread Falsehoods, Confusion [opinion]

By the time the Africans at home and abroad read the paper entitled “Political Instability in Zimbabwe” written by the former US Ambassador to Zimbabwe George F Ward, the task of Zimbabwe’s comrades and friends is to remind themselves that the key to having a healthy political diet is avoiding artificial preservatives. The paper was published by none other than the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).

At the end of the paper Ambassador Ward focuses on eight areas to intensify inter-agency efforts to define US interests in Zimbabwe, namely to: open a consultative channel on Zimbabwe with Congress pursue understandings on Zimbabwe and other SADC countries consult regularly on Zimbabwe with senior officials in EU countries seek to influence China on Zimbabwe seek senior level dialogue with the Zimbabwean Government in multiple venues expand youth and student exchanges and ensure the security of the US mission in Zimbabwe.

Before we analyse Mr Ward’s perspective, a look at his background will serve Africans extremely well. He served in the US Marines during the Vietnam War. Prior to his tenure in Namibia Mr Ward worked in Germany and Italy and Washington. Mr Ward was the principal deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization from 1992-1996, he is credited for working extensively on European security questions. Mr Ward is also recognized for playing what is described as a leading role in the unification of Germany.

Mr Ward also was the director of the Professional Training Programme at the US Institute for Peace, which finances the National Endowment for Democracy. According to the 2007 testimony before the US Congress of its Director Carl Gershman, NED is responsible for the finance and maintenance of 14 civil society groups on the ground in Zimbabwe.

The paper by Ambassador Ward comes eight years after a paper written by the current US Ambassador to Botswana Mrs. Michelle Gavin entitled “Planning For Post Mugabe Zimbabwe”.

This paper was written while Ambassador Gavin was a fellow for CFR.

We must acknowledge CFR’s consistency, even if we feel their analysis is bogus and reactionary. The organizational formation that provided a publication grant for Ambassador Gavin’s paper was the Carnegie Corporation in New York, when she was giving kudos to her financiers, Ambassador Gavin felt obligated to mention friends of this organisation who continue to support this mission.

The other groups recognised by Ambassador Gavin were the Center for Global Development, Institute for Democracy in South Africa and the International Crisis Group.

When discussing the analysis of Ambassador Gavin’s paper, the director of the CFR Mr Richard Haas was quoted as follows “Planning for Post Mugabe Zimbabwe takes a fresh but realistic look at the situation. In so doing it offers a way to aance US interests in the region and increase the chance of the eventual transition reverses rather than the country’s decline”.

Because Ambassador Gavin’s paper was 43 pages long, perhaps Mr Haas overlooked the fact that among the first people mentioned, for providing valuable insight and feedback, were Ambassadors Johnnie Carson and Christopher Dell.

Due to both gentlemen’s track record of demonising President Mugabe and ZANU-PF, this makes it extremely difficult to refer to this paper as fresh by any stretch of the imagination.

Since Ambassador Carson is a member of CFR, it appears that in hindsight, Ambassador Gavin was stroking the ego of certain individuals who could not only boost her career, but help her climb up the ladder at breakneck speed.

If Mr Haas is looking for a unique perspective on US-EU Zimbabwe propaganda, he should look no further that the CIA World Factbook which states “Zimbabwe is a source,transit and destination for men and women subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking. Zimbabwean women and girls bordering South Africa, Zambia and Mozambique are subjected to prostitution, sometimes sold by their parents.”

The other claim by the CIA is Zimbabwe is a transit point for cannabis, South Asian Heroin, Mandrax and Methamphetamines.

One of the more absurd points in Ambassador Ward’s paper is that “Zimbabwe is down the current list of executive branch Foreign Policy Priorities. It is important to establish a consultative process with Congress in parallel to the interagency effort described above.”

It appears Ambassador Ward forgot that President Obama decided to exclude President Mugabe from the US-Africa summit last summer. Also the manner that President Obama patted Mr Tsvangirai on the back in the Oval Office when calling him his partner in Zimbabwe, was identical to how one treats their favourite house pet.

Another crucial point Ambassador Ward appeared to ignore was that the current US Ambassador to the UN Mrs. Samantha Power, a few years ago called for the US to finance support centres for MDC everywhere Zimbabwe has an embassy.

The only other question to raise in terms of Zimbabwe being a priority to the US Congress in particular and the Obama administration as a whole, is who is most committed to regime change in Zimbabwe?

Both Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, former and current US Secretary of State respectively, along with the Vice President Joseph Biden, are co-sponsors of the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001.

The passion displayed in President Obama’s letter to President Bush when he was still a Senator urging him not to lift sanctions on Zimbabwe until President Mugabe was ousted from power resembles an inmate’s last words to their significant other during visitation or prior to an execution.

The hatred that President Obama’s National Security Aiser Susan Rice has for President Mugabe stems from her foiled plan to destabilize the Congo when she was the US Assistant Secretary for African Affairs under Madeline Albright.

The main reason Ambassador Ward’s paper will be read and entertained is he once was the US Ambassador to Namibia, which gives the impression he understands the complexities and developments of SADC.

What may come as a surprise to some is Ambassador Ward admits “The US would have few, if any, partners in attempting to influence a succession in Zimbabwe.”

This admission could result in a phone call from Ambassador Gavin reminding Ambassador Ward that this indirectly refers to Botswana’s current President Ian Khama as a lame duck, which compromises his ability to help isolate Zimbabwe when he becomes the chair of SADC in August.

The key to civilian neo-colonialism is to loosen the strings on your puppet, to promote the illusion they have complete political autonomy.

The next issue raised by Ambassador Ward on US-SADC relations was to target South Africa’s Vice President Cyril Ramaphosa, because President Zuma’s hands are full. This implies that VP Ramaphosa is already working to bring about Zimbabwe’s demise.

We must not fail to recognise Ambassador Ward’s sense of humour when he suggests China would more than likely block decisive action by the UN Security Council on Zimbabwe, but might agree to the creation of a special envoy to Zimbabwe.

If Ambassador Ward was sleepwalking when the US attempted to block Zimbabwe’s turn to chair the UN Committee for Sustainable Development, prevent President Mugabe from addressing the Food and Agriculture Organisation, and coerce Zimbabwe into accepting LDC status, we won’t hold it against him.

On the domestic front, Ambassador Ward might not be aware of the web of deception of the Congressional Black Caucus, who not only came five votes short of voting in favour of ZDERA, but only set foot in Zimbabwe and engaged President Mugabe when MDC became part of Government.

The late Congressman Donald Payne who, along with Republican Counterpart Christopher Smith, who in addition to representing the State of New Jersey, pushed ZDREA through Congress, was the first Congressional liaison to the UN in US history while the plot to isolate Zimbabwe on the world stage was in motion. As far as the security of the US Embassy in Zimbabwe goes, while this is a very creative spin on words and policy, everyday Africans in the US say, “if your living in a glass house don’t throw no stones”.

Obi Egbuna Jr is the US Correspondent to the Herald and a US based member of the Zimbabwe-Cuba Friendship Association

Source : The Herald