Thursday, 12 March 2015

President Mugabe; "A Threat to US Foreign Policy"

 By Nick Mangwana

Barack  Obama has just repeated what George Bush said in an Executive Order signed on 6 March 2003. In this order he wrote that the government of Zimbabwe and its leadership posed "an extraordinary threat to the foreign policy of the United States".  He went further to declare a national emergency to deal with Zimbabwe. 12 years later and almost to the day, on the 4th of March 2015, Barack Obama said, " These actions and policies ( of Robert Mugabe)  continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the foreign policy of the United States. ".

Why would a man that leads a nation of 14 million, with a $10 billion economy considered a threat to the foreign policy of a country that has a population of 320 million people and an economy of nearly $17 trillion. Does it even make sense? The United States is  currently the sole super power in the world. It has nuclear weapons with almost 2 million of its population under arms. It has squashed and subdued richer countries. Why does such a giant feel so threatened by a seemingly insignificant minion? Well, the answer lies in the capacity of Robert Mugabe to impact, influence and inspire a change to the current world order.

Influence trumps brute force. When influence is wielded by a charismatic and articulate individual even hard edged power yields. Everyone who seeks power, seeks either the ability to do things or the ability to influence things.  President Mugabe has become the beacon or guidepost for all those who are not happy with the American hegemony, bully boy arm-twisting and other strong arm tactics. Should his defiance succeeds, then it might inspire other nationals and a crop of third world rulers who will scorn the will of the United States.  It is this loss of influence which the US cannot brook.

 The United States feels that it cannot allow this type of  defiance to succeed. This President who

A United Africa :  A threat to US foreign policy? 
dares challenge the Great Nation should be made an example of because he is a threat to the foreign policy of the United States by what he represents. When President Mugabe stands up before the United Nations General Assembly and condemns the killing of the American Ambassador at Benghazi  but  also calls on all those joining the condemnation to also join him in condemning the barbaric execution of Muamur Gadaffi  at  Sirte it resonates with everyone with a sense of fairness.  But the equating of American lives to any other lives in the world is considered a sacrilege. What he dares say is exactly what billions of people would have loved to say but could not. Being the de facto leader of those that oppose this level of world predominance, the chicanery used to invade Iraqi and destabilisation of Libya is what threatens the United States.  His type of candour on the world stage wins him friends among the downtrodden but inspires revolutions that stands up to the United Sates. That upsets the world order.

When he laments the American skulduggery  in dealing with Israel  and the Palestinians it echoes with the Arab nations.  When he challenges  the rest of the world to have some courage and speak out,  that is considered impiety towards the great god the US. But this is not only about politics. There is economics involved in this foreign policy matrix.

Slavery and colonialism were all not just about imperial arrogance.  They were not simple vain ego trips.  They were all about  resources. Human resources was the slavery. Material resources was colonialism.  85% of the Africa's resources are used  by only 8 developed nations of the world as raw materials. Now here comes Robert Mugabe who says, there should be beneficiation of these resources in the country of origin. That Africa should stop selling primary goods. That the majority owners of resource based companies should be local indigenous population. The United States realises straight away that this man has to be stopped.  Remember even when he took over the chairmanship of SADC he focussed on beneficiation of the resources and the conference was themed, " SADC Strategy for Economic Transformation: Leveraging the Region's Diverse Resources for Sustainable Economic and Social Development through Value Addition and Beneficiation".  This small fire of one country advocating for the control of its own resources had suddenly set the whole region in a conflagration with catastrophic consequences to the foreign policy of the United States and all other resource hungry Western countries. 

Chavez: Oil beneficiation championing - a threat to US foreign policy?
The United States would like to control who is sold what. They want to know who is being sold uranium by the Congolese.  Remember the atomic bomb constructed in Second World War came from the Shinkolobwe Mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo! Should the Congolese emulate the Mugabe philosophy and controls its cobalt, Uranium, silver tantalum and niobium what would happen? Now imagine the Congo has 80% of the world's coltan! They are then inspired by Robert Mugabe's doctrine of Indigenisation, Value Addition and Beneficiation  and do what Venezuela did with its oil? Wouldn't that be an extraordinary  threat  to the US foreign policy? During the Liberation Struggle American foreign policy towards sanctions against Rhodesia was shaped by its need for Rhodesian chrome. America did not really enforce the sanctions as they were importing and stockpiling chrome from Southern Rhodesia. Their whole foreign policy was shaped their need for resources.  That imperative as a determinant of foreign policy still subsists.

SADC is just 14 countries. Now this Robert Mugabe is also chairman of 53 other African countries besides his own through his chairmanship of the AU. Being the iconic figure that he is, if he influences other African countries to adopt the same ideology where will Uncle Sam be in all this? Then there is the Non-Aligned Movement; an organisation of over 120 countries! If they are also inspired to defiance. What would remain of the United States' influence?

The biggest casualty of this Mugabe defiance is Corporate America. Were the Iraqis, the Saudis, Libyans, Angolans and Nigerians start to "indigenise" their oil, where will Corporate America be?
If one then considers that the United Sates was built on some land taken from Native Americans (Indians) many years ago, and now Robert Mugabe has claimed his land back. His actions have already inspired those in South Africa, Kenya and Namibia amongst many others.  There is a real risk that if this is glorified enough it might even inspire countries further afield including the Aborigines in Australia and the Maori in New Zealand. Things should not be allowed to be influenced by the land reform in Zimbabwe. It should not be allowed to impact other countries lest it changes the order of things.
Zimbabwe has been under sanctions for 15 years now. President Mugabe has stood up to the West and won the fight to see who blinks first.  It is that bold resistance to the raw power of the United States which threatens the power of its foreign policy. It threatens a world order where its rule are a command upon all other nations. If  Robert Mugabe prevails in his refusal to conform and toe the line there will be other Robert Mugabe's out there.  Patrice Lumumba died for his potential influence. Zimbabwe must be sanctioned so that there will be no economic development lest Robert Mugabe's success a big awakening and motivates others to follow suit.  

The genie is out of the bottle. The major issue why Zimbabwe is under ZIDERA (Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act '01)and sanctions is not because of its domestic policy. It has nothing to do with human rights. It has completely little to do with its own electoral contestations. It has a lot to do with the stance which its leader takes on the international arena.  It has a lot to do Robert Mugabe antagonistic stance against the US hegemony.

Let us never forget that the stated foreign policy of the United Sates is "to sustain a democratic , secure and prosperous world for benefit of the American people". It then adds the benefit of the world as an afterthought.   This is what President Mugabe poses an extraordinary threat to. 

When defiance breaks from a tradition of acquiescent  pliancy it is a threat to the world order when seen through the eyes of  a predominant super power that is used to having its way. President Obama and the whole American establishment believes that this bold and open defiance must be crushed. It is not about human rights. It is not about democracy. Those are just dulcet guises. Remember slavery and colonialism were packaged as the spreading of Christianity and civilisation. We now know what the whole intention was about.  The new sweet sounding terms are now, spreading democracy and law and order and development.  The world knows where this will end but chooses to turn a blind eye.  Those that point this out should be stopped. Be it Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, Nicholas Maduro or Robert Mugabe.


Nick Mangwana is the Chairman of ZANU PF UK