After the Lancaster House Agreement in 1979, when Rhodesia became Zimbabwe, I sort of lost interest in that part of the world. The suppression of the opposition in the early eighties went more or less unnoticed by me as did the land confiscations and redistributions later on and now Zimbabwe is constantly in the news and all of a sudden we all have to be interested, why? The parallels with Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere are so blatantly obvious that the semi thinking man cannot help but see behind the drivel.
Western support for Saddam Hussein in his war against Iran has been well documented and, as long as he was perceived to be protecting “our interests”, the nature of the man and the regime were hardly an issue. Afghanistan was completely forgotten for about ten years after the Soviet withdrawal and when, at the beginning of the nineties, Saudi money, the CIA and Pakistan’s ISI, facilitated the Taliban’s rise to power the United States believed they had someone they could do business with. They were, of course, wrong and it was time to demonize the man and the regime, and Zimbabwe?
Robert Mugabe is probably as much of a nutcase as Saddam Hussein and Mullah Omar. However, this should not stop us thinking about the real reasons why the United Kingdom and the United States in particular want a regime change and when Morgan Tsvangirai’s ‘Movement for Democratic Change’ seek to impress the “international community” that “international community” is in fact a euphemism for the Western powers and it is time for the West to reassert itself on the continent of Africa. In the global village the “great game” is no longer confined to Central Asia and Zimbabwe is a prime example of just how ruthless and hypocritical the West can be when it comes to pursuing its interests. It is also interesting to note that this accentuated interest takes place not only in the wake of flawed elections but, and more importantly, that it also takes place some four months after a high ranking Chinese trade delegation visited Zimbabwe and signed a number of agreements. Of course, we should also be aware of a number of other activities being pursued by the Chinese and, indeed, of China’s real motives. Let the game commence!