zimbabwe - Mugabe has blood on his hands, but so also have Brown and British capital

Workers' Fight workplace bulletin editorials
30 June 2008

Following Mugabe's self-"re-election", Foreign Office minister Malloch-Brown said African nations should "do whatever it takes" to get rid of him, suggesting that military intervention in Zimbabwe could be necessary.

Who do such people think they are? These trustees of British companies which rip off the poor countries' resources to boost the pickings of the wealthy here! And if that was not already too much, they also want to rule the lives of the poor in these countries, "for their own good"!

Mugabe is a dictator and the arrests, beatings and torture inflicted on political opponents are intolerable. But it has not always bothered British governments. For 20 years, they found little to object to in Mugabe's regime, though it had already killed thousands of supporters of its main political rival in the 1980s.

It was only in April 2000, that Mugabe became a target for London, when he threatened to expropriate the very rich white farmers who had controlled most of agriculture since independence. Never mind the fact that, due to the white monopoly over fertile land, millions of poor were barely surviving!

Two years later, the era of Western "sanctions" began. The international loans on which Zimbabwe, like all other poor countries, depended, dried up.

One can only be shocked by the impact of these "sanctions", with astronomical inflation paralysing most of the economy. Eating depends on finding something to barter against food. It is a hand-to-mouth existence verging on starvation for most. Yet, Brown still dares to threaten even more "sanctions" which, like the previous ones, will affect the population far more than the ruling clique around Mugabe ever could.

By a cynical irony, it is in the name of "democracy" that Brown proposes to starve the poor of Zimbabwe and others propose to bomb them. In Iraq, for the victims of the West's bombs, this "democracy" was that of the cemeteries. In Zimbabwe, bombs may not even be necessary: hunger and disease will do the job!

In Iraq, Brown's "democratic" claims only conceal the greed of British oil majors. Who will be surprised if, in Zimbabwe, his "concern" turns out to be a smokescreen for British mining groups, hoping to grab the country's platinum and other precious metals?