Africa: CNN's War Against the Continent

Dr Tafataona Mahoso
Harare — THIS is the final of a two-part series in which
President Mugabe's interview with CNN's international
correspondent Christiane Amanpour exposed
the Western media's double standards and
how the regime change lobby
has become part of the media's diary

THE struggle which CNN mounted against
President Mugabe and the binary frame used
on September 24, 2009 date back to 1957-1961,
when the Anglo-Saxon axis waged a war against
the African revolution in Congo and murdered
the first Congolese prime minister Patrice Lumumba
in a swift and cruel process of regime change.

Using the cover of the United Nations and ability
to blend white racism with anti-communism,
the United States was able to subsume different
white nationalist agendas under its
synthetic whiteness marketed as global anti-communism.

The British interest expressed through South Africa
and the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland,
the Belgian interest expressed through
Belgian companies and soldiers in Katanga,
and the US interest and suspicion against
the Soviet Union -- all came together
to eliminate Patrice Lumumba and
abort the African revolution.

Significantly, the US lobby group American
Committee for Aid to Katanga
Freedom Fighters (ACAKFF) did not only
promote the blending of white supremacy
with anti-communism in the destruction
of the African revolution in Congo; it also lived
to become the nucleus of the Rhodesia lobby
in the US after Rhodesia, like Katanga, declared
its unilateral independence in 1965,
four years after the overthrow
of the African revolution in Congo.

The American lobby for white supremacy
in the Congo became the Rhodesia lobby after
Rhodesia's UDI.
It also became the source of diplomatic support
and mercenaries for Moise Tshombe's Katanga
as for Ian Smith's Rhodesia.
Therefore Lumumba's assassination had
far-reaching consequences for
the African revolution in Southern Africa.

Another significant development was
the prevalence of media lies and the willingness
of all parties in the imperial triangle not
to contradict each other.
There was agreement not just on the portrayal
of Lumumba and the Congo revolution
as communist and anti-Western, but also
on the suppression of information on the roles
played by the United Nations, the US government,
the Belgian government, the British government,
the Congolese government
and the provincial puppet regime of Tshombe
in Katanga.

This willingness to lie and to cover-up what
was happening in the Congo is similar
to the willingness not only to misrepresent
the Zimbabwe war of liberation against
settler Rhodesia but also the struggle of
the Zimbabwean liberation movement
in government in later years
to reclaim African land from white settlers.

Using the example of the Congo, we notice
the following: the victory of Lumumba's party
in elections in 1960 was both surprising
and unwelcome to the imperialist
and settlerist interests.

As a result, Lumumba's victory was followed
by a campaign of vilification and demonisation
in all the Western capitals and
in Rhodesia and South Africa.

Even more astounding was the cover-up of
the collective crime of the Western powers
and interests against Lumumba
and the people of the Congo.
This cover-up is being repeated
over Zimbabwe.
The damage inflicted on Zimbabweans
through illegal economic sanctions
must be covered up.

Lumumba, Joseph Okito and Maurice Mpolo
were murdered the night of January 17, 1961.
The bodies were later exhumed
and dissolved in acid on January 18, 1961.

The telltale signs of global foul play were
everywhere for anyone to see who would
bother to exercise curiosity and ask questions.
For instance, why did the UN which had come
to Congo at the invitation of prime minister Lumumba,
proceed to impose sanctions on the prime minister
and his government as well as place him
under house arrest and therefore facilitate
his capture and transfer from
Leopoldville (Kinshasa) to Katanga?

After Lumumba and his colleagues were handed
to Tshombe and the Belgians, UN officials
had opportunity to demand to see
the three or to have them handed
over to the Red Cross.
They did not.

On February 10 a new lie was made up,
that Lumumba and his colleagues had
mysteriously escaped from prison in Katanga.
Then on February 13 a new statement was issued
to say that the trio had fallen into the hands
of hostile villagers who had swiftly killed them.

The death certificates had been faked
by a white Belgian doctor, Guy Pieters,
who did not see the bodies but trusted
someone else who swore
that he had seen the bodies.

In short, it took from January 17
to February 13 1961 for the world to learn
that Lumumba and his ministers had been killed.
But the announcement itself was meant
to compound the multilateral Anglo-Saxon
complicity and cover-up.

If we now move to the operations of the "triangle"
in Rhodesia and Zimbabwe during
Ian Smith's UDI (1965-1980) and during
the Third Chimurenga, that is the land reclamation
phase of the revolution from 1992 to 2004
we find both similarities and differences.

In both phases, the US provided the overriding
frame and the European Union obliged.
Zimbabwe was framed as rebelling against
the global neo-liberal demand to "reform".

The victory of Zanu-PF in the 1980 election, though
not completely a surprise, was undesirable
to the Western powers who had preferred
Bishop Abel Muzorewa's UANC.

There were assassination attempts
on Cde Robert Gabriel Mugabe of Zanu-PF
followed by an attempted coup d'etat,
once Cde Mugabe had won the election.
On the eve of independence the Rhodesians
destroyed tonnes of sensitive government
records with the knowledge and
connivance of the Western powers.

At the time this destruction was blamed
on the Rhodesians but it now appears
that the British and the North Americans
did not object to the destruction of evidence
because they were also implicated
in escalating violence and prolonging
the Rhodesian war through top-level visits
to Ian Smith and through the supply of oil,
weapons and mercenaries
in violation of UN sanctions.

In the 1965-1980 period the UN was relatively
strong because of the growths of
the Non-Aligned Movement and
the Organisation of African Unity
in the context of a bipolar world.
In the 1992-2004 period, however,
the weakness of the UN shown
in the case of the Congo crisis
had returned, with the UNDP, the WFP,
Unicef, Unesco and the Global Aids Fund
being used against Zimbabwe as
if they were bilateral instruments
of the UK or US and its EU allies.

More significantly, the weakening of the UN
in the 1992-2004 period allowed
almost a repeat of what happened
in the Congo in the 1960s:

    * The unfolding of an elaborate vilification
      and demonisation programme
      against Zimbabwe based on mass media;

    * The revival of global and white anti-Mugabe
       lobbies similar to the Katanga and
       Rhodesia lobbies of the 1960s and 1970s;

    * A very high dosage of big trans-Atlantic lies
      employed against Zimbabwe, similar
      to those against Lumumba and
      the Congo revolution in 1960-1961

    * The masking of white supremacy under
       the slogan of "globalisation" similar to
       the masking of white supremacy under
       the slogan of combating communism
       in the 1960s and 1970s.

Therefore there has existed in the US,
an Anglo-American, Anglo-Rhodesian lobby
to protect white settler interests
and Anglo-American interests in Zimbabwe
and throughout Sadc.
The following words were written in 1979
by a US diplomat and they indicate why
the US government and US media
still see their mission
as the protection of white settlers:

"Our tragedy is that, whether we like it or not,
the United States has inherited the role
of metropole [or the mother country]
of all whites in Southern Africa.
This is not a role we welcomed, but it is one
we cannot avoid . . .
We are the ones who have led
the discussions about the future of
these countries [including Zimbabwe,
South Africa, Namibia, Angola
and Mozambique."

These are the words of former
US ambassador Elliot P. Skinner at the time
of the Lancaster House Conference
on Rhodesia in 1979.
By that time Skinner was teaching
at Columbia University in New York.
He was at pains to explain from
a white liberal view the consistently
reactionary and racist thrust of US
policy toward Southern Africa, where the US
appeared to favour apartheid
and UDI and to be obsessed with
the protection of the privileged interests
of dwindling white settler minorities
at the expense of overwhelming African majorities.

There was in the 1970s in the US
a white racist preacher and
media personality called Dr Carl McIntyre,
whose support of the Rhodesian
and South African apartheid regimes
could be heard on more than
600 radio stations across the United States
for 30 minutes every day for six days a week.

This was in the 1970s and McIntyre was
among the pioneers of rightwing politics
and rightwing journalism which we see
today in the work of Pat Robertson,
Christopher Dell, Peta Thornicroft,
Christiane Amanpour and
all the white media crusaders.

It is time to start telling part of this long
and complex story.
The crusading, racist and intolerant
journalism Africans are enduring today
in neo-Rhodesian and neo-apartheid media
took some time to develop.
It is part of the history of the white racist
rightwing, which took power in the West
in the last 15 to 30 years.
The crusading and sectarian tone of this journalism
is not accidental.
It is an integral feature of what is
sometimes called "robust journalism".

This journalism is sometimes represented
by sponsored hate-stations directed against
Zimbabwe, against Palestinians,
against Cuba, against Venezuela,
against Bolivia and against Iran.

For instance, Gerald Horne in is book,
"From the Barrel of a Gun: The United States
and the War Against Zimbabwe, 1965-1980",
has documented the collusion between
white Western corporate media
and local white media.
These two forces colluded in degrading
and demonising the African liberation movements,
in promoting white supremacy, and in
exploiting the myth of superior
and protected white womanhood,
again in order to degrade
African women and humiliate African men.

According to Horne: "Sex rested close
to the heart of Rhodesian military operations.
Not only was the protection
of Rhodesian [white] women from
allegedly ravaging Africans seen
as a rationale for the war but,
like many [white] male enterprises,
the military used female images
to foment [white] male bonding."
Western "independent" media and
white settler media colluded in this racist
and sexist strategy.
"Romance, sexuality and gender anxiety
were an essential component of the elements
that drove US citizens to Rhodesia -- and kept
them there . . .
One of the prime linkages in this chain
of whiteness were the mass media . . ."
The linkages remain now, causing so much
Western interest in how we manage
our media in Zimbabwe.

Now, any thinking African would therefore
carefully scrutinise the scores of supposed
mass media companies seeking to open up
the Zimbabwean media market and
to set up newspapers, magazines, radio stations,
television stations and internet services.
Who are the owners and drivers
of these projects?
Why do they seek to bless us now?

Link here

             J-L K.
Procurement Consultant
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