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Furthermore, as the modern anthropologist Angela Cheater has noted, “the Shona language has long identified, as huruudza, a large-scale agricultural entrepreneur, representatives of which category had, by the turn of the twentieth century, expanded and ‘mechanised’ their production, selling the output to white and Indian traders, farmers and miners.” Pre-colonial Zimbabwe was in fact a land of international trade and extensive accumulation of private wealth, enabled by flourishing commerce in grain, tobacco, and livestock.
This wealth is what attracted white settlers in the first place, with grave consequences for the autochthonous population. Yet the policies of the Mugabe regime have only perpetuated, and in many instances exacerbated, colonial iniquities.
ALTHOUGH INTERNATIONAL ATTENTION has tended to focus on the Mugabe regime’s perversion of law and justice on display in the white farmland seizures of recent years, which have obliterated the economy of what was once the “jewel of Africa,” many of Mugabe’s depredations can in no wise be described as part of a post-colonial struggle (however misguided).
The massacres in Matabeleland, the maline, the more recent urban land seizures and daily socio-political repression, are all legacies of colonialism, but not in the way that is usually represented. In these respects, the real Mugabe has more in common with apartheid Rhodesia’s Ian Smith than with Mugabe’s own post-colonial ignis fatuus.
We are told by, for example, the BBC’s Peter Greste that every statement from London or Washington on the present crisis in Zimbabwe “confirms a view of the West as one that still cannot accept the idea that Africans should be allowed to shape their own destinies.” We are told by newly-elected UN Human Rights Council member Jean Ziegler (he of the Muammar Qaddafi human rights prize) that Mugabe has “history and morality with him.” We are told that in the Security Council, China and Libya (those nonpareils of the non-aligned movement) resent any attempt by former colonial powers to decide Zimbabwe’s future.
What we are seldom given any sense of, however, is the extent to which Mugabe’s most ruthless policies represent continuations of Rhodesian antecedents. Had this been better understood, Mugabe’s misleading anti-colonial narrative would have had a far less prophylactic effect, and the world community (and perhaps more importantly, key regional players) might have heretofore done more than, in the words of the South Africa’s Sunday Times, “cosset Mugabe while he raped his country.”
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online