Regardless of the rhetoric on the nobilities of promoting democracy and on the sanctity of freedoms and liberties, economic sanctions illegally imposed on Zimbabwe by the West since 2001 have played a significant role as part of the causal factors leading to the death of thousands of Zimbabweans that succumb to preventable and treatable diseases each week.
The economic sanctions against Zimbabwe are essentially illegal from the standpoint of them being effected not only outside the mandate of the UN Security Council, but also despite the UN Security Council rejecting at least four Western proposals for sanctions against Zimbabwe between 2000 and 2008.
This week's extension of the embargo by the EU is simply a continuation of illegality in as far as everyone decent enough to respect the UN Charter and the authority of the UN institution is concerned.
Reasons for the perpetuation of this illegality have absolutely nothing to do with humanitarianism, but all to do with criminal imperialistic intent to sustain Western economic hegemony -- acutely threatened by Zimbabwe's nationalistic policies.
It must be noted that even in instances where the UN Security Council has endorsed the imposing of economic sanctions in the past; often this has resulted in deadly and illegal consequences.
In 2000 the UN stood on its head to thwart the spirit and intent of its own charter, which calls for the protection of the innocent.
The mother body of all nations was responsible for the egregious prolonging of death, plus the social and economic destruction of Iraq, all in the name of taming a murderous Saddam Hussein.
The EU, the United States, Australia, Canada and New Zealand have shamelessly prolonged the deaths of the innocent in Zimbabwe through the illegal sanctions regime they have arrogantly maintained for 15 years.
Officially, these sanctions were imposed in 2001, but realistically Zimbabwe has been reeling under illegal Western sanctions from way back in 1998, when the Zimbabwe government made the costly error of repelling US-backed rebel forces, stopping them from an imminent capture of Kinshasa, the capital of the DRC.
That the Western-imposed economic sanctions have immensely helped in wrecking Zimbabwe's economy is indisputable, and there are no known denials from the countries that have imposed these sanctions -- apart from flimsy attempts to qualify the sanctions as targeted not at the entire country but at its leadership in government.
Of course, there is no logic whatsoever in believing one can sanction an entire government of a country without sanctioning its people in the process.
The 2008 cholera outbreak was the climax of the deadly consequences of this illegal and murderous sanctions regime, and of course the tragedy was placed squarely on mismanagement of the country by its government leaders -- something that could as well be partly correct, given the less than half-hearted commitment to the national cause that is so apparent in Zimbabwe's political circles across the divide.
Mismanagement granted; the illegal sanctions undoubtedly exacerbated the situation.
To continue to sanitise the sanctions regime against Zimbabwe as a targeted effort meant to twist the arm of President Mugabe and his Zanu-PF party is a phenomenal insult to the dignity of the majority of the innocent who have suffered so terribly under the painful venom of this brutal embargo.
The incompatibility of economic sanctions with various provisions of the UN Charter and with similar instruments of international humanitarian law is blatantly glaring.
It is hard to imagine that perceptions on the nobilities of democracy can be elevated to override humanitarianism itself -- to sidestep the very intent of the Declaration of Human Rights.
After spending 13 months in Iraq as the head of the UN Oil for Food Program, Denis Halliday concluded that what he had seen in Iraq was a genocide; and he was later to be supported by former U.S. Attorney General Ramsay Clark and a number of British Ministers who were critical of the British Government's policy on economic sanctions and military intervention.
The term genocide particularly offended many in Western circles, especially in media and political circles. It is like the term illegal in reference to the unlawful economic sanctions that are in place against Zimbabwe,imposed outside the UN framework -- all at the instigation of Western countries.
The term elicits fury from a number of groups, notably the misguided Zimbabwean politicians from Western-sponsored political parties like Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC-T. Other groups that seem to be riled by this term include the ousted white commercial farmers whose fate during the land reclamation exercise was quite central to the justification then given for the imposition of these sanctions.
Editorial teams in the mainstream Western media are certainly not amused by the description of the sanctions as illegal, and needless to say, the term is unacceptable to Western political elites.
However the vehement denials from these quarters do not constitute legality, much as they may cause a sizeable amount of confusion.
The people of the West must be reminded that they have a democratic obligation to accept responsibility for some of the most egregious acts of inhumanity undertaken in their name by the governments they elect.
In this regard it would be expected of the people from the West to stand with the people of Zimbabwe in their plight for the unconditional removal of economic sanctions against their country, or at least to publicly dissociate themselves from the official position of their self-serving leaders.
It would be heartening to hear mass condemnation of the continued isolation of Zimbabwe, especially the detrimental sanctioning of the country's mining sector -- itself the cornerstone of the country's economy.
Is it not ironic that the same countries that claim Marange diamonds are quantitative enough to successfully sustain Zimbabwe's economic needs turn around and say the sanctioning of the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation is only a nominal gesture of protest whose effect on the net performance of the economy is benign?
If the ZMDC is the principal shareholder of the mining going on at Marange, and if Marange is valuable enough to successfully sustain the economic needs of Zimbabwe, how does it make sense that the continued isolation of ZMDC should be treated as benign and nominal?
The only reason the UN, the AU and Sadc have continually refused to endorse the illegally imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe is an overdue recognition of Western crimes against innocent people.
Of course Western propaganda will assert that the AU and Sadc are siding with a dictator within their own ranks.
We all know how easy it was for the Western establishment and its mass media to describe the plight of Albanians in Kosovo as genocide, just like how easy it is for the West to use the same term to describe the plight of the people of Matebeleland in regards to the post-independence disturbances that happened in Zimbabwe in the eighties.
The Western media was quick to describe the threats made by Gaddafi against rebels from Benghazi as constituting and intend to carry out a genocide, and the same media remains resolutely reluctant to use the same term to describe the deaths of 50 000 Libyans at the hands of NATO in the military intervention that followed Gaddafi's empty threats.
In Syria only Assad's government forces are capable of committing genocide against supporters of the Western-backed rebel forces; and the lawless and thuggish rebels are elevated to the honour of revolutionaries, with their many crimes totally ignored in the West.
When there is an absence of a sense of responsibility it is very easy to apply defamatory and incriminating terms like genocide, war crimes, or crimes against humanity. It is always easier to loosely use these terms to describe the actions of other people, especially those of people from the West's perceived enemy states.
The same terms suddenly become too complex to define and apply once we start dealing with situations where the West bears responsibility for any perceived atrocities. This is precisely why we are told that the definition of genocide and that of the crime of aggression are yet to be found for the purposes of the International Criminal Court.
War crimes and crimes against humanity have easily been tailor-defined to meet the nuisances of the instabilities in Africa, and as such all people indicted by the ICC since its inception in 2002 are specifically from Africa. We are yet to find the definition of the crime of aggression so the illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003 cannot be described as aggression -- so we are told.
We are told of the complexities of international law each time Israel is accused of committing war crimes or crimes against humanity -- and this we are always reminded by the same nations that frivolously define even the fighting of two people in enemy states as genocide. The egregiously murderous tendencies of Israel are well documented and indisputable, and yet only the West seems to be struggling with understanding what exactly is happening in Palestine.
Today the West stands guilty of intentionally sustaining a regime of murderous and ruinous sanctions against the people of Zimbabwe, and this blatant brutality must be put on record.
In as far as the West is concerned only others are capable of committing genocide. This is the self-serving perception that has sanitised the brutal war crimes committed by Western forces in Afghanistan, the ruthless killing of about 50 000 Libyans during the murderous effort to oust Gaddafi, and the well documented war crimes carried out by the West in the two Iraq wars.
This self-serving approach to international affairs is why Kate Hoey of Britain's Labour Party finds it logical to suggest that the downing of two Viscount Aircrafts during Zimbabwe's war for independence must be treated as a war crime. She certainly does not think the Nyadzonia and Chimoio massacres by Rhodesian forces were war crimes, and we are all supposed to accept her racist revisionist logic as a matter of decent opinion.
The misnotion that portrays Western democracies as incapable of sinning is a very dangerous one, especially coming from nations that once ran the transatlantic slave trade, undertook the massacre of Amerindians, and presided over the genocidal slaughter of the aboriginal people of Australia.
The world stood by as NATO carried out the blatantly illegal attacks on Yugoslavia, including on Kosovo, just as happened recently when NATO grazed Misrata and Sirte to the ground in Libya.
What is the intention in the sanctioning of Zimbabwe's mining sector, or in imposing economic sanctions against the country in general? Is it not to make the people suffer and die until they rise against their own leadership in government? Does such an evil intention not constitute a crime against humanity through its consequences, intended or unintended?
Zimbabwe we are one and together we will overcome. It is homeland or death.
Reason Wafawarova is a political writer based in SYDNEY, Australia