The Herald (Harare)

24 January 2014

Zimbabwe: U.S.-Africa Summit: Only the Gullible Believe

editorial

America's president Barack Obama is set to invite 47 African Heads of State and Government to what is dubbed the US-Africa summit in August. President Mugabe is not one of them, according to sections of the western and local private media. The purpose of the summit, according to a White House statement, is to enhance "trade and investment, highlight America's commitment to Africa's security, its democratic development and its people".

America is a sovereign state with the right to choose who to invite into its territory.

What we find annoying, however, are the reasons highlighted in the local media for Zimbabwe's exclusion, that is, "undermining democracy" and "denying its people their liberties". If these were the key deficits, that would be the more reason to invite Zimbabwe so that its leaders are taught "democracy and human rights" by that nation that claims to be a bastion of freedom.

America well knows where its strategic interests lie. It knows only too well which leaders in Africa it can earwig to advance and secure those strategic interests. Obama will not have the courage to invite President Mugabe when he knows the invitation would be snubbed, or if not, his guest will seize the opportunity to drive home inconvenient truths about American foreign policy, its ruinous but senseless sanctions on Zimbabwe, and the grave way in which Obama has betrayed his African ancestry in service of white capital.

Three interlinked issues have influenced this summit: China's growing influence in Africa; America's declining influence in Africa; and an attempt to divide and rule Africa.

This has nothing to do with "democracy" except for the gullible who believe only Obama -- who is heading the Pentagon's hunt for Edward Snowden and Julian Assange -- can teach Africa about democracy.

Pursuant to its hegemonic ambitions, America is desperate to find client states as it searches for bases for its Africom project. These bases will allow the United States to quickly deploy its marines and drones against people who refuse to have their resources plundered by American corporations.

African leaders who frustrate these schemes face elimination. The eliminations will have the endorsement of African client states.

There is a scramble among big powers for natural resources and to satisfy the gluttony of their obese citizens. Africa and the Arab world are the main frontiers left still rich in natural resources. Russia is taking a firm stand in the Arab world while China is making serious inroads in Africa. America must fight to find markets for its industry and to access natural resources.

Already America is alarmed by recent research findings showing that its economy will be overtaken by that of China by around 2030. That is not a comforting prospect to an international bully wont to throwing its weight around. The idea of a superpower must be economic as well as military so as to easily control global politics. America will not give up its global dominance without a fight.

The summit is part of efforts to contain China. And China already has deep roots in Zimbabwe and Sudan, not to mention President Mugabe's strong resistance to American sanctions which were imposed in opposition to land reforms, not the infantile nonsense about political violence.

So Obama is avoiding embarrassment by not inviting President Mugabe to tea and a photo shoot. America can also sense the threat to its markets posed by European nations which are busy forging so-called Economic Partnerships Agreements with African states to secure markets for their manufacturing to try and keep jobs at home.

Only the very naïve and gullible believe America to be so holy as to deploy its whole economic might because it loves Africans.

Why have they not imposed sanctions on Somalia, on Egypt where they recently engineered a military coup, or on Kenya where over 1 000 people were killed following the disputed 2007 election result? Why have they not imposed sanctions on Libya where violence claimed their ambassador last year?

So let Obama have his summit. He cannot "snub" President Mugabe, because ordinary Africans have already embraced him.

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