The Herald (Harare)

25 April 2014

Zimbabwe: It's Time for Robust Responses

editorial

Anyone would be forgiven for thinking that there is a certain naïveté in Zimbabwe's foreign policy. We have known for years that the United States' interests in our country are far removed from our own interests.

This was evident from the time that Henry Kissinger - in 1969 - crafted his policy on Southern Africa (which was to maintain white minority rule), to the early 70s when a US Congress Committee on Strategic Minerals and Mining lasciviously eyed our land as part of the "Persian Gulf of strategic minerals of our Earth".

For the Americans, regardless of what they may say, Zimbabwe is just another pawn on their grand chessboard for global domination.

Ours is a small country, but it represents a very big idea; an idea that Washington cannot allow to be planted in other minds and bear fruit. It is the idea that indigenous people can indeed be masters of their own destiny.

These are things we know and yet we continue to engage Washington as if we can make it approach us with goodwill and as equals.

On Wednesday, Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa revealed that the bank account of our Embassy in Washington had been temporarily frozen as part of America's sanctions regime on our country.

We can talk of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and whine about how the US is playing fast and loose with it.

But that would be making the rather childish assumption that Washington genuinely cares about international law and such things. There is abundant evidence that these things do not matter in the US Empire scheme of things. Just look at Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia and Libya among others.

Zimbabwe must appreciate that it is dealing with a rapacious beast that will use every trick in the book -- and create new ones as it goes along -- just so that it gets its way.

Referring to the embassy bank account freeze, Information Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo said: "You can't come here saying you are an honest broker and show one hand and hide the other with hostility and animosity. We receive them with both hands and ask them to show the two hands and stop the behaviour they have been doing since 2001. We will be keenly following what they do after this."

Perhaps we should go further and start crafting appropriate responses that make it clear to Washington that it cannot tread roughshod over other countries just because they are smaller and do not possess nuclear weapons.

In the past, President Mugabe has warned that Zimbabwe is perfectly capable of crafting its own reactive measures in response to these sanctions, and it is high time that we seriously considered what action can be taken to drive home the point that we are not children of a lesser God.

Zimbabwe, unlike the US, is not a warlike nation. We are a peace-loving people and -- much like any other country -- very concerned about our development.

Being concerned about our development, we must be prepared to make robust responses whenever we are threatened by any other nation, large or small.

Zimbabwe never sought any problems with any other nation. So those nations that seek trouble with Zimbabwe must be dealt with firmly.

It is not about an eye for an eye, but it is about mutual respect in the comity of nations.

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