Wednesday, May 14, 2008

(HERALD) Call for more sanctions inhuman

Call for more sanctions inhuman
By Itayi Garande

THE opening sentence of the Preamble of the United Nations Charter says: "To save succeeding generations from the scourge of war." Given the blizzard of attacks and charges on the Zimbabwe Government by the MDC, it would make sense to go to the UN Security Council to seek solutions. Maybe not, if we examine how the system works and who it really serves.

Saving future generations from the scourge of war, for 63 years, has only been the theory, the gargantuan wish, but in fact since then there have been 250 plus wars not put down. The only wars put down were started by those who then put them down — in Iraq, and Afghanistan, for instance.

Many wars have been undertaken in the name (or guise) of "international security".

As I bridle my rude instincts I ponder, "How could the protectors be the perpetrators?"

But then again, how could I let this ruffle my mind?

The UN Security Council bestows legality — under Article VII of the Charter of the United Nations — on an invasion of another state.

So it renders the Charter useless by violating the first sentence in the Charter of the UN — "protection from the scourge of war".

This has happened in Iraq. The Security Council could not stop Nato in finding new killing fields in the Middle East. The Security Council didn’t question the illegality after.

So on whom should we bestow power to prevent an act of war — the power to prevent the scourge of war? The UN Security Council? Emphatic "No"! Abolish it! Strengthen the General Assembly! Isn’t that international democracy —the will of the majority?

And the mighty maze! International law stipulates that the invasion of another state is deemed to be legal if the UN Security Council, under Chapter VII, deems that the necessary conditions required for a war to be "legal" have been met. Legal? Who tests the legality?

So the UN Security Council allows the invasion of another state? Implication? Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations contravenes the purpose of the Charter: to prevent the scourge of war.

Please fill me in. . . So in a sense, every war approved by the Security Council is illegal; or violates the original purpose of the UN. So disband the Security Council.

And how can the MDC-T call on this organisation to help in an internal situation — where there is internal violence, not the "the scourge of war"?

The MDC-T psyche

In a relentless effort to include Zimbabwe on the Security Council — akin to "squaring a circle" — the MDC-T employs techniques and semantic contortions that are grossly irresponsible. They employ cacophonous ramblings of student politics. University of Zimbabwe catechisms should remain there. This is the real world.

Unstoppable — the MDC-T’s media do-and-pony show continues calling the violence in Zimbabwe "genocidal".

It is a clear casus belli if it were true, but it’s not. How could it be true? Who’s the target? MDC-T? There’s no "deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, ethnical, racial or religious group".

So to MDC-T I say: When you rote and repeat your call for Security Council intervention, what seek ye? We know: Military Intervention or Sanctions. They are the only possible scenarios, or threats used by the UN.

Military intervention violates the Charter as protection from "the scourge of war" is not guaranteed.

Sanctions hurt the population and strangle the economy. The MDC-T have already used them in the past and they have made the "economy scream". Remember Chester Crocker?

And when you really think of it, MDC-T calls for external intervention in Zimbabwe are calls of sorts. They have always done that? Nothing is homegrown.

How does one look?

So tell me? How does one look when they are supported by someone who violates the law they create?

America has "unsigned" the Rome Statute that founded the International Criminal Court. Yet the MDC wants President Mugabe tried under that law — by America — who unsigned the same law. How illogical!

Benjamin Ferencz said, in an essay, "as part of an ongoing campaign against the ICC, the United States threatened to withdraw its peacekeeping forces unless the new international court was divested of any authority to try Americans". Talk about unilateralism. Yet they accuse President Mugabe of "breaking Zimbabwe’s laws".

People, America repudiated a law they designed.

So which other international laws did America "unsign", repudiate and/or scrap?

These ones: the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, an international convention to regulate the trade in small arms, a verification Protocol for the Biological Weapons Convention, an international convention to regulate and reduce smoking, the World Conference Against Racism, and the Anti-Ballistic Missile Systems Treaty.

This raft of laws would have protected generations against the "scourge of war".

So MDC-T seeks help from a nation which put states "under the gun"? So they want Zimbabwe "under the gun"?

They want more sanctions for Zimbabweans? Current ones are not sufficient, or disastrous enough!

So the MDC-T, if they gain power, want to inherit an economy in tatters and dead bodies — from starvation? Unbelievable!

Unbelievable indeed, from a "movement for democratic change".

My advice to the MDC-T: Be consistent (in your policies, in your election results, in your loyalties).

Flip-flopping when you are calling for people’s faith in your movement is disastrous. And while you are at it, consider a couple of weeks at Toastmasters International for Mr Biti — to polish up his image, manner and speech. The SRC office didn’t teach him this.

Also, the MDC should find eternal political verities — like the land question — to take to the people. They can’t be an NGO, a political party, a charity, a church — all in one.

They should not take political cues from GW Bush — a man who five years ago, aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln, said, "Mission Accomplished" in reference to Iraq.

Statistics show that 4 042 US soldiers have so far been killed, 29 780 seriously wounded. The Brookings Institute claims that the US monthly spending in Iraq is US$12 billion — more than they promised the MDC for the reconstruction of Zimbabwe and double the £6,6 billion needed to win the fight against HIV and Aids (under the Millennium Development Goals).

Today Bush is in a fix, alone. His "dodgy dossier" friend Tony Blair is gone.

He’s done a runner. Bush is looking for an exit from Iraq. His solution — or trick, rather — is to fund the same Iraq war to end it. How bizarre! This man is preparing to pass a war appropriation of US$108 billion to express his opposition to the war he started — compare this to the minimum of US$10 billion debt cancellation per year needed to help developing countries achieve the Millennium Development Goals and "make poverty history".

The Bush bubble has burst, and the quicker the MDC-T realises that the better. The Brown bubble burst recently; making election loss history for the Labour Party in 50 years. These people can’t provide MDC-T with total solutions — they are seeking solutions themselves. Maybe MDC-T could flip the script and help their friends in the UK and USA.

Real leaders, real fighters

Isn’t it a truism that real leaders, real fighters for civil liberties, for people’s rights — people like Mother Teresa, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jnr —did not seek political office? They knew you couldn’t do the two at the same time. They didn’t run away to "Botswana" at the 11th hour, in fact they left "Botswana" for home at the 11th hour, got arrested and used the lone time to rethink and for restrategising.

Philanthropists don’t call for Security Council intervention because the final outcome is either war or sanctions — both unnecessary evils.

So when MDC-T comes to us disguised as philanthropists we know one thing: They are just power hungry.

Nothing wrong with that; but for God’s sake, say so!

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