Friday, December 02, 2005

OPEN YOUR EYES, ZIMBABWE (et alia, y'all!)--from Harare Herald--11 August 2005

[Palavas Les Flots—Montpellier, France—15 August 2005

This article came to us from our man on Zimbabwe, Greg Elich (with a cc from Le Requin), and got to us right in the middle of the Palavas time-warp, here at the Mediterranean beachfront of Montpellier in the South of France, where we’re taking a two-week vacation from our usually ultra-demanding, though hyper-unremunerative Parisian grafting. But at the little Cyber hole in the wall, just off the Rive Droite of the central canal and a bit up from The Casino, I found out how to hook up my Mac to the web thru Ethernet and, thereby, to our dear blog minime.

Now, the posting of this Herald of Harare article is only stale by about a week, but its message, which compares what’s up in today’s Zimbabwe with events dating back to the 60s in Ghana, when the Dr Bob Mugabe role was being taken by Kwame Nkrumah, is as fresh as the 6.30 am baguette I got this morning at the little stand across the street. And this scenario of Western duplicity, betrayal, and socially engineered revolt (to guarantee the veneer of populisme)—Imperialism, in a word, has been repeated so often and with such regularity since then (with only the color schemes changed), that it has become boilerplate as the mode for achieving extreme criminal advantage over those very same people in whose names—and for the preservation and protection of whose Human Rights—such monstrous, murderous unto genocidal deeds are committed. And it is the ubiquity of this globalized brigandism (privatized foreign policy is by now all iron fist, no velvet glove), carried out by Private Military Contractors (PMCs) like Sandline, Executive Actions, Dycorp, Aegis, and MPRI (these are the players in the current wars—there are no ‘Popular Resistances'), in the interest of accumulated surplus value, that form of Capital Marx described as ‘self-valorizing value’—and on behalf of that enormous slush fund from which all Left, Right, or just plain neo-feudalist posers, who can maintain a chair in the tightly controlled socio/political chat room that has come to encompass current discourse—it is the global prevalence of this industrially produced ‘false consciousness’ that should give us all cause to ‘open our eyes’.

Immediately after September 11, 2001, photos of the Pentagon, before and after the roof and the front walls had collapsed, leaked out of the iron-clad quarantine on all surveillance film and on-air network video of that day’s events. Those photos, at first glance, made evident two things: No Boeing 757 or any other aircraft of those dimensions and construction had been anywhere near the impact area of the Pentagon: and, also, whoever put out the story that the damage to the DoD HQ was caused by an Arab hijacked American Airlines flt 77, which had been tracked from within the Pentagon till the last minute of impact, was not only lying through his publicly-paid-for caps, but was implicating himself in the greatest crime of the new Century (‘himself’, because as the story was elaborated by the French Nazi-Trotzi, Theirry Meyssan, it was Don Rumsfeld who had walked around the Pentagon from his front office to make the perps on this first-ever attack on US defense forces inside the US as Arab suicide terrorists—but this story was pushed around the planet by all the formidable forces of international disinformation in order to cover up the truth of this enormous crime).

This single brazen lie should have sent everyone screaming into to streets demanding to know who or what was really behind these attacks. It certainly motivated a certain number of us to continue trying to unravel the same rancid spaghetti we’d been pulling at during the last ten years in Latin America, Central Africa, the Balkans, the Middle East and Central Asia, including Russia and the CIF.

But Rumsfeld’s kind of brazen bluster in the face of his obvious criminality is a common tactic (kinda like if Mrs. Rummy caught the Defensive Secretive One in bed with another political animal, say, ex-Florida Sec of State Katherine Harris {they were going to name a hurricane after Jeb’s fave punch card, but so far there hasn’t been one blows as hard as Harris!}: The Rummer is trained to say: ‘There are known knowns, and unknown knowns—but you can either believe your eyes or you believe what I’m about to tell you. –Know what I mean? When I say Bloomey’s?) Israel has been using this ‘bluster buster’ technique since their invasion of Lebanon: As Rabbi Chomsky put it in Fateful Triangle: ‘it’s better your enemy thinks you’re crazy than weak.’

So inorder to back up the DoD’s bluster about how the phantom Boeing American Airliner blasted—actually tunneled—a hole big enough through six steel-re-enforced concrete walls of the three outer rings of the Pentagon to get the brass hats from their ‘back lot’ at Foggy Bottom into a ringside seat at this most spectacular foreign attack—an affair that had been strictly private, ‘front office’ an hour and a half or so earlier; it was necessary—after quickly suppressing all material, esp photographic surveillance evidence, and committing a series of class A felonies by ‘cleaing-up’ all those crime scenes (What would David Caruso’s guild rep have said?!)—to begin a campaign to close the public’s eyes (for the duration) to any evidence that might invalidate the US government’s story of 19 young Arabs with box cutters hijacking public airliners, and, at last, deeply planting the roots of ‘Arab (suicide) Terrorism’ in American soil.

The Western public’s eyes were not merely shut, they were stapled AND Sooper-Glued shut using pyshcops terror tricks learned over the years of carrying out the Mossad’s slogan: ‘By Way of Deception, you shall make war.’ And when the collaborators from the Left started volunteering to do the stapling and gluing, the scene at the geopolitical circus became absolutely unstomachable: like they hadn’t cleaned out the Yak’n Elephant shit for seasons in memory.

Noted Left intellectuals—always in defense of some property they had just landed in the book stalls—availed themselves to the most ineffectual, even infantile, arguments. Some of these people are dear friends and, by now, former colleagues, so they will go unnamed. But one very popular American Leftist scholar, whose book on Terrorism hit the market right after the dark day and began his first graph with a recap of the government’s ‘19 Arab improv artists playing the theme from ‘The High and the Mighty’ on box knives, attacked NYC and Washington DC’ (nb—embellishment here), when confronted with the impossibility of that scenario presented by the evidence gathered to date, suggested that it made NO DIFFERENCE whether a hijacked airliner or some other flying explosive (say, a missile) hit the Pentagon. The US had been attacked by Arab Terrorists—the Left’s position was ‘payback’s a bitch’.

But then an incredibly well-informed and somewhat Leftish socio/political critic on Europe and especially the Balkans, found herself at the end of a very difficult labor and painful—though eventually quite successful delivery of what has come to hailed (and rightfully so!) as one of the best books on the recent Western dismemberment of Yugoslavia. At this very moment, that bounder, that arriviste, that carpetbagging French red-brownie, Thierry Meyssan comes out with a pastiche of internet uploads, all based on those initial US government and military photos of the Pentagon showing not a single trace of the Boeing 757, which Meyssan or someone at his Reseau Voltaire webzoo, probably found while doing some deep Google snorkeling, and put it out as a book, L’Effroyable imposture (The Frightful Imposture). The book sold a million copies its first weekend out, and the rest of the scribbling class had to eat a lot of shit. But the problem with my friend’s attack on Meyssan—though not as hysterical and reactionary as that by Tony Jundt in the Spring 2003 NYRB where Meyssan is accused of being a fascist and a communist and a holocaust denier and, of course, typically French anti-American—but then, of course, of course, typically French anti-Semitic—was that she could not hide her jealousy at being scooped (though that is not the proper term since they were dealing with different subjects—perhaps, ‘out-scooped at the cash register’?) by this non-book about her home country by a Frenchman, a concitizen of her chosen country.

And like the rest of those who served to blind the public to the real events of 911, these Leftists did it for the most traditional of reasons: because it was in their material, their financial interests to stand behind the consensus ‘Arab Terrorism Hits NYC, DC’. To think anything else would be to invite opprobrium or even confinement to an institution for demented gentlefolk—without internet privileges.

But keeping our eyes open is essential to survival. Just what we see when we do is another consideration: Is the real problem all the things folks’re ignorant of—or is the problem all the things that they know that just ain’t so? This is, fo’ sho’, a subject for further blogging. But watch this CM/P space for the final word on Who Done It? on 911. –mc]

The Herald (Harare)
August 11, 2005


ZIMBABWEANS should open their eyes to what is happening to them, through
attempts by the metropolitan powers to use them as pawns in pursuit of
metropolitan interests like they did in Ghana in 1966 when they engineered
economic hardships to overthrow Kwame Nkrumah, says Editor of the New
African magazine, BAFFOUR ANKOMAH who was the rapporteur at the just ended
Zimbabwe International Book Affair (ZIBF). The following is an excerpt of
his speech.

THE Americans and British so happen to be the same people who are the most
vociferous in preaching human rights to the African.

African human rights are not respected by those who claim to teach us human
rights; historically, they have demonstrated time and again that they don’t
care about our human rights.

They only care when they want to use us as pawns in pursuit of their
national interests.

Just look at this irony. There is a Prime Minister in Ethiopia called Meles
Zenawi. His government held elections two months ago and, as I speak, they
have not been able to announce the final results. And when people went into
the streets to protest, over 30 of them were shot dead in Addis Ababa.

And what did the champions of human rights, democracy and good governance
do? They rewarded him with an invite to the G8 summit in Gleneagles! Did
they shake his hand when he arrived? Did they wine and dine with him?

The same people would not shake the hand of President Robert Mugabe!
Imagine — you just imagine — if elections had been held here in Zimbabwe,
and for two months the Government had not been able to announce the final
results, and when people went into the streets to protest, over 30 of them
had been shot dead in Harare!

Imagine how American cruise missiles would by now be falling on Harare from
Fort Bragg in the United States and all these other places in the name of
protecting democracy, human rights and good governance! But in Addis Ababa,
they reward the Prime Minister with an invite to the G8 summit!

I have always wondered where human rights had gone — on holiday perhaps —
when nearly five million people died directly and indirectly from the war in
the Democratic Republic of Congo — a war that would not have been possible
if America and Britain had not given copious political, financial and
military support to Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.

The Americans even sent African-American soldiers to go and fight on the
side of Uganda and Rwanda — the invaders.

All this is documented officially in Congressional testimonies!

Interestingly, have you ever heard the champions of African human rights
ever chastise the Ugandans and Rwandese for violating the human rights of
the five million Congolese who died in the war?

They don’t care because Uganda and Rwanda were supposed to serve Western
interests in the Congo. Rather, the Zimbabweans who were invited by the
legitimate government of Congo to come and help them repel the Ugandan and
Rwandese invasion, became the ones to be vilified internationally and
punished via the imposition of economic sanctions.

I have been looking at the British and American national archives in recent

On December 27, 1957 — only nine months after Ghana’s independence — the US
foreign espionage arm, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), did an
assessment on Ghana for the American intelligence community, and admitted
that: "The fortunes of Ghana — the first tropical African country to gain
independence — will have a huge impact on the evolution of Africa and
Western interests there."

So they knew even from those early days, that if Ghana achieved economic
independence — a human right due to the African — other African countries
would follow suit.

So what happened?

This is where I would like to call upon Zimbabweans to open their eyes to
what is happening in their country today, and the attempt by the
metropolitan powers to use them as pawns in the pursuit of metropolitan

It happened in Ghana in the period 1960-66, and all that the Ghanaians did
was to put the blame on Nkrumah alone. The economy had collapsed; there were
hardships, so it must be Nkrumah’s fault. Alone!

In 1999, the Americans declassified their documents on Ghana pertaining to
this era, and please allow me to take you through some of the highlights.

One of the documents shows that on February 6, 1964 — two full years before
the coup that overthrew Nkrumah’s government — the then American Secretary
of State Dean Rusk and the CIA director John McCone had met in Washington
and hand-picked Ghanaian General J. A. Ankrah as the man to take over from

From that meeting, the action snowballed into America recruiting Britain and
France to help break the back of Ghana’s economy by manipulating it from
afar, in order to create disaffection among the Ghanaian people and hasten
Nkrumah’s downfall.

And what did they use? The cocoa price. I have checked – in 1961, cocoa was
selling on the world market at £748 per tonne, by 1965 the price had
collapsed to £80 per tonne. Ghana was a mono-crop economy, dependent on
cocoa. With the price gone, Nkrumah’s dream of achieving the human right of
economic independence for Ghana and, by extension, Africa went with it.

Many years later, the BBC did a documentary on Ghana in which they
interviewed the then governor of the Bank of Ghana, Frimpong Ansah. He told
the BBC on camera that at one meeting, the finance minister told Nkrumah how
much foreign reserves Ghana had at this very difficult time.

Foreign exchange, has it got any resonance with Zimbabwe today?

But you wait. Ansah told the BBC that Nkrumah turned round to him, as the
governor of the central bank, and said:

"Frimpong, the finance minister says we only have this much, but I think he
has forgotten some zeros at the bank, isn’t it."

Ansah said he told Nkrumah: "Mr President, the finance minister is right.
That is all that we have as a nation."

Ansah said Nkrumah then excused himself, left the room, went to the adjacent
room, and wept!

Any time I tell this story tears well up in my eyes. This is a man who had
his nation and continent at heart. And his back was deliberately broken by
the same people who now preach human rights, democracy and good governance
to us.

In January 2000, The Times (of London) did an article on the release of the
papers of Viscount Montgomery in which the kind viscount, after touring
Africa 30 years previously, had insisted that the African, being a savage,
had no capacity to rule himself. Challenging that notion, The Times
admitted, perhaps for the first time, that "Nkrumah was brought low by the
cocoa price". And who did it?

Let’s go back to the declassified American documents. One of them shows —
again on February 6, 1964 — the then director of the State Department’s West
African Desk, one William C. Trimble, had written a memo entitled: "Proposed
Action Programme for Ghana" and sent it to the Assistant Secretary of State
for African Affairs, G. Mennen Williams, saying:

"Although Nkrumah’s leftward progress cannot be checked or reversed, it
could be slowed down by a well conceived and executed action programme.
Measures which we might take against Nkrumah would have to be carefully
selected in order not to weaken pro-Western elements in Ghana or adversely
affect our prestige and influence elsewhere on the continent."

Trimble continued: "US pressure, if appropriately applied, could induce a
chain reaction, eventually leading to Nkrumah’s downfall. Chances of success
would be greatly enhanced if the British could be induced to act in concert
with us."

Trimble recommended that: "Intensive efforts should be made through
psychological warfare (and I want all of us here this afternoon, especially
the Zimbabweans among us, to note these two words — ‘psychological warfare
— and other means to diminish support for Nkrumah within Ghana and nurture
the conviction among the Ghanaian people that their country’s welfare and
independence necessitate his removal."

On February 12, 1964, a high-powered American and British meeting on Nkrumah
was held at the White House in Washington, attended by: on the American
side — President Lyndon Johnson, Secretary of State Rusk, Under-Secretary of
State Harriman, and the Special Assistant to the President on National
Security Affairs, McGeorge Bundy.

On the British side were Prime Minister Alec Douglas Home and Foreign
Secretary Butler.

The minutes of the meeting show Butler saying after the meeting: "One could
not be sure how long Nkrumah would last."

On February 26, 1964, another meeting on Nkrumah was held at the White
House. Present this time were the CIA director McCone, his close friend
Edgar Kaiser (the same man who was helping Nkrumah build the Akosombo Dam in
Ghana was helping plan a coup against him), and William P. Mahoney, the US
ambassador in Ghana. The declassified documents record McCone as having said
at the meeting: "I asked Ambassador Mahoney if he felt that the CIA was
operating independently of his office (in Accra). . . Mahoney answered
absolutely and positively no."

Mahoney then returned to Accra after the meeting and went to see Nkrumah on
March 2, 1964. According to the declassified documents, he reported back to
Washington in these words:

"I said (told Nkrumah) that I am in full control of all US government
actions in Ghana. I could assure him without hesitation that during my
incumbency absolutely nothing has been done by any US agency which could be
construed in any way as being directed against him or his government.
Nkrumah replied with words to the effect: ‘I will take your word for it’."

Mahoney continued: "I repeated that there had been no conceivable activity
on our part to subvert or overthrow him. I pointed out how inconsistent our
entire aid effort, aimed at assisting and strengthening his government is,
with wild accusations in (the) Ghanaian Press that the US (is) acting
against him. I added that, speaking frankly, our main intelligence effort is
to keep an eye on his Soviet and Chinese friends, whose activities are
really large-scale. . . (A) beginning has been made in an effort to dispel
some of Nkrumah’s misconstruals on (the) role of CIA, (but) pressure should
be kept up."

On March 23, 1964, Mahoney again sent a telegram to Washington from Accra,
saying: "I believe someone has to keep hammering him (meaning Nkrumah)."

On April 9, 1964, acting on Mahoney’s advice, the Assistant Secretary of
State for African Affairs, G. Mennem Williams, wrote an action memo to
Under-Secretary of State Harriman, saying the US should "keep continuing
pressure (on Nkrumah) to maintain his relations with the US on a tolerable
basis. . . We shall consult with the British in the next few days to discuss
what contribution they may be able to make in this area."

On March 11, 1965, CIA director McCone and others, including Ambassador
Mahoney, met again in McCone’s office to take the "Nkrumah project" a step
further. According to the declassified documents, the topic that day was
"Coup d’etat in Ghana".

The minutes of the meeting show Mahoney telling McCone that Western pressure
was working against Nkrumah. "Popular opinion is running strongly against
Nkrumah," Mahoney reported, adding, "the economy of the country is in a
precarious state."

However, Mahoney was "not convinced that the coup d’etat now being planned
by Acting Police Commissioner J.W.K. Harley, and Generals Otu and Ankrah
would necessarily take place".

Yet, on the other hand, Mahoney was sure that "one way or another, Nkrumah
would be out within a year". That was March 11, 1965.

According to the minutes of that meeting, the CIA director asked Ambassador
Mahoney: "Who would most likely succeed Nkrumah in the event of a coup?"
Mahoney responded that "initially, at least, a military junta would take

He was supported by Robert W. Komer who had replaced McGeorge Bundy as
President Johnson’s National Security Adviser. An old CIA hand (at the
meeting), Komer said:

"We may have a pro-Western coup in Ghana soon. Certain key military and poli
ce figures have been planning one for some time and Ghana’s deteriorating
economic condition may provide the spark. The plotters are keeping us
briefed and State Department thinks we are more on the inside than the

"While we’re not directly involved, I am told we and other Western
countries, including France, have been helping to set up the situation by
ignoring Nkrumah’s pleas for economic aid . . . All in all, looks good."

Soon after the New Year in 1966, having finished his job of softening the
ground in Accra, Ambassador Mahoney was recalled home. In his place,
Washington sent a black man, Franklin H. Williams, an African-American who
was Nkrumah’s schoolmate at Lincoln University (the class of 1941).

Williams was barely two months in Accra when the coup happened on February
24, 1966, while Nkrumah was on his way to Hanoi via Beijing on a peace
mission to mediate in the Vietnam War, a trip that President Johnson himself
had blessed.

Years later, John Stockwell, a former CIA officer, told the BBC in a
documentary on Ghana:

"Howard Banes, who was the CIA mission chief in Accra, engineered the
overthrow of Nkrumah. Now, obviously, you can look at it in different ways.
A Ghanaian might say: ‘I thought we did it.’ Inside the CIA, though, it was
quite clear: Howard Banes had a double promotion and an Intelligence Star
for having overthrown Nkrumah in Ghana.

"The magic of it, what made it so exciting for the CIA, was that Howard
Banes had enough imagination and drive to run the operation without ever
documenting what he was doing, and to sweep along his bosses in such a way
they knew what he was doing, tacitly they approved, but there wasn’t one
shred of paper that he generated that would nail the CIA hierarchy as being

So where was the Ghanaian’s human rights in all this, our right to economic

At the time of the coup, Nkrumah had built 68 state-owned factories
producing virtually everything we needed. Forty years after his overthrow,
almost all the factories have died; they were first either privatised or
left to go to ruin.

Today, except perhaps wives and husbands, Ghana imports almost everything it
needs. In the process, the country has been exporting employment, because
the more we buy from abroad, the more the countries we buy from create
employment for their own people. Our own factories which Nkrumah built that
should have expanded over the last 40 years and created employment in Ghana
for our ever-expanding population, are all dead.

Ghana has had the added disgrace of declaring itself a "Highly Indebted Poor
Country" (HIPC) before getting aid and debt cancellation. We are now
beggars, expecting crumbs from the high tables of the metropolitan powers
who did not help us develop after using us to overthrow Nkrumah!

Can you hear any echoes in Zimbabwe today?

What are we doing about it as Zimbabweans? Are we waiting 40 years into the
future to say, like Ghanaians are now saying: "Had we known"?


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