Re: Open Your Eyes Zimbabwe

Is that the best you can do? To quote from a state-controlled newspaper
from the land of the unfree press?

"Gregory Elich" <gelich@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
> 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
> weeks.
> 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
> interests.
> 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
> Nkrumah.
> 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
> over".
> 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
> British.
> "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
> responsible."
> So where was the Ghanaian's human rights in all this, our right to
> economic
> independence?
> 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 see 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"?