Western Lies and Hypocrisy: How Zimbabwe Exposes Mainstream Media

By Ras Tyehimba
July 20, 2008

Zimbabwe WatchThe recent Zimbabwe elections saw an escalation of attempts by external forces to intervene in the sovereign and independent nation. Given the complex circumstances surrounding Zimbabwe, for the millions of people in the Caribbean and around the world, it has been difficult to get balanced views of what is going on; ever since the Zimbabwe government, under President Robert Mugabe, started to reclaim land that was stolen during British Colonial rule. Since the start of this land reclamation exercise to now, the events in Zimbabwe have exposed, firstly, how complicit international media are in the imperial agenda of the United States and Britain and secondly, how irresponsible and lazy the local mainstream media are. Local media seem quite content to jump on the anti-Mugabe bandwagon as they casually parrot news from international media sources such as BBC, CNN, Reuters and Associated Press.

How Do We Know What We ‘Know’?

In recent times I have been reasoning with many people about what is happening in Zimbabwe, and a continual theme that emerged is just how much people rely on mainstream media for views about Zimbabwe and the wider world. Many persons admitted that BBC and/or CNN were the main sources that ‘informed’ their perspective on Zimbabwe. However, the Western Media, especially BBC and CNN, are openly on a mission to demonize President Robert Mugabe and bring about regime change in Zimbabwe. So it is like asking a person’s sworn enemy for opinions/news about that person. Very unbalanced stories will be told. It is clear that the Western international media is complicit in fabricating/distorting stories to justify intervention in the affairs of sovereign nations. And that is one of the main points that is connected to understanding the Zimbabwe issue. Local media around the world, especially where I am from in the Caribbean, simply reproduce coverage by the dominant international media. Even when local commentators try to analyze the events they end up giving a very distorted picture mainly because they assume that the news they get from Western sources are true.

What is the importance of Zimbabwe some may ask? The misinformation surrounding Zimbabwe is relevant for many reasons. Firstly, for all people, misinformation hampers the ability to make proper assessments and subsequent decisions. Secondly, people of the ‘Third World’ are subjected to the same racism and imperial arrogance being directed towards Zimbabwe. Thirdly, it shows that because of the dominance and supposed credibility of Western media and spokespeople, they have great influence in manufacturing reality, world views and ‘truth’ that excludes and denies the historical experiences and sovereignty of many ‘Third World’ countries.

All of this raises an important issue. How do we know what we know? Zimbabwe is but one issue, but if the mainstream media cannot be trusted on Zimbabwe, it is not likely that they should be trusted on other issues, especially issues where the domination by Western powers is being challenged. The consequences of their laziness, irresponsibility and uncritical reproduction of Western propaganda is that many people remain ignorant, including many local commentators who are in a position to influence the masses. Many people thus need to re-examine their views on Zimbabwe and President Mugabe given this inadequate and biased reporting.

The land situation in Zimbabwe is crucial to understanding the motives and interests that underlie the Zimbabwe situation. Britain never saw the importance of urgently and fairly addressing the land issue, and from the colonial period to now, it has been intent on maintaining illegitimate White control of the land, which belongs to Black Zimbabweans. What is happening now has implications for countries across the African continent, where, after political independence, White settler families have maintained control of ill-gotten land, thus perpetuating the dispossession of many indigenous Blacks who had their land stolen during the European scramble for Africa. Zimbabwe, under President Mugabe, has made the most progressive moves on the whole of the African continent in addressing the vexing land issue. For more on how the land is at the center of Zimbabwe’s liberation struggles read “Zimbabwe, BBC and illegitimate White Control“.

Of Sanctions, Half Truths and Outright Fabrications

Make no mistake about the situation. Things are desperate in Zimbabwe, but contrary to media reports, it is not because of the evil or excesses of Mugabe but largely because of the deliberate actions of the US, UK and other European countries working through, and/or sponsoring a complex web of actors including opposition forces, NGO’s, the IMF and the Western media. Contrary to the views of many, sanctions against Mugabe are not a recent act, although the sanctions have increased in severity in recent times.

The sanctions started approximately ten years ago as the Western-instigated response to the land reclamation exercise that saw land illegitimately gained by Whites repossessed and redistributed to over 300,000 Black Zimbabweans. These sanctions include denial of access to development loans, boycotting exports from Zimbabwe, discouraging foreign investment in Zimbabwe and blocking Zimbabwe’s access to technology, agricultural supplies and machinery. According to one commentator: “In November 1998, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) implemented undeclared sanctions against Zimbabwe, by warning off potential investors, freezing loans and refusing to negotiate with Zimbabwean officials on the issue of debt. In September 1999, the IMF suspended its support for economic adjustment and reform in Zimbabwe. In October 1999, the International Development Association, a multilateral development bank, suspended all structural adjustment loans and credits to Zimbabwe; in May 2000 it suspended all other forms of new lending.”

It is understandable that some Zimbabweans support the opposition given that it is being said by Western leaders that sanctions will be lifted and life made better if Mugabe is removed. Persons inside of Zimbabwe may even have some very valid reasons for being against Mugabe, similar to many people in any country being against their present leader. That is okay if such is the case, then elections will allow them to elect and change their representatives as they want. What I am saying is that the people of Zimbabwe should determine their leader without foreign imperialistic intervention. People should be wary about puppet governments being installed to simply look after Western interests and perpetuate Western domination.

There is political violence in Zimbabwe from both sides. The police have arrested supporters of both parties for acts of violence. Mugabe has implored party supporters not to use violence; the MDC on the other hand, has encouraged the overthrow of the democratically elected government by violence.

Many reports coming from mainstream sources reporting on violence sanctioned by Mugabe appears to be fabricated. For example, supposedly after the elections, there were reports of gangs of Mugabe’s thugs going around and beating up those who voted for the opposition. This smells of fabrication, given the secret ballot system. There was one case where a report was made that ruling party thugs beat up a young child, which caused international furore, and was carried boldly by several international media houses. However, when independent doctors examined the child, it was discovered he was not injured but had a preexisting physical condition (club feet); the mother admitted she lied and allowed her child to be used for this ruse because she needed the money. The New York Times, among those that carried the story, subsequently issued a soft retraction. So they lie loudly and retract softly. Story is here.

There are other examples of their fabrications being exposed, a pattern of lying that is strikingly familiar to the lies and media complicity (including the invention of weapons of mass destruction) in the lead-up to the US and UK’s illegal invasion of Iraq. Given the agenda of BBC, CNN and others, no report coming from them can be trusted. It is impossible to understand what President Mugabe’s motives and actions really are when being relayed from his sworn enemies who have a VESTED INTEREST in demonizing him, the ruling party and their policies. That is the West’s blueprint for regime change.

Blueprint for Regime Change

The events in Zimbabwe should not be totally strange to students of history as it is a simple application of the West’s blueprint for regime change. This blueprint is multi-pronged and involves but is not limited to:

1) Deliberate lies, fabrications and distortions all in an effort to demonize and discredit the government they are trying to overthrow.

2) Sponsoring of opposition forces, local media groups, mercenaries, NGO’s and other subversive elements to challenge the ruling party and destabilize the country. For more see “Zimbabwe at War“.

3) Formal and informal economic sanctions and international isolation which amounts to economic terrorism, even in the eyes of one anti-Mugabe commentator. See “The Darker Side of Sanctions“.

4) The use of organisations such as the IMF, the World Bank and even so-called independent human rights watchdogs to pressure ‘problem’ countries.

The imperial logic is that the more poverty, inflation and violence there is, the more desperate the local population will get to remove the leader. Also, the consistent unfair demonization of Mugabe and the ruling party has created allies for the Western intervention project as a direct consequence of the West’s web of propaganda that says that Mugabe is solely responsible for the present economic and social woes of Zimbabwe. The United States sponsored ‘Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act’ of 2001 authorized President George W. Bush to fund ‘opposition media’ as well as ‘democracy and governance programmes’ inside Zimbabwe. In fact, the United States and Britain have been quite open about their desires for regime change and the fact that they are actively spending millions of dollars to accomplish that.

The Real Bullies and Dictators

I should state that I have many points of disagreement with Mugabe. However, he does not deserve the type of demonization that he is being subjected to in the Western media. It other words, it is not that Mugabe is not without his faults like any other leader, but his demonization is reflective of Western RACISM. For example, no matter how many millions Bush, Blair, Clinton and many other Western leaders kill, maim, oppress and starve with their sanctions, policies, bombs and acts of violence, they will never be mentioned in the same deep negative light.

Sensible people should easily recognize who are the ultimate dictators and bullies. It is those same countries that are accusing Zimbabwe of human rights abuses and dictatorship that have a long rap sheet of genocide, illegal interventions, economic terrorism and hypocrisy. I am not even slightly convinced that these Western powers are even minimally concerned about human rights and the welfare of ordinary Africans. The United States and Britain are quite content to support the most rabid of rulers and regimes, once it suits their strategic interests. Little mention is made in the Western press about the Ethiopian regime, headed by Meles Zenawi, who has imprisoned opposition members, stolen elections and carried out a brutal invasion of Somalia at the behest of Western powers.

It is the US, the UK and other Western imperialist regimes that have been acting like world dictators and bullies, and they are quite accustomed to supporting dictators who follow their agenda while, on the other hand, resorting to intervention and violence when the actions of a country threaten their interests or capitalist ideologies. The circumstances of Haiti, Venezuela, Iraq and Afghanistan (TO NAME A FEW) show the lengths that these dominant world powers will go to get their way. The invasion of Iraq was a classic example of their blueprint for regime change, one that involved deliberate lies about Iraq having weapons of mass destruction as a pretext for invasion and their dismissal of the objections by the international community.

The Age of Information and Misinformation

People should not be casual about accepting information; instead they should make the effort to explore alternative perspectives and sources. Given the stranglehold that mainstream ideas, views and Western media have on shaping people’s world views, in this age of information and misinformation, those who have access to better information should not be naïve or lazy. I would strongly recommend that people expose themselves to a variety of perspectives to better understand what is happening in Zimbabwe. The Zimbabwe Watch website (www.zimbabwewatch.com) is a good place to start. The local media houses also need to get their act together and look at how they get their international news. However, when the public becomes more informed then they can pressure mainstream media into being more responsible.

11 Responses to “Western Lies and Hypocrisy: How Zimbabwe Exposes Mainstream Media”


  • The return of colonial relations?

    By MARION O’CALLAGHAN
    Monday, July 21 2008
    http://www.newsday.co.tt

    Gordon Brown, speaking after the Zimbabwean elections, made two important points. They are of interest beyond Mugabe’s Zimbabwe. The first was a general remark on colonialism. The Labour Party, according to Gordon Brown, was never part of colonisation – they colonised no one.

    The second important remark concerned the conditions under which the UK’s and Europe’s opposition to the Zimbabwean regime would end. These conditions were not only free and fair elections. They were also the return of lands seized, to their owners, or the payment of compensation. It should be noted that without in any way denying the personal horror of gangs unilaterally seizing property, this last is in contrast with the recent Canadian Government’s position on the alienation of Amerindian lands. It is also in opposition to one of the gains of the 1970s and 80s: the recognition of communal ownership – the type of ownership in pre-industrial societies.
    Full Article : newsday.co.tt

  • Gordon Brown is blowing smoke. He is also fighting to hold on to a post that he will soon lose if trends continue, unlike Mugabe. Let Britain and Europe hold on to economic aid like a child refusing to do a BM just to spite its mother. when once the African Union has helped stabilize the country, Zimbabwe could borrow from china or Middle eastern countries with money to spare.The only “return of lands” must be a complete return to frican people of the agricultural land stolen from them during he period f British rue and that of Ian Smith. The people of Zimbabwe hae lived on that land as long as Brits have lived in Britain.Which African, living in Britain and helping to cultivate land for fifty eight years or so, could claim a right to tht estate? And while we are at it, the Kenyans need to follow Zimbabwe’s example and expel the murderous Lord Delamere(Killed two Africans for walking on his land, one a game warden).His lands should be shared amon the families heis ancestors expropriated it from. They still have amemory of who owned it.

    Gordon Brown could improve his standing with Africns in general if he could persuade the British Museum to return the Benin Masks, stolen more than a hundred years ago, to the Kingdon of Benin, within the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

  • Zimbabwe: Talks Pact Signed

    By Itai Musengeyi and Takunda Maodza
    July 22, 2008

    Let’s be masters of our own destiny: President PRESIDENT Mugabe and leaders of the two MDC formations – Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara – yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Harare, setting the agenda for full-scale talks to resolve the country’s political and economic problems.

    All the parties expressed commitment to dialogue, saying it was the only way forward as President Mugabe and Tsvangirai met for the first time in a decade.

    President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, the Sadc-appointed and African Union-endorsed mediator – who flew into Harare yesterday afternoon for the signing ceremony–said the talks should be completed as quickly as possible.
    Full Article : raceandhistory.com

  • The West will continue to make demands, as they have been prone to do in their complicity in other economic coups, continuing to manufacture crisis after crisis for the purpose of attempting to distract President Mugabe’s government from the strides they are making toward self sufficiency and progress that benefits Black Zimbabweans first.

  • I do not expect much from this Talks Pact. The MDC-T is still controlled by White settlers backed by European and US governments who have already made it clear that sanctions would only be lifted and relations normalized when the land that the Zimbabwe government reclaimed from White settlers is returned or when those settlers are compensated. They also want Mugabe out of office. Morgan Tsvangirai is not expected to settle for less. President Robert Mugabe should never give in to any of these demands.

  • Kerry Mulchansingh

    Those of us who are not Zimbabwean, have no family (or friends) there, or who do not face life there on a daily basis, like myself, have the luxury of ideological discussion, and blame throwing.

    I agree that colonialism, racism, world politics, economic embargoes have taken major tolls on Zimbabwe and it’s economy, but Mr. Mugabe should not be absolved of responsibility, as repeatedly undertoned in these postings.

    “they also want Mugabe out of office. Morgan Tsvangirai is not expected to settle for less. President Robert Mugabe should never give in to any of these demands.”

    Based on results from the only legitimate election held this year, “they” should first and foremost refer to the Zimbabwean electorate….what about them? Or are we assuming this to be the only rigged election in 30 years, then?

    Let’s not forget that the electorate is the victim in all of this. Make no mistake, Mugabe, Tsvangirai their families and associates are all elitists who live large, drive the fanciest cars and shelter in the grandest homes (and mansions), regardless of the penury through which their country is being subjected.

  • Lift your head up high Ras Tyehimba.. you should be writing the obituary for the ‘so-called’ mainstream media. They have failed miserably and no longer hold the hearts and minds of the masses in this information age.

    A Mugabe deal could land Britain with a dilemma.

    A ZIMBABWEAN opposition leader, lauded for his brave struggle against Robert Mugabe, arrives in London on an official visit as the new prime minister.
    Morgan Tsvangirai asks Britain to recognize his government and offer millions of pounds of aid. He urges the lifting of all sanctions and declares that Harare’s era of isolation is over. Mr Tsvangirai requests Gordon Brown’s help in releasing large sums from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

    http://www.talkzimbabwe.com/news/130/ARTICLE/3007/2008-07-23.html

  • Kerry Mulchansingh wrote,

    “Let’s not forget that the electorate is the victim in all of this. Make no mistake, Mugabe, Tsvangirai their families and associates are all elitists who live large, drive the fanciest cars and shelter in the grandest homes (and mansions), regardless of the penury through which their country is being subjected.”

    Please Mr. Mulchan’singh’, give it a break now.. Why do you have such vested interest in this Zimbabwe issue?

    Zimbabwe War Veterans Want Indian Community to Surrender land
    War veterans have started ordering the Indian community to surrender a certain percentage of their commercial land and improve working conditions for their workers, according to the Herald owned by the government on Wednesday.

    War veterans leader Andrew Ndlovu was quoted as saying that they would target the Indian community, which he accused of sabotaging the economy.

    “In 1980, when most whites left the country, Indians had money to buy nearly all the developed land in cities. We now want these Indians to surrender a certain percent of that land to the Government,” said Ndlovu.

    “They were privileged because of the liberation struggle we fought to share cities with black Zimbabweans,” Ndlovu said.

    He said Indians had properties in nearly all the country’s towns and cities and charged indigenous business people high rentals, which were beyond those stipulated by the Government laws.

    “If they do not stop looting our economy they will leave us with no choice but to go door-to-door making sure all Indians in the cities are complying with instructions from war veterans,” he said.

    War veterans have also ordered Indians to stop dealing in foreign exchange illegally, reduce exorbitant rentals, bank their money in local banks and improve working conditions of their workers.

    http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/200204/24/eng20020424_94655.shtml

  • Kerry Mulchansingh

    “Please Mr. Mulchan’singh’, give it a break now.. Why do you have such vested interest in this Zimbabwe issue?”

    I don’t really…I enjoy engaging in ideological discussion. From a free, democratic society, I think that that is my right.

    I never try to push my view on anyone. I don’t ask anyone to agree with me and I certainly don’t ridcule or try to supress anyone else’s right to opine on any issue.

    So if there is a problem, it really is yours Ram. Perhaps sir, you should “give it a break”.

  • Kerry Mulchansingh

    By the way Ram, the rest of your last post, only cements my views of the Zimbabwean Government. Thanks for sharing it.

  • I have no proof that President Mugabe personally ordered anyone to brutalize anyone. In calculated moves by the opposition, the media propagates that Mugabe is directing the violent actions and reactions of some of his supporters. There is proof and by their own admission, Western powers and White settlers are using violence in Zimbabwe to destabilize the country and to intimidate ZANU-PF supporters. When ZANU-PF’s supporters or the police (who have also come under attack from opposition groups) defend themselves, the White, Western, working for regime change press claims the government and their supporters are using violence against its people.

    I am sure that Mugabe has spoken out to his supporters against using violence and that those in opposition to Mugabe have never called on their supporters to desist from violently attacking ZANU-PF supporters and the country’s infrastructure. In fact, some members of the White controlled opposition have called for the use of violence to overthrow the government. I am also sure that the reason they want Mugabe removed from office is because he dared reclaim stolen land from White people.

    Zimbabwe could not have a ‘legitimate’ election given the circumstances of Western sanctions, and threats to the people of Zimbabwe. Free and fair elections are not determined by White, Western nations that are enemies of Black empowerment in Zimbabwe. Economically strangling Black Zimbabweans in an effort to get them to change their vote is an attempt to deny free and fair elections. Western powers are not interested in free and fair elections in any part of Africa; they are just interested in controlling Africa’s land and resources. They have been waging a propaganda and economic war against the people and government of Zimbabwe and through their sponsored NGOs have also used food aid and direct monetary bribes to coerce people to vote against ZANU-PF.

    Mugabe, like many leaders in the world, would not be as affected by the economic ills of his country as the ordinary population would. Those who call for and have supported sanctions against Zimbabwe also know it is the ordinary people who are affected the most. They have targeted ordinary Black Africans in an effort to force them to turn against Mugabe and ZANU-PF. They are punishing the majority of people in Zimbabwe for supporting their government and President Robert Mugabe.

    All western leaders, including the US president, Bush, who contributes to the murder of hundreds of thousands of people in Iraq and Afghanistan, live extravagantly while many people suffer. These Western misleaders are not demonized in the press for their crimes against humanity that we KNOW they have committed and continue to commit.

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