Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Casablanca Connection

The Casablanca connection

Courtesy of the Zimbabwe Herald

IN 1978 Abel Muzorewa and Ndabaningi Sithole signed an agreement with Ian Smith to extirpate on the people of this land a mongrel offspring called Zimbabwe-Rhodesia.

Muzorewa was without political guile and for that reason he thought he could convince independence-hungry Zimbabweans that his immoral alliance with Smith was real belly-filling sustenance.

Every sane person denounced this arrangement and Muzorewa discovered how lonely national politics can be for the naïve.

Ostracised like a leper by serious political parties at home, he sought international recognition and was badly burnt when he tried to address the UN Security Council soon after a ‘‘terrorist’’ called Robert Mugabe had been welcomed there and he was told where he could stuff his delusions of grandeur.

No one would touch the sick man of Southern Africa called Zimbabwe-Rhodesia even with a long stick . . . except, of course, for apartheid South Africa and the Kingdom of Morocco.

South Africa’s support for Smith and his idiocies was understandable.

What may not seem so obvious is the "Casablanca Connection".

But then again, Morocco was always a Smith supporter and stuck with the Rhodesians throughout their ungodly war on the owners of the land between the Zambezi and the Limpopo.

Morocco actively gave life to Rhodesia and was heavily involved in sanctions busting along with Jack Malloch’s Affretair (the same cargo line that reaped rich dividends from abetting Moise Tshombe in DRC, Jonas Savimbi in Angola and the Biafran civil war).

Moroccan royalty found it fitting to play host to a Rhodesian re-supply camp from which the victuals that kept white troops well fed enough to kill our people and with enough guns to believe the "not in a thousand years boast" were routed.

Morocco and South Africa were as thick as thieves and today Rabat remains probably the only capital in world that is yet to even consider the possibility of admitting to any sense of shame for having supported apartheid and tried at all costs to sustain it.

The people of Angola too know what kind of politics Morocco is interested in. They will tell you how the friendship with an American creation — an askari as Ayi Kwei Armah would say — called Savimbi almost totally destroyed their country.

What Morocco really is

Morocco has sycophantically sought to be in America’s good graces for over 300 years now and it is not surprising, therefore, that they have played the role of destabilisation agent in Africa with such gusto.

In December 1777, Morocco’s Sultan Muhammad III became the first leader in the whole world to recognise the newly-created Freemason’s State of America.

These ties were formalised in the Moroccan-American Treaty of Friendship negotiated by Thomas Barclay, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Sultan Muhammad III in 1786.

When Morocco became a Spanish colony America protested more loudly than it could ever do for the rest of the world.

In fact, America — in its typical shamelessness — never once considered the fact that it was busy colonising Latin America when it objected to imperial rule of Morocco.

During the incongruently named World War II Morocco lost hundreds of lives fighting for what was essentially a battle for supremacy between Western imperialist nations.

And from 1956 onwards Morocco remained America’s closest ally.

Today they are partners in the so-called war on terror and for its pains, Morocco has endured at least one major terrorist bombing in Casablanca in May 2003.

Unencumbered by the strictures placed on diplomats and our Foreign Affairs officers, I will say it — Morocco is the ugly wart on the face of Africa that everyone pretends does not exist.

Marechera, who was even more delightfully unburdened by common expectations of social tact, would have said Morocco’s foreign policy is the loud fart everyone silently agrees never happened.

A sordid present

That is Morocco’s sordid history.

But of what value is a history. Everyone has one of their own, some more unflattering than others, but there is always room for repentance otherwise evangelists would be out of business.

The problem is when you have a sordid present.

On Thursday Tsvangirai flew to Morocco for another date with the administration that has received more American money than any other African country bar one since 1950.

This is a meeting between America’s North African darling and its Southern African . . . I will let you, dear reader put in an appropriate adjective.

Morocco’s toadying has already been chronicled and Tsvangirai for his part has been buddy-buddy with Washington from the time he was sired as a political entity by the US foreign policy machine in the late 1990s.

Their love affair is well documented and needs no regurgitation here not only because of its tediousness but also because it leaves a sick feeling in the gut that hardly inspires hope for a truly independent Africa.

Zimbabwe’s foreign policy position on Morocco is as clear as Tsvangirai’s intentions in visiting that country are dim.

Morocco has refused to be a member of the African Union because it believes the bloc should allow Rabat to continue colonising and terrorising Western Sahara.

Zimbabwe, having fought a liberation struggle that left tens of thousands of this country’s finest sons and daughters in unmarked graves, can never countenance supporting Morocco’s actions in Western Sahara.

There is no need to ask what Tsvangirai has in common with Morocco.

What is imperative is to explore the possible outcomes of his inclination to be cosy with imperialists of any hue.

Beating Muzorewa’s vainglorious path

Is it a coincidence that Morocco supported that amorphous identity crisis-stricken thing called Zimbabwe-Rhodesia created to humour Muzorewa and frustrate true nationalism and self-determination and is now doing the same with the equally politically and ideologically schizophrenic IG?

What kind of advice is Tsvangirai likely to get from a Moroccan leadership whose moral compass has never quite known where magnetic north is for three whole centuries now?

But the apple never falls far from the tree and it is no great wonder that Tsvangirai will tend to gravitate towards those countries that have never hidden the fact that they love America more than they love themselves.

Maybe our Prime Minister is simply naïve and as such he deserves the benefit of the doubt while we keep our fingers crossed and hope that one day soon (the sooner the better).

Tsvangirai’s attempts to get legitimacy on Africa are eerily reminiscent of the path Muzorewa trod when he tried to sell himself to the continent as the Real McCoy.

There is an inherent internal conflict that has always plagued Tsvangirai’s bid to project himself as a statesman.

And it is the same conflict that afflicted apartheid South Africa which wanted to deny Pan Africanism but at the same time be politically accepted and recognised by independent African countries.

Tsvangirai wants Africa to accept him and yet he cavorts with people who are denying the people of Western Sahara their right to self-determination as the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic.

Morocco, for its part, has no such ideological ambiguity.

They are decidedly pro-America and anti-Africa and that is why they pulled out of the then OAU in 1984 and today remain the only country on the continent that is not a member of the AU.

So the question rises again: at what level then does Tsvangirai engage with Morocco? Like Muzorewa? For his own sake hopefully not because we all know how that clergyman’s political career ground to a screeching and ignominious halt.

A few weeks back Tsvangirai was skipping all over Southern Africa, trying to get regional leaders to view President Mugabe as the intransigent and unco-operative partner that he would like us all to be believe he is.

Soon after whining that Mugabe has not appointed his rich white chum Bennett as a deputy minister (because he is facing terror-related charges in this world that is all agog with the war on terror), Tsvangirai takes the first opportunity to jet to Morocco to meet a group of politicians who would more likely want to see the inclusive Government collapse than see it thrive.

By entertaining Tsvangirai is Morocco trying to fragment Zimbabwe the way it has done to Western Sahara?

What he should remember is that issues like Bennett, Gono, Tomana and provincial governors are not as great a threat to the success of the inclusive Government as is wining and dining with people who are actively seeking the demise of that same arrangement.

The inclusive Government will not collapse because of all those things that Tsvangirai incessantly cries about like a heroin baby.

It will fail because of the this kind of naïve political brinkmanship that tries to create a new foreign policy that has no foundation in the principles that inform Zimbabwe’s and Africa’s ethos, i.e. nationalism and Pan Africanism.

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