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Author Topic: Zimbabwe elections #6
N.Beltov
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posted 23 April 2008 05:22 AM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The Congress of South African Trade Unions affiliate, the SA Transport and Allied Workers Union, has succeeded in preventing a cargo of arms and ammunition from being unloaded at Durban, South Africa. The arms were destined for Zimbabwe.

COSATU calls for international boycott of Zim arms ship

COSATU has also begun to mobilize its members and the general public in SA against Mugabe's government.

quote:
In COSATU's view the 'government' of Robert Mugabe is now illegal and illegitimate. Its term of office expired at the end of March when the people voted.... COSATU salutes the stand taken by its transport affiliate SATAWU and other unions around the continent, and now calls upon all its affiliates and Southern African trade union partners, to identify, and refuse to handle, any goods destined for Zimbabwe which could be used to assist the illegal government or be used to oppress the people.

The federation will be holding a meeting with civil society, church and NGO groups on Thursday, 24 April, at which plans will be finalised for a huge protest march in South Africa, in solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe, and to demand the removal of the Mugabe dictatorship and the installation of a government elected by a majority on 29 March 2008.

Patrick Craven (National Spokesperson)
COSATU
Johannesburg, SA


COSATU mobilizes

Here's the previous thread. [Zim 5]

[ 23 April 2008: Message edited by: N.Beltov ]


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Lord Palmerston
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posted 23 April 2008 01:50 PM      Profile for Lord Palmerston     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Bill Fletcher on Zimbabwe:

http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category//47437


From: Toronto | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 23 April 2008 03:39 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
On Zimbabwe, Western left follows agenda set by capitalist elite

quote:
While the Western media loudly demonizes the government of Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe, it is fairly silent on the repressions of the US client regime of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt.

Outdoing each other in the quest for the William Randolph Hearst prize for excellence in yellow journalism, Western newspapers slam Mugabe as the “Monster” and “Hitler of Africa .” At the same time, civil society hagiographers compromise with imperialist forces to help oust the “dictator” in Harare, but on Egypt, have little to say.

Meanwhile, wave after wave of strikes rock Egypt, sparked by rising food prices, inadequate incomes, political repression, and the government’s gutting of the social safety net.



From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Mercy
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posted 27 April 2008 03:30 PM      Profile for Mercy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has upheld the recount results.

Which undermines the idea that the results or the commission or the recount process are in the hands of ZANU.


From: Ontario, Canada | Registered: Feb 2007  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 27 April 2008 03:53 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Mercy:
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has upheld the recount results.

Which undermines the idea that the results or the commission or the recount process are in the hands of ZANU.


Mugabe should learn a lesson from this. He should have made electoral reform part of his platform. Now they're stuck with the British colonial system of winner takes all. An MDC controlled legislative branch will have dictatorial powers to sell Zimbabwe's valuable resources to rich white neocolonialists and maintain white control of Zimbabwe's most fertile farmlands.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Stockholm
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posted 27 April 2008 07:13 PM      Profile for Stockholm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Most Zimbabweans voted for the MDC and wanted to rid themselves of Pig Mugabe and his police state. What's your problem with that? That he didn't stuff the ballot boxes quite enough?? If Zimbabwe had a truly fair election, the opposition would probably win 90% of the vote and ZANU would end up with a Kim Campbell in 1993-style result.
From: Toronto | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 27 April 2008 07:21 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Where's your evidence that Zanu-PF rigged the election to lose?

I think Mugabe still won more of the popular vote in his country than either of Dalton McGuilty or Stephane Harper did in Canadian elections.

So I guess that's not saying very much for our own phony majority dictatorships here in El Canador, eh, Stockholm?


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
jrootham
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posted 27 April 2008 08:24 PM      Profile for jrootham     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Fidel:

I think Mugabe still won more of the popular vote in his country than either of Dalton McGuilty or Stephane Harper did in Canadian elections.


Given that I wasn't worried about being beaten unconscious in public because somebody thought I didn't vote the right way, I'd have to take issue with your use of the term popular above.

Fidel, you're a twit.


From: Toronto | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 27 April 2008 08:31 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by jrootham:

Fidel, you're a twit.


Likewise. I think if clues were shoes, you'd be barefoot, j.

[ 27 April 2008: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 27 April 2008 08:42 PM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
That BBC story quotes US Assistant Secretary of State Jendayi Frazer as saying that "the only solution was an inclusive government, led by the [MDC] ..."

The US appears to be changing its tune. Previously, they ruled out nothing in their attempts to bring about "regime change" in Zimbabwe.


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 27 April 2008 08:57 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by N.Beltov:
The US appears to be changing its tune. Previously, they ruled out nothing in their attempts to bring about "regime change" in Zimbabwe.

And I'll bet the whole world was waiting with baited breath for a democratic opinion from that country, too.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Stockholm
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posted 28 April 2008 05:34 AM      Profile for Stockholm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Maybe once Pig Mugabe is tossed into the garbage can by the people of Zimbabwe, we can invite him to Canada where he can undergo sensitivity training alongside Tom Lukiwski so they can both repent for their vicious homophobia. It might look good on Mugabe to spent a 100 hours or so cleaning bedpans in a hospice for people dying of AIDS. While he's at it, he might actually develop some concern over the fact that 2/3 of his own people in Zimbabwe have HIV - something that until now he has refused to acknowledge and has been completely oblivious towards.
From: Toronto | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 28 April 2008 05:57 AM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yea, and Stockholm could be in charge of sensitivity training maybe. Since he demonstrates his skill in this regard on babble so often, and never gets told by the moderators to take an enforced holiday, and so on. Ahaahahahahahaha!

BTW, Stock, when was the last time you were forced to take a holiday from babble? Seems you're about due.

................

Back in the real world, the MDC is now conducing a poll on its website with the following question: "Should MDC form a government of national unity?" The numbers, FWIW, are 2:1 towards the "Yes" side.

Looks like even the opposition thinks that ZANU, and possibly [insert chosen farm animal to compare African leader to] Mugabe as well, should be part of a future government. It's a good thing the opposition is showing more wisdom than some feverish babblers who like comparing African political leaders to barn animals.


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 28 April 2008 06:52 AM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Supplemental: the MDC has a few pages in their platform on HIV and AIDS in Zim, which is good. They clearly identify the current economic situation as a key factor in making matters worse despite the fact that elsewhere in the platform they call for a boycott to put economic pressure on the Mugabe regime.

Here's what the Tanzanian President had to say about some "free speech" advertising, paid for by God knows who, that has a bearing on this issue:

quote:
Tanzanian president, Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete (May 2007) : The other day I was very cross. There was an advert on Tanzanian TV and somebody was hiding under the guise of the right to freedom of speech to say that for him, he enjoys sex best without a condom. So I took him and the TV station on, and said: "Look, this is wrong; we are fighting against HIV/Aids which is a national killer. Of course we respect individual freedoms but this cannot be an advert on TV. It sends out the wrong signais. Please get it off air." And they removed it.

But somebody would accuse me of infringing individual freedoms. Well, this advert was not in the national interest! The HIV infection rate is high in this country - 7%, and we are fighting to bring it down. We are saying "abstain, be faithful, use condoms". The last thing I would expect co see on TV is somebody advocating "don't use condoms". I said "this thing is not acceptable, it is going to kill people".


Who pays for such ads? Hint: a gentleman with a pointy hat who resides in Rome has some friends...


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 29 April 2008 06:41 AM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
The Chinese ship carrying a controversial consignment of weapons for Zimbabwe is being recalled and the arms will no longer be delivered.

China recalls weapons shipment

It also looks as if the MDC will retain its Parliamentary majority. That's bad news for land reform in Zimbabwe but good news for seeing less of Robert Mugabe in government.


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 29 April 2008 06:54 AM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The Harare Herald reports that:

quote:
THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission says it is concluding the recounting of election results in 23 constituencies and will thereafter invite presidential candidates or their agents to witness verification and collation of the presidential poll results.

Zim: vote recount almost done

IMPORTANT:

quote:
(yesterday) The two factions of Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) have decided to unite to form one party. MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai made the announcement at a media briefing at Lanseria airport, outside Johannesburg, this afternoon.

He says the move will give the MDC a 57% majority in parliament. He says President Robert Mugabe must accept that he cannot rule without parliamentary control.

Tsvangirai says joining forces with Arthur Mutambara's faction will strengthen their relationship. Tsvangirai added that they will form a government of national unity and this may include former Zanu-PF candidates and independent candidate Simba Makoni.


MDC factions reunite.


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 02 May 2008 07:48 AM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
CBC: President Robert Mugabe lost the first round of Zimbabwe's presidential election, according to official results released Friday.

A tally by the country's electoral commission gave opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai 47.9 per cent of the ballots, compared with Mugabe's 43.2 per cent.

Since neither candidate won the 50-per-cent-plus-one vote majority required by Zimbabwean law to take the election outright, a runoff ballot must be held. The country's constitution stipulates that it must occur within 21 days of the official results notice.


Official tally ... points to a runoff

According to afrol news former Finance Minister Simba Makoni, who placed third with 8.3% of the votes, is expected to support the MDC candidate in a runoff.

afrol news: Tsvangirai wins Zim polls

Stay tuned.

[ 02 May 2008: Message edited by: N.Beltov ]


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 02 May 2008 01:55 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
And what was the reason for the long delay in releasing the results?

CBC News is reporting that MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa says his party tried and failed to stop officials from announcing the count.

It was the opposition, not the government, that was trying to interfere in the work of the electoral commission.

Mugabe says he will participate in the runoff vote. Tsvangirai still hasn't decided if he will. He's insisting he really won over 50% of the vote. If that's so, why would he be afraid of a runoff?


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 02 May 2008 02:05 PM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
If the numbers are correct, and Makoni gives his support to Tsvangirai, then the MDC is only going to need a couple of percentage points to put them over the top for the Presidency as well as the Parliament.

Then the so-called main stream media in our country can go back to ignoring Zimbabwe once the desired "regime change" is carried out.

I'm not counting Mugabe out just yet - his astounding electoral victory in 1980 is the stuff of legend - but he looks outnumbered. Probably the best left of centre candidate was Makoni, but I'm just guessing on that.

Mugabe seems to have provided a catalyst to clarify the left from the right in the ANC in South Africa. That may be a very good thing regardless of what happens in the runoff in Zim.


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 03 May 2008 05:52 AM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
President Robert Mugabe said he will take part in a second round of voting, but the opposition has indicated it may oppose it....

[MDC Secretary General Tendai] Biti acknowledged that skipping a second round is a gamble that could result in another term for Mugabe, 84, who has ruled since Zimbabwe's independence in 1980.


CBC: Zim results


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 03 May 2008 09:01 AM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
What's the opposition's real agenda here? Why would they be rejecting the best opportunity they have ever had to take power legally?

Why did they run in the election in the first place? Were they thinking three months ago, "If we can't win outright on the first ballot, we're going to drop out"? Are they being sore winners?

Or do they want to hand Mugabe the presidency again so they can start a civil war or encourage foreign intervention?


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 03 May 2008 09:22 AM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I think they're just a mixed bag of Mugabe opponents. Some disgruntled ZANU-PF supporters, some hired sellouts in the pay of foreign governments, and everything in between.
From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
John K
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posted 03 May 2008 09:41 AM      Profile for John K        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
If the post-election period is anything to go by, the MDC has every right to be concerned that the second presidential round would take place in an atmosphere of fear, intimidation and violence. The MDC hasn't ruled out participating, but it's hard to blame them for wanting some assurance that a second round election would be at least minimally free and fair.

Besides, according to this Zimbabwean source, the only thing that's been released thus far are the national percentages for each candidate, not the constituency by constituency or poll by poll breakdowns. That makes it pretty hard to trust the accuracy of the reported numbers.
http://www.sokwanele.com/thisiszimbabwe/


From: Edmonton | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 03 May 2008 10:13 AM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The MDC could always participate in the runoff and then, if they lose, call it a fraud. They're going to do that anyway.

OTOH, if they were to win such a runoff, then they can call it the triumph of democracy. Win-win.


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RosaL
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posted 03 May 2008 10:21 AM      Profile for RosaL     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by N.Beltov:
The MDC could always participate in the runoff and then, if they lose, call it a fraud. They're going to do that anyway.

OTOH, if they were to win such a runoff, then they can call it the triumph of democracy. Win-win.


I never understand how, in these cases, a party can be so certain that - really - they won. I can see that people could know for certain that there was electoral fraud. But it seems to me that it would be hard to know for certain that you actually won. I regard such claims with some suspicion.


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N.Beltov
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posted 03 May 2008 10:32 AM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
RosaL: I never understand how, in these cases, a party can be so certain that - really - they won.

John K has already hinted at this with his reference to poll-by-poll results. The MDC insisted on the results at each poll being posted outside the building so they could confirm the numbers themselves. Near as I can tell this wasn't done, or wasn't done completely.

If you've ever participated in the administration of an election here in Canada, then you would have seen the following:

... a voter comes in, does his thing, leaves the building, shuns the campaign worker for party X, says "Hello" to the campaign worker for party Y, and goes on his way.

The worker for party X then goes over to his rival. "One of yours?"

"Yup."

When they are well organized, elections can be very transparent. When they are acrimonious, and there are shenanigans on all sides, and the stakes are huge, and the country has poor infrastructure, and there is 100,000 % inflation ... then it's a different story.

Zim is a different story ... but the MDC is right to try to simulate what's done in a less volatile and violent situation.


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RosaL
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posted 03 May 2008 10:49 AM      Profile for RosaL     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by N.Beltov:

If you've ever participated in the administration of an election here in Canada,....

Actually, I have, and that's a partial source of my wonderment. In the case of an overwhelming electoral win, I can certainly see that you would know. But if the results are in any way close, I don't see how you could know, with any certainty, that you had won.

What I have also experienced is the conviction of a candidate that he will (or can) win, though it is clear to a more detached observer that he will not (or cannot). Even when a candidate has no hope of winning, and knows it, s/he will often grossly overestimate the number of votes s/he is likely to get. And that's in the absence of other complicating factors.

[ 03 May 2008: Message edited by: RosaL ]


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M. Spector
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posted 03 May 2008 01:10 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by John K:
If the post-election period is anything to go by, the MDC has every right to be concerned that the second presidential round would take place in an atmosphere of fear, intimidation and violence. The MDC hasn't ruled out participating, but it's hard to blame them for wanting some assurance that a second round election would be at least minimally free and fair.
But according to the MDC the atmosphere of intimidation and violence did not begin on election day, but months earlier. Yet that did not stop them from participating in the election. And, as it turned out, the predictions of ZANU ballot box stuffing to steal the election turned out to be false.

Why the cold feet all of a sudden?


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
jrootham
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posted 03 May 2008 01:14 PM      Profile for jrootham     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The reports cited in earlier threads indicate a large ramp up in the violence after the election.
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Fidel
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posted 03 May 2008 01:31 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
And for anyone who missed it last time, Canadian Stephen Gowans tells us that Sokwanele is one of several "pro-democracy" groups linked to white, pro British Royalists, and to U.S. funding and backing ie. (USAID-"NED"-Otpor-CIA)

I think we can take what pro British Royalists say with a large grain of salt, especially when lecturing recent British colonies on democracy. There should be a twelve step program for white racist colonialists refusing to let go of the past.

[ 03 May 2008: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
John K
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posted 03 May 2008 06:35 PM      Profile for John K        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Posted by Rosa L:Actually, I have, and that's a partial source of my wonderment. In the case of an overwhelming electoral win, I can certainly see that you would know. But if the results are in any way close, I don't see how you could know, with any certainty, that you had won.

In Canadian elections, each political party is entitled to have a scrutineer present to observe the ballot count after the polls close. I have done this on numerous occasions for the NDP.

The job of a scrutineer after the polls close is two-fold. One is to challenge any ballots where we think the voter's intentions are unclear. (You'd be amazed what some voters do with the ballot paper). Any disputed ballots are then noted by the deputy returning officer. The second job is to phone the results in to the campaign office so that the NDP's results can be verified against those of the elections office.

A political party is entitled to have a scrutineer onsite from before the polls open and the empty ballot boxes are sealed until the ballots are counted. While I may not always like the outcome, there is no question that Canadian elections are fair and transparent. The same cannot be said of Zimbabwean elections.


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Fidel
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posted 03 May 2008 07:14 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by John K:
The same cannot be said of Zimbabwean elections.

I agree. The CIA and Brits should stop interfering in other countries elections.

Meanwhile, U.S.-backed Egyptian government faces unprecedented riots in protest of rising food shortages and gutting of social safety net. But none of the pro-democratizers NED-USAID, dozens of western/CIA funded NGO's operating in Zimbabwe, BBC, HRW, BBC or CBC have ever questioned 97% "voter support" in elections for their brutal puppet dictator in Egypt.

[ 03 May 2008: Message edited by: Fidel ]


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RosaL
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posted 03 May 2008 07:28 PM      Profile for RosaL     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by John K:

In Canadian elections, each political party is entitled to have a scrutineer present to observe the ballot count after the polls close. I have done this on numerous occasions for the NDP.

As I mentioned earlier, I have been involved in elections; in fact, I have been a scrutineer. Certainly if you have a scrutineer at every poll, or at enough polls, you can know whether you have won the election. I assumed, perhaps wrongly, that this wasn't the case in Zimbabwe or in the various contested elections of the "colour revolutions". I have heard of "exit polls" being cited in such cases but I have never heard an appeal to the evidence of people serving the function we call "scrutineering". As I say, though, I may be wrong in this assumption.

[ 03 May 2008: Message edited by: RosaL ]


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Fidel
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posted 03 May 2008 07:35 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yes and as far as Canadian elections go, we are supposed to have ended the practice whereby western provinces or Ontario were prematurely announcing their own election results before polls were even closed in Eastern Canada.

And yet Zimbabwe has a situation where CIA-funded opposition and NGO's were announcing the election outcome well in advance, during, and after the country had completeted its first multiple elections to elect local reprentation and judiciaries as well as presidential elections rolled into one. And even though the U.S.-backed Israeli's announced a food blockade of Gaza in the same week, western news reporters chose to focus away from that as well as CIA and British interference in Zimbabwe's elections in denouncing them as "tainted" by the Zanu-PF government itself. It's farcical.

So I agree with JohnK, Zimbabwe's elections were anything but free and fair. I don't think Canadians would appreciate it if American CIA were to begin funding the "Green Party", trade union movements, or the Bloc Quebecois for example.

[ 03 May 2008: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 03 May 2008 10:06 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by John K:
While I may not always like the outcome, there is no question that Canadian elections are fair and transparent. The same cannot be said of Zimbabwean elections.

JohnK rarely if ever provides a source for his highly opinionated comments on Cuba. And now the same is true of Zimbabwe, another country which the vicious empire has listed for "regime change"

According to Canadian source, Stephen Gowans:


quote:
Zimbabwe has barred election monitors from the US and EU, but will allow observers from Russia, China, Iran, Venezuela, South Africa and the Southern African Development Community to monitor the vote.

The barring of Western observers is pointed to as indirect evidence of vote rigging. After all, if Zimbabwe has nothing to hide, why won’t it admit observers from Europe and the US?

At the same time, it’s suggested that Zimbabwe is only allowing observers from friendly countries because they will bless the elections automatically


So if election observers from the EU and USA were not present, how do they know there was election fraud or irregularities? Why did the Zimbabwean lawyers, African Union, S. African observers and several other groups recognize the election proceedings as valid and having been carried out fairly?

[ 03 May 2008: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Ken Burch
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posted 03 May 2008 10:57 PM      Profile for Ken Burch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Isn't it a bit presumptuous to assume that ZANU has to be kept in power to prevent a US/UK takeover of Zimbabwe's resources?

Clearly, the MDC knows they'd be risking a civil war if they took over government and allowed a "fire sale" of the country's wealth to western capitalists.

ZANU could've prevented this whole stalemate if only it had implemented land reform(a policy which was just and should be continued)in a humane manner and not with preferences to ZANU partisans. That, and they didn't have to be beating people in the streets.

"Preserving Order" doesn't build socialism. How many times do we have to see this situation before people can accept that authoritarianism always ends up destroying the socialist project? Or, for that matter, any "nationalist" project designed to protect a country from foreign domination?

Robert Mugabe never had to go the route of brute force.

[ 04 May 2008: Message edited by: Ken Burch ]


From: A seedy truckstop on the Information Superhighway | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Mercy
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posted 06 May 2008 11:30 AM      Profile for Mercy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The concern about Tsvagirai is that he's a bit of a marsmallow - as has been evidenced by his recent positioning on the run-off. First he said he was ready to contest it. Then he fled the country and said he wouldn not contest it and that he had won outright. Now, it looks like he's ready to flip back. His party is only unified in opposition to ZANU and even then they keep splitting.

This could mean that he would be hard-pressed to bring in austerity measures. But he'll also be ill-equpped to stand up to foreign pressure.


From: Ontario, Canada | Registered: Feb 2007  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 06 May 2008 12:30 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Ken Burch:
Clearly, the MDC knows they'd be risking a civil war if they took over government and allowed a "fire sale" of the country's wealth to western capitalists.
Why? Plenty of governments in the past have allowed western capitalists to plunder their national wealth, without risking a civil war. It's called globalization, or industrialization, or revitalization, or trade liberalization, or free trade, or "open for business"....but never "fire sale".

From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 06 May 2008 02:48 PM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
afrol news: The ruling Zanu-PF of President Robert Mugabe on Tuesday urged its supporters to desist from violence as Zimbabwe awaits presidential poll run-off.

The party said violence would not benefit any Zimbabwean, but would destroy the entire economic, social and political gains achieved since independence in 1980.

"We are urging our members to avoid violence," Zanu-PF's Information and Publicity Secretary, Cde Nathan Shamuyarira, told 'The Herald.'

"We are urging our people to go and campaign peacefully. We are also urging the opposition to avoid violence and respect people's lives," he said.


ZANU-PF urges peaceful polls

It is still unclear whether the MDC Presidential candidate Tsvangirai will participate. There is an MDC statement re-iterating their claim that they won on March 29 and they continue to reject the results as announced by the ZEC. They also claim that the number of MDC activists murdered has reached at least 25.


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 13 May 2008 10:47 AM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
There's nothing new in regard to setting a date for the upcoming Zim Presidential election, but it's noteworthy that the Zimbabwe government will still not allow "Western" observers "unless they waive sanctions against the country and its leadership."

quote:
Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa: We will think favourably of them if they lift sanctions. Until they do that, there is no basis to have any relationship with them ...

MDC candidate Morgan Tsvangirai mentioned on the weekend that his preconditions for participating in the Presidential runoff include: "the presence of international peacekeepers, election observers, free media and an end to violence against his supporters."

Western monitors still barred

Other news: interestingly, despite the huge inflation, Zimbabwe has managed to recently pay a debt of $700 million to the Africa Development Bank.

That contradicts some "Western" reports about imminent collapse, doesn't it?

Zim settles $700 million debt


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
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posted 13 May 2008 11:19 AM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I was invited by the Nicaraguan Electoral Commission to observe elections there during the first Sandinista period.

No one demanded that I make any particular statement of allegiance to Nicaragua or in opposition to the boycott being imposed by the United States.


From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 13 May 2008 11:32 AM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
There should be plenty of countries, that aren't trying to carry out regime change in Zimbabwe, to provide neutral observers. Since the US (and Britain I think) have made their aim of overthrowing the Mugabe regime by any means public, I don't think "observers", much less armed troops, from those countries are going to be allowed into Zim during the Presidential runoff.

The issues of violence and freedom to campaign are more significant in my view.

It looks like the two sides are still negotiating for position, making demands, and so on, so it's still not clear if the runoff will be held.


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
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posted 13 May 2008 11:42 AM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
There should be plenty of countries, that aren't trying to carry out regime change in Zimbabwe, to provide neutral observers.

Neutral observers exist in many countries; in fact, even in a country which opposes Mugabe, there may yet be persons of integrity who do not simply do what their government directs; they make their own observations, and state them honestly.

The idea that all Britons or Americans cannot be trusted re: Zimbabwe is a kind of profiling.


From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 13 May 2008 11:44 AM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Morgan Tsvangirai (Sat. May 10): It is very, very sad for me to call Mugabe a former liberator. It is sad for me to say that he has turned his back on both his people and his continent. Mugabe was once my hero too. Because of his sacrifices, millions of our citizens are well educated and had great opportunities to grow and prosper.

But something happened to Mugabe on our long walk to freedom, something happened that hardened his heart. Something happened that made him abandon the very people he once fought to free.

He has unleashed violence on his own children, the people of Zimbabwe.

And for those carrying out the violence on the ground, the police, the militia, the army and the so called war veterans now is the time to give very serious thought to the implications of further attacks on innocent civilians. You are breaking Zimbabwean and international laws and the whole world is watching.


It looks like Tsvangirai should be back in Zim in the next day or so.

quote:
Tsvangirai: The overwhelming sentiment that emerged from the people of Zimbabwe is that they are ready for change now, not later. They want a chance for a better life now, and they believe that the MDC can give them that chance. They believe that we as nation are brave enough, we are strong enough and we are angry enough to fight an election once again. We as MDC believe our people would feel betrayed if we shied away from the final knock out. We have lost hundreds of people in the democracy movement since 1999. Their sacrifices must not be in vain. We must fulfill the dreams of our people who have been betrayed and traumatized since March 29th....

The MDC has decided that we will contest the runoff and the people will finally prevail. The people have spoken before, and the people will speak again. I am ready and the people are ready for the final round.

Legally this election should be no later than May 24th, two weeks from today ... Therefore I shall return to Zimbabwe within the next two days.



From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 13 May 2008 11:59 AM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
jeff house: The idea that all Britons or Americans cannot be trusted re: Zimbabwe is a kind of profiling.

Racial profiling, perhaps? Why not complain to the moderators about it? Your buddy Stockhholm has, however, already polluted this thread with comparisons of Mugabe to barnyard animals and that hasn't earned him any criticism, so you might be waiting for a reply ....

Institutions and organizations, not individuals, would be making the agreements for electoral observers and so on. The undertakings would be negotiated at that level ... not based on the claims of honesty of "volunteers". Good grief, what an amateurish schoolboy sort of argument, Jeff.


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
John K
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posted 13 May 2008 03:37 PM      Profile for John K        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The President and General Secretary of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions were arrested last week and are still imprisoned.

More information on LabourStart:
Zim trade union leaders denied bail


From: Edmonton | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Mercy
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posted 16 May 2008 08:19 AM      Profile for Mercy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by N.Beltov:
It looks like Tsvangirai should be back in Zim in the next day or so.

Well, four days later he's in
Belfast speaking at the Congress of the Liberal International.

From: Ontario, Canada | Registered: Feb 2007  |  IP: Logged
Caissa
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posted 16 May 2008 08:51 AM      Profile for Caissa     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
When Tsvangari returns to Zimbabwe, I believe there is a good chance he may be assassinated.
From: Saint John | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 16 May 2008 10:39 AM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
When Tsvangirai returns to Zimbabwe, I believe there is a good chance that he will become the next President. However, it looks like this will be 90 days (or less) after the previous vote, and not 21 days.

Zim extends run-off to 90 days

quote:
Zimbabwean authorities have extended the deadline of the presidential poll run-off vote between President Robett Mugabe and the leader of opposition Movement for Democratic Change, Morgan Tsvangira, from 21 to 90 days.

Justice Minister Chinamasa noted that due to "logistical and financial reasons," the run-off date might be moved.

quote:
The opposition's reaction to the delay was swift, with officials calling it "illegal and unjust." They said it was well-calculated to give more ample time to the ruling Zanu-PF party to extend its reign of terror against opposition activists.

The MDC leader will participate, but it's not clear when he will head back to Zimbabwe ...

quote:
Mr Tsvangirai has finally announced to return home to contest in the run-off poll. He had spent week dithering around the Southern Africa region, seeking support from regional leaders.

Well, that explains the visit to the Liberal International meeting in Ireland. They're the masters at dithering.

quote:
The government is accepting observers from the African Union, Southern African Development Community, Asian countries and a few selected European countries.

Note that the observers are identified by the organization and/or country of origin and not by their individual claims of neutrality.

[ 16 May 2008: Message edited by: N.Beltov ]


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 16 May 2008 10:55 AM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The new Presidential run-off date looks to be June 27th.
From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
John K
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posted 17 May 2008 06:58 AM      Profile for John K        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Amnesty International considers the imprisoned trade union leaders prisoners of conscience and is urging their immediate and unconditional release:
quote:
Four days after the arrest of Lovemore Matombo and Wellington Chibebe, both have been denied bail. They handed themselves in to the police on 8 May 2008 and currently remain in detention at Harare Central Remand Prison. They are being charged with “communicating falsehoods prejudicial to the state,” under the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act [Chapter 9:23] following speeches made during May Day celebrations in Harare. On 12 May they appeared before a magistrate and were denied bail.

The repression of human rights defenders takes many forms, which have adversely affected members of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU). The government of Zimbabwe restricts operations of civil society through repressive legislation such as the public order and security act (POSA) and the miscellaneous Offences Act (MOA). In recent years as the government has used the law to violate defenders' rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly, preventing them from freely forming organizations, meeting together and criticizing government policy. Individual defenders are arbitrarily arrested and detained, assaulted and harassed by state agents. Some have been subjected to torture and inhuman or degrading treatment. Human rights organizations are also subject to intrusive and unwarranted state surveillance of their operations.

These two leaders currently remain in detention for exercising their rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly. Amnesty International considers that these arrests are part of a wider crackdown targeting human rights defenders, trade unionists, lawyers, journalists, election observers and opposition activists in the wake of the elections which took place on 29 March 2008. Therefore, the organisation believes that they are prisoners of conscience and should be immediately and unconditionally released.

Please fax or post an appeal to the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs calling for their immediate and unconditional release from detention



http://www.amnesty.org.uk/actions_details.asp?ActionID=439

From: Edmonton | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 17 May 2008 07:29 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It sounds like grassroots imperialists are at it again. Remember that Montreal based "Rights and Democracy" received hundreds of thousands of CIDA dollars and proceeded to support group of 184 anti-Lavalas "civil society" movement on the island. They needed to justify Canada's support of the CIA orchestrated coup against Aristide. G-184, supported by the International Republican Institute is headed by Haiti's leading sweatshop capitalist, Andrew Apaid and other rich white landowners in that country.

I think grassroots imperialism is also happening with British influence in Zimbabwe. As Canadian Stephen Gowans has pointed out, there is CIA and British funding for "independent" grassroots movements in Zimbabwe today. Old white power and influence refuses to go quietly in the country formerly known as Rhodesia.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 17 May 2008 08:06 AM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Fidel:
Remember that Montreal based "Rights and Democracy" received hundreds of thousands of CIDA dollars and proceeded to support group of 184 anti-Lavalas "civil society" movement on the island.

Wasn't that the outfit that Brian Mulroney created and appointed Ed Broadbent as its first president in 1990?

Source.


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
jrootham
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posted 17 May 2008 08:16 AM      Profile for jrootham     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Fidel:

I think grassroots imperialism is also happening with British influence in Zimbabwe. As Canadian Stephen Gowans has pointed out, there is CIA and British funding for "independent" grassroots movements in Zimbabwe today. Old white power and influence refuses to go quietly in the country formerly known as Rhodesia.

I don't suppose this is really a surprise. The question is: does it justify supporting Mugabe?

I would go with imperialists who need to cover their tracks over thugs like Mugabe.

OTOH I would go with non thugs like Aristide over IWNTCTT.

ETA

This is politics, it's almost always looking for the least bad option. Everywhere.

[ 17 May 2008: Message edited by: jrootham ]


From: Toronto | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
John K
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posted 17 May 2008 09:07 AM      Profile for John K        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Fidel, are you accusing Amnesty International of "grassroots imperialism" when it calls for the release of the jailed Zimbabwean trade union leaders?
From: Edmonton | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 17 May 2008 10:43 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by unionist:

Wasn't that the outfit that Brian Mulroney created and appointed Ed Broadbent as its first president in 1990?

Source.


Yes it is. And I don't think Ed has anything to do with CIDA anymore. Ed's no longer leader of the NDP either.

quote:
Originally posted by John K:
Fidel, are you accusing Amnesty International of "grassroots imperialism" when it calls for the release of the jailed Zimbabwean trade union leaders?

No, I think AI condemns these things as they are reported and at face value, nothing more. It looks very bad for labour and democracy in general in Zimbabwe, doesn't it. Remember, Mugabe was a darling of the IMF, U.S. and Brits until he switched direction on the economic front in recent years. Zimbabwe is not the only country where Washington consensus has failed to deliver the goods.

quote:
Originally posted by jrootham:

I don't suppose this is really a surprise. The question is: does it justify supporting Mugabe?


It's difficult for anyone to say. I think Mugabe has a large following still. And I think Zanu-PF has bit off a mouthful by turning their backs on the west and with pursuing land reforms. During the cold war era, Mugabe would have been labelled a communist and dealt with.

[ 17 May 2008: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
John K
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posted 17 May 2008 11:14 AM      Profile for John K        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Posted by Fidel:
quote:
No, I think AI condemns these things as they are reported and at face value, nothing more.

In that case, you know nothing about how Amnesty International works. Amnesty has offices in 80 countries staffed by citizens of that country. It is one of the most truly decentralized NGOs I'm aware of.

Despite the difficulties and restrictions faced by civil society groups in Zimbabwe in recent years, Amnesty has managed to keep a small office open in Zimbabwe, staffed by Zimbabweans. It is the country office that is primarily responsible for making the determination about whether detainees qualify as prisoners of conscience, namely that they have not used or advocated violence in pursuing social, economic or political change.


From: Edmonton | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 17 May 2008 11:43 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by John K:

In that case, you know nothing about how Amnesty International works. Amnesty has offices in 80 countries staffed by citizens of that country. It is one of the most truly decentralized NGOs I'm aware of.

And I don't think you understand, or even care to know how the CIA has worked to infiltrate trade unions around the world during the cold war era. Strikes and labour unrest have been used to bring down leftist governments in various parts of the world. This is not atypical of how embedded fascists in the USSA and Britain have operated in the recent past. Normal economies have a place for trade unionism. White colonial rule and several years of NeoLiberal ecomomic reforms have played hell with the economy. Zimbabwe is under siege right now by an international banking cabal, an AIDS crisis, dozens of "independent" and "grassroots" NGO's, and a western press being paid to tell one side of the story in Zimbabwe. These so-called independent left-leaning NGO's and civil society groups would like to think they are independent, but surely they must realize where the funding is coming from. Trotskyites have always been useful to Washington and London, and apparently they have another Stalin to point fingers at. Trotskyites tend to be against any and all revolutions due to them being tainted by corruption or a long list of imperfections, any one of which tends to deligitimize the movement from their POV and places power back in the hands of imperialists. Apparently imperialism and fascism are preferable to an imperfect revolution. That is, all revolutions except the one that will never happen.

About AI, they haven't been as vocal about prisoner abuse and rape of Iraqi and other women by U.S. soldiers in dozens of countries with U.S. military presence over years. Meanwhile most of these labour leaders in Zimbabwe seem to have been released.

eta: Imagine Buzz Hargrove running around Ottawa and demanding a new democratic constitution be drafted immediately. I think our two old line party stooges would say he's lost his mind.

[ 17 May 2008: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 21 May 2008 08:54 AM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
SADC cannot abandon Zimbabwe

quote:
Tanzanian president, Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete (May 2007) : You know the economic sanctions prevent Zimbabwe from borrowing on the international market, and Zimbabwe can't get debt cancellation, aid, budgetary support or credits like Tanzania, Ghana and Nigeria...

Baffour: Perhaps they think that if the economy can be tweaked in such a way that inflation goes up to 3,000 or 5,000%, the people will come into the streets and demand that President Mugabe must go. It is the same template they have used everywhere they want regime change.

Kikwete: Of course this is the assumption, but it is not a one-plus-one equals two. Our societies are different. Subsistence peasants have very little interaction with the world outside their farms or homesteads. It is only when they go to hospital, and people don't fall sick everyday, that they may have something to do with government institutions. My aunt (the younger sister of my late father who is now 91), she has never been to any hospital. I fall sick, but she doesn't. Barring accidents, I have never bothered to take her to any hospital because she doesn't fall sick. Of course, you may say this is a rare case.

But that is the situation we have in Africa. Under normal circumstances, to think that this Masai roaming the plains with his cattle is going to go into the streets because you have isolated the government of Tanzania, he doesn't give a damn! All he needs from the government is to allow him to take his cattle to the market. He finds beauty in having a large herd of cattle; he doesn't want to have anything with street protests.


Creating massive inflation will, however, hurt the urban dwellers. However, just as the Western countries and their Bretton Woods institutions didn't care about the 2 million dead in the Congo, and did nothing to stop it, so too as long as the desired regime change takes place (get rid of Mugabe) then those same countries are indifferent to the consequences of "making the economy scream" in Zim as they were in Chile.

In fact, hurting urban dwellers is hurting the opponents of Mugabe. The Zim President's political base is more in the rural areas in any case.


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 23 May 2008 08:21 AM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Stephen Gowans: Zimbabwe's political opposition and its Western-sponsored civil society allies are concocting stories of an impending genocide to call for Western intervention to oust the economic nationalist Zanu-PF government of Robert Mugabe.

Zimbabwe’s political opposition deploys its own WMD claim

Incendiary claims of genocide, and calls for "humanitarian intervention" to forestall such a genocide have come from the MDC, church clerics, and so on.

quote:
Gowans: It is true that there has been politically-motivated violence in Zimbabwe,
but it has occurred on both sides, is political, not ethnic, and has led to nowhere near the number of deaths that would even remotely qualify as genocide.

Meanwhile ...


quote:
o NGOs distributing food threatened to cut off food aid if Zanu-PF won the
election.

o The sanctions, which will be removed if Zanu-PF is ousted, amount to
Western blackmail.

o The campaigns of the MDC-T and former Zanu-PF member Simba Makoni were
financed by foreign governments and corporations.

o Western-financed anti-Zanu-PF radio stations, including Radio SW Africa
(financed by the US State Department) and the Voice of America's Studio 7
stepped up their broadcasts during the election period.

o MDC activists doubled as vote educators working for the US
government-financed Zimbabwe Electoral Support Network and used their
position to promote the opposition under the guise of explaining electoral
procedures.



Even Human Rights Watch has acknowledged that there is violence on both sides.

quote:
Tony Blair's chief of staff for 10 years, Jonathan Powell, argued in a Guardian article in November for British military intervention in Zimbabwe on humanitarian grounds. In the
article, Powell defends interventions in Yugoslavia and Iraq and argues for
a British invasion of Zimbabwe.

In summary, says Gowans

quote:
Clearly, the opposition, with the massive backing of Western governments, corporate foundations and wealthy individuals, intent on coming to power to reverse Zanu-PF's economically nationalist policies, has no qualms about using violence, nor deception, to carry out its Quisling aims. Tsvangirai, Biti, Chamisa and their civil society allies are prepared to use a lie as great as the WMD deception of their British and US patrons for the same end: to justify military intervention in order to put the West firmly in charge. Where Zanu-PF has used violence, has been in the struggle against oppression. Where the opposition has threatened and carried out violence has been in the pursuit of an agenda shaped by and conducing to the interests of Western economic elites. There is no looming genocide in Zimbabwe, only the threat of Western military intervention whose justification is a lie concocted by fifth columnists doing their masters' bidding.

Gowans looks, from my perch, to be downplaying the violence from supporters of ZANU-PF, but if he's right that the MDC is making false claims of genocide then we should expect US, or British, plans to invade Zim to be imminent if things don't turn out the way Uncle Sam et al want them to turn out.

[ 23 May 2008: Message edited by: N.Beltov ]


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
John K
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posted 23 May 2008 03:40 PM      Profile for John K        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
A bit of good news:
quote:
Two Zimbabwean trade unionists who were detained earlier this month have been granted bail.

A Zimbabwean High Court Judge granted Z$20 billion (US$78) bail each on Monday to two Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) leaders - Lovemore Matombo and Wellington Chibebe. They are currently facing charges of “inciting the public to rise against the governnment and communicating falsehoods.” The two were arrested on 8 May for referring to the country’s election during speeches they gave at a May Day event.

Bail conditions bar the men from addressing any political gathering until the case has been finalised. They must also remain at their home address and were ordered not to “interfere” with state witnesses.

“We welcome the decision to grant bail to the two ZCTU leaders, however the decision to forbid them to attend ‘political gatherings’ as a condition of their bail is completely unacceptable,” said International Trade Union Confederation General Secretary Guy Ryder.



Trade union leaders granted bail

From: Edmonton | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
John K
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posted 24 May 2008 07:51 AM      Profile for John K        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
And some sad and tragic news:
quote:
JOHANNESBURG — The first time the Zimbabwe police arrested Tonderai Ndira back in 1998, he didn't resist. In fact, he was smiling when they crammed him into a tiny prison cell with other democracy activists, and his comrades asked him why.

“He said we had to be strong because we were going to see such things,” Reuben Tichareva, who has been one of Mr. Ndira's closest friends since the age of 5, recalled yesterday. “He said such arrests will become a routine thing as the struggle continues.”

Indeed they did. Mr. Ndira was arrested so often over the next decade – 35 times in all – that his friends and family started to believe he was invincible. No matter how long the police held him, or how much they beat him, he emerged alive and gentle and suffused with enthusiasm to educate people about the need for political change.

Because Mr. Ndira led with such dignity and courage, “we called him our Steve Biko,” Mr. Tichareva said, in a reference to the legendary South African anti-apartheid activist.And now he and Mr. Biko have something else in common: Mr. Ndira, too, has been viciously slain in his early 30s.

Tonderai Ndira's death is believed to be the work of pro-government forces trying to immobilize the opposition before a vote in June.

He was dragged from his bed by six armed men on May 13, beaten savagely in front of his wife and two children, and stuffed into an unmarked car.

His body, or most of it, was found Wednesday on the other side of town...

Mr. Tsvangirai is to return to Zimbabwe today, despite threats to his safety, in part because he is determined to attend Mr. Ndira's funeral. However, it is not yet clear that the government will allow the funeral, scheduled for today, to go ahead.


Violent death of opposition activist


From: Edmonton | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 24 May 2008 08:12 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I wonder who killed Ndira? This really makes Zanu-PF appear to be working diligently toward a UN intervention against themselves. Assassinations? Violence? Which shadow government has trained mercenaries in desperately poor countries to perpetrate these same crimes countless times before?

[ 24 May 2008: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Mercy
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posted 31 May 2008 01:58 PM      Profile for Mercy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Tsvangirai extends olive branch to ZANU-pf?

This strikes me more as an appeal to those who've voted ZANU in the past then an appeal for a unity government but, either way, its interesting.


From: Ontario, Canada | Registered: Feb 2007  |  IP: Logged
Caissa
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posted 04 June 2008 06:34 AM      Profile for Caissa     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/africa/06/04/zimbabwe.aid/index.html

Tsvangari arrested.


From: Saint John | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged
Catchfire
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posted 04 June 2008 06:39 AM      Profile for Catchfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
“We are currently held up. They are saying there’s a commanding officer whom we should wait for. They are not saying why they are holding us up," said Mr Tsvangirai’s spokesman, George Sibotshiwe.

"It’s not an arrest but illegal detention. It appears they want to disrupt our campaign programme."


Click


From: On the heather | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 04 June 2008 07:34 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Jeez this looks even worse for Mugabe. Perhaps they should have just murdered Morgan SFerengi, like the CIA and Belgian colonialists did with Patrice Lumumba who didn't even need to campaign he was that popular.
From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 04 June 2008 07:49 AM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Who is "they", Fidel? And why trivialize the current violence with such remarks?
From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 04 June 2008 07:58 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by N.Beltov:
Who is "they", Fidel? And why trivialize the current violence with such remarks?

I just don't think we should absorb western news media reports uncritically. We already have a good idea of how leftwing views are ignored in our own newzreports.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
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posted 04 June 2008 08:36 AM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
just don't think we should absorb western news media reports uncritically.

Yes, let's close our eyes to "western" news reports.

But then which news reports are left to inform us?

I guess we could just invent reality, like you do, and pretend that Communism is coming for sure, yes it is, o hallelujah.


From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Catchfire
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posted 04 June 2008 08:51 AM      Profile for Catchfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
How do you get from "not absorbing western news media reports uncritically" to "closing your eyes" to them?
From: On the heather | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
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posted 04 June 2008 08:58 AM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I know Fidel. So I know that "not accepting western media uncritically" means something else.

It means accepting non-western media uncritically. And by non-western, I mean Communist-approved.

Just watch: he won't EVER look at THOSE media uncritically.

So, yes, it's a recipe for shutting out everything but ideology. Hallelujah.


From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Caissa
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posted 04 June 2008 09:09 AM      Profile for Caissa     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Mugabe has become a thug. It's amazing how someone people attempt to deny it through ideological rose-coloured glasses.
From: Saint John | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 04 June 2008 09:11 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by jeff house:
I know Fidel. So I know that "not accepting western media uncritically" means something else.

What do you think about Mugabe's claim at the UN that Britain and the west are waging economic warfare against Zimbabwe, another desperately poor country made even poorer since the NeoLiberal shinola failed them all the way around?

Because if that's true, then I would tend to believe that "free and fair" democratic elections are most certainly not happening in Zimbabwe. That's gross political interference by a vicious empire as per an established pattern of precedents for interference and coercion to extremes around the world. Not Zimbabwe, but a vicious nuclear-powered empire and axis of weasels with global power and influence to affect "regime change"

[ 04 June 2008: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
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posted 04 June 2008 10:17 AM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
What do you think about Mugabe's claim at the UN that Britain and the west are waging economic warfare against Zimbabwe, another desperately poor country made even poorer since the NeoLiberal shinola failed them all the way around?

I think it is standard fingerpointing by failures.

Wah wah! The bad countries don't like my wonderful policies!

WaH WAH! So I can arrest the leaders of the Opposition Parties during the "run-off election" because whatever I do, I blame the BAD countries.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7435869.stm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7430000.stm

(And I can rely on sycophants to repeat my whine!)


From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Caissa
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posted 04 June 2008 10:23 AM      Profile for Caissa     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Maybe in a quid pro quo Mugabe can be detained in Rome.
From: Saint John | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged
RosaL
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posted 04 June 2008 10:24 AM      Profile for RosaL     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by jeff house:
I know Fidel. So I know that "not accepting western media uncritically" means something else.

It means accepting non-western media uncritically. And by non-western, I mean Communist-approved.

Just watch: he won't EVER look at THOSE media uncritically.

So, yes, it's a recipe for shutting out everything but ideology. Hallelujah.


I don't know what the "communist approved" position on this is, but here's the South African Communist Party Political Bureau:

quote:
The SACP condemns in the strongest terms the state-sponsored violence and harassment directed against opposition supporters and communities in Zimbabwe. Zimbabweans are being punished for rejecting at the polls President Mugabe and the ruling clique in ZANU PF.

More here

[ 04 June 2008: Message edited by: RosaL ]


From: the underclass | Registered: Mar 2007  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
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posted 04 June 2008 10:45 AM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I don't think "Fidel" belongs to the Communist Party of South Africa.
From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
St. Paul's Progressive
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posted 04 June 2008 10:50 AM      Profile for St. Paul's Progressive     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Mugabe has no redeeming qualities whatsoever.
From: Toronto | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 04 June 2008 10:59 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by jeff house:
I don't think "Fidel" belongs to the Communist Party of South Africa.

That's right, I don't belong to the communists for capitalism party of South Africa. Jeff, can you provide us with a short list of countries that have actually prospered under the new Liberal capitalism since start of the 1990's?

Because I think that at some point in these arguments, and which tend to sound a lot like what the vicious empire regurgitates about countries selected for regime change, someone should provide a single case demonstrating some degree of prosperity and improving conditions as a direct result of the NeoLiberal voodoo, the same mafia deal Zimbabweans can't seem to refuse.

Just like Corey Glass has a duty to decide whether his mission has anything to do with democracy, so do we, as private citizens, have a duty to decide whether an economic ideology actually works to improve people's lives, or whether it's someone else's private agenda and special interests in play. And just because none of their former brutal colonizers or CIA lackeys are there to declare the elections invalid for UN Security Council's sake, doesn't mean there aren't other countries' officials and NGO's there to observe.

[ 04 June 2008: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
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posted 04 June 2008 11:16 AM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
That's right, I don't belong to the communists for capitalism party of South Africa.

I knew that.


From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 04 June 2008 11:27 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Corey Glass, and even you, Jeff, as we've learned about your own experience with it, have a lesson for all of us. Both of you refused to follow orders by your own individual discretions. And like Corey Glass, we are now expected to digest and absorb a political and globalizing economic agenda which does not have a very good track record with respect to how it overrides every thirdworld countries' sovereign abilities for economic decision making.
From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
RosaL
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posted 04 June 2008 11:30 AM      Profile for RosaL     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by jeff house:
I don't think "Fidel" belongs to the Communist Party of South Africa.

No, of course not.

I was addressing the "communist-approved" issue. I've been googling and the only communist commentary I could find was from the SACP. So if there's a "communist-approved" position, I suppose that would be it.


From: the underclass | Registered: Mar 2007  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 04 June 2008 11:38 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It's a very strange form of communism they have in that country and former cold war ally of the vicious empire, South Afreeka.
From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
RosaL
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posted 04 June 2008 11:43 AM      Profile for RosaL     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Fidel:
It's a very strange form of communism they have in that country and former cold war ally of the vicious empire, South Afreeka.

You're being to elliptical for a literal-minded person like me to understand you


From: the underclass | Registered: Mar 2007  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
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posted 04 June 2008 11:49 AM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
So if there's a "communist-approved" position, I suppose that would be it.

How disingenuous of you to say that. You know perfectly well that the South African CP is not the same as the Stalinist dead enders who support Milosevic and Castro, Iran and Hezbollah, and lie about genocide in Rwanda.

That's why you have "Fidel" here, going on about how he doesn't support the "capitalist" CP of South Africa.

That's the way they think. If you do anything contrary to Stalinthink, you become "capitalist", which means BAD.

it is similar to a cargo cult these days.


From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 04 June 2008 12:03 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by RosaL:

You're being to elliptical for a literal-minded person like me to understand you


I was meaning that the SACP may have backed ANC's rise to political power in S. Africa in hopes of improving the lives of millions, but the result was improvement for global investors, the corporations, a small percentage of blacks and the tiny white minority. South Africa has been yet another experiment in the new Liberal capitalism. And after 14 years, the results are there for all the world to observe.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 04 June 2008 12:10 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by jeff house:

How disingenuous of you to say that. You know perfectly well that the South African CP is not the same as the Stalinist dead enders who support Milosevic and Castro, Iran and Hezbollah, and lie about genocide in Rwanda.


Who is Paul Kagame, and what foremost exporter of torture and terror to the world gave him the military education and training for his role in Rwanda?

How many million Congolese have been slaughtered at the hands of U.S. proxies Rwanda and Uganda since the late 1990's, Jeff? This may require some thinking on your part, soldier.

[ 04 June 2008: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 04 June 2008 12:15 PM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Cargo cult Communists? That's actually amusing, Jeff. It sounds just like the fetishization of commodities that's so ubiquitous under capitalism.

Mind you, the Maoists have been tarnished with this epithet already. It hasn't seemed to have stopped their recent and resounding success in Nepal, though, has it?

Time for some fresh insults, eh?


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 04 June 2008 12:23 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I feel badly for Jeff. He's actually presented with an opposing point of view and yet can only draw upon dated cold war rhetoric in reply. It's a good thing he read all those newspaper columnists and their incessant attacks on communism during the cold war era, because he'd be speechless today otherwise

[ 04 June 2008: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
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posted 04 June 2008 12:49 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
It's a good thing he read all those newspaper columnists and their incessant attacks on communism during the cold war era, because he'd be speechless today otherwise

nyet, ya prohital russkie picateli, posle svobozhdeniya sovietskogo soiuza, durak.


From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 04 June 2008 12:53 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by jeff house:

nyet, ya prohital russkie picateli, posle svobozhdeniya sovietskogo soiuza, durak.


Пожалуйста не глотайте Неолиберальный koolaid, комиссара товарища


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 04 June 2008 01:04 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by jeff house:
nyet, ya prohital russkie picateli, posle svobozhdeniya sovietskogo soiuza, durak.

Don't think that because I can't understand a word of this that it won't stop me from virtually kicking your butt if it's an insult!


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
RosaL
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posted 04 June 2008 01:05 PM      Profile for RosaL     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Fidel:

I was meaning that the SACP may have backed ANC's rise to political power in S. Africa in hopes of improving the lives of millions, but the result was improvement for global investors, the corporations, a small percentage of blacks and the tiny white minority. South Africa has been yet another experiment in the new Liberal capitalism. And after 14 years, the results are there for all the world to observe.


Thanks I agree and I think maybe the SACP is starting to think this way, too, if they didn't before. (I know very little about them. They have an interesting history, so I should make an effort!)


From: the underclass | Registered: Mar 2007  |  IP: Logged
RosaL
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posted 04 June 2008 01:22 PM      Profile for RosaL     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by jeff house:

How disingenuous of you to say that. You know perfectly well that the South African CP is not the same as the Stalinist dead enders who support Milosevic and Castro, Iran and Hezbollah, and lie about genocide in Rwanda.

That's why you have "Fidel" here, going on about how he doesn't support the "capitalist" CP of South Africa.

That's the way they think. If you do anything contrary to Stalinthink, you become "capitalist", which means BAD.

it is similar to a cargo cult these days.


Disputing the way imperialism uses some of these issues is not the same as supporting these people or groups. I suspect the "Stalinist" position on Milosevic, Iran, and Rwanda is quite a bit more nuanced than that. In fact, it usually consists, in large part, of disputing the way the issue has been framed. To say that they support these is to assume, or at least accept, the framing they dispute.

On Iran, for example, association with the Tudeh party would imply something other than unqualified support for the Iranian government!

They do all support Cuba though, the South African Party included.

I'm not sure why I participate in these arguments. It's all so pointless, and yet I persist.


From: the underclass | Registered: Mar 2007  |  IP: Logged
Caissa
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posted 06 June 2008 06:33 AM      Profile for Caissa     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Zimbabwe's authorities have stopped the opposition presidential candidate Morgan Tsvangirai from campaigning ahead of the 27 June elections.

The order banning "several future rallies" came after police briefly detained Mr Tsvangirai ahead of a rally in the second largest city of Bulawayo.

The length or extent of the ban, which cites security fears, is not yet clear.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7440237.stm


From: Saint John | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 06 June 2008 09:09 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Political interference in any country's elections is illegal and should be condemned. Gowans is Canadian not a mouthpiece for Rhodesia's former brutal colonizers or the CIA.

What would hawks in the USSA say if China and Cuba began funding political opposition to their hand-picked stooges for cosmetic leadership?

[ 06 June 2008: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Ghislaine
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posted 06 June 2008 09:22 AM      Profile for Ghislaine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Fidel:
Political interference in any country's elections is illegal and should be condemned. Gowans is Canadian not a mouthpiece for Rhodesia's former brutal colonizers or the CIA.

What would hawks in the USSA say if China and Cuba began funding political opposition to their hand-picked stooges for cosmetic leadership?

[ 06 June 2008: Message edited by: Fidel ]


Are you saying Tvangarai is a hand-picked stooge of the US?


From: L'Î-P-É | Registered: Feb 2008  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 06 June 2008 09:41 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Ghislaine:

Are you saying Tvangarai is a hand-picked stooge of the US?


He's for NeoLiberal economic reforms, the same ones which have left tens of millions of South Africans in poverty and disillusioned after 13 years. Globalization and deregulation are major capitalist reform planks radiating throughout the thirdworld like shafts of broken glass, and the source of this agenda producing so many bad results where tried is Zimbabwe's former brutal colonizers, Britain, as well as the USSA.

quote:
But while the HRW researcher says the government is letting people go hungry, he also complains that it is picking up the slack, delivering food aid in place of the NGOs. The government, he says, should not be distributing food but should “let independent aid agencies feed people."

So is Zanu-PF deliberately letting people go hungry or trying to distribute food aid? Which is it?

[ 06 June 2008: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Caissa
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posted 06 June 2008 10:00 AM      Profile for Caissa     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It would be interesting to compare local Presidential poll results and where food aid is being distributed. If there is not a correlation then Mugabe may be a little less of a thug than I thought.
From: Saint John | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 06 June 2008 10:27 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
This reminds me of a situation leading up to Black '47 in Ireland. Catholics could get a bowl of soup from Protestant clergy if they switched religious allegiance. Hunger makes for more attentive listeners. Zimbabwe was still a desperately poor country after so many years of the failed NeoLiberal koolaid. They're trying to exist on their own without the west's preaching to them a plan for what has not worked anywhere else before. Not really. Same with Cuba and more countries. They need better salesmen and some actual results to show for their bs capitalist reforms.
From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged

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