|Selective perceptions have been there for a while|
|Wednesday, 25 July 2012 21:17|
UNSURPRISINGLY the EU has extended its illegal sanctions regime on Zimbabwe, and the decorum in the official utterances is of course the noble rhetoric on the need to help Zimbabweans to fight for respect of human rights in their country, even at a time those who have previously claimed victimhood to human rights abuses are making public utterances that there are in fact no human rights abuses being carried out in the country.
Of course the perception of Zimbabweans, whether from members of the sanctioned Zanu-PF politicians and their supporters; or from the Western-assisted members of the supposedly persecuted MDC does not really matter in the context of civilised perception from the most advanced Western world.
What amounted to human rights abuses was the much-publicised intention of Gaddafi to carry out genocide in Benghazi, an assertion that was deemed so true that there was no need for any evidence. Those asking for such evidence are collectively labelled enemies of Libyan freedom.
Australian Minister of Trade Craig Emerson aptly put it when he explained the logic behind his country’s sanctions on Zimbabwe.
Reform in this case is clearly defined as compliance with Australian foreign policy in particular, and with Western foreign policy in general.
The Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, was exceedingly impressed with this kind of exceptional wisdom from the Zimbabwean politician, and she showered the man best known for his consistent inconsistency with all manner of praises.
Politicians whose political careers are strictly guided by values and interests of the Western world are indeed exceptionally remarkable in the eyes of civilised perception. What have been elevated most about Nelson Mandela are the rainbow compromises that left white economic hegemony completely safe in South Africa.
securing such deals one is a remarkable hero in the eyes of Westerners.
And Tsvangirai played the hero when he made his public appeal for Australia to come to the “rescue” of Zimbabwe.
He quoted the Washington Post and the New York Times, providing such quotes as the declaration that Valladares’s revelations were “the definitive account of the vast system of torture and prison by which Castro punishes and obliterates political opposition.”
Castro was definitively described as having “created a new despotism that has institutionalised torture as a mechanism of social control,” and the former Cuban leader was unquestionably described as a “dictatorial goon.”
Post pointedly warned that “only the most light-headed and cold-blooded Western intellectual will come to the tyrant’s defence.”
So conclusive was the judgment against Castro that Ronald Reagan chose a Human Rights Day occasion at the White House to single out Valladares for his courage in enduring the devilish brutalities of a bloody tyrant, and Regan instantly elevated the Cuban hero to US representative at the UN Human Rights Commission.
After being posted to the UN Human Rights Commission in 1986, Armando Valladares’s main assignment was to perform diplomatic services in the defence of the governments of El Salvador and Guatemala against charges of mass murder and atrocities — themselves so egregious that they made what Valladares claimed to have suffered in a Cuban prison look like child’s play.
It so happens by definition that any government that is a Western ally cannot carry out human rights abuses, like Israel cannot exactly be accused of human rights abuses against the Palestinians.
Armando Valladares did not even care that the same month he was appointed US representative at the UN human rights body, Herbert Anaya, the director of the Human Rights Group of El Salvador had just witnessed his colleagues killed in cold blood and he himself was tortured ruthlessly.
The sworn testimonies, together with a secretly recorded video tape, were smuggled out of prison and distributed to all major media outlets.
Ronald Reagan, two men so deeply committed in stopping the tyranny of communist dictatorships across the world.
Not even a single Western newspaper saw it newsworthy to report on the stoning incident, precisely because the sin became holier than the one sinned against.
Anaya was not invited as a guest to any Human Rights Day activity in the West, and he was not appointed to any position to do with the promotion of human rights.
This is how consent manufacturing works, and only those whose political position is deemed to be against Western interests are painted as despots and devils worth the condemnation of the world.
The denunciation of Zimbabwe as a country with egregious human rights abuses is hardly supportable by any shred of evidence, especially on a scale exceptionally different from any other average African country. The denunciation is more political than it is criminal, and the solution sought in ending the isolation of Zimbabwe is a political one and not a human rights matter.
In fact Zimbabwe will need to reform its economic policies in a way biased towards Western interests. This is why elections are placed as central to the lifting of sanctions. Elections in themselves do not matter in this equation.
What matters are elections that will result in a leadership deemed compliant to Western interests in Zimbabwe. With such a leadership in place there is hardly any need to talk about human rights abuses. There are always higher priorities than human life in poor countries.
Zimbabweans whose death they have caused.