|The curse of September|
|Thursday, 20 September 2012 00:00|
September is once again upon us. It is here with its profound history of war, strive, sorrow and rage. A history of tragedy, pain and grief, of turmoil and toil, of a global literature of struggle for power, positions and control. September has come, surely pregnant, as always, with very unfortunate and sad global developments. This time the struggle pits the historic ideological arch-rivals in the form of Christianity, politics and Islam.
September has become the ultimate source and place of threat from where nations project each other in order to ensure that their interests are secured. It has seen war or use of force, or the employment of military activities in resolving political, morale and economic clashes of interests that occur in the normal interaction of nation states.
The month of September has attained a uniquely cruel and regrettable global identity and culture, which merit and deserves ample analytical space for the benefit of humanity. It has acquired a peculiar history as a month of the year with its challenges, positions, incidents, and satirical references.
That history creates and imposes on our societies, a structured pattern of tragedy, sorrow, heinous and regrettable events.
Events taking place in North Africa and the Middle East as result of blatant attacks on Prophet Mohammed and Islam by Sam Bacile’s film, “Innocence of Muslims”, has partially exposed the notion that September is a close contender for ‘a month of regrettable events’.
The film and the protests, which coincided with the 11th anniversary of 9/11, have forced many analysts to question the significance of September, as a month, in the global geo-political, socio-economic and religious arenas. One may quickly recall what have become known as the Black September in Arab history, which is also referred to as the “era of regrettable events”.
In the same token, the film, running under the pseudonym of Sam Bacile and entitled, “Innocence of Muslims” has resulted in and witnessed the attack and death of the US ambassador to Libya, violent attacks on the US embassies in Egypt, Yemen an Germany and worldwide protests. This has forced many academics to brand September the “month of regrettable events”.’
The worst history of September that will remain etched on people’s minds is the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the US. Four large passenger jets were hijacked and piloted into the twin towers of the World Trade Centre and Pentagon allegedly by Al-Qaeda terrorists and more than 3 000 people died.
The resultant war on terror, however, has received a lot of conspiracism studies, pointing to the fact that the 9/11 attacks were never carried out by Al-Qaeda but was a US inside job aimed at justifying US invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq for geo-strategic interests.
For some analysts, 9/11 and the “Innocence of Muslims” film are part of the thematic century-long religious feud that exists between the West (Christianity) and the Arab (Islam) world and the political interests of these nations.
The resistance to Western imperialism and capitalism, especially after the fall of the Soviet Empire, has been perceived by Western nations to be in Islamism and Islamic fundamentalist movements. Is September the month for feuds and political contestations, then?
Historically, September rubberstamps and underlines the assertion that it is a black month on the world calendar as, for example, at 5:30 am in September 1939, Hitler’s armies invaded Poland starting yet another World War in Europe. The resultant war, which became known as the Second World War, left a catastrophic, diabolic and horrific denture on the political skin of the world. Years later many people still look back at this war regrettably.
In Libya, in September 1969, military officers overthrew the Libyan government and the Libyan Arab Republic was proclaimed under Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. This development in Libya in September set into motion the wagons of a train that derailed in 2011 with the violent death of Gaddafi through the hands of the US and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation under United Nations Resolution 1973 which imposed a “no fly zone” on Libya.
The ascendancy of Gaddafi to power in September 1969 has become regrettable given the current political situation and diplomatic relations between Libya and US today.
In September 1970, Hashemite King Hussein of Jordan quashed the militancy of Palestinian organisations and restored his monarchy’s rule over that country. The violence resulted in the deaths of thousands of people, the majority of which were Palestinians. This became popularly known as the “Black September.”
The results of this escapade was the formation, by the Palestinians, of a militant organisation named after the conflict and which became directly involved in the Munich Summer Olympic Massacre of 1972 in southwest Germany. Eleven members of the Israeli Olympic team were taken hostage and eventually killed by the Palestinian Black September group after Israel failed to honour the group’s ransom and demands.
Israel quickly responded by launching ‘Operation Spring of Youth’ and ‘Operation wrath of God’, in which Israeli Special Forces tracked down and killed a lot of Palestinians purportedly involved in the Munich Massacre. Golda Meir, then Prime Minister of Israel, appealed to other countries to “save our citizens and condemn the unspeakable criminal acts committed”.’ Hence such incidents became regrettable and unnecessary in the eyes of the world.
Even King Hussein of Jordan, the only leader of an Arab country to publicly denounce the Olympic attack, called it “a savage crime against civilisation . . . perpetrated by sick minds. . .” This happened in the month of September.
China and Africa lost, in September 1976, a “Father and Inspiration of Independence”, Chairman Mao Zedong who had proclaimed the People’s Republic of China in 1949 in Beijing and supported many African nations in gaining independence. The death of Mao Zedong was a “09 September daylight robbery” of the inspiration behind the armed struggle, the balance of power created by the Cold War and the continued living reference for the total emancipation of nations, especially in Zimbabwe and Africa at large.
The death of Mao was intimately followed by another death of an illustrious revolutionary in South Africa, Steve Biko in September 1977 while in apartheid police custody. Accordingly, a wider section of the academic community assent to the idea that if Biko had lived, South Africa would have fully indigenised . . . and even the vote accorded to Resolution 1973 by President Zuma for the “no fly zone” in Libya in 2011 would have never been given and probably Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi would have survived the Nato invasion. Biko, as a revolutionary, would have added value to the plight of revolutionary parties and the ideals of liberation struggles currently under threat from new forms of imperialism and colonialism.
In Zimbabwe, September saw the commencement of the Lancaster House talks in Britain between the Patriotic Front and the British colonial government in 1979. The talks eventually brought about the Zimbabwe constitution with its “white constitutional safeguards”. This was a constitution written with a broad objective of bringing black Zimbabwe “to a way that keeps a place for the white minority”. This constitution did not only ensure that the Lancaster Agreement would seek to entrench capitalism in Zimbabwe but also that the country would remain in the Western sphere of influence and thereby guaranteeing “a place for the white minority”.
Today as the nation grope towards authoring a new constitution devoid of the “white safeguards”, and too aware that this will be the highest and supreme law to regulate the broadband of our nationhood, itself so critical to the realisation of our traditional and cultural rights, some Principals to the Constitution Select Committee elect to bring aboard alien, foreign and unfounded values to the people- driven constitution like homosexuality, devolution of powers and dual citizenship.
The people of Zimbabwe, united in their diversity and common desire for freedom, justice and equality, harmonised by their heroic resistance to colonialism, racism and domination, recognising the need for indigenous democracy, rule of law and good governance, are quite perplexed at the declaration of a stalemate over fundamental and enduring traditional values added to the constitution by Zanu-PF during the Draft Constitutional amendments by Principals.
September 15, 2008, the leaders of the 14-member Southern African Development Community witnessed the signing of the power-sharing agreement, brokered by South African leader Thabo Mbeki after the inconclusive harmonised elections in March and June of that year. This has come to be known as the Global Political Agreement.
September 2012, therefore, marks the fourth anniversary of the GPA. However, the GPA’s scorecard shows a tale of mixed fortunes, with the opposition MDC formations still failing to agree on the implementations and reforms put in place by the revolutionary Zanu-PF party hence progress has been slow and painful for the country.
This September was the birthday of the GPA. This should grand an opportunity for the GPA to take stock and reflect on what has been and what is yet to be achieved. But September 15 was a day that the country was busy reflecting and trying to come to terms with the polygamous shenanigans of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. Zimbabweans were pondering over the wedding between Tsvangirai and his fiancée Elizabeth Macheka after the courts had cancelled the marriage licence of the love-entangled former trade unionist and president of the Movement for Democratic Change. Of what significance does a wedding of a polygamous Tsvangirai have on the development of Zimbabwe?
It is a regrettable situation indeed. Is September really a “month of regrettable events”?