The Carter myopia, hypocrisy

Jimmy Carter

Jimmy Carter

Obi Egbuna Jr Simunye
While the enemies of Mother Africa and her scattered and suffering children are not into the business of issuing heartfelt apologies for heinous crimes committed against our people, land and culture, that should never stop us from making emphatic demands of them when history is on our side.

As Zimbabweans were transitioning from a settler colony of Britain to a fully sovereign unified and self-determining nation, former US President Jimmy Carter himself was going through a political reinvention, which resulted in a transformation from a President to a born-again humanitarian.

In 1982, Mr Carter and his wife Rosalyn, in conjunction with Emory University, established the Carter Centre, a non-governmental not for profit organisation. According to their website, the centre has worked to improve lives for people in more than 80 countries by resolving conflicts, advancing democracy and human rights, preventing diseases and improving mental health care.

After investing 20 years of countless hours in the building and expansion of Carter Centre, the former US president was a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 for finding peaceful solutions to international conflicts.

One very common characteristic associated with US presidential politics in virtually all US presidents regardless of their party affiliation, is that they find it extremely difficult to come to terms with their mistakes, contradictions and blemishes even after the expiration of their term in office.

It is reported that Mr Carter was recently diagnosed with Metastatic Melanoma, a type of cancer that develops from the pigment containing cells of melanocytes. This gives the appearance that Mr Carter could very well die without acknowledging his unwillingness to persuade the government he once led to honour a commitment and promise that he personally made to the Government and people of Zimbabwe.

In Mr Carter’s case when it comes to the question of Zimbabwe, he has chosen to use the platform of the Carter Centre to create an atmosphere where the regime change agenda of the US-EU alliance would prevail, which means in the diplomatic arena, Mr Carter fully embraces this strategy hook, line and sinker.

When Mr Carter wrote an op-ed for the Atlanta Journal Constitution on December 2, 2008 these were some of his remarks:

“As President I worked actively with African leaders and the British to change the apartheid regime into a democratic Zimbabwe in 1980. Now after three decades of governmental corruption, mismanagement and oppression, Zimbabwe has become a basket case and an international embarrassment.”

Another area of concern for Mr Carter was that President Mugabe’s decision to pay the military and civil service could result in internecine violence and a failed state similar to Somalia. This is almost identical to one of the most prominent voices in the Tsvangirai faction of MDC, Sekai Holland, comparing Zimbabwe to Rwanda, while speaking to an audience of Zimbabweans at Howard University while she held a ministerial post in Zimbabwe’s inclusive Government.

This piece was written by Mr Carter before the Elders Group which is for the most part an all-star line-up of political celebrities which in addition to Mr Carter included the late Nelson Mandela, Kofi Annan, Graca Machel, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, attempted to force their way into Zimbabwe under the guise of a fact-finding mission.

Before this attack on President Mugabe and zanu-pf in 2002, Mr Carter said, “Although this election is seriously flawed the Carter Centre cannot be there, we want to express our support for the people of Zimbabwe and their courageous commitment to preserve the democratic process”.

On July 9, 2013, when the chairperson of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Rita Makarau informed the Carter Centre that their application to observe the Presidential elections had been denied, the only option available to Mr Carter was to have the Carter Centre’s public relations department acknowledge their disappointment but express respect for the decision. We applaud President Mugabe and zanu-pf for not being fazed by the Carter Centre’s monitoring of 96 elections in 38 countries.

Our African-American sisters and brothers would be the first to tell Africans at home and in other parts of the Diaspora that hypocrisy and deception are the cornerstones of Mr Carter’s public life and political career.

During his tenure as the Governor of the State of Georgia, Mr Carter co-sponsored anti-busing legislation with the white supremacist Governor of Alabama George Wallace, aimed at derailing the segregation of public schools, and reintroduced the death penalty after the US Supreme Court threw out Georgia’s death penalty statute in Furman vs Georgia (1972). The next move Mr Carter made was to introduce American Fighting Man’s Day, after Lieutenant William Calli was convicted in a military trial and sentenced to life for his role in the My Lai massacre in South Vietnam. Mr Carter was asking residents in the State of Georgia to drive with their lights on in support of the military.

Another public figure from Mr Carter’s administration who has been equally committed to a US-EU regime change in Zimbabwe is former US Secretary of State Madeline Albright, the chair of the board of directors of the National Democratic Institute.

We remember Ms Albright’s ranting and raving concerning the questioning of NDI employee Dileepan Sivapatharunaram in Zimbabwe during the 2008 elections since NDI was not an election observer and has been extremely vague when discussing their work in Zimbabwe, which they claim began in the late 1990s. This is the exact year that Ms Albright attempted to re-invade the Congo using the now national Security Advisor Susan Rice then the Assistant Secretary on African Affairs as a crash dummy, which prompted Zimbabwe, Angola and Namibia to carry out Operation Sovereign Legitimacy and defend their neighbours against an effort by US imperialism to re-establish the followers of Mobutu Sese Seko at the helm of power.

When it comes to Ms Albright, a protégé of Zbignew Brezinski, Mr Carter’s old National Security Adviser who taught her in Graduate School, and brought her into the Carter administration as the West Wing’s Congressional liaison, sanctioning Zimbabwe was similar to her sanctioning on Iraq that resulted in the death of 500 000 children.

As many pro-imperialist politicians have strange business connections, Ms Albright is no different. She is a co-investor on Helios Towers Africa, a 350-million-dollar investment vehicle that intends to build thousands of mobile phone towers in Africa. Ms Albright’s fellow investors are Jacob Rothschild, Baron Rothschild IV and none other than the head of the Open Society Initiative, George Soros.

The Carter Centre’s slogan is: waging peace, fighting disease and building hope.

Mr Carter also claims the centre started one of its first agricultural projects in Zimbabwe, yet he fails to acknowledge the significance of Zimbabwe’s land reclamation programme.

We cannot forget Mr Carter openly accusing the former Prime Minister of Britain Tony Blair of being subservient to the Bush administration concerning the invasion of Iraq. However, Mr Carter knew this was a precondition to Mr Blair gaining full compliance from Mr Bush to bring about regime change in Zimbabwe.

At no point this millennium did Mr Carter use his bully pulpit to demand that Mr Blair or his successor Prime Minister David Cameron, lift the sanctions on Zimbabwe or honour the Lancaster House Agreement. Mr Carter also accused the Bush administration of having the worst foreign policy in US history. On the question of Zimbabwe, as a president or born again humanitarian, what makes Mr Carter any better?

  • Obi Egbuna Jr is the US Correspondent to The Herald and the External Relations Officer of the Zimbabwe-Cuba Friendship Association. His e-mail is [email protected]
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