Widening Russian War Aims
What a week we have had!
War works largely on laws of the unforeseen and the unintended. The Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, has ominously hinted at the widening of Russian war aims in Ukraine, and this after NATO countries shipped in heavier weapons with greater territorial reach, meant to stop further Russian advance, before pushing it out eventually.
Or so NATO and Ukraine hope. Lavrov has hinted Russia might have to seek to occupy more territory inside Ukraine, to ensure these long range NATO weapons cannot molest her.
Meanwhile, Medvedev has weighed in to say any attack on Crimea means Armageddon.
The one narrative the West enjoyed making at the start of the conflict was that by invading Ukraine, Russia got precisely what it sought to prevent, namely a greater NATO coiling around it territorially, in readiness for the eventual strangulation of hated Russia.
This narrative followed a decision by Nordic countries – all along technically neutral – to formally join NATO.
As a group, these countries are contiguous to Russia, making NATO’s territorial expansion eastwards assume a pincer form.
Greater Russia or start of USSR?
But circumstances may have just flipped that same narrative against its authors, the West.
By arming Ukraine with better weapons, the West may be hastening the demise of Ukraine as a State and Nation! Russia now seeks to reconfigure that part of the world in a way that begins to approximate borders of the old Soviet Union. Russia appears well ensconced within the Ukrainian State, if recent dismissals of
’s intelligence chief, prosecutor of war crimes and several security personnel is anything to go by.
The trouble with unwinnable wars which prove as costly on human lives as they are futile on objectives, is that the commander-in-chief eventually becomes the enemy to be got rid of.
Long life to Zelensky!
One more Russian little something
I really wonder how this now plays out in Western capitals, whose intelligence bodies’ wish scenario is to project Russia as war-weary, and as running low ammo levels.
What they will not admit to is the stark fact that Putin took a very long while to prepare for this war.
And even longer to study NATO’s underbelly.
In both he was meticulous, deadly so. Each time NATO alleges Russian fatigue, the bear renews its push deeper inside Ukraine territory, thus editing and re-writing western propaganda claims.
In war studies, one is taught never to underestimate one’s enemy.
Or to make the enemy look or read weaker than the enemy really is, both in the rear and at the front. Lavrov, a master at understatements, keeps reminding the West Russia still has some little something up its sleeves.
Russian grain diplomacy
Meanwhile, economies in both Europe and America continue down a vertiginous path, as Russia continues to fortify itself economically.
Including winning the hearts-and-minds game.
Chances are that both Russian and Ukraine grain might begin to reach an emaciated world, thanks to Turkey’s mediation.
Wait a minute!
I see Russians deliberately getting Ukraine to exhaust its stocks through exports to a hungry world.
When that stage is reached without making a significant dent on world hunger, Russia will then politely remind the world it is Russia, not Ukraine, which is the world’s granary.
And that by sanctioning Russia, NATO behaved like some gormandiser who knocks open the bottom of a pot after a single filling meal!
You never quarrel with the pot because your stomach is full for just one afternoon.
Whichever way, the whole world now knows who minds humanity’s belly; indeed who warms the heath, and moves global engines!
Clipping sensitive body parts
Sri Lanka has delivered very sobering lessons to the lesser world.
We are all wiser.
Many lessons from that island State.
First, never to allow the US Diplomatic Compound and its human contents any overspill beyond borders etched out by the clear Vienna Convention, particularly Article 41 which forbids Missions of sending States from interfering in the domestic affairs of receiving States.
Sri Lanka winked and doted, giving the US Ambassador a wide berth which the American used to destabilise the country.
Things boiled over, with the American envoy tightening his grip on Sri Lanka’s sensitive body parts.
And in those sensitive parts resides not just stuff that creates new life; but also the reservoir of energies and Adrenalin key for sinews that police the State and defend Sovereignty.
With that gone, and the Military pampered into believing it must behave “properly” while Sri Lanka burned amidst leaping mass rogues, Sri Lanka roiled.
Waking up to responsibilities
I am happy Sri Lanka has now woken up, finally.
It looks now alive to its responsibilities as the sole keeper of the Republic.
First, Parliament did the needful: rather than succumbing to America’s raging demos, it confirmed the Prime Minister as the incoming President.
That way, there was continuity whose effect was to block a situational opposition which America had stitched together, less to govern, more to evict incumbents.
Second, Ranil Wickemesinghe spent no time; once confirmed, he pledged to restore order in the country using whatever it takes to achieve that end.
The Military are now out in the streets; chances are that order will return eventually, in the interest of Sri Lankans, not Americans, or their stooges who smelt power so close, so strongly, even though it was so far beyond their grasp.
America’s VSFS monstrosity
Talking about meddling Americans, we have to up our act here, especially as we move closer towards our harmonised elections.
This column has shared titbits on instances of American interference in our internal affairs, in flagrant violations of our laws, and the Vienna Convention.
The latest such violation comes in the monstrous form of something called VSFS — Virtual Student Federal Service Internship.
At face value, VSFS sounds like an arm of that vile compound, ostensibly one meant for and using American nationals to ensure the American Mission here better performs its lawful functions, as permitted under the Vienna Convention.
But when you look at what VSFS seeks to do, you are struck at its brazen effrontery to our Sovereignty, and its utter contempt of provisions of the Vienna Convention.
Go fight China in China!
I will not help Americans communicate this undiplomatic monstrosity by summarising its key purposes, save to indicate it seeks to enlist Zimbabwean citizens, and Zimbabwean territory in fighting America’s dirty war against the People’s Republic of China, PRC.
Nowhere does the Vienna Convention suggest a Mission of a sending State uses its Mission and diplomatic agents to fight a third country from the territory of a host State.
Nor does the convention suggest you weaponise nationals of a host State to fight a third country. Or even employ them in whatever capacity without the say-so of the receiving State.
America has an Embassy and several consulates in China. They must please use all those in fighting China on Chinese territory.
I will be very happy to report their success in that holy effort.
But they cannot use Zimbabwe, Vienna Convention, or seek to weaponise our citizens for such a dull purpose. We are not a Nation of askaris, at least most of us!
Stopping American mischief
VSFS does more than seeking to recruit Zimbabweans against China.
It attacks our very sovereignty frontally.
It farts on our laws as the host State.
Above all, it flies in the face of the Vienna Convention with the objective of posing a continuing, extraordinary threat against our national security, foreign policy and cherished values.
In the name of so-called human rights, America, which daily shoots blacks inside America, exports wars to many hapless communities, jails and kills extrajudicially, and arranges bloody coups in many parts of the world, seeks to enlist Zimbabwean citizens into its employ (the real meaning of so-called internship!) to enlarge capacities of its Embassy to subvert our Nation.
These so called interns — in reality pawns, report to the American Mission’s Political Officer!
That must be stopped immediately, without any hesitation.
It will be stopped immediately and without a flinch.
Both national laws and international laws are on our side.
Anyway, this is our country and America is here because we allow it to be here!
A legitimising subaltern
I said it has been a pregnant week.
That it has been!
In that little water-bounded State we call United Kingdom, the race for Premiership is now down to two contestants: Liz Truss, the war-mongering Foreign Minister of UK under the just-collapsed Johnson Government; and Rishi Sunak, the Indian who became a Briton, and fast risks becoming material for a false, self-serving narrative for racist Albion.
It is clear who gets premiership, once Conservative party membership gets down to vote: Liz Truss will bag it.
Had bagged it from the very outset.
The rest was mere political vaudeville meant to paint Britain as charitable to its emigres!
Sunak’s lead was as carefully choreographed as it was false from the beginning. Those who do not see far were taken in.
Except such pusillanimity was needless. Having ousted a scion of the Ottoman Empire, why would Albion install another outsider, a subaltern in this case? One doesn’t need the mind of a genius to get that!
Out Dr Nku, followed by Advocate Fulcrum
So Dr Nkululeko Sibanda is gone?
One found him quite good-natured in spite of his confounding political dullness.
I hope he has a home to retire to! Even my own Mhofu, Advocate Fulcrum, isn’t as punchy and as sure-footed as before.
There is something about his defence of Chamisa which is sounding decidedly both perfunctory and valedictory.
But also incandescently frustrated!
Except unlike Dr Nku, Advocate Fulcrum seems to seek a well-managed route to his eventual silence.
How long that route is, no one knows, cares to know even.
The truth of the matter is that under Chamisa, Triple C retains not a shred of dignity as a Zimbabwean opposition as it wishes to be known.
To be accurate, it is just an opposition in Zimbabwe.
Just these two short weeks firmly festooned it as a quisling party we have always insisted it is, often to great incredulity.
Now everything is now so plain that even the most bigoted of its followers cannot dodge this ignominious status.
Chamisa tried to use munamwe — vlei clay — to paste Triple C’s dismembered torso and limbs, without realising that once down, Humpty Dumpty never get hoisted ever again.
His cryptic “Sanctions must go yesterday”, simply sounded goaded and pretended! It drew raucous laughter from serious political watchers. He is a puppet, period!
Characters for comic relief
No one can save Kasukuwere, however many he mobilises to serve him.
He is a complete goner, as far as Zimbabwe’s politics are concerned.
Even the act of enlisting Tsenengamu and Jim Kunaka as emissaries for his second fall, showed absolute lack of political common sense, congenital, induced and both.
Anyway, those of us who watched the man from near, find little surprises. Feeble in mind, he is driven by a superstitious belief in himself as anointed by the long dead. And to imagine a youngster who was a boy of a milky nose-bridge, launches himself as touchstone of original Zanu-PF, against elders of the Party, just makes himself a figure for comic laughter and relief. Alongside his Kunaka and Tsenengamu, both of whom were mere toddlers as Zanu-PF romped to power in 1980.
For Tsenengamu and Kunaka, it gets worse: both were chased out of Zanu-PF towards the dying days of the First Republic, chased at the instance of people who included Kasukuwere, the man they now proclaim to us as Zimbabwe’s saviour!
But wait a minute, Jim and Tsenengamu are no fools!
They told us Kasukuwere is being brought back by “Mashonaland Central Province”!
Upon realising this as fatal, to the extent it makes Kasukuwere nothing more than a regional figure at best, a place-politician at worst, they then sought to invent width to their claim, assuming it was ever wider than the three musketeers!
You can’t wish for more amateurish politics.
Keepers of a fictitious agreement
Both Kunaka and Tsenengamu have a history of working with Chamisa and his Triple C.
Alongside their new master, Kasukuwere, both hailed Chamisa for promising to welcome home all those in self-exile, a message which the duo repeated at the Kasukuwere press conference.
They went further: Kasukuwere would be deputy to Vice President Chiwenga, a man they cast as set to challenge President Mnangagwa at the ruling Party’s October elective Congress.
Vice President Chiwenga, they alleged, seeks this challenge on grounds that the current President reneged on an agreement — which we assume Kasukuwere, Tsenengamu and Kunaka are sole keepers — by which he promised to serve for one term only! Goodness me!
A plea for homecoming
About that same time Kunaka and Tsenengamu are perorating at the press conference, the supposed two mortal antagonists — President Mnangagwa and Vice President Chiwenga — are jointly reading two separate communications from our Saviour Kasukuwere, in which he is pleading with both to be allowed back from self-exile!
Back not for higher ideals which Jim and Tsenengamu are trying to paste on him, but for the more mundane objective of saving his crumbling investments! While his henchmen vest him with lofty pursuits, the man — by his own hand — is chasing more down-to-earth goals! To be or not to be: that is his humble preoccupation!
Threaten, divide and get to lose
So what is Saviour’s goal? Simply to use his Janus-faced politics to cut some space for himself alone, the same way he left his comrades in the lurch in November 2017!
Janus-faced in that he at one level engages the President and his Vice in plaintive tones, while frightening them with the threat of being a contestant in 2023. Or frightening them by threatening to divide the Zanu-PF vote in Mashonaland Central, Zanu-PF’s stronghold.
Janus-faced in that he hopes Chamisa takes notice of these efforts, just in case he succeeds in causing an upset.
That makes him a Triple C aspirational member.
And on that score, Chan appears to have a better grasp of Zimbabwean politics than a man who was political commissar of the ruling party, once upon a time! Enough of human affairs; let the donkey leave matters at this stage.