Zimbabwe: U.S. Republicans, Movement for Democratic Change Alike in Media Deception

The Herald (Harare)
OPINION
4 June 2008
Posted to the web 4 June 2008

By Lloyd Whitefield Butler, Jr

STELLA Orakwue writes eloquently in the May 2008 issue of New African magazine "It is a pity!": "Do you think that if 'Mugabe', had got the money, the financial credits that Zimbabwe needed, that Zimbabwe's economic situation would not be utterly different, and that 'the people' would not have given him the vast majority he deserved? . . . It is a pity that the people who voted against President Mugabe have no ability to remember the servitude they existed in prior to the last eight years . . . Is it too hard without the white man? Without the Westerner in charge of your resources, your money, looking after you behind the scenes?"

US Congressman Robert Wexler is demanding that White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan must testify under oath before House Judiciary Committee concerning devastating revelations made in his new book on the Bush Administration's deliberate efforts to mislead the American people into the Iraq War.

In his book, "What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception," McClellan writes that Bush manipulated public opinion through a "political propaganda campaign" to justify going to war in Iraq.

Public officials, whether pro-Anglo MDC-T [Movement for Democratic Change] or pro-Zanu-PF, should be held responsible for any actions that could lead to civil war, social disruption, and or additional economic sanctions. Sanctions are designed specifically to destroy the financial infrastructure of a country.

For years MDC-T has media slandered the people of Zimbabwe with the most savage, filthy, and disgusting language, and disinformation ever written by an African. This is reminiscent of the American systematic dismemberment of a political candidate and a scorched earth strategy.

After reading 'What happened' it appears Morgan Tsvangirai and MDC-T are imitating the George Herbert Walker Bush's 1988 campaign against Michael Dukakis: On page 68 McClellan writes "Instead, they developed a calculated strategy to go negative that had little to do with building their candidate up and everything to do with tearing their opponent down."

"The campaign was by most objective accounts full of distortions, misrepresentations, and zero-sum politics, accusing Dukakis of everything from embracing furloughs for dangerous criminals to disliking the pledge of allegiance (the innuendo being that he was unpatriotic).'

Tsvangirai is using all the American political personality deceptions and media spinmiesterism found common among American politicians; fooling a majority. A recent photo of Tsvangirai crying at a funeral is a typical public relations photo-shoot. It is no different from US presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton's tear jerk response at Press time claiming she's being attacked. World media is finally recognising and stating in their Press comments how she, like Tsvangirai, is waiting for a dreadful event for her to become president.

MDC-T's relentless attack and permanent Press campaign against President Mugabe personally can be likened to Bush and the Republican Party's media spinmiesterisation that White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan regretfully participated in.

"Media outlets should denote more resources to fact-checking ideas and information provided by political campaigns, politicians in office, or special interest organisations. When a candidate bends the truth, reporters shouldn't hesitate to point that out. When a television commercial uses, emotional appeals, distorted imagery, or misleading selective facts to promote a particular point of view, news organisations should expose those tactics, even if it means braving the fury of an offended advertiser.

The do's and don'ts of the Media Spinmiesters and the journalistic stage they set are well defined in former White House Press secretary Scott McClellan's book "What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception" making visibly clear MDC-T's "permanent campaign":

Do not discuss any economic and trade issues, never discuss economic sanctions, never discuss direct investment for agricultural and educational institutions. Never discuss with Zimbabwe citizens the ways and means that white Rhodesians became owners of the best preserved land in Zimbabwe.

Do not discuss the slaughter of millions of Zimbabweans who died in the wars and forced labour mines and plantations. The wars that matched African spears against European cannons and machine guns are crimes against humanity and never to be mentioned.

Never discuss how the British wrote and signed their own land ownership papers and leases in Zimbabwe? Do not discuss how Zimbabwe's farmers ended up in South Africa nurturing a neighbours' land and neglecting their own farm land; is it a result of sanctions? If yes, illegally imposed sanctions should be the Press media's target for investigation.

MDC-T's hired political media spinmiesters always direct the topic of discussions and comments to suffering and death issues, the American boogey man, the "evil" president and the "corrupt" Zanu-PF and ZEC fear and scare tactics. Do not define the New Zimbabwe in specifics.

Propaganda media spinmiesters discourage intellectual debates and promote distrust among political opponents by making the opposition the enemy. Emphasise tribal, political, or religious differences.

The media spinmiesters will make Zimbabwean nationalism, self-determination, and independence an unknown and unachievable factor by constant media bombardment of government failures. Media spinmiesters never report success events or achievements.

Should President Mugabe and Zanu-PF have responded to MDC-T like the Clintons?

"By 1992, Clinton and his political advisors felt they had learned the lessons of the 1988 campaign: answer every attack; counter misrepresentations and distortions of one's record by using the same tactics against the opponent; play by the same rules the opposition plays by, but do it better. ...the Clinton political machine became famous for its aggressive push back tactics, its subtle and not so subtle intimidation of reporters, its mastery of spin, and its rapid response to charges."

"It was recorded in The Quest for the Presidency by Peter and John Matthews Goodman, the systematic dismemberment of Michael Dukakis" based on a "scorched-earth strategy."

When illegally imposed sanctions began to deteriorate the success of the educational institutions from grade schools to the Universities in Zimbabwe; did MDC-T call a truce at any cost to avoid the near collapse of its educational institutions?

The essentiality of any society begins in the home; it ends in the schools and learning centres that later evolve into scientific research and development laboratories of entrepreneurship. What is the cost of sanctions? Answer: a generation of students and citizens denied the social benefits and fruition of their scholarship.

By MDC-T's demonisation of their head of state and its ruling political party they actually demeaned every Zimbabwean.

If American laws are applied to Zimbabwe's present state of affairs charges of sedition, treason, and subversive activities would easily be applied to MDC-T top officials and their media spinmiesters.

Zimbabwe is more of a "Democracy" than America. MDC-T officials are allowed to advocate, solicit, and join foreign forces in their attempt to "remove" the President and government from existence. This behaviour will never be tolerated in America, Britain, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and the European Union. The support of foreign illegally imposed sanctions is a criminal act.

Media Spinmiester "Tendai Biti, secretary general of the MDC, said Sadc must 'play the midwifery role' in easing President Mugabe from power in the aftermath of the March 29 election. Mugabe placed second to opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai in that vote but has vowed to win a runoff."

"If diplomacy fails, the next thing is a war," Biti said after a news conference here. "It's not an option to us, but one day some [person] is going to say, 'This is the only solution.' Sadc must act now before rivers of dead people start to flow, as they did in Rwanda."

Writer MacDonald Dzirutwe writes "The MDC insists Tsvangirai won outright the first time."

"We decided to participate in the run-off to give the people of Zimbabwe a second chance to kick out the dictatorship. We have now declared a zero vote for Robert Mugabe," Khupe told supporters on Sunday.

"We need to give Mugabe a final blow. On June 27 we will be having a Zanu-PF funeral. We are going to make sure we bury them so that they will not resurrect again."

"The MDC has alleged electoral fraud in the March election, and Khupe said verification of results in next month's vote should be open to the media and observers and recorded on camera "so that Zanu-PF will not cheat."

Well, MDC-T, in America if the President of the US, the Commander in Chief, is found to have deliberately deceived the American public for the purpose of going to war in Iraq and Afghanistan the president will be impeached and face federal charges for deceiving the US. You MDC-T have made explosive statements that ought to be answered and verified to the world public with actual facts.

However, if the statements by MDC-T are to be taken at face value one can conclude the MDC, led by Tsvangirai is at war with the Government and people of Zimbabwe. I hope I am wrong.

The seat of authority must always be respected even if it is a dictatorship or a family ruled monarchy. The respect you show today for the seat of authority will be the respect given to you if or when your time arrives for change.

US gangsters or mobsters aka the Cosa Nostra have a rule of law in their Commission or Board of Directors: it states that whichever (member) calls for the removal of the chairman from his seat of authority cannot then be the chairman himself after the removal. In Japan it is said that one cannot be charged with treason if the foreign collaboration be determined to be in the best interest of the country. Sanctions have irreparable effects.

There is a vast difference in being elected to a position of authority and the demand for the removal of a commander in chief from his or her position of authority. The demand places you in legal jeopardy particularly with non-members.

"During electoral campaigns, reporters should work harder to pin the candidates down on policy specifics rather than accepting generalisations and rhetorical flair."

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