Monday, March 31, 2008

ZIMBABWE - platinum, farmland, Blair, Bush

Mugabe is a bad dictator?

Or Mugabe is being destabilised by the West so that the West can control Zimbabwe's platinum and farm land?

Possibly both statements are true.

1. 1990 Zimbabwe:

"By 1990, life expectancy had risen to 64 years, and infant mortality, school enrolment and adult literacy were all better than the average for the developing countries." - BBC News Zimbabwe Political conspiracy or economic mismanagement?

2. 2008:

"Despite the large number of Zimbabweans, legally/illegally in South Africa at present, presumably as a result of being dissatisfied with Mugabe, it appears that they are not finally decided about Bob and the mob.

"During a recent phone-in program on SABC, callers were asked whom they would vote for, and the majority of them (identified as Zimbabweans) still chose Mugabe." - Your views on Zimbabwe election

3. "The trigger for Zimbabwe’s economic and financial besiegement is the decision taken by Britain’s Labour government under former prime minister Tony Blair in 1997, not to support 'the package of assistance for resettlement in the period immediately following independence'...

"It is clearly feared that if Zimbabwe’s 'land grab' is emulated elsewhere in Africa, or Third World countries, or Commonwealth member states, it would threaten to shake the foundations of capitalism as understood by the Western world.

"This is rooted in bankable title deeds and the sanctity of individual property rights. However, Zimbabwe dispensed with both to achieve its 'fast track land reform programme'...

"In whose interest would Zimbabwe be destabilised?

"... US President George Bush signed into law the 'Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act' on December 21 2001...

"Today, Zimbabwe is under an economic and financial siege and, therefore, seriously cash strapped...

"Ask yourself the question, how is it possible that Zimbabwe’s economy cannot profit from the soaring platinum, gold, uranium and coal prices, when the country is richly blessed with such strategic natural resources and many more?

"... One needs to look at the de-classified CIA documents again, how conspiring foreign international forces had undermined Ghana’s economy in 1962-1965 in order to topple President Kwame Nkrumah... - The Herald

4. 25 July 2005:

"The Chinese are widely reported to covet a stake in Zimbabwe's platinum mines, which have the world's second-largest reserves...

"China won a contract last year to farm 1,000 square kilometers, or 386 square miles, of land seized from white commercial farmers during the land-confiscation program begun by Mugabe in 2000."

Mugabe's "new 25-bedroom palace is covered with midnight-blue Chinese roof tiles. His air force trains on Chinese jets. His subjects wear Chinese shoes, ride Chinese buses and, lately, zip around the country in Chinese propjets..." - Zimbabwe's future: Made in China - International Herald Tribune

31 August 2007:

"Robert Mugabe is to lose vital support from one of his few remaining allies on the world stage, China.

"One of the Zimbabwe president's oldest diplomatic friends, China yesterday told Lord Malloch Brown, the Foreign Office minister, that it was dropping all assistance except humanitarian aid."

5. 31 March 2008:

There is the "possibility of a coup de etat by the army commanders in the wake of a surprise victory by the Oppostion MDC Tsavangirai party overthe ruling party Zanu PF and its presidential candidate, Robert Mugabe.

"Today's signs can be cross referenced to earlier statements made by the commander of Zimbabwe's army, General Constantine Chiwenga that 'Elections are coming and the army will not support or salute sell-outs and agents of the West before, during and after the presidential elections,...We will not support anyone other than President Mugabe who has sacrificed a lot for this country.'" - COUP plot fears mount, as election results delay.

6. "President Robert Mugabe made a down payment of US$1 million to an Israeli company with Mossad connections at the beginning of this month to help him rig the elections.

"The balance of U$1,5 million is due as soon as Mugabe has been sworn in for another term, The Zimbabwean on Sunday can reveal.

"Details of the deal were leaked to us on Friday from the president’s own office, substantiating reports by the MDC of Israeli involvement in the elections.

"Impeccable sources revealed that the spy agency had initially asked for US$3 million to secure Mugabe another term but ended up settling for US$2,5 million after negotiations with Mugabe’s emissaries, including Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono and CIO bosses..." -
Mugabe pays US$2,5 million to rigging experts


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Mining company Anglo American acting like Nazis?

Mining company Anglo American 'has forced nearly 20,000 South Africans off their land'. (Mining forces out thousands in SA)

Villagers who have resisted being forced off their land claim that they have been shot at.

Reportedly, Anglo American has polluted local water sources with cancer causing chemicals and 'scores of miners have been killed'. (BBC File on 4 investigation - Mining forces out thousands in SA)

Around 20 people a year are killed while working in the local platinum mines.

The charity ActionAid, on 25 March 2008, reports that in South Africa, as a result of mining by Anglo Platinum, the world’s largest platinum company:

1. rural communities have lost their farmland

2. they have lost access to clean water

3. they have suffered increased hunger and poverty.

Anglo Platinum is majority owned by mining giant Anglo American which made a profit of approx US$1.75bn last year. Anglo Platinum spent less than 1% of its profits on community development.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

How America is making Africa and the world much poorer.

Food prices continue to rise worldwide.

This is leading to protests.

"Across Central Asia the talk has been of bread, and fear.

"In this region of extreme poverty and fragile political stability, a loaf of bread is becoming too pricey for too many." - Sept 2007, BBC NEWS Special Reports Counting the cost of wheat price hike

In January 2008, over 10,000 marched in Jakarta, the Indonesian capital, in protest at soaring soyabean prices. ( Rising food prices provoke angry protests in Indonesia9Feb08 ... )

"The indications are in general pointing to high prices," Abdolreza Abbassian, a senior grains analyst at the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation in Rome, told AFP.

The agency's figures show food prices globally soared nearly 40% in 2007, leading to protests in Myanmar, Pakistan, Indonesia and Malaysia. (As Asia food prices bite, analysts warn of worse to come - Yahoo ...)

"Recent pasta protests in Italy, tortilla rallies in Mexico and onion demonstrations in India are just the start of the social instability to come unless there is a fundamental shift to boost production of staple foods, Joachim von Braun, the head of the International Food Policy Research Institute, warned in an interview with the Guardian." (Riots and hunger feared as demand for grain sends food costs ...)

Some causes of rising food prices:

1. The Iraq war is putting up the cost of oil and damaging the world's economy.

2. The rich Chinese, are eating more meat and dairy products. The Americans have always eaten more than their fair share.

3. The cars of the rich are getting fuel from corn, cane and edible oils

4. Climate change, caused by countries like America, can mean droughts in Australia and elsewhere.

The Iraq war hurts everyone.

The Iraq war has cost America trillions of dollars and has cost the rest of the world additional trillions of dollars.

A Guardian article on the cost of the Iraq War (Aida Edemariam talks to author Joseph Stiglitz about the true cost ...) makes the following points:

Why has the rest of the world lost trillions?

1. The rising price of oil has meant that the cost to oil-importing industrial countries in Europe and the Far East is now about $1.1 trillion.

The rising price of oil is devastating Third World countries.

A study by the International Energy Agency that looked at a sample of 13 African countries found that rising oil prices have "had the effect of lowering the average income by 3% - more than offsetting all of the increase in foreign aid that they had received in recent years, and setting the stage for another crisis in these countries".

3. The weak economic position of the USA, resulting from the Iraq war, is hurting the global economy.

4. The Iraqi economy has been smashed.

5. There are tens of thousands of dead. (Probably over a million dead as a result of US policies in Iraq)

6. There is a high cost, to neighbouring countries, of absorbing thousands of refugees.

7. There is the cost of the coalition military. Before the war, Britain's Gordon Brown set aside £1bn; by late 2007, direct operating costs in Iraq and Afghanistan were £7bn and rising.