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Cablegate: Media Reaction War with Iraq; Harare

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

280904Z Mar 03

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000633

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/PDPA FOR DALTON, MITCHELL AND SIMS
IRAQ PD FOR SMITH, PINESS AND ROOKARD
NSC FOR JENDAYI FRAZER
LONDON FOR GURNEY
PARIS FOR NEARY
NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: IZ PREL KPAO KMDR ZI
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION WAR WITH IRAQ; HARARE


1. Opinion articles carried in the March 28 edition
of the independent daily "The Daily News" and the
March 27 edition of the independent weekly "The
Financial Gazette" focus on the ongoing United Stated-
led military campaign to disarm Iraq. Excerpts:

2. Under headline "Bush hoping for better luck with
Saddam than with bin Laden," Farai Makotsi dedicated
his weekly column "Beyond the Mountains," published on
page 11 in the March 28 edition of the independent
daily "The Daily News," to a rebuttal of the coalition
rationale for going the war in Iraq. Makotsi said
that, apart from wanting to control Iraqi's oil
riches, the "war is good business for the U.S. defense
industry." Excerpts:

". . .The optimism displayed a week ago by U.S.
and British officials and their military
commanders of a `quick and successful' strike
against Iraq is all but subsiding. The initial
shrill tone of the invasion coverage by the U.S.
and United Kingdom media is subduing.
Somberness is slowly taking over. I'm getting a
distinct feeling everyone here. . .is against
the U.S.-UK invasion of Iraq. I'm feeling
exactly the same, but not because I have a
special affection for the Iraqi leader. Quite
to the contrary: I abhor anyone, anywhere in the
world who believes and acts as if he or she has
a God-given. . .right to rule infinitely -
especially one who rides roughshod over his
citizenry, denying them their basic human rights
and freedoms of expression. Rather, I simply do
not buy the reasons Bush and Tony Blair, the
British Premier, are giving to justify an attack
on Iraq.

". . .Besides oil interests, I suspect the hawks
in the U.S. government are going after Iraq for
another reason: the American economy is failing
to pull out of a recession. What better way of
jump-starting growth than engage in war, however
sumptuous the reasons for doing so maybe? War
is good business for the U.S. defense industry,
which lately has been languishing in the
doldrums. There are more defense industry jobs
available now to keep the engine of war roaring.
The troops have to be fed. Medicine supplies
should be in abundance. It's more jobs for the
fellas back home. Then there is Bush's single-
minded obsession with finishing the job his
father, former President George Bush, started
with the Gulf War 12 years ago but never fully
accomplished - driving Saddam out of power. He
(President George W. Bush) hopes, I suppose, to
have more luck with Saddam than Osama bin Laden
- unless, of course, the sandstorm really gets
- in the way."

3. Under headline "It's time to flush out the
Saddams of this world" the March 27 edition of the
independent weekly "The Financial Gazette" carried an
opinion piece by Sydney Masamvu - the paper's
Assistant Editor - on page 18 in which he hails the
ongoing United States-led military campaign to disarm
Iraq, saying, "The year 2003 should be dedicated to
flushing out dictators the world over - in Baghdad,
Havana, Jakarta, southern Africa - and send them
running." Excerpts:

"Without a United Nations resolution, it
will remain debatable whether George W. Bush and
Tony Blair's war against Saddam Hussein was the
right option or not. Indeed, it could be argued
that Bush and Blair are probably guilty of
attempting to subject the U.N. system to the
same dictatorial tendencies they accuse Saddam
of practicing in Iraq. But. the reality is
that only resolute action, fire and force if
need be, is the way to get any dictator to
change tack.

"I personally wish the kind of forthrightness,
frankness and above all decisiveness exhibited
by Bush in his handling of Saddam would catch up
with our leaders here in Africa, especially
those spearheading the New Partnership for
African Development (NEPAD). Such a determined
stance against tyranny would drive the many tin-
pot dictators flourishing in many an African
country out of the continent. The year 2003
should be dedicated to flushing out dictators
the world over - in Baghdad, Havana, Jakarta,
southern Africa - and send them running for dear
life. Progressive forces must emulate the
example set by the Americans and with all in
their power confront the dictators in their
corner of the world for, Anglo/American handling
of Saddam has shown, quiet diplomacy is a pipe
dream."

4. Comment: Masamvu's piece is a good
illustration of one current of opinion share by
some Zimbabweans opposed to the Mugabe
government. That opinion holds that Saddam and
Mugabe are roughly equivalent and should be
treated with equivalent roughness. End comment.

SULLIVAN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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