Cablegate: Media Reaction President Bush's Visit to Africa;
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SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION PRESIDENT BUSH'S VISIT TO AFRICA;
1. President George W. Bush's visit to five nations in
Africa remains a sizzling issue in the leading
newspapers in Zimbabwe. An epigrammatic sample of
some of the articles, op-ed and opinion pieces
2. Under headline "Cyclone Bush hits Africa" the
July 13 edition of the independent weekly "The Daily
News On Sunday" carried the following opinion piece
by Barnabas Thondhlana, Deputy Editor, under his
column "Thodhlana on Sunday" on page 13:
"Cyclone Bush has come and gone, leaving in its wake
the gnashing of teeth. . .! The last time a high-
profile American government official was in this
part of the world, this resulted in change. . .Given
the hegemonic position of the U. S., it is not a
minor thing to have the President of the most
powerful country in the world paying a visit to
Africa. The visit may be a turning point for the
whole of Africa and not a threat. It gives Africa a
chance to re-organize our priorities, and does not
have to be a win-lose situation. This is a win-win
situation. Unless you have something to hide. `If
Mr. Bush is coming to seek cooperation, then he is
welcome, but if he is coming to dictate what we
should do, then we will say: go back home, Yankee,'
Mugabe told his supporters in Chivi last weekend.
We can shout `Yankee go home' until we are hoarse,
but we cannot ignore Bush. Be afraid, be afraid,
Cyclone Bush is here."
3. Under headline "Bush leaves Africa a sober man" the
July 13 edition of the government-controlled weekly
"The Sunday Mail" carried the following article by
Munyaradzi Huni, Political Editor, on page 9:
". . .One just had to follow the Texan as he
traveled from Senegal, South Africa, Botswana,
Uganda and Nigeria to see how sober Mr. Bush was
getting as he came face to face with the stunning
realities in Africa. . .Despite the excitement,
there are two things that are certain to happen
after the Texan's visit. One - This trip to Africa
by Mr. Bush will definitely force America to re-
think and re-shape its foreign policy towards
Africa. Two - This trip will definitely open up the
eyes of the MDC leadership and make them realize
that it's a waste of time to think Britain and
America will smuggle them into power. The game has
to be played at home, and here in Zimbabwe. . . ."
4. Under headline "United States foreign policy a threat
to American security" the same newspaper carried the
following opinion piece by Dr. Muqtedar Khan, a visiting
fellow at the Brookings Institution's Saban Center for
Middle East Policy, on page 9:
"The world is becoming anti-American. Not only do
most people across the planet look upon the U. S.
with disfavor, they also dislike President George W.
Bush, who is not the most popular leader even in
America where British Prime Minister Tony Blair is
more trusted and admired. More and more people are
less keen on co-operating with the U. S. in foreign
policy or in the war on terror. Growing anti-
Americanism will not only undermine the war on
terror, but its extreme manifestations in the Muslim
world is attracting new and numerous recruits to the
ranks of Al-Qaeda and their associates. Experts are
in agreement that the primary reason why people now
hate America is American foreign policy. Its
exclusively self-regarding outlook, its arrogant
unilateralism, its unwise and untrustworthy rhetoric
and its beleaguered posture, is alienating. .
.Rather than ensuring American security, it seems
that American foreign policy, particularly the
invasion and now occupation of Iraq, have created
conditions which put the U. S. and its interests at
greater risk. President Bush is surrounded by
policy hawks that view September 11 as an
opportunity to reassert the prerogatives of the
American Empire through unilateral use of force.
They wish to reshape the world to perpetuate
America's imperial aspirations. Unfortunately for
them the world is unwilling to co-operate. The
harder they push the more resentment they will
generate and the more difficult it will become to
save the empire and its interests."
5. Under headline "President Bush's sudden change leaves
MDC in a quandary" the government-controlled Bulawayo-based
weekly "Sunday News" (07/13) carried the following news
analysis on page 10:
"The sudden `climb-down' by U. S. President Mr.
George W. Bush from a hard-line stance against
Zimbabwe to an attitude of constructive engagement
after he met South African leader Mr. Thabo Mbeki. .
.has left the opposition MDC in a quandary. . .The
MDC and its media mouthpieces were praying that Mr.
Bush would effect `regime change' in Zimbabwe and
hand over power to Mr. Tsvangirai, who has been
accused of being a puppet of imperialists. But Mr.
Tsvangirai's hopes were dashed when Mr. Bush emerged
from talks with Mr. Mbeki on Wednesday. The
American leader clearly said he is of `one mind'
with Mr. Mbeki on the issue of Zimbabwe. . . ."
6. Under headline "Dishonest broker or politically
broke?" the July 12 edition of "The Saturday Herald"
carried the following op-ed by Nathaniel Manheru, under his
column "The Other Side":
"The lot of puppets is a hard and unenviable one.
They have to keep guessing the master's next move.
And where the master is `a Texan idiot,' unable `to
think properly,' one mercurially given to sudden
shifts and turns, the guessing game can be
insuperably hard. . .Unfortunately for Tsvangirai,
his political master for once thought `properly'
and, without beating about the bush, told the world
that Mbeki is `an honest broker,' the `point man' on
Zimbabwe who is `working very hard' and `making good
progress.' Boom! The curtains falls and the day
darkens. . . ."
7. Under headline "What are the consequences of Bush's
safari?" the July 12 edition of the government-
controlled daily "Chronicle" carried the following
op-ed by Dr. Godfrey Chokowore, under his regular
column "Perspective" on page 4:
". . .In conclusion it must be accepted that while
Zimbabwe and Africa in the final analysis welcome
the United States President George W. Bush as a
world statesman, Zimbabwe and Africa should equally
remind him that the potential of the U. S. A. to
make the world a better place to live in, rests on
its obligation to respect the historical reality of
other countries, cooperation and complete
elimination of unilateralistic practices in its