Cablegate: Media Reaction President Bush's Visit to Africa;
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180943Z Jul 03
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SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION PRESIDENT BUSH'S VISIT TO AFRICA;
1. President George W. Bush's visit to Africa remains a
core issue for discussion in op-ed and opinion
pieces being carried in some of the leading
newspapers in Zimbabwe. Excerpts follow:
2. Under headline "U. S. seeks to strengthen its position
in Africa" the government controlled daily "The Herald"
(07/18) carried the following op-ed by Chris Talbot:
"U. S. President Bush's African tour was something
of a public relations debacle. . .His attempt to
project a compassionate image was, to put mildly,
less than convincing. . .If Bush hoped his visit
would dispel the image of the U. S. as a
warmongering bully, he was mistaken. . .Bush's Aids
initiative is really about strengthening the U. S.
position in Africa at the expense of imperialist
rivals such as France and boosting the position of
American-based corporations. . .The much-hyped Aids
proposals are part of a bid to shoehorn U. S.
corporations into Africa, oust foreign competitors
and stamp out domestic enterprises. . .The U. S.
initiative, the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act
(AGOA), which was touted by Bush throughout his
visit, is part of the same unilateralist corporate
agenda. . .The U. S. drive into Africa is not only
economic. It also involves establishing a much
greater military presence under the guise of the war
on terror. This will give the U. S. control over
key resources such as oil and provide it with a more
rapid global reach. . . ."
3. Under headline "Cowardly to expect Bush to liberate
us" the independent daily "The Daily News" (07/18) carried
the following opinion piece by Saul Gwakuba Ndhlovu, under
his weekly column "A view from Matopos" published on page
"United States President George W. Bush's visit last
week. . .generated a great deal of interest and
raised expectations among Zimbabweans about his
country's role in solving Zimbabwe's socio-political
problems. For quite a long time, many Zimbabweans
have been praying and hoping that either the U. S.
or Britain would intervene militarily in the country
to remove the ZANU PF regime and replace it with a
democratic government. . .(South African President
Thabo) Mbeki has repeatedly publicly stated that
South Africa would not intervene in Zimbabwean
problems because they are an internal issue and
thus, must be solved by Zimbabweans themselves. .
.The cornerstone of the South African government's
policy on Zimbabwe is simple: Zimbabweans must solve
their own problems. . .Bust some Zimbabweans still
continue to look for saviors from across their
borders. . .! It has never been clear to me why
some of us would like either the South Africans or
Americans or Britons to spend their money and time
and risk their precious lives for the sake of our
freedom and prosperity. . .The answer is simply that
we are cowards! We have decided to turn our
criticism and anger on Mbeki. . .It is important to
face the truth, however bitter it is. We are our
own enemies by being very poor administrators and
craven cowards. . .All that Mbeki is telling us is
to stand up and reclaim our freedom from those we
believe to have usurped it. . . ."