Professional liars and death from cholera and war

Whether they are called the White House Press Secretary or the regime's Information Minister, they seem to have in common one characteristic: they are professional liars. It goes without saying that all of Bush's press secretaries have been blatant liars, but it's also true of Clinton's and virtually very one of their predecessors. Some of them have been much more likable than others and when they lied made my hackles rise less, but they were still professional liars and why anyone believes what they say is one of the big mysteries. I have to keep reminding myself that our "Information Ministers" are just as bad as the worst of the worst, if you consider the lies they spread that helped get us into the last several wars, but "the worst of the worst" are awfully bad. Consider Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe's vile mouthpiece:

Robert Mugabe's spokesman on Friday defended the dictator's outrageous comments that 'there is no cholera' in Zimbabwe, amid numerous warnings that the cholera crisis is in fact worsening.

During a speech at Heroes Acre on Thursday, Mugabe used the opportunity to once again denounce the West for calling on him to step down from power, and went as far as to accuse Western leaders of using the deadly cholera outbreak as an excuse to invade Zimbabwe. During the public broadcast Mugabe insisted that cholera had been 'arrested,' and therefore the West's 'cause' for military intervention did not exist anymore.

His comments came shortly before the United Nations announced the official death toll from the disease had reached 783 deaths, although it is believed the 'unreported' death toll is closer to 3000 deaths. On Friday Mugabe's spokesman, George Charamba moved to defend Mugabe and told the government mouthpiece Herald newspaper that Mugabe was using 'sarcasm' when he claimed Zimbabwe had defeated the epidemic. Charamba, in typical ZANU PF style, accused Western media of distorting the octogenarian leader's remarks, in an effort to 'advance the war and regime change agenda of their expansionist governments.' (SW Radio Africa)

The patent absurdity of these lies is vitiated by the lies Americans docilely accepted to allow our own regime to invade another country for a reason everyone else understood -- oil. Mugabe's behavior is rapidly approaching genocidal potential which would make international intervention humane and rational. But the Bush administration -- through its own professional liars -- has cast such valid claims under a plausible suspicion of being a pretext for other motives.

What a tangled web we weave when first (and foremost) we practice to deceive.

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IMHO a step toward solving the problems in Zimbabwe might be to tell all US diplomats and their staffs, all US and US paid foreign personnel stationed in country and all leaders of African nations that all wages, aid, charity, contributions, pay-offs and payment will be denominated in Zimbabwe currency at their currently established rate.

Problem is that everyone surrounding Zimbabwe lacks skin in the game. They lament that the nation has become a pit but aside from tossing in random bits sized to be just sufficient to placate their conscience they don't want to get their hands dirty. The world response has be 99% hand waving and speechifying.

It is like the old joke about Nixon. It was said if you were drowning fifty feet offshore he would toss you the end of a thirty foot rope and announce to the world he was going more than half way. He was big on supporting various people and causes. As long as his support was allowed to be below the threshold value of what might actually change things.

Link all those payments we make to the Zimbabwe currency, where a Billion dollar note won't buy you a light snack, and you will see real action.

Remember this when Obamas Press Secretary tells you the US needs to invade Zimbabwe, Sudan, Somalia, Congo, etc.

A report by the Genocide Prevention Task Force convened by the U.S. Institute of Peace was released this week by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and Defense Secretary William Cohen. "Preventing genocide is an achievable goal." There are discernable "signs and symptoms, and viable options to prevent it at every turn if we are committed and prepared."

Both were key players in the Clinton administration, and Hillary is Obamas Sercretary of State, and Obama seems to be relying on ex-Clintonites (and Carter with Volcker and Brzezinski).

The creation of a high level agency to identify the problems of genocide with seismic urgency is suggested. Increased resources are advocated. They made a recommendation for the new secretary of state to launch an international initiative to prevent mass atrocity and genocide, with the option of last resort, military intervention. Too bad this agency was not in place to do something about Iraq and Palestine.

Obamas foreign policy advisers ? Susan Rice and Tony Lake are old hands from the dark days of the Rwanda genocide. General Dallaire commanded less weight than State Department memos questioning whether genocide was even taking place. Every intervention in Africa is related to Kissingers NSSM 200 of 1974 and tend to leave the Africans worse off, and at times the events warranting intervention were manufactured to justify the intervention and achieve a desired objective related to resources.

These same players orchestrated a so called humanitarian intervention outside the UN framework in 1999. Then, it was Kosovo and the issue of preventing ethnic cleansing, and we maintain a very large base in Kosovo today. We know now it was all about the oil transportation from the caspian sea, as was the later Afghanistan intervention, and that we were fueling the tensions with our importation of Al Qaeda types that we had trained up in Afghanistan against the Russians.

Their doctrine is one that targets genocide and humanitarian catastrophe where it is in the national interest to effect regime change or control resources. Bush used security and terrorism as his justification. The end result is the same.

Much of what we hear about Zimbabwe and Darfur is either fiction or so biased as to be lies by deception and ommission. Not saying this Mugabe is any saint, but you do know what Zimbabwe is all about, right? If you don't, you should educate yourself.

To be fair to Obama, he is not yet President and has yet to do the things I fear he will do. But be alert.


I take exception to your stupidity.

You know nothing about Zimbabwe, its past history, its current history or its people. Mugabe is a mad son of Bitch. He has taken, what was called the breadbasket of Africa and turned it into a crumb.

You have no idea what you are talking about.

PFT has one thing right and that is that an African intervention with massive force to stop "genocide" and "starvation" would be unprecedented now. We didnt go for Rwanda, we went and bailed in Ethiopia and we had an opportunity to arm the opposition to Mugabe as did the S. Africans. We blew it.

Part of the problem is that everyone keeps trying to nation build and in this case continent build. The UN is simply not working out for us. We are getting our rights removed here by an international organization but the sword cuts two ways. Every time we save someone in a foreign country they go out and make more someones to save.

We have yet another socialist experiment beginning here during a hard economic time. They are at the end of theirs in Zim. They took the land by creating laws that tried to turn back the clock. They had no capital to keep the machines of government going and of course, Mugabe controls the courts. Our system even when it tilts right or left comes back because of elections and there hasnt been a valid election in 25 years in Zim.

We can do one of three things here. Vote, secession, or if it finally becomes too onerous - revolt. They really only have the last in their kettle to cook.

In our case, the last one would be if the US government tried to prevent a secession. Indeed it would take a lot of like minded people to do it, but once the die is cast we would be able to take the government down for a new one.

History repeats itself here as it is in Zim. No one there would want civil war but it is inevitable. Many will die. International relief organizations will try to take care of refugees and trying to stay neutral. They will prolong the also inevitable and that is that to "win" one or the other must kill the majority of the other.

Just define "win" and you will have a Zimbabwe answer.

Be aware that 255,000 lbs of Pedialyte is heading there Friday via S. Africa. I can only hope it ends up in the right hands, not stolen and above all not done like Somalia. Me, I would give it to the military and let them distribute it but not without rules of engagement. Food to the people if you are going to go and not have it hijacked like Mogadishu.

I see many local and regional wars for us in the near future. We simply have to quit interventions unless they are in our direct interests.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 14 Dec 2008 #permalink

The creation of a high level agency to identify the problems of genocide with seismic urgency is suggested. Increased resources are advocated. They made a recommendation for the new secretary of state to launch an international initiative to prevent mass atrocity and genocide, with the option of last resort, military intervention. Too bad this agency was not in place to do something about Iraq and Palestine.

And once this genocide is identified "with seismic urgency", precisely what do you propose as a next step?

The only logical one is war and occupation. Which leads me to a few logical questions.

1) How many wars to you really expect us to fight?

Remember that the Army is going to need 10 to 20 years to rebuild after the Iraq shitmire.

2) The US Army's interventions in this sort of thing almost inevitably gets shanghaied by the business interests who pull the government's strings more often than not.

Given this, how to you propose to insure this doesn't devolve into another failed attempt at colony building 70 years too late?

3) Have you discovered the location of the fabled Money Tree?

We're going to need one if we have our army hopping from frying pan to fire, trying to hold down a good chunk of the world by naked force.

The logic here is the same as it is every time something like this happens. You need a very damned good reason to go to war Because you are going to pay 10 or 20 times what you thought it would cost. Even if you win.

Foreign aid without contraception is slow-motion genocide disguised as a gift.

Last time I checked, Zimbabwe's birth rate was a little over 4 children per woman. Even if you assume 25% infant mortality, population grows by 50% at each generation.

Mugabe's sin was to kick the carrying capacity out from under the population, creating a fast-action overshoot that is now producing the predictable collapse. Cholera occurs when population density reaches the point where people are effectively shitting in their own drinking water.


Military action to take down Mugabe. Put him on trial at the Hague.

Next, hold a nationwide plebiscite: "Are you willing to a) provide full legal and cultural equality for women?, b) provide equal education for women, and c) use contraception and family planning to bring the birth rate down to negative population growth until your total population is within the carrying capacity of your water supply and arable land?"

If the majority votes Yes, then we provide humanitarian aid including unlimited free contraception.

If the majority votes No, then we pack up and leave, and let nature run its course.

Harsh but necessary. So long as women are oppressed and high birth rates are the rule, everything else is just a bandaid on a slashed carotid artery. We are under no obligation to rescue people unless they are willing to take the steps that will truly solve their problems.

G-but who you going to send in to get him? US troops? Bush put troops into Somalia and said that this wasnt going to be an open ended support mission. Indeed it was just about a year later that because we didnt support our troops they got the shit kicked out of them. Clinton all through 93 was pulling back on the troops and Les Aspin denied a request for armor to be sent in to support the troops that were there. That decision got us into "Black Hawk Down."

I would support going into Zimbabwe militarily to remove Mugabe, but by God the shit sucking UN had better take their wussie asses in there too. We go in, we kick the crap out of his army and then...LEAVE! Let the UN troops be the cops for a change. Our military are soldiers and not the LAPD.

I agree with your assessment about the births G. You feed, clothe, and house them, they make more babies for someone else to take care of. Kind of like the US welfare system.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 14 Dec 2008 #permalink

Let's not forget the overriding motivation behind our actions around the world the last 40 years, culminating with Iraq:

Take advantage of their stunned markets, wipe clean their economic controls, establish "free market" economic policies, enforce through violence, massive detentions and of course, torture.

No reason to intervene in Africa: It remains chaotic enough by itself, so we just send in our technicals to advise...

Milton Friedman's minions are ready for their next victims.