For One Democratic State
in the whole of Palestine (Israel)


FOR One Man, One Vote



July thunder of Russo-Chinese veto over Zimbabwe ended the long suspense. Power transfer in Russia has been completed; the lull of the Wests unchallenged free hand in international affairs is over.


July Thunder

By Israel Shamir


Since the recent Russian presidential election of Medvedev (which shifted Vladimir Putin to the less prominent post of Prime Minister) and even for a while before that, Russian foreign policy was a matter of guesswork. There was a widely-held view that Mr Medvedev would take a more submissive line towards the US and the West, and eventually surrender the positions taken by his mighty predecessor.  Assuming that Russia is the main hindrance to Bushs wet dream to take over Iran, this was not just a theoretical question, and many observers around the world (including this one) followed these developments in Russia with great apprehension.


Recent developments have disabused those fears. The Russia of Medvedev-Putin is even more independent and coherent than the Russia we knew last year. The transfer of power has been hanging  like a dark cloud over the Russian skies for a very long time, and only now, with the July thunder of Russian-Chinese veto over Zimbabwe, can it be said to be over. It had been preceded by a small warning: Russia had demanded the dismantling of the Yugoslavia Tribunal, this last vestige of NATO’s war against the once-independent Balkan state.


This was a richly symbolic demand. Yugoslavia had indeed been the arena of a terrible crime, but the crime was not a NATO- invented and Photoshop-produced genocide. So many years of the Tribunal’s operation produced zero proof, while mass graves and million victims of Bosnian Holocaust turned out to be a figment of somebody’s imagination. The real crime was NATO’s intervention, blockade and bombardment which eventually led to the Balkanization of the Balkans, and to endless suffering for all its residents. This crime was made possible by Russias disappearance from the world arena. After 1991, the broken, impoverished, mentally exhausted and spiritually colonised successor states of the USSR became objects rather than subjects of international relations. With a great black hole where the USSR used to be, the West was able to act freely for the first time since 1920, and it did so by reverting to the colonialist-imperialist policies of Nineteenth Century: The brutal rape of Yugoslavia and the first Bush war on Iraq were the high points  of  the 1990s.


But the Russian people proved their resilience once again, just as they did after the German invasion of 1941. Sobered out of her silly pro-American sentiments by the bombing of Belgrade, Russia regained her legitimate place in the world. She did not acquiesce in the Anglo-American attack on Iraq, Afghanistan and (now) Iran. She supplies Chavez with weapons. Russian leaders routinely meet with Hamas, the much-demonised though democratically elected governing party of Palestine. In friendship with China, Russia may yet reshape world politics.


There is one area where the 1990s still lingers, and that is Africa. The Black Continent is in terrible shape, and the US-proposed resolution on Zimbabwe would have made it even worse by repeating the experience of Somalia.  Somalia is a disaster: the US-sponsored Ethiopian invasion has destroyed virtually all of its life-sustaining economic systems; Somalis are now being starved, and a flood of refugees flows freely, from South Africa to Sweden. The Ethiopians invaded when Somalia had just recovered from the previous American intervention under the UN flag, and they formed a rather stable rule of local autonomous bodies called Islamic Courts. This invasion – and consequent disaster – would not have happened without the relevant Security Council resolution. Salim Lone, a columnist for the Daily Nation in Kenya and a former spokesperson for the UN mission in Iraq, wrote:


“The US pushed through an appalling resolution in December [2007] saying the situation in Somalia was a threat to ‘international peace and security’ and basically gave the green light to Ethiopia to invade. Not much different in text and intent to the current failed attempt by the Bush administration to bulldoze a Security Council resolution on Zimbabwe. Unfortunately for Somalia, neither Russia nor China intervened then, resulting in a blatantly false resolution setting up the country for an American-backed invasion leading to inevitable losses, including displacement of millions.”


This time around, Russia and China united in vetoing the Zimbabwe resolution, supporting the view of virtually all African and Asian countries, including Zimbabwe’s own neighbour, South Africa. One does not have to be an expert on African affairs to bless this veto. We have had enough of the many neo-colonial interventions since Gorbachev’s time: Iraq, Panama, Nicaragua, Yugoslavia, Somali, Eritrea, Congo and what not. It is a good thing that in Zimbabwe, this wave has been broken -- the principle of sovereignty has been upheld. If today the colonial masters were to be allowed to ride into Zimbabwe, tomorrow Iran would follow, and sooner or later Moscow and Beijing would be besieged. Now we can hope that Russia and China will use this right more often, and will block every colonialist attempt to strangulate Iran or squeeze Burma.


For too long a time Russia and China have hesitated to use their right to veto; this right has been used mainly by the US in the interests of its Middle-Eastern proxy, Israel. Now, the Brits and the Americans are enraged that this right is being used by Russia and China. Let them rage, and let them discover that the world has changed once again, and that the lull of opportunity they have had since 1990 is over.


What was going in Zimbabwe? There was a failed “orange revolution”, like those the US and the UK instigated in Ukraine and Georgia and failed to achieve in Burma and Mongolia. Pro-Western forces tried to remove President Robert Mugabe. Mugabe won elections just like Milosevic in Yugoslavia, or Lukashenko in Belarus or Hanieh in Palestine, but the West never accepts democratic elections if the results are politically unsatisfactory. The main opposition candidate opted out of the second tour of elections by his own will, and it does not make the elections’ results illegitimate. Moreover, even if they were not legitimate, it should not provide green light for the US intervention.  


Stephen Gowans wrote: “At the core of the conflict is a clash of right against right: the right of white settlers to enjoy the stolen land against the right of the original owners to reclaim their land.” This is not exactly correct. Everywhere the imperialists try to use a local minority in order to undermine an undesirable regime. This is not a White against Black struggle. The white settlers could be a useful and important element of national economics, but some of them have made a wrong choice. The Zimbabwe whites should not ally themselves with the imperialist West.  Their problems, along with other local problems, may only be solved locally, with help and advice of South Africa and African inter-state organisations.


Our friend, South African Joh Domingo explained the situation: There was an opportunity for individual White farmers to utilize their experience and embed themselves into the fabric of African society, but they chose the path of aligning themselves with big agribusiness, and with exploitation of the mineral wealth of Zimbabwe.


Mirroring the campaigns in Belarus, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan and Venezuela, reports of electoral bias fills the media. - "The opposition is being starved, they are assaulted, and the elections are rigged": So goes the refrain. At the same time, progressive groups bemoan their fate, and ask why they cannot champion saints instead of savages. Instead they should ask why all those at odds with the Global superpowers are always savages: Mugabe, Saddam, Milosevic, Aristide, Castro the list goes on and on.

For sure Zimbabwe goes through a difficult period, but the way out of crisis goes through regional consultations, without overseas intervention. Russia and China are working for stabilisation of the region; but the final word will be said by the people of Zimbabwe.


Readers’ responses:


Dear Israel Adam,


I wish to state first that I have enjoyed and admired your writing works for several years. I am a white South African and I am also a convert to the Russian Orthodox Church, in which I am an active member in Johannesburg. I even hope to be able to go to live in Russia one day. I need to be near to the monasteries. :)


The reason for my writing to you is your recent essay 'July Thunder' which I read on the Truth site. Although I whole heartedly agree with the way the new Russian Government is working in general, I do not believe you have a true perspective on the affair. I have Zimbabwean refugees living in my back yard, and I know firsthand what is going on there. Let's get one fact straight first. Mugabe did NOT win the election. It was won fair and square by the MDC! So they should be the real Government of Zimbabwe, just as Hamas should be the Palestinian Government. I hate apartheid as much as you do, but I also have strong feelings against despotic Dictators who are killing their own population. Pol Pot comes easily into this category. Need I say any more?

Furthermore, since the last election, Zimbabwe has been taken over by a Military Junta of EVIL Generals who are only there to save their own hide from war crimes. Not even Mugabe is really in charge any longer. The least the Russian Government could do is to send a fact finding mission of its own to ascertain what is really going on in Zimbabwe.

I'm quite sure you yourself endorsed the sanctions against Apartheid South Africa. Yet you are supporting the Evil Mugabe/Military Junta regime! I am not impressed with your grasp of the seriousness of this situation. It has nothing to do with white farmers! These same farmers are now assisting Zambia to build up a viable agricultural economy, and they were invited into Zambia with open arms!

Please don't get me wrong. I'm solidly behind the Medyedev/ Putin partnership in the Russian Government. But my belief is that Russia can do more to assist the real victims of this terrible tragedy - the poor citizens of Zimbabwe.


Yours sincerely.


Nikolai Philipovitch Venter


Shamir replied:

Dear Nikolai,

Thank you for your letter, a letter from a person who also came to the light of Christ in the Orthodox Church and from a South African, as I dream of South African solution for our country.

As for Zimbabwe, surely they go through difficult times, and it is very possible the government is not doing enough and people need help. The problem is that military intervention Somalia-style is not likely to make things better. This was also the view of your South African government, and they should know and wish to solve the crisis as you bear the brunt of refugees' flood. Let these sorrows of Zimbabweans be dealt with locally, on African level, with local people involved, without overseas involvement, blockade or other heavy-footed disruption..