BY KENNETH MUFUKA
In war as in peace, there are certain actions, which cause unintended consequences. The first casualty of the war between Russia and the Ukraine is the exposure of the moral frailty of US foreign policy.
I am coming out of a prayer meeting, Wednesday morning in which we, as Methodists, lifted the saints in Ukraine, particularly widows and babies caught in a war that is not of their making. While Methodists jumped on to the bandwagon late, Roman Catholics, worldwide, carried on ceremonies of consecration of Ukrainian saints in the name of Mary, the Immaculate, the mother of God.
To cut a long story short, I cannot remember ever being guided by the church fathers to say prayers for the three million waifs and mothers who fled from Iraq and the three million people left homeless after NATO bombed and destroyed the Libyan government of Muammar Gaddafi. In both the Libyan and the Iraq wars, NATO and the US provoked the conflagrations by lying about weapons of mass destruction. NATO destroyed Libya under the pretext of saving Libyans from a murderous tyrant. We now know that the real issue was Gaddafi’s quest for African unity.
As we speak, there are five million people displaced in the Ukraine. Even the most xenophobic countries like Austria, the UK and Bulgaria, which threatened to withdraw from the European Union if black immigrants were allowed, have now opened their flood gates for Ukrainian immigrants.
The colour consciousness of these Eurocentric powers is too powerful for them to hide. At the Mexican border, the issue has now come to trouble the Joe Biden administration. Biden replaced Donald Trump because the later was uncouth and a disgrace. Trump was accused of naked racism. I was not aware that racism can be clothes in attractive tunics. But as we speak, thousands of Ukrainians arriving at the Mexican border are allowed in, without Covid-19 check-ups. Mexicans have been waiting there for more than a year. The Covid-19 barrier has now been exposed for what it is, a charade.
I am one of those who believe that economic sanctions serve as a nuisance, but where adversaries are huge powers like the US and Russia, they cut both ways.
A month ago, the US sanctioned Russian banks and almost destroyed the value of the Russian ruble, devaluing it from 82 cents to the US dollar to 185 cents. Whoever thought of sanctions did not include in the equation the fact that 38% of gas and oil supplies in Germany and Eastern Europe come from Russia. Further, Russian securities (investments) in the US and in Europe were cut off, but both European investors and Russian investors are having problems with receiving their dividends.
Just the dirty word “sanctions” whether the US imports Russian oil or not, drove speculators to raise petrol prices from under US$2 per gallon a year ago to US$5.50 now. Biden says less than 5% of US oil consumption is from Russia.
It really does not matter. Customers are using bad words at gas stations. I saw a newspaper with a huge photo of Biden imposed on a gas pump background. “If you voted for Biden, pay up.” These were the dirty words imposed on a price tag of US$5.50 per gallon.
In politics, the opposition party does not always have to stand for anything. The Republicans are grinning like Cheshire cats. The mid-term elections come in November.
At a meeting of the G7 in Europe, Biden said some bad words about Russian leader Vladmir Putin. He said that Putin was a thug and should be brought before (the Hague) as a war criminal. Professor Niall Fergusson has explained that this is a Yale University foreign policy textbook case. Yesterday Putin was a “shrewd guy” and regarded as economically savvy.
So was Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe. So was Saddam Hussein of Iraq when he used biological weapons against Iran (1984) which were provided by Archer Midland Daniel (a US company).
In the past, the US government could hide bad news. Most news outlets took their cue from the New York Times. Now social media has been let loose and has no boundaries.
The bombing of the Ukraine is very bad. Putin must be sent to the Hague. That is the official line. Please hide your laughter as you read the next sentence. The US is not part of the International Criminal Court at the Hague. It never joined because of its activities in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq and many other areas. If what is good for the goose is good for the gander, former US president George W Bush would have hanged on a tree in the Netherlands.
Please do not laugh. I am merely a messenger. Nearer home, Zimbabwe’s President Emerson Mnangagwa’s coup was sponsored by the British in the belief that white farmers would be restored to their former estates or compensated speedily. Does anybody remember Brother Mthuli Ncube speaking big words about setting aside US$3.5 billion for farm compensation?
Now Brother ED is the “baddest guy” and should be sent to the Hague. I am merely following Professor Fergusson’s explanation.
We are not sure whether the news from the Ukraine is trustworthy. Eurocentric’s are hoping that Russia will be expelled “soonest.” True, Russian forces have failed to find a General Erwin Rommel to lead a blitzkrieg into the Ukraine. But Russia is truly a sluggish bear that grinds its way slowly but surely, cutting and splitting off the Ukraine into separate pieces even as we speak.
More, while Biden was in Europe at the G7 meeting, he was anxious to be seen as a great and powerful leader. But age mixed with early onset of forgetfulness brings about malapropisms in his speech which reveal that though his spirit is willing, his flesh is weak. There is a report that while attending a meeting, he dozed off for 15 minutes.
The issue then is, willing as the US may be to help Ukrainians beat off the Russians, it may be too little help too late. Further, the longer the war goes on, cracks will begin to appear to in the Eurocentric front.
In any case, China and Russia have so far stood together, threatening the stability of US dollar diplomacy.
- Ken Mufuka is a Zimbabwean patriot. His books are available from Innov Bookshops in Zimbabwe and from kenmufukabooks.com in the wider world.