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  1. Jimmy Carter, the U.S. and destruction of the Republic of Rhodesia
  3. In autumn of 2009, an article named “Ian Smith Was Right” was published by The Zimbabwean. The title is a bit misleading, as the article’s text makes no mentions of the late Rhodesian Prime Minister. The sentiment behind the title is conveyed correctly, though – Zimbabwe is a textbook example of absolute and utter failure. The idea itself is hardly new, as normal people have voiced it before numerous times (some of the most sober-minded folks used to say as far back as in the seventies that black terrorists should not be given any power, only to immediately get denounced as racists and loons), but some of our leftist liberal friends (those who have not yet lost the ability to discern evil from good) are only now starting, albeit slowly and reluctantly, to acknowledge it. The article’s author is also quite interesting – one James Carter, a second-rate publicist and a rather fecund writer who happened to work as the President of the United States for some time. To hear from Carter about Mugabe ruining the country is akin to... I don’t know, maybe Jesse Jackson admitting that Nathan Forrest’s KKK had a constructive beginning. Surprising, to say the least.
  5. The beauty of the situation is in the fact that Jimmy Carter is directly responsible for destruction of Rhodesia. He is not alone, of course – disappearance of this state from the world’s political map was aided by Great Britain, USSR, China, OAU member countries and (heartbreaking, I know) the Republic of South Africa. But Carter, as a leader of one of the world’s superpowers and shaper of its foreign policy, bears direct responsibility for one of the most politically and economically developed countries of Southern Africa getting cynically flushed down the drain in the name of speculative and abstract principles such as “democracy”, “universal human values”, “triumph of humanistic ideas” and other tripe.
  7. Anyway, here’s the full article, followed by my comments.
  11. Ian Smith was right
  12. Written by Jimmy Carter
  13. Tuesday, 22 September 2009
  15. As president, I worked actively with African leaders and the British to change the apartheid regime of Rhodesia into a democratic Zimbabwe in 1980.
  16. Eight years later, The Carter Center established one of our first agriculture projects in Zimbabwe, at that time known as a breadbasket for the region and setting an example in economic stability, education and health care.
  18. Now, after almost three decades of governmental corruption, mismanagement and oppression, Zimbabwe has become a basket case and an international embarrassment. A group of leaders known as the Elders, to which I belong, have monitored this crisis, while realizing that its resolution must come from within Africa. Time for action is now running out, a reality forcefully conveyed to me on a recent five-day fact-finding trip to the region.
  19. There is great aversion among even the most enlightened African leaders to "interference" from former colonial powers and their allies, including the United States. However, these same leaders have been reluctant to assume responsibility for resolving the political stalemate and the escalating humanitarian catastrophe.
  20. I joined former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Graça Machel, women's activist and wife of Nelson Mandela, in South Africa on Nov. 21 with the intention of traveling on to Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe. However, when we met with former South African president Thabo Mbeki, the facilitator designated by other African leaders to mediate the political dispute in Zimbabwe, he delivered a message from Harare that our visas were denied and we could not proceed.
  21. We had anticipated this possibility and held a series of comprehensive discussions in Johannesburg with delegations that came from Zimbabwe to meet us, including executives of international nonprofit and governmental agencies and a wide range of other stakeholders including leaders of Zimbabwe's civil society. What we learned of the situation was even worse than our expectations. We also met with Botswana President Ian Khama, South African President Kgalema Motlanthe, ANC Party President (and prospective South African President) Jacob Zuma, and Zimbabwe's opposition party leaders Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara.
  22. The current political and humanitarian crisis originated with a fraudulent presidential election in March 2008, with Tsvangirai probably winning an actual majority against President Robert Mugabe. Orchestrated violence and brutal persecution of Tsvangirai and his supporters forced him to withdraw
  23. from the forced runoff and leave the country. Mugabe then declared himself president. African political leaders largely ignored reports of fraud by their own election observers, and eventually negotiated a power-sharing agreement that Mugabe and Tsvangirai signed on Sept. 15. Unfortunately,Mugabe has not ceded any real power to his opponent and the trend toward a national tragedy has accelerated.
  24. The official inflation rate is now 231 million percent, and actually 2,000 times greater. Thousands of people stand in line daily to receive a tiny allowance from their own bank accounts - approximately 2 cents - an amount that is insufficient to buy even half a loaf of bread. Meanwhile, top government officials and other privileged people can exchange Zimbabwe money at a favorable rate and profit greatly from these transactions. They shop inspecial stores.
  25. Schoolteachers receive only one U.S. dollar a month, and cannot afford transportation to work. Attendance has dropped from 85 to 20 percent, with attending students mostly wanting to obtain a morsel of food. All universities are closed.
  26. A planting shortage of seed and fertilizer will result in a failed harvest, and the World Food Program estimates that 50 percent of the population will need food assistance before April 2009. Relief agencies report thatavailable food supplies are channeled to ruling party loyalists, deliberately starving opposition party leaders.
  27. All major hospitals and most emergency clinics no longer operate, and police have clashed with doctors and nurses who insist on treating their patients.
  29. Uncontrolled sewage and lack of clean water has resulted in cholera outbreaks in all 10 provinces.
  30. Zimbabwe is battling a nationwide cholera epidemic that has killed 425 people since late August and infected more than 11,000, according to government statistics.
  31. As many as 4 million people have left Zimbabwe, seeking food, medical care and freedom from abuse, and the cholera outbreak has made neighbouring nations increasingly wary of accepting immigrants. There are courageous people in Johannesburg who with limited means are helping alleviate the immense suffering. We visited Central Methodist church, where Bishop Paul Verryn feeds and houses 2,000 refugees in the church's rooms and corridors each night.
  32. Without a political solution, the economic and social fabric of society will continue its free-fall. When Mugabe cannot pay his army and enormous civil service, the result may be a resort to internecine violence and a failed state, similar to Somalia.
  33. African leaders, especially in the neighboring Southern African Development Community, must confront Mugabe and force him to comply with negotiated political agreements and share real governing authority with Tsvangirai and the opposition party. If action by these leaders continues to be ineffective, the African Union and the United Nations must take action. A first step, short of intercession, could be to send independent fact-finding teams to Zimbabwe to obtain information directly from major donors, international relief agencies, medical doctors, teachers, farmers and other
  34. citizens who have described their experiences to us.
  35. In the meantime, there is a desperate need for food, medicine and cash contributions to established humanitarian agencies including CARE, World Vision and Save the Children - or to Bishop Verryn. It is counterproductive to contribute money that can be confiscated by the Zimbabwe government.
  37. For starters, I need to say the following:
  38. Jimmy Carter is a liar.
  39. I can even repeat that:
  40. Jimmy Carter is a shameless, egregious liar.
  42. He was a liar throughout his presidency and remains one to this day. It’s not news, though – many American presidents suffered and still suffer from a penchant for lies, and some even lie under oath (for the sake of justice I’d like to say that Russia, the UK and pretty much the rest of the world are not any better in this regard, but we are discussing America here). However, Carter does not lie all the time and never tells genuine, 100 percent lies. As a phrase attributed to Goebbels says, “A good lie should contain a grain of truth”. Carter does not lie when describing the disaster that is Zimbabwe – famine, cholera, tyranny, incredible inflation that has become a household name. No, this is all true. Here’s what’s not:
  44. > As president, I worked actively with African leaders and the British to change the apartheid regime of Rhodesia
  45. James Carter might not have known (and if he did, it did not faze him – who cares about the truth, anyway?) that Rhodesia, unlike its neighbouring South Africa, never had apartheid. Moreover, Rhodesia did not have any laws discriminating against people based on the color of their skin whatsoever. There were cultural customs and traditions responsible for a relatively separate existence of the races, but almost every country has those, to a degree. There were traditions that would have struck an American as weird – for example, despite the Rhodesian Army being racially integrated (with 70 percent of its personnel being African), two of its units, Rhodesian Light Infantry and SAS, were traditionally White. Such was their privilege, and the entire military, White or black, took it for granted and never tried to argue against it. Side by side with them served the Selous Scouts, 75 percent of whom were negroes. Skin color was not an obstacle preventing Rhodesian soldiers from working together. The same, to a certain extent, was true for civil administration, business, etc.
  47. >into a democratic Zimbabwe
  48. There was not even a whiff of democracy in Zimbabwe’s future, and that was clear for everyone who had a head screwed on properly. Mugabe never really tried to hide his plans for creating a one-party dictatorship, which he carried out to the letter. A devious politician, raised by Jesuit missionaries and Maoist ideology, he would agree to any compromise, as long as it helped him achieve the ultimate goal. Saying that Mugabe had anything to do with democracy is akin to considering tigers and leopards strict vegetarians – a public display of complete ignorance of African realities (forgivable if you are a car mechanic, not much so if you are a high-ranking politician) and basic concepts and principles of politics (unforgivable for any politician).
  50. >Eight years later, The Carter Center established one of our first agriculture projects in Zimbabwe, at that time known as a breadbasket for the region and setting an example in economic stability, education and health care.
  51. More lies. Zimbabwe was considered the breadbasket of Africa till 1980, when it wasn’t yet called Zimbabwe. Even Mugabe’s most fanatical supporters reluctantly admit that it was under the White minority that the country achieved its peak agricultural and economical output. Same goes for state spending per capita. As for “economic stability, education and health care”, these were old stocks, so to say. The basics of education and healthcare developed by Whites, along with economic stability provided by Whites (during the first years of his rule, Mugabe didn’t try to interfere with the economy too much, knowing who was responsible for the country’s welfare) allowed Zimbabwe to carry Rhodesia’s mantle of a developed country for about a decade.
  52. (Again for the sake of fairness, I am going to repeat myself and say that the Republic of South Africa also contributed to the country’s destruction, but this topic deserves a separate article. Transformation of Rhodesia from a prospering country into utter ruin is first and foremost Mugabe’s fault, but South Africa played a role in it as well, sad as it is.)
  54. > Now, after almost three decades of governmental corruption, mismanagement and oppression...
  55. Ol’ Jimmy walked into his own trap here. As it is said above, the Carter Center established an agricultural project in Zimbabwe in 1988. By that time, according to Carter himself, the government had an 8-year record of corruption, mismanagement and oppression. This begs a simple question: What prompted the Carter Center to implement a project in a massively corrupt country – a project requiring some serious investment, no less? Or wasn’t Carter bothered by corruption, oppression, etc. back then? (The question of what was stopping Carter from organizing a similar project in a NON-corrupt country that existed till 1980 is off the table due to being rhetorical.)
  57. >have monitored this crisis, while realizing that its resolution must come from within Africa.
  58. Ah, so now the resolution must come from within Africa. Funny how just 30 years ago Jimmy Carter thought (and was adamant about it) that the Rhodesian problem must be resolved by the international community. Back then, in the 70’s, Rhodesia was ruled by Whites, which seemed to be a strong argument in favor of an external resolution. Today it is ruled by blacks, and therefore the resolution must be internal. The former POTUS is nothing if not consistent.
  59. > these same leaders have been reluctant to assume responsibility for resolving the political stalemate and the escalating humanitarian catastrophe.
  60. This is the MOST monumental of all lies ever told by James Earl Carter Jr., given that he deftly shirks answering several key questions: Who bears direct responsibility for the chain of events that has led to that humanitarian catastrophe? The head of which state obstinately impeded the resolution of the “Rhodesian problem”? Who made the decisions that resulted in a bloodthirsty tyrant taking over a country? I doubt Jimmy Carter will EVER answer any of these questions.
  62. I find it appropriate to quote here a fragment of Pat Buchanan’s speech to the members of John Birch Society, made on October 24, 1978:
  64. “Western influence wanes; civil war impends. And culpability rests squarely with the fools at Foggy Bottom and in the British Foreign Office, foremost among whom are Andrew Young and his salmon-faced traveling companion, Foreign Minister David Owen. God, what a mess they have made of it!
  65. Seven months ago, in a belated but bold maneuver, Prime Minister Ian Smith accepted Henry Kissinger's central demand: a commitment to black majority rule. His regime agreed to a New Year's transfer of power through free elections and universal suffrage. In return, the white minority would be guaranteed its property rights and political freedom. A timetable was agreed upon for the gradual transfer to black dominance of army, courts, civil service and police.
  66. At that juncture, the opportunity was present for the Western powers to step in, recognize the "internal settlement,” lift economic sanctions and provide the embryonic regime with diplomatic recognition and the economic and military assistance needed to survive.
  67. We did not. Fearful of Cuban intervention, fretting the reaction of the militant Marxist states in Africa, the United States and Great Britain not only withheld support; we joined the external conspiracy by disparaging the agreement, maintaining the embargo, and fawning upon the guerrilla leaders, Joshua Nkomo and Robert Mugabe, as the authentic nationalists.
  68. Seven months later, the military situation has deteriorated to where elections may not be held; the internal settlement is on the precipice of collapse. And the American and British diplomats who plunged the dagger in Rhodesia’s back are even now reminding us how they predicted it could not survive.
  69. But how could it have been otherwise? The black and white people of Rhodesia who looked to the West have been deserted by the West. The black guerrillas who look to the Soviet Union and Cuba have received all support short of war.
  70. For months Young and Owen have been lathering up Nkomo in the hope he would join an all-parties conference. Last week, they received the reward for their sycophancy: Nkomo announced the conference dead and buried, and professed himself willing only to accept Smith’s surrender.
  71. One need not be a follower of Ian Smith to concur in his judgment that ‘the greatest contributing factor to our failure has been that the American and British governments, the leaders of the free world, have sided with our enemies, the Patriotic Front...’
  72. Why? Is it in the interest of the West to have the new Zimbabwe ruled by people who shoot down civilian airliners and execute the survivors, including children? Like Lady Macbeth, we and our British cousins will be a long time wiping our hands clean of the blody stains of this latest betrayal.”
  74. The position that Jimmy Carter’s administration took in regard to Rhodesia was sufficient for sober-minded Americans to brand them as traitors, and reasonably so. They sincerely could not understand where and when did the United States (and the UK) obtain the moral and constitutional right to dictate national policy to other countries. Upon his rise to power, Jimmy Carter has rather clearly outlined the new trend in America’s foreign policy: “The U.S. must actively participate in internal affairs of any country that the U.S. deems to be in the zone of its fundamental interests”. I can’t really say this wasn’t the case before, but under Carter, this trend assumed new shapes and became seasoned with “human rights”. The latter term was widely used for political purposes; I do not rule out Carter himself sincerely believing in all that starry-eyed humanistic drivel, but his administration, seeing a wonderful new means to exert pressure on others, immediately started using it to the max. Double standards and goalpost switching became the norm – for example, the form of government was now emphasized exclusively, while other aspects, such as the extent to which the government controls its citizens, were disregarded, and so on.
  75. The most sinister role in the U.S. foreign policy under Carter was played by Andrew Young, a Protestant preacher and a Congressman who also happened to be a friend and associate of MLK. In 1977 Carter appointed him the resident U.S. representative in the UN – a decision that proved to be fateful. The far right almost exclusively referred to Young as “rabid nigger”, and they were not far from the truth. Despite being a priest – someone whose very title implies being above prejudice – Young was a typical militant black supremacist who, by sheer luck, managed to gain a modicum of power. Believing himself to be invincible, Young took to violating (albeit covertly) American law, but was eventually caught and forced to quietly resign. Unfortunately, before getting kicked out, he managed to royally screw up a multitude of affairs and completely ruin the image of the United States worldwide.
  77. Young possessed a peculiar trait that can be interpreted both as good or bad, depending on the situation: he could not help himself from speaking his mind. A mind that brimmed with racial hatred and other things that Young considered important, even if the Presidential Administration did not share his opinions (inexcusable for a politician of such rank). For example, he once publicly called Ayatollah Khomeini “some kind of saint” and “a pleasant person in general”. For Young, presence of Cuban soldiers in Africa was “a much-anticipated stabilizing force”, Israelis were “stubborn obstructionists”, and members of the Palestine Liberation Organization were “respectable citizens and representatives of the opposition”. That last one got him fired, as he had held covert negotiations with PLO in disregard of a strict presidential decree prohibiting American diplomats from doing so.
  79. Another of Young’s traits was mendacity. He had absolutely no qualms with backpedaling, recanting earlier statements and lying under oath (just as he lied to Secretary of State Cyrus Vance about meeting with PLO members). He only apologized when cornered with undeniable facts. For example, in spring of 1977, Young told a BBC journalist that “British policy on racial issues in regard to Rhodesia and South Africa was rather cowardly”. He then went on to say “Britain’s behavior makes me seriously think that it were the British who invented racism, seeing as they did more than any other nation in the world to legitimize it.” Such public statements by an official United States UN representative were followed by a massive scandal, and Young was forced to apologize (although in private) to his British colleague Ivor Richard. According to Richard, he was rather surprised to hear Young saying such things to the BBC “and could not believe that was the official viewpoint of the U.S. government. After that interview, Mr. Young met with me and said that it seemed he had made a mistake”. (Sentinel Star, April 8, 1977).
  81. Richard, however, had every reason to believe that Young’s words represented an official position of the U.S., given that Young wasn’t just a political ally of Jimmy Carter, but also his close friend and member of his inner circle. He was among the few people who had direct access to the president at any time. Carter trusted him unquestioningly, and Young exploited that trust unscrupulously, feeding the president disinformation that constantly put him in a favorable light. However, Carter hardly was the innocent sheep there – after all, he was fully conscious of his actions when he tasked Young with highly sensitive missions that required adroitness and the skill of selling black for white.
  83. In 1977, Young paid two visits to Africa. During the first one, he expressed an opinion that USSR- and China-backed terrorists deserve sympathy and understanding, as they are forced to use violence to attain power “as last resort – the desperate situation they are in pushed them towards this”. During the second visit, Young went even further: at the so-called UN Conference on Zimbabwe and Namibia, held in Maputo, Mozambique, he declared his intention to “dispel the scepticism displayed by military leaders of liberation movements of the African South, along with their disappointment with the U.S. policy regarding Africa” (Houston Post, May 20, 1977). In other words, Young made it clear that the United States government and personally President Carter were siding with the terrorists.
  85. On 18th and 19th of May 1977, secret talks between U.S. Vice President Walter Mondale and South African Prime Minister John Vorster were held in Vienna. This was the first time either of the countries involved such high-ranking politicians to discuss a problem. Naturally, both the press and the public suspected that something really major was going on, and they were right. The bulletin published by Associated Press on June 5 of the same year was titled “White supremacy is over, says Carter to the peoples of Africa”. Here’s a fragment: “President Carter’s administration advises South Africa and Rhodesia to transfer power to the black majority; otherwise, the countries risk becoming involved into a full-fledged race war. According to diplomatic sources involved with the talks, the essence of the U.S. administration’s warnings boils down to the following: ‘The days of white supremacy in Africa are over and done. If a racial conflict starts brewing in the region, do not count on us for help’ “
  86. Vorster left the talks extremely displeased with the U.S. policy and “the Free World’s intentions to support terrorist movements of Communist nature”. However, despite him declaring that South Africa would not allow any country to interfere with its internal affairs, he made clear Pretoria’s openness towards any American and British offers regarding Rhodesia.
  88. Associated Press: “The situation in Rhodesia was a hot topic at the talks. Mondale expressed concern at Rhodesians’ cross-border raids, as Washington fears them leading to expansion of the conflict zone and subsequent involvement of neighboring states. Zambia is already in a de facto state of war with Rhodesia. Vorster asked if Washington intends to persuade Zambia to remove insurgent camps and bases from its territory. After a brief consultation with Washington, Mondale replied that the U.S. had no such intention.”
  90. Vice President Mondale knew full well that Rhodesian forces’ cross-border raids represented a response to numerous terrorist incursions from neighboring countries. But he did not care. The United States wanted South Africa to pressure Rhodesia into ceasing resistance to terrorists, and that was it. RSA did not really mind strong-arming Rhodesia into curtailing its anti-terrorist activity, but only on condition that the U.S. would do the same to Zambia and Mozambique. For the U.S. this would have been a piece of cake, at least with Zambia (Mozambique was firmly locked in Soviet orbit, and Americans could not have influenced it even if they wanted to). But Carter Administration only wanted Rhodesians to lay down their arms, so Vorster’s offer was refused.
  93. Associated Press: “During discussion of racial policy of RSA, Vorster made it clear that South Africa will support British and American initiatives aimed at establishing black majority rule in Rhodesia. He also added that he would ensure that the Smith government keeps its promises – if it agrees to such a deal, that is.
  94. Mondale replied that South Africa should not count on its contributions to resolution of the Rhodesian problem being perceived as favors. The United States would be thankful to South Africa, of course, but that would be it. Moreover, the U.S. expects Pretoria to take urgent steps towards dismantling its apartheid system.
  95. After weighing the results of Vienna talks, Vorster came to two conclusions, none of them particularly promising to South Africa. First of all, the Carter Administration has revised its foreign policy and intends to support African terrorist groups. Secondly, RSA is next in line after “the Rhodesian problem” is solved. The U.S. plans to pay a lot of attention to issues of racial equality and human rights, as well as economical and trade agreements.”
  97. Rhodesians eventually wised up to the threat that Jimmy Carter’s policies posed for them. In September of 1977, Rowan Cronje, Rhodesian Minister of Labor and Social Welfare, accused the Carter government of double standards: “President Carter is very selective when it comes to moral principles and values, deciding freely which ones are to be imposed and which are to be ignored. I fail to see any logic in the Carter Administration’s attempts to force the black majority rule on Rhodesia, while most of Africa’s independent countries don’t even know what free elections are. If the governments of USA and Great Britan achieve their goal, Rhodesia will turn into a country where a black minority reigns over a realm of chaos, tragedy and desolation. Yet both the U.S. and Britain continue to relentlessly push for Rhodesia’s destruction – all for the sake of satisfying the whims of the UN and communist countries.”
  98. In the meantime, the Carter Administration kept publicly claiming that the U.S. does not interfere with other states’ internal affairs and maintains “strict neutrality” in this regard. People have gotten so fed up with these repeated claims that the word “neutral” itself has taken on a tongue-in-cheek meeting. An article titled “End to sanctions?”, published by Newsweek on April 30 1979, features a photo of Andrew Young and ZIPRA leader Joshua Nkomo talking to each other animatedly. The caption to the photo said: “Nkomo and Young in 1977: just how ‘neutral’ is the U.S. towards Rhodesia?”
  99. Carter’s non-stop claims of alleged neutrality of the United States towards Rhodesia have eventually resulted in a storm of criticism from senators. In autumn of 1978, California Republican Samuel Hayakawa said the following in a public interview (US News & World Report, October 30, 1978):
  100. >President Carter’s Administration keeps insisting on our country’s neutrality towards Rhodesia – all while we keep supporting sanctions against it and providing Zambia with so-called humanitarian aid and loans to its banks, where they immediately end up in the hands of ZAPU forces. I am not sure if we could call it neutrality.
  101. The world certainly did not lack for “neutral” organizations, either. Here’s what’s written in an Associated Press bulletin dated with September 28, 1978:
  102. >In 1979 and 1980, the World Food Programme will provide $40 million in food and funds to refugees and insurgents of Rhodesia and South West Africa. Part of it will go to the Patriotic Front, which is currently at war with Rhodesia’s incumbent government.
  103. Britain was also big on “neutrality”. UPI, October 28, 1978:
  104. >Great Britain will organize an air bridge for delivery of anti-air guns and air defense systems to Zambia in order to contribute to protecting its territory from Rhodesian airstrikes similar to the one that occurred last week. According to the Foreign Office, this military aid will be provided only on condition of Zambia using for the exclusive purpose of defending itself.
  105. Timing of the latter article is bitterly ironic, given that just a few days prior to its publication, Prime Minister Ian Smith remarked that the Free World wouldn’t sell Rhodesia even a toy gun so that it could defend itself, all while eagerly arming terrorists. In his comment on the news of Britain supplying weapons (with a total cost of $16 million) to Zambia, he said that even despite the sheer volume of armaments headed to Zambia, Rhodesia will take any measures it deems necessary to defend itself.
  107. As it was said by one of the readers in his letter to the Soldier of Fortune magazine: “If such actions by the U.S. can be called neutrality, maybe the U.S. government would be so kind to explain what neutrality is?”
  109. Unfortunately, due to extreme pressure both from the communist bloc and the Free World, Ian Smith was forced to seek a way out of the crisis. In order to prevent the country from descending into chaos, he had no choice but to negotiate with the relatively sane black nationalists – chieftain Jeremia Chirau, reverend Ndabaningi Sithole and bishop Abel Muzorewa – and eventually they reached an agreement. Robert Mugabe and Joshua Nkomo refused to take part in the negotiations, declaring their intent to continue the “just war of liberation” (with overt support of communist countries and covert approval of the U.S. and Britain) and declining to recognize any agreements made with the Smith government.
  111. The plan proposed by Smith was called the "Internal Settlement" or the "Salisbury Agreement." He provided for the creation of a provisional coalition government for the period of the transfer of power to the black majority (through free elections based on the "one person - one vote" principle). The new constitution guaranteed power the country’s black majority while providing guarantees to the white minority - including a certain number of seats in the parliament. Parliamentary representation of whites was sufficient to block constitutional amendments that could result in usurpation of power.
  113. The "Salisbury Agreements" were approved by representatives of nationalist movements (with the exception of Mugabe and Nkomo), as well as South Africa. After that, Ian Smith decided to enlist the support of the United States. In the issue of the Saturday Evening Post for May-June 1978, his "Open Letter to the American People" was published:
  115. “Over the years, I have repeatedly been amazed at the ignorance shown by political leaders of certain powers against our country, while their population, I believe, has a friendly feeling for us. On March 3, three African politicians of Rhodesia: Bishop Abel Muzorewa (United African National Council, UANC), Reverend Ndabaningi Sithole (African National Council - Sithole, ANCS), Senator Chief Jeremiah Chirau (Zimbabwe United People’s Organization, ZUPO) and I signed a constitutional agreement that, by the end of the year, will open the way to the rule of the black majority through a universal vote. Three leaders of national movements represent the overwhelming majority of our population. The fact that more and more people every day accept the "Salisbury Agreement" and share its provisions is obvious to anyone who wishes to see this for himself.
  116. The traditional government, which will be responsible for creation of a new constitution and holding of the first general election by the end of the year, consists of both whites and blacks, the latter being the majority. However, the UN Security Council has adopted a resolution declaring our agreement unacceptable and illegal. The United States, Great Britain and a number of other Western powers abstained from voting on it. Does this position of the U.S. representative in the UN Security Council express the entire will of the American people?
  117. When we signed the constitutional agreement in March, we fulfilled all the conditions set by the governments of Great Britain for us – the six principles on the basis of which we can be recognized by the international community. In particular, the requirement for an early transition to the rule of the black majority is fully reflected in the agreement, with the establishment of a specific date - December 31, 1978. The Executive Council of the new government is 75% African. Bishop Muzorewa, Reverend Sithole, Senator Chirau and I lead it on the basis of rotation. The only ones who disagree are terrorists operating from abroad and a small group of white extremists who do not want to recognize any agreements whatsoever.
  118. Why cannot the U.S. and British governments renounce the pharisaic policy of double standards and not give us a helping hand by abolishing the economic sanctions that the world community has been trying to strangle us with for 12 years already? I can hardly believe that US political leaders want Rhodesia, with its natural wealth and raw materials, strategically important to the West, to fall into the hands of Marxists.
  119. In the struggle for the survival of our beautiful country, its people have revealed themselves on the very best side. The hostility towards Rhodesia, which was demonstrated by the world community and in particular by the United Nations, coupled with the governments of the United States and Great Britain, not only failed to fracture us, but on the contrary, rallied us together even more. White and black, we are fighting on for our survival - together, shoulder to shoulder. We are also fighting to preserve our values and the democratic way of life that we inherited by the right of a free nation.
  121. We know that ultimately, without the help of the United States and Britain, we cannot survive. The Red Tide, which has flooded half of Africa, already laps at our borders. If we fall, the blood of innocent people that will die as a result will be on the hands of governments of these countries, who have embarked on a depraved path of trying to appease enemies of the Western civilization.
  123. We did what was required of us. Why do the leaders of the countries from which we inherited the foundations of free public institutions continue to ignore our efforts to contribute to the development of the Free World? I believe that the peoples of these countries have sympathy for us - just like a regular Rhodesian, black or white, treats people of Great Britain and the United States with great warmth.
  125. We are used to going it alone. And we will continue our efforts to persuade the leaders of these countries to change their attitude towards us, soberly assess the situation and face the facts. Our constitutional agreement expresses the will of the majority of the Rhodesian people. It also meets all the requirements that the U.S. and British governments have repeatedly put forward. So what else do you want from us?”
  126. To convey his message to the U.S. population directly, Prime Minister Ian Smith applied for an American visa in his bid to visit the country. It is worth recalling that the U.S. State Department issued visas to terrorists like Joshua Nkomo without delay, although the latter (in an interview with the BBC, to boot) had openly acknowledged the destruction of a civil aircraft and subsequent slaughter of survivors by his guerrillas. The State Department was apparently not bothered by such trifling details. However, when Ian Smith applied for the same visa, it turned out that the Carter administration does not have the slightest desire to let the Rhodesian Prime Minister speak to the Americans. The State Department went as far as trying to ignore the fact that Smith's invitation to visit the U.S. was signed by twenty-seven senators. Eventually, having yielded to the insistent demands of Jesse Helms, a North Carolina Republican Senator, the State Department reluctantly issued visas to Smith and his African companions.
  128. When the world got wind of Ian Smith receiving an American visa, the Soviet Union immediately branded this event “a shameful page in American history”. Interestingly, senators Dick Clark and Frank Church said approximately the same thing; however, when asked about whether they consider terrorist Joshua Nkomo receiving the same visa shameful, they refused to comment.
  129. Before leaving Salisbury, Ian Smith explained to the press the purpose of his visit to the U.S.:
  130. >We hope to build bridges between our peoples and establish full-fledged communication. In the United States there is a huge misunderstanding of what is happening here in Rhodesia. We want to explain everything honestly and directly, to convey the truth to the American people. And if they, despite our efforts, believe that we are wrong and accuse us - well, that's their right. But I doubt they will do so. As for the initiatives of Henry Kissinger, I recall that it were the Americans who first imposed their conditions on us. We accepted them and are now returning the ball to their half of the field. I believe that there won’t be any problems now. (Houston Chronicle, October 8, 1978).
  132. However, Ian Smith underestimated Kissinger’s duplicity. The former Secretary of State who had previously urged Smith to accept American proposals for resolving the Rhodesian question, now refused to support them. Moreover, he denied ever promising on behalf of the U.S. to support the Smith regime - in spite of what he had said at meetings with Smith earlier. Simply put, the U.S. did not accept any reforms carried out within Rhodesia and an internal solultion of the country’s problems. The U.S. - that is, President Carter and his administration - was satisfied with only one thing: an external solution to the issue, done exactly the way Washington wanted it.
  134. In Washington, Ian Smith and Ndabaningi Sithole managed to meet with Secretary of State Cyrus Vance and British Ambassador Peter Jay. Unfortunately, attempts to convince the U.S. and UK representatives to recognize the Salisbury Agreement were unsuccessful - Vance and Jay insisted that Mugabe and Nkomo should have participated in the agreement, ignoring the counterargument about them being leaders of terrorist organizations involved in attacks on civilian population. Smith tried to get an audience with Carter, but from the White House came a polite but icy answer: Mr. Smith should consider himself immensely lucky for being allowed to meet with the Secretary of State in the first place.
  136. At a time when Smith and his fellow Africans were in the United States, the Rhodesian Security Forces delivered a powerful blow to terrorist bases in Zambia. The Carter administration immediately condemned the operation, calling it "a barbaric act of aggression," and made it clear that Smith's further presence in the United States was undesirable. Joshua Nkomo, in turn, stated that he does not consider it possible to even think about talks with Smith, since he does not intend to negotiate with killers, "preferring to talk to them in the language of arms instead" (Houston Chronicle, October 22, 1978).
  138. In review of Smith's visit to the U.S., US News & World Report wrote on October 23, 1978:
  139. >The meaning of the statements of Smith and his colleagues was unequivocal: "Why do you refuse to recognize a government consisting of honest people who are trying to follow democratic principles?" Instead, according to Smith, the United States and Great Britain are trying to provide maximum support to the communist guerrillas of the Patriotic Front. As the Rhodesian Prime Minister said, he simply intends to return to the Americans the deal that former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger imposed on him in 1976 - the rule of the black majority as a condition for the lifting of sanctions.
  141. In the meantime, Henry Kissinger, having resigned from his duties as Secretary of State, retracted his previous statements. US News & World Report of October 30, 1978:
  142. >It was Kissinger, when he was Secretary of State, who urged Smith to adopt an internal settlement plan, implying that the U.S. would support and abolish the sanctions. Now Kissinger strongly denies having ever said anything of the sort.
  144. In short, the Rhodesian delegation returned from the United States empty-handed. Terrorists of the Patriotic Front took this as a sign that the days of Whites were numbered. In November 1978, Robert Mugabe published the so-called "Appeal to the people of Rhodesia," in which, among other things, it was said that the ZANU party intends to sentence 50 prominent Africans (chiefs and civil servants) to death if they do not immediately renounce their recognition of the Salisbury Agreement.
  146. Essentially, these agreements marked the beginning of the end for White Rhodesia. The main question was: To whom will the country’s reins go? Moderate and relatively sane black nationalists who were fine with gradual reforms, or terrorists casually exterminating the civilian population for refusing to support them? Ian Smith preferred the former, Jimmy Carter and Andrew Young insisted on the latter.
  148. These “moderate” African nationalists, while certainly not blood-crazed cannibals compared to Mugabe and Nkomo, were not sinless angels either, even though two of them (Muzorewa and Sithole) were dignitaries. They agreed to guarantee the rights of the White minority under the new regime - but in reality, these guarantees could easily be abolished, as it was everywhere in black Africa’s newly independent states. Here’s one interesting fact: after the signing of the Salisbury Agreements, Rhodesian counterintelligence discovered a plot headed by Reverend Ndabaningi Sithole aimed at assassinating Ian Smith. Smith decided to let the case slide, not taking any measures with respect to Sithole due to how important and volatile the political climate was at that moment. He limited himself to summoning the reverend, informing him that his conspiracy had been busted and asked for his criminal organization to be dissolved. Sithole obeyed.
  150. Before Smith stood a task of great importance - to convince the people of Rhodesia to accept the Salisbury Agreement. The document needed approval via a referendum - without it, it remained an empty declaration. And Smith had to make sure that the citizens of the country believed that the country needed the new government.
  152. It can hardly be said that the issue of accepting or refusing the Salisbury Agreements has split the country’s population, but the controversy it generated was hot enough to cause a few burns. In the past, when vital issues were discussed, the population of Rhodesia was virtually monolithic - in November 1964, the referendum on future independence yielded the following results: 58 076 for and 6 101 against, i.e. 9: 1. Now the population has become far more thoughtful.
  154. UPI, January 12, 1979:
  155. >At Ian Smith’s meeting with electors in Umtali, the third largest city in Rhodesia, one of the women openly asked him, without any effort to conceal her bitterness and anger: "Do you seriously think that the Lord wishes upon us such a fate – to be ruled by murderers and bandits?" With that, she said that in the six previous months the insurgents had killed her son, daughter and two nieces. Her husband, unable to cope with the death of his family, died of a heart attack.
  156. Smith, who until then had no trouble explaining to the audience of 500 people why he was campaigning for a new multiracial government, was forced into making excuses. "It was not on my own that I had made this decision," he said. – “Foreign powers forced us to accept what they call the rule of the black majority. In these conditions, we are trying to get out of the situation with minimal losses. " Smith then asked the people to participate in the January 30 referendum and say yes to a new constitution that presupposed majority rule and a mixed government.“
  158. When Smith was asked for guarantees against those two (Muzorewa and Sithole) simply abolishing the constitution once in power, the Prime Minister replied:
  159. >I cannot guarantee anything. If I voted with my heart, I would say: I am against the new constitution. But my mind tells me to accept it, because it would be better for Rhodesia.
  161. On January 30, 1979, 66,300 of 94,700 registered voters came to the polling stations. More than 85% of respondents voted for the new constitution and the new government. This was a majority vote by any and all standards.
  162. Neither Robert Mugabe nor Joshua Nkomo recognized this referendum. Moreover, they said that the "war of liberation" (i.e. open terrorism) would break out with renewed vigor. And in this respect, they kept their word - on February 12, just a little less than two weeks after the referendum, a gang of ZIPRA terrorists shot down a Rhodesian Airlines passenger flight (flight 827) with the help of a Strela-2 MANPADS that they had received from the USSR. Unlike the previous incident (flight 825, September 3, 1978), in this case, all 59 passengers and crew members perished.
  163. In his address to the nation, Ian Smith directly blamed the United States and Britain for the incident, due to their demonstrative coddling of terrorists:
  164. >Wherever I am, sensible people keep asking me - how can the Western world sit and indifferently watch the barbarism that terrorists perpetuate in Rhodesia? I have repeatedly addressed U.S. President Carter and British Prime Minister James Callagen, stressing that they, like no one else on earth, have the power to stop this inhuman terrorism. Their governments constantly declare that they are responsible for restoring peace and normal life to our country. But they refuse to even move a finger to achieve this goal. (LA Times - Washington Post News Service, February 14, 1979)
  165. Neither the U.S. nor Britain condemned the terrorist act committed by Nkomo’s goons. No official in the governments of these countries made a single statement that would even slightly resemble reproach. The only reaction in official circles in the U.S. and Britain was silence.
  167. Despite the intensification of the terrorist onslaught, the agreement adopted in Salisbury was implemented. At the end of February 1979, Ian Smith attended the last session of the parliament. He called it a historic event:
  168. >We are witnessing a great and proud era coming to an end. Tomorrow will be a new day. Despite the fact that the United States and Great Britain have entered an alliance with the USSR, Cuba and the Patriotic Front, I am convinced that, in the end, the truth will win, and the new state of Zimbabwe-Rhodesia will prosper. (Houston Post of March 1, 1979)
  170. On 20 April 1979, general elections were held in Rhodesia. Unsurprisingly, terrorist groups ZANLA and ZIPRA refused to participate in them. To ensure proper conduct of elections, the Rhodesian Armed Forces executed several operations, including wiping out several terrorist bases outside the country. Immediately, the United Nations, the United States and Great Britain condemned both the actions of the Rhodesian army and the very idea of free elections:
  171. >The UN Security Council condemned the attacks of the Rhodesian Armed Forces on neighboring African countries and called on the world community to refrain from sending observers to the so-called elections in Salisbury next month. The UN Security Council resolution declared the future elections in Rhodesia to be "invalid and illegitimate", and "neither the United Nations, nor any of its member states should recognize this elected body or its representatives. (Houston Post of March 1, 1979).
  173. In the same April 1979, shortly before the elections, the Rhodesian Security Forces conducted another cross-border operation - a raid into Zambia with the goal of assassinating Joshua Nkomo. Rhodesian special forces appeared in Lusaka, the capital of Zambia, causing a panic both in the country’s government and in neighboring states. Unfortunately, Nkomo managed to slip away (it is still unclear why; after the operation there were persistent rumors that a leak of secret information had occurred and the British had managed to tip the leader of ZIPRA off).
  175. LA Times - Washington Post News Service of April 14, 1979:
  176. >The fact that the Rhodesian raid took place at the time when the "Afro-Asian Conference on Solidarity Issues", organized with the support of the USSR, was being held in Lusaka, clearly shows that the government of Rhodesia no longer cares about the possible reaction of Moscow - as well as the possible strengthening of military aid to the rebels in Zambia and Mozambique. Now many observers believe that Rhodesia, which has secured military support from South Africa, will join forces with it to take the most tough position with regard to black nationalist movements in southern Africa.
  178. In the attempt on Nkomo there was one aspect that slipped the attention of the press but not of certain agencies of certain superpowers: the soldiers of the Rhodesian Security Forces managed to enter Lusaka, the capital of the neighboring state, without encountering even the slightest resistance. If Rhodesia really wanted to invade and subjugate Zambia or Mozambique, these countries would capitulate in a few days. Needless to say, the news about the daring raid in Zambia sent President Carter's administration into apoplexy.
  180. Elections in Rhodesia were held at the appointed time and without any excesses, despite attempts by terrorists to disrupt the process. Bishop Abel Muzorewa won. "68 unofficial observers from the United States, Britain, Australia and a number of European states said that the elections were free and fair, as far as possible in the conditions of a country at war" (Associated Press, April 25, 1979).
  181. Moreover, a commission under chairmanship of Lord Boyd presented the government of Her Majesty with a large report which unequivocally confirmed that the elections were honest. The Boyd Commission Report unambiguously regarded this event as a triumph of the new government of Rhodesia. However, on June 7, 1979, Jimmy Carter called these elections "a farce to which representatives of the opposition were not allowed," literally repeating the statements of Mugabe and Nkomo. The fact that African political leaders in Rhodesia said that Joshua Nkomo and Robert Mugabe were invited to participate in elections with a guarantee of immunity and amnesty to the insurgents, but pointedly refused to participate, did not faze Jimmy Carter in the slightest. In addition, the result (63.9% of the 2.9 million people who had the right to vote is a result far greater than in most U.S. elections) was also ignored.
  182. Naturally, a number of complaints was filed after the election, mostly from Sithole - but the same observers from the United States confirmed that the number of violations was minimal, and the election process itself was honest and conducted with all appropriate procedure. In fact, these were the only honest elections ever held on the African continent - at least in the 20th century. Perhaps this was the reason why Mugabe and Nkomo had refused to take part in them.
  184. Washington ended up in a bit of a bind. There no longer was any clear reason for Carter to continue diplomatic and economic war against Rhodesia – after all, it was no longer ruled by the "White minority"; on the contrary, the government of the "black majority" was elected in the country, the principle of "one person - one vote" was observed, and even those few manifestations of racial discrimination that remained in the country have disappeared. Now nothing stopped the United States from officially recognizing Zimbabwe-Rhodesia as a full member of the international community. But Carter entertained no such ideas - the American president’s administration aimed not for "human rights and the triumph of democratic principles," as was officially declared, but for collapsing a capable state. To resolve the "Rhodesian problem", Jimmy Carter urgently met with Cyrus Vance, Andrew Young, Walter Mondale and Zbigniew Brzezinski. The result of the meeting was affirmation of the status quo: U.S. policy towards Rhodesia would remain the same until power was transferred to Robert Mugabe and Joshua Nkomo, whatever the cost.
  186. In his article "Africa Speaks" (Houston Chronicle of May 2, 1979), William Safire wrote:
  188. >Before the first election worthy of the name in any African nation recently, two U.S. senators of widely differing views conservative Sam Hayakawa of California and liberal George McGovern of South Dakota proposed that Congress send a team of bipartisan, impartial observers to Rhodesia. That sounded eminently fair to most Americans, but not to the Andrew Young-Richard Moose wing of the State Department, which wanted to discredit the Rhodesian elections.
  189. Therefore, the Young-Moose catspaw in the House of Representatives, Democrat Stephen Solarz of Brooklyn, N.Y., who heads the Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Africa, led his group to a unanimous rejection of the Senate plan to monitor the honesty of the Rhodesian elections. Solarz gave as his reason for opposing a U.S. delegation to inspect the election, his contention that "it would be interpreted as an endorsement" of the election. His argument carried, and the Senate could not go without the House.
  190. The Young-Moose brigade thus scored a victory over on-the-spot observation. Imagine everyone's surprise, then, when young Stephen Solarz showed up in Salisbury, Rhodesia, the week before election, holding a press conference and actively pressing the Young-Moose line. He slipped out of the country just before the balloting, but that did not stop him from passing along rumors that blacks had been herded to the polls at gunpoint. His reports are pure Young-Moose propoganda. No wonder the young congressman would not permit impartial American observers on the scene.
  191. But even Solarz must have a hard time bunking away the facts: under active threat of guerrilla attack, 64 percent of the eligible voters went to the polls, most for their first time, to choose a black-majority government that preserves the rights of the white minority. It is a model for those "front-line" African states that talk about democracy but do not permit opposition.
  192. However, the Young-Moose set is adamant: forget the election. Only a solution imposed from the outside, which places in power the Soviet-supported Nkomo forces and the Chinese-backed Mugabe forces, can be tolerated. Until then, sanctions forever!
  193. That is the height of imperialistic arrogance. There is Richard Moose, Senator Fulbright's man, fresh from a decade of outrage expressed against the United States in Southeast Asia now, the new Cecil Rhodes of Africa, ignoring local elections and manipulating congressmen to carry out his vision of the wave of the future. There is Andrew Young, who assured us that the Cubans would be a "stabilizing force" in Africa, and who. now sees Iran's Khomeini as "some kind of saint:" he dictates Africa policy to a president who cannot afford to lose his support. Young well remembers the "walkin'-around money" passed out in the 1976 Carter campaigns; if similar payoffs to local black leaders took place in Rhodesia, that election would be denounced around the world as corrupt.
  194. And there is Solarz, 38, completely taken in by the Young-Moose crowd, fussed over by State Department bigwigs, made to feel important to the point of not only blocking the impartial inspection team but to stretching propriety with his own international meddling. “America's primary interest is not who wins,” he says, “but how the war can be brought to an end.”
  195. If he believes that, he is more dangerous than naive: for “who wins” determines who will live. If the process of democracy is overthrown at America's demand, the Nkomo and Mugabe forces will take over, drive out the whites, punish the blacks, and engage in a bloody civil war until the Soviets triumph again.
  196. The Solarz election-be-damned arrogance could have a serious effect on Israel's security, too. If the Carter Administration can tell Zimbabwe-Rhodesia that it must negotiate with its terrorist attackers, cannot that same Administration one day be expected to tell Israel it must negotiate with the P.L.O.?
  197. That is no outlandish parallel. Though Representative Solarz dutifully evokes his Brooklyn District in support of Israel, his all‐out, topplethe‐regime advocacy of the Young-Moose African ideology is turning attitudes against Israel among some conservatives in Congress.
  198. Last week's free elections deserve positive response and a change of policy. Mr. Carter need not wait for Margaret Thatcher in England to take the lead: it would not hurt for the United States, for a change, to be the leader.
  199. Sanctions should be lifted and warm encouragement extended to Zimbabwe‐Rhodesia, the nation that achieved black majority constitutionally. If its experiment in race relations succeeds, hope can grow for human rights and peaceful progress in South Africa.
  201. On May 7, 1979, the new parliament convened for its first meeting. For the first time there were more black deputies in it than Whites. The meeting was attended by Rhodesian Front and OANS (Muzorewa's party) in full, but 12 members of Ndabaningi Sithole’s party did not appear to attend the session’s opening, saying that they thereby express their protest against the election results. Ian Smith transferred his powers to the new prime minister, bishop Abel Muzorewa, and the latter was sworn in as head of state of Zimbabwe-Rhodesia (a name that was accepted as a compromise after much discussion).
  203. In comparison to Smith, Muzorewa was a soft and inefficient politician. He could not muster the same degree of resistance to external pressure exerted on the country by foreign governments and terrorists supported by the USSR and China. South Africa took a dual position: on one hand, they continued to support Muzorewa, because as a prime minister he suited them much better than Mugabe or Nkomo. On the other hand, Pretoria understood perfectly well that the days of Zimbabwe-Rhodesia were numbered and ascent of one of the terrorist leaders to power was just a matter of time. Therefore, it was not worth it to spend too much effort and resources on supporting Muzorewa. As for ZIPRA and ZANLA, the intensity of terrorist attacks only increased. To Muzorewa’s credit, however, it should be noted that in the matters of repelling the terrorist threat he was almost as determined as Smith and did not hesitate to use force where necessary. But in everything else, he lost to Smith badly. If fighter pilot Ian Smith was forged from steel, Bishop Muzorewa was baked from dough. It only took Washington and London a few weeks to realize this and subsequently increase pressure on the new prime minister.
  204. It must be noted again that after the elections in Rhodesia, the U.S. Senate demonstrated common sense and adopted a resolution naming the elections free and fair, internal contradictions resolved, and urging the president to immediately cancel the sanctions. This initiative by Jesse Helms was regarded by the Carter Administration as a serious blow, and countermeasures followed soon after. No sooner had Rhodesia and South Africa welcomed the initiative of the U.S. Senate, as Andrew Young published an article with a rather unambiguous warning – apparently, the lifting of sanctions against Rhodesia would guarantee the armed conflict’s expansion. Rhodesian counterpropaganda, however, worked at full capacity to dispel this myth, and to achieve his goal, Carter was ready to take any measures, including recognizing the leaders of terrorist groups as "political leaders". Carter could no longer officially invite Mugabe or Nkomo to the U.S., let alone the White House – a self-proclaimed champion of human rights publicly welcoming someone who does not give a damn about them would be too much. But what can’t be done openly, can be done covertly. In May 1979, Joshua Nkomo arrived in the United States. Answering journalists' questions, the State Department spokesman said that Mr. Nkomo had arrived in the United States on a private visit. Also, according to him, Nkomo would give a private lecture at Moorhouse College in Georgia. The spokesman, however, declined to answer the question whether Nkomo's choice of destination – Georgia, the political playground of both Carter and Young - was coincidental.
  206. Needless to say, Nkomo's entry visa, unlike Smith’s, was issued without slightest delay. During his tour of the United States, Nkomo also visited Texas, where he was an honored guest at a conference organized by the African-American Institute. His speech was attended by about 100 statesmen and business representatives from the U.S. and several African countries. The honor of giving the floor to the terrorist fell to George "Mickey" Leland, a mixed-race Democratic congressman from the State of Texas and a zealous supporter of the president on African issues. Declaring the recent elections in Rhodesia illegitimate, Mickey Leland introduced Nkomo to the audience as "President of Zimbabwe" (which Nkomo did not object to), although he had never received a single vote in any election.
  208. Nkomo's speech amounted to approval of the U.S. government’s decision not to abolish sanctions against Rhodesia and urging to continue the war against Muzorewa’s government, no matter the cost. The lifting of sanctions, according to Nkomo, woul lead America to greater shame than the Vietnam War. Further on, the "President of Zimbabwe" explained to the audience his opinion on what to regard as terrorism:
  209. >The murders of civilians in Zimbabwe are committed only by Smith and his puppet, the bishop. We are not terrorists. We have never committed terrorist acts. We have always committed only legitimate action against legitimate objectives such as military facilities and personnel of the armed forces. (Associated Press, May 20, 1979)
  210. One would be hard pressed to cook up a more cynical lie. "Legitimate military objectives," against which ZIPRA guerrillas conducted actions, in reality were civilian flight passengers, pregnant women, children, the elderly, the disabled, nuns and missionaries. Nevertheless, his words were perceived as pure truth.
  212. On May 28 1979, following this debacle, AP journalist James Kilpatrick published a column in Houston Chronicle, titled “What kind of elections does Nkomo want?”. The answer was within the column itself:
  213. >Perhaps he prefers elections on the principle tried and tested in neighboring Angola and Mozambique. None of these countries had free elections. And this is the best kind of election that Nkomo can imagine. Maybe that's why he pre-declares himself "the President of Zimbabwe"?
  215. In case the U.S. administration, for whatever reason, planned to leave Nkomo's words without attention, the leaders of a number of African countries immediately started expressing their opinions as well. Julius Nyerere, the president of Tanzania - the state that had most terrorist training camps per square kilometer in all of subequatorial Africa - issued a stern warning to the United States and Great Britain against lifting sanctions or trying to recognize Muzorewa’s government. Almost simultaneously, the Organization of African Unity stated that it did not intend to recognize Abel Muzorewa as the legitimate head of the government, and strongly warned the United States and Britain against helping the first black prime minister of the country in any way.
  217. After Abel Muzorewa was sworn in, he began to form a new government. The parliament quickly elected the country’s new president - Reverend Josiah Zion Gumede, a respected public and political figure. The cabinet had five Whites (from the Rhodesian Front party) as ministers of justice, finance, traffic, transport and energy and communications (Ian Smith joined the government as a minister without a portfolio). The rest of the ministers were black, as most of the posts went to Muzorewa’s UANC party, with a minor part going to the Federative Party. Muzorewa himself occupied, in addition to the post of the prime minister, the posts of the Minister of Defense and the Minister of Joint Operations. Reverend Sithole and his colleagues were also invited to take up posts, but they refused, still denouncing the elections as rigged. Later, Muzorewa was forced to order the arrest of several members of Sithole’s party for plotting a coup (again).
  219. President Carter was not happy with the racially integrated government of Zimbabwe-Rhodesia at all. In June 1979, he said that presence of Mugabe and Nkomo in the new government would be the necessary condition for the lifting of sanctions. In fact, Carter openly admitted that he never pursued charitable goals such as "majority rule", "one person - one vote", "human rights", "democratic values", etc. – what he wanted was his own solution to the "Rhodesian problem" and to hell with the rest. Senator Helms, trying to do at least something, ventured to invite Bishop Muzorewa to the United States. Strangely enough, this time the State Department did not resist: the new prime minister received a visa without delay and safely arrived in America.
  221. In addition to being a legally elected prime minister, Muzorewa was also a priest. (An interesting fact is that he studied theology not only at the Umtali Bible College, but also in the U.S.: he received his master's degree at Scarritt College in Nashville, Tennessee, and his master's degree in philosophy at the Central Methodist College in Fayette, Missouri). He became the Bishop of Rhodesia in 1968. One could reasonably expect American religious leaders – or at least the Methodists, to whom Muzorewa belonged - to welcome their colleague. However, nothing could be further from the truth: the welcome Muzorewa received from these people was chilly at best. Interestingly enough, when Muzorewa opposed Ian Smith, American churches were tumbling over each other in attempts to glorify him, even nicknaming him "African Moses". The moment he started cooperating with Smith, clerics branded him an outcast, a rogue and a dangerous rebel whose name should not be mentioned after sunset. After becoming Prime Minister, Muzorewa graduated to puppet of the devil himself in the eyes of the American clergy.
  223. The World Council of Churches, a rather vile and sinister organization that provided all possible support to almost all of the world’s terrorist organizations, publicly urged not to recognize the government of Muzorewa. The reason was quite simple: the WCC was fully dedicated to supporting the Patriotic Front - the alliance of Mugabe and Nkomo - and not at all embarrassed by the fact of courting notorious terrorists. Within the framework of the "Programme to Combat Racism", a grant of $85 000 was allocated to the fighters of the Patriotic Front. This money did indeed go towards combat, although probably not the kind that clergymen imagined: murder of civilians and personal enrichment of the group leaders. Naturally, such a "pious" organization could not support bishop Muzorewa, who only used force as a last resort.
  225. Muzorewa was welcomed in the White House, but the end result remained the same. Jimmy Carter patiently listened to the bishop, only to then firmly state that the sanctions would only be lifted after the “reforms”, aka the plan cooked up by the United States and Great Britain. Abel Muzorewa now faced firsthand what Ian Smith had to contend with for the entire previous decade. But where Smith had steel, Muzorewa had gruel. Unable to withstand the pressure, the bishop surrendered and made it clear that he was ready to accept Anglo-American initiatives.
  226. A small digression. In the spring of 1979, elections were held in Great Britain, won by conservatives led by Margaret Thatcher. During the election campaign, Thatcher repeatedly stated that in her opinion, the elections in Rhodesia were free and fair and that she intended to recognize the government of Muzorewa and lift the sanctions. And even before the Rhodesian elections, Thatcher was inclined to decide the issue in favor of recognizing the new government: "If the elections in Rhodesia are truly free and fair, as far as it is possible for the country under a constant terrorist threat, then Britain must agree with the choice of the Rhodesian population," she said once. However, one of her first steps was appointment of Lord Peter Carrington to the posts of Foreign Secretary and Minister for Overseas Development. Carrington’s position towards Zimbabwe-Rhodesia, by his own admission, was not that different from the position of his predecessor, David Owen. It is curious that at first Carrington recognized the possibility of international recognition of Rhodesia:
  228. >It must be acknowledged that there is a rather biased view of the world in relation to what progress has been made in resolving internal contradictions in Rhodesia and excessive support for opponents of this settlement. If the Patriotic Front continues to distance itself from the settlement, if Nkomo and Mugabe insist on the use of force as the only measure to achieve their goals, then the only worthy way out for the UK government will be the support of an internal agreement, no matter how difficult this path might be.
  229. Thatcher's victory in the elections provided an opportunity for the new government to recognize Zimbabwe-Rhodesia and keep the promises given to the Rhodesians and the British. Had the UK recognized the elections, the U.S. would be in a very difficult situation, and it was highly possible that they would eventually follow the limeys’ example. And according to the Central Intelligence Organization of Zimbabwe-Rhodesia and NIS (National Intelligence Service) of South Africa, France, West Germany and other European countries in that case would almost immediately follow suit.
  230. New York Times News Service on May 6, 1979:
  231. >The United States believe that the victory of the conservatives in the UK will not bring changes to the foreign policy of the United Kingdom, said a representative of the U.S. presidential administration. He also stressed that Anglo-American talks should be held soon, during which a common strategy for solving the "Rhodesian problem" will be worked out. The U.S. State Department expresses confidence that the American and British governments will continue to closely cooperate on major international issues.
  233. Negotiations did take place, indeed - following the meeting between Lord Carrington and Cyrus Vance, the Thatcher government announced that it does not intend to recognize Abel Muzorewa's government or lift sanctions at the moment, but works in every possible way to ensure that the "Rhodesian problem" is solved in the very near future. However, the Carter administration still had doubts as to whether the Brits would toe this line. At the end of June 1979, Margaret Thatcher visited the World Economic Forum in Japan. On the way back, she made a stop in Australia - among the statements she made there was a commentary on the situation in Zimbabwe-Rhodesia. According to the Prime Minister, great progress has been achieved in the settlement process, and she does not see any valid reasons for the continuation of the conflict. However, at the same time she added that the official recognition of the country can take some time. Margaret Thatcher's statement sounded in sharp contrast to the words of Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser - he stressed that the Australian government fully shares the position of the states neighboring Zimbabwe-Rhodesia and does not intend to make any agreements with the government of Muzorewa. Upon Thatcher's return to London, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs recommended that she refrain from recognizing the Muzorewa government, because this will not lead to an end of the armed conflict, and the risk of the situation deteriorating will increase manifold. Yet Thatcher hesitated, which made the U.S. doubt that Britain would not recognize the new government.
  234. These doubts quickly dissipated. In the summer of 1979, the government of Nigeria nationalized British oil companies in the country: the products of British Petroleum and the enterprises that sold them went to the state, and that’s not counting the blocking of oil contracts totaling 500 million pounds sterling. In addition, Nigeria made it clear that it is ready to block all oil exports to the UK on a moment’s notice. As General Olusegun Obasanjo, the Nigerian leader, explained: "We must make Britain look at the situation of Zimbabwe differently. No black African can feel free as long as the south of Africa is not free.”
  235. The nationalization of assets occurred shortly before the conference of the British Commonwealth in Zambia. Margaret Thatcher, who attended the conference, announced that her government "will seek to establish the rule of the real black majority" - and the emphasis was on the word "real". It must be assumed that Joshua Nkomo was very happy to hear these words, given that he was seated within 3 meters of Thatcher. At a press conference given on the next day, Nkomo, radiant with pride, contentedly stated: "Yesterday, Mrs. Thatcher clearly learned something – if, of course, she was serious about the rule of the real black majority." (Associated Press of August 2, 1979).
  237. In a joint statement, the leaders of 39 states once again stressed that they were in favor of "introducing the rule of the real black majority in Zimbabwe" and described the Salisbury Agreements as unconstitutional. The statement of the leaders of the Commonwealth countries also called for the convening of a constitutional conference under the patronage of Great Britain, in which all parties, including the "insurgents", would take part. In this statement, the country was exclusively called "Zimbabwe" and not "Zimbabwe-Rhodesia". This once again stressed that the fate of the country had already been resolved and Rhodesians wouldn’t even get to choose the name. Upon learning of this decision, Abel Muzorewa bitterly exclaimed: "I do not understand - is Mrs. Thatcher is a real conservative or a carefully disguised Labourist?"
  239. In early September, the sixth "Conference of the Countries Participating in the Non-Aligned Movement at the Highest Level" was held in Havana. In addition to leaders of most African states, it was attended by Robert Mugabe and Joshua Nkomo. The leaders of ZANU and ZAPU actively urged the African heads of state not to support the Zambian statement. The reason was simple: both Mugabe and Nkomo wished to continue the armed struggle to the victorious end and overthrow the government by means of warfare. However, they did not take into account that Rhodesia’s neighbors were tired of war. Leaders of Tanzania, Zambia and Mozambique (Nyerere, Kaunda and Machel, respectively) held a closed meeting with Mugabe and Nkomo, where they demanded, as an ultimatum, that the latter renounce the idea of continuing the war. Kaunda told Nkomo that he was fed up with the war and constant raids of Rhodesians into Zambia. If Nkomo refuses to come to the conference in London, then Zambia will simply stop supporting the ZIPRA militants, shut down all of Nkomo’s camps in the country, and kick out his goons. Samora Machel told the same thing to Mugabe: his absence in London will automatically mean the cessation of all assistance to ZANLA.
  242. At the conference in London (later dubbed the Lancaster Conference), which opened in autumn of 1979, Britain first demanded from Abel Muzorewa to recognize all of his actions as illegal, starting from the moment of the general election. Then a new constitutional plan was announced. In short, the plan effectively deprived the White population of all guarantees, even on paper. In addition, as already mentioned, the name "Rhodesia" would be struck from the face of the earth. Ian Smith, who was also present at the conference, fiercely resisted, but he did not possess any formal powers, as the prime minister’s title was still held by Muzorewa (temporarily recognized by Great Britain for the time of negotiations). American observers, sent at the insistence of Senator Helms (an action that caused a diplomatic hysteria in London), also could not do anything, as they did not have the right of vote. As a result, the parties reached a compromise – Whites were guaranteed a certain number of seats in the parliament, but not enough to be able to block future changes in the constitution.
  244. On September 25, 1979 Abel Muzorewa addressed the nation – or, to be precise, the White population of Rhodesia, because the constitutional changes concerned them first and foremost. In his speech, he asked the White population to remain in league with the blacks, even though the former had been deprived of the constitutional right to veto. According to the prime minister, "Some may think this is the darkest day in history, but the darkness is thickest before dawn."
  245. From the point of view of an ordinary person, this is called deception. From the point of view of a statesman, this is politics. When the White population of Rhodesia voted for adoption of the Salisbury Agreements (which gave the Prime Minister’s post to Muzorewa in the first place), they agreed to accept the rule of the black majority only on the condition that Whites would have the right and the opportunity to block any parliament constitutional reforms that could lead to deterioration of the situation in the country. Now, the White community watched in amazement as the Prime Minister, who was still wet behind the ears, calmly agreed to deprive the Whites of constitutional protection. Having agreed to such a step, Muzorewa, in fact, lost the moral right to be the highest official of the country.
  247. The population of Rhodesia followed the course of the Lancaster Conference with unwavering attention. But the further it went, the clearer it became that this farce was unlikely to lead to anything good. From the point of view of the average Rhodesian, Thatcher and Carrington were trying to get this problem off their hands as soon as possible. Like businessmen caught red-handed with unseemly deeds, they tried to cut their losses and save face – all while betrayal on their part was more than obvious. A small country relying on Great Britain was simply tossed into water, like a child who does not know how to swim - and the audience watched with interest: will it sink or swim? But the international community insisted that it sink or swim only together with Mugabe and Nkomo.
  248. Some Rhodesians were ready to agree that the original annexation of the territory on which Rhodesia was later created was not very fair and its initial development was partly based on exploitation of natives. But colonization of any territory imposes certain obligations on the colonizing power. In this sense, Britain has always set an example of fair play. But in the second half of the twentieth century, the United Kingdom began to give up its responsibility towards the African territories under its mandate. The Rhodesians had before their eyes a clear example: the territory lying north of the Zambezi, the former Northern Rhodesia, now Zambia. After 1964, this formerly developed colony turned into a failed state in a blink of an eye. Therefore, Rhodesians regarded Thatcher's position as desire to turn their country into the same wretched parody of a state as was Zambia. Desire of Thatcher and Carrington to quickly get rid of the "Rhodesian problem" while formally keeping their hands clean was compared with another well-known example of washing one’s hands. Curses that Rhodesians were flinging at the British government would not be found even in the most indiscriminate of dictionaries.
  250. In turn, Mugabe and Nkomo kept putting forward additional conditions, threatening boycotts, and sometimes demonstratively leaving the hall of negotiations (for example, at some point they said they did not agree with the paragraph of the basic law guaranteeing freedom of conscience and religious beliefs, as well as the paragraph that protected landowners from forcible seizure of their property), but in reality these were nothing more than cheap tricks. Terrorist leaders understood perfectly well that the main thing was to get their hands on official authority, and then they would use it as they saw fit; no constitution would be able to handicap them, as plenty of African examples have shown. Credit where credit is due, neither of the leaders was a naive fool – after all, they commanded large armies behind which superpowers secretly stood, and managed to hold on to their positions for a long time, despite endless plots and assassination attempts. Both Mugabe and Nkomo understood perfectly well that in any future elections, voters need to be FORCED to cast votes in their favor, at any cost. And first of all, in this situation it was necessary to get rid of oversight - i.e. make sure the “peace” is kept not by the Rhodesian Security Forces, familiar with the terrorists’ methods, but by external forces, which know nothing of Africa in general and Rhodesia in particular.
  251. Nkomo’s and Mugabe’s demands were firm - the state institutions of Rhodesia should not have any say in the matter of ensuring and holding elections. On this point, they stood balls-to-the-wall, and the United Kingdom was eventually forced to compromise: instead of Rhodesian Security Forces, a contingent of peacekeeping forces from the Commonwealth countries would be sent to the country to “keep peace” during the elections. The rest went according to a famous saying about an inch and a mile - the next demand was to recognize terrorist gangs as part of the peacekeeping forces. In fact, the terrorists ended up receiving more legitimacy than the Rhodesian army. Not to mention the fact that financial and other kinds of support of the elections, including accommodation and food for the terrorists, would be assumed by London. As one of the Rhodesian officers bitterly said later, "even if Moscow tried to create their own constitutional plan for the transfer of power in Rhodesia, it still would not be able to surpass the efforts of London, no matter how hard it tried."
  253. In November 1979, President Carter said he was ready to consider lifting sanctions against Rhodesia as soon as the country's election process began. Stephen Solarz immediately commented on the president's statement as "necessary and timely" - to which Jesse Helms remarked dryly that lifting sanctions at the time of Rhodesia turning into a communist country would only benefit the communists, but not the U.S.
  254. Upon returning to Salisbury, Abel Muzorewa solemnly announced the victory he had achieved. In fact, counting chickens before they hatch is a rather risky, if not outright suicidal, thing for a politician to do, but Muzorewa was not fazed by that in the slightest. He was more than confident in his victory in the upcoming elections, especially since his witch doctor had publicly performed several magical rites that guaranteed Muzorewa a landslide victory. All around the country, rallies and festivities were organized by candidates. The White community of Rhodesia gazed morosely at the wildly dancing negroes, who were beyond themselves with joy, and quietly wondered which country to start packing bags for.
  256. In mid-December of 1979, Botswana, Mozambique and Tanzania warned the government of Zimbabwe-Rhodesia and Thatcher's office that they would continue to support the Patriotic Front if the victory in the elections did not go to Mugabe or Nkomo. President of Zambia Kenneth Kaunda abstained from such statements, simply saying that his country was on the verge of an economic collapse. There were reasons for this - several daring raids of the Rhodesian SAS had pretty much annihilated the entire transportation infrastructure of Zambia, essentially bringing the country to its knees. So Kaunda decided it would be best not to interfere, realizing that Rhodesians possess sufficient audacity and skills to pay him a personal visit the next time he decides to act up.
  257. On December 28, 1979, a truce was officially announced. Terrorist armies surged into Rhodesia unimpeded. Some terrorists actually joined the peacekeeping forces, trying to follow the instructions and maintain order. Most of them, however, simply scattered across the country - according to the most conservative estimates, over 16 thousand armed terrorists entered Rhodesia at that time, although the exact number is difficult to name.
  258. Contrary to starry-eyed dreams of London and Washington, the bloodshed did not stop and mass murder of civilians continued, except now it was in the context of explaining the new electoral policy "vote or die". Moreover, terrorists tried to turn their weapons against the peacekeeping forces themselves - they managed to shoot down a helicopter with three servicemen on board. London ignored the incident and did not take any measures against the culprits.
  260. During this period (starting with December 11, 1979), the country was under the leadership of Lord Soames - on December 12, he arrived as governor and remained until April 17, 1980 – and was known as the Colony of Southern Rhodesia. Despite non-stop violence committed by terrorist gangs, Governor Soames did nothing - except for languid regrets expressed to the press:
  261. >Lord Soames confirms that of the two armies that make up the Patriotic Front, Robert Mugabe's guerrillas are most prone to not complying with the truce. "I'm very concerned for the large number of ZANLA forces that are currently outside the country," he said, "as well as their intentions. The leaflets they distribute call for violence. (Time, 4 February 1980).
  263. In fact, Governor Soames had publicly admitted his inability to control the situation in the colony accountable to him - but neither Britain nor the USA was too worried about that. Nor did they worry about a war that slowly started smoldering between Nkomo and Mugabe – several attempts on the life of the latter were made in the pre-election period, but he miraculously survived. Washington hurried to announce in advance that the future elections would be "fair and just", doing its best not to mention the 1979 elections that had taken place in a peaceful and calm environment.
  265. The results of the election were a shock for everyone except for the party of the victorious Robert Mugabe, who won by an overwhelming majority of votes. The "civilized world" sighed with relief - Rhodesia no longer existed, and what remained of it was led by a die-hard militant Marxist, whose coming to power was feared by all with at least a modicum of common sense. Margaret Thatcher expressed a hope that now the country will occupy a worthy place in the Commonwealth, Jimmy Carter posed for photographers with his charming smile, modestly recalling his contribution to the "establishment of democracy in Zimbabwe". Andrew Young, dumbfounded with joy, celebrated the victory, while Henry Kissinger, Lord Carrington and Cyrus Vance exchanged congratulatory telegrams.
  267. Out of 100 seats in the parliament, 20 were reserved for Whites, and they were all won by Ian Smith's Rhodesian Front party. Out of 80 places for blacks, 20 went to ZAPU (Joshua Nkomo), 57 to ZANU (Robert Mugabe) and 3 to UANC (Abel Muzorewa). Britain granted its former "colony" independence and on April 18, 1980, a new state of Zimbabwe appeared on the world map.
  269. Sensibly speaking, Britain could fully recognize the independence of Rhodesia in 1965, which would only benefit both countries. Great Britain’s example could have been followed by the United States. However, the leaders of these countries did not have the slightest desire to do so, despite having all the opportunity in the world. The United States and Britain could have helped resolve the "Rhodesian question" - without interfering in it - in 1971 and in 1976. From them, only one thing was required - to keep the previously given promises. Instead, Britain and the United States not only did not keep their word, but actively worked towards destroying Rhodesia. As for the United States, placing the cherry on top of this "work" fell to the great peacemaker, Nobel Peace Prize laureate, human rights champion, the all-pervasive human rights supporter James Earl Carter, 39th President of the United States. A man who prides himself on always telling the truth.
  271. >In the age of betrayal and defeat, the most grief is caused by the thoughts of people who fought to the very end, refusing to bow their heads to the forces of darkness, their courage a shining example to the rest of the world. Despite all the evil directed at them, they still managed to persevere. God save the Rhodesians - wherever they are.
  272. >Susan Huck, American Opinion, June 1980
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