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Chamisa is trying to re-brand himself as a constructive opposition figure

02 Oct 2022 at 19:06hrs | Views
Born-Again Nelson?

I NOTICE Nelson Chamisa is trying to re-brand himself as a constructive opposition figure, constructive in the mould of his bete noire, Douglas Mwonzora. Daily News reports him as declaring that "dialogue is needed", adding he is "putting all mechanisms to reach out to President Mnangagwa and all those who matter" on the issue of electoral reforms, "to say it is not a partisan issue, but a national one."

Invoking the spirit and values of the Liberation Struggle, he further alludes to Political Dialogue, POLAD, and to "political negotiations [which have occurred] in the past", while admitting, apparently without any tinge of personal culpability, that the goal of "nation building" has been elusive.

Style or sense, title or tale?

Here is one instance where manner proves more important than message, title and style more important than tale and sense. For he, for the first time, refers to his addressee as "President Mnangagwa", a respectful appellation quite out of sync with his derisive language he was wont to use in the past.

He also, again for the first time, refers to POLAD by name, even with some measure of respect, including recognising its activities towards "nation building"!

The language of POLAD

The vocabulary is that of POLAD. All this comes hard on the heels of calls by church leaders for some kind of dialogue, as would underwrite a peaceful poll. It also comes against the backdrop of repeated rattling of the sabre by him, including claiming he is lobbying for multiple intrusions: by South Africa, SADC, AU and even the UN!

I will not refer to hyperboles of campaigning, including when he fancies himself already in the top chair of this Nation. That is normal in politics.

Baffled outsiders, indifferent insiders

A few political watchers would be perplexed. A good number have been caught unawares, and will read the piece with disbelief, regarding this latest turn of events as remarkably inconsistent with the persona of ebullient bellicosity Chamisa has always worn.

In that mental mould, they are forgiven for expecting either of the following in coming days: a press release from Mahere distancing Chamisa from the Daily News article; or further pronouncements reinforcing this volte face!

But watchers are precisely that: outsiders peeping in and piecing together shards and bits. Science tells us images seen through a pinhole camera are always inverted; those seen through lenses of binoculars appear, nearer, larger, than they really are.

But privileged insiders take a languid, unhurried gaze, even adding a telling smirk at the game playing yonder. About that let me not say more, lest I breach oaths I am sworn to.

Iconic issue of The Economist

The current issue of The Economist is rich and fraught. It deserves reading, and keeping in one's collection. It is a real collector's item, fit to pass as history's first rough draft. Its focus is on the "global" energy crisis coming in the wake of the conflict in so-called Eastern Europe, which in reality is a NATO-Russia conflict.

Students of politics and history will remind us the name is very important, that just by a mere name, a rose can become a whole pumpkin; or be made to be the same or similar, even interchangeable. How we name historical occurrences, enables or disables our understanding and interpretation of phenomena. Let me illustrate.

Mis-naming history

In high school and even in universities, we are told and taught of two world wars: one between 1914 and 1918, itself the most callous and wasteful in terms of human toll; another between 1939 and 1945, itself begetting the current skewed world order we are a part of by sufferance.

We have accepted and grown inured to this narratology in order to pass examinations, themselves a way of rewarding and crowning cultivated conceptual and ideological imperfections of the world about us. It is the West's own way of implanting and consolidating a world view.

The West, after all, is the World, is it not? It's woes and wars are our woes and wars, and planetary because the rest of us are non-geographies, non-people, non-nations, non-races! Meaning what happens in the West, happens to the whole World, and for all peoples, great or small! So two world wars for this one world where we are non-persons!

Two Western civil wars

But here is another way of naming the same occurrences, seemingly iconoclastic yet a lot more plausible way, in my view. If you consider that combatants in both wars belonged to the same Hellenic-Roman-Byzantine Civilisation we now collectively call Western, both wars become schismatic!

Mere fratricidal civil wars within the same Civilisation, broadly speaking. The only combatant outside that common Civilisation was Japan.

But that doesn't make Japan a sum-foster parent for the rest of world civilisations whose scions had nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with both wars. Here is one case where a mere rose — some little Western civil war — is renamed in order to look enormous, to leave us all in awe.

In order to turn western armed schisms into benchmarks for all wars, indeed landmarks and turning points for all humanity! I reject that terrible naming tradition, so full of sound and fury, yet signifying globalised lies. Back to The Economist.

Not a global energy crisis

The issue has an opinion-editorial, op-ed, titled "Boom Time in the Gulf". The op-ed is about the energy crisis triggered by the latest Western civil war. You notice I don't call it "global energy crisis"? Because it is not! How is Russia facing an energy crisis, when it is itself a key source and supplier of that energy?

How is it a crisis for the six or more Gulf States which include Bahrain, Qatar, UAE, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Oman, when collectively, they stand to enjoy USD3,5tn in the next five years from supplying the same fossil fuels to the West? How is it a crisis for populous China and India even, both of which are enjoying a hefty energy windfall from a Russia which is redirecting its fossil economy eastwards?

How is it a crisis for Venezuela whose American-engineered sanctions and isolation have all but vanished, paving way for halcyon days it never dreamt about?

A crisis for our Zimbabwe for which the current energy crisis in some countries of the world has translated into accelerated investment and exploratory decisions by Invictus, the Australian energy giant? Sorry, I keep wondering off The Economist and its iconic op-ed!

America, no guarantor

Reads a part of the op-ed: "As we explain this week, the latest oil and gas boom is taking place alongside deeper trends: a re-engineering of global energy flows in response to western sanctions and climate change, and the remaking of the geopolitical alliances in the Middle East as it ADAPTS TO A MULTIPOLAR WORLD IN WHICH AMERICA IS NO LONGER A RELIABLE GUARANTOR OF SECURITY" (own emphasis).

European bloc viewpoint

The Economist represents the European Establishment writ large. It speaks for those who own the European subcontinent, indeed those who determine how Europe as a bloc is run by politicians in their permanent interest. Always calm and collected, The Economist speaks with the depth and authority of Europe's owning class.

It does not need the egotistical smallness suggested by by-lines; that's stuff for little boys for whom name recognition mean much. Real capital is quiet and only has one surname. The Economist's opinion is the opinion of the super-boardroom, of a whole bloc. It talks to corridors and hallways of real power.

Surprise opening of West's armpit

Now, to imagine that such a weighty publication for the first time speaks of a "MULTIPOLAR WORLD", in describing the post-1989 global situation without the Soviet Union; in describing a unipolar world we have been accustomed to calling the American Century, all that is remarkably surprising!

And to openly see and unambiguously locate within that MULTIPOLAR WORLD an America which is "NO LONGER A RELIABLE GUARANTOR OF SECURITY", is just unprecedented! What the hell is going on? How has the world's god become a mere man or woman? When? How did we get to such a seismic shift and admission by historically dutiful allies of this one global superpower? Whence gone the awe of mighty America?

Or the obverse, this novel, frank, snorting and daring impudence of Europe, historically America's most reliable partner in global economic and politico-military dominance?

And so print in bold such an abomination, such an impiety in the middle of a conflict with an avowed enemy called Russia? And a potentially second one against China, against Iran, against North Korea?

Conflict within a conflict

However one chooses to interpret this short, yet profound quote, there is undisguised European contempt and anger for America, possibly presaging a major rupture within the clan — a conflict within a conflict! The war with Russia has not been going too well for both sides in that civil war.

I am not talking about the see-saw of battle; that is normal in any war. I am talking about how a supposedly distant war is refusing to remain far and distant. Indeed how it daily becomes more and more menacing to the whole of Europe, while America seems cloistered by distance, by ocean and by the global market it dominates.

The only graph which is defying gravity is that of the American economy – all round! Europe is not amused, and faces a real prospect of domino-like collapse of sitting governments.

Voices dismissing the war against Russia as America's, with Europe as America's tong, grow by the day.

Voices claiming this war is America's way of precipitating Europe's de-industrialisation through a long, costly war, grow more strident by the day. Bitter bicker between incoming right-wing governing parties, and edgy sitting governments — such as we saw between Italy and France — daily becomes a media spectacle. Meanwhile, Putin will not relent in his vision of widening Russia territorially.

Widening gyre

As I write, he is minutes away from formally declaring the annexation of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson, making them part of Russia. The consequences are dire: with Russia's borders now extending into Ukraine where fighting is taking place, and with NATO's involvement, it means any attack on these new lands which are now a part of Russia amounts to an attack on Russia itself.

This is Putin's red line before nuclear warheads start flying into Ukraine and, God knows where else! The Americans know what Putin has now done through this referendum-aided annexation of Ukraine's territory. So, too, does Europe; and the United Nations while Nord Stream 1 and 2 already bleed from wounds inflicted by some phantom assailant, wounds quite mortal to economies of Europe; mortal to the transatlantic alliance . And to global peace, to the extent the world seems an inch away from a nuclear holocaust.

Felix Culpa or Armageddon?

All of which is to say? Well, the field of play is quite pregnant with meaning. One sees shoots of a new, multipolar world in which power points are multiple and potentially empowering to many, including smaller, underdog economies of the world rich in natural resources.

Their Century is now come, provided they are bold enough to assert themselves as independent. For them, the West's Civil War is "felix culpa" — a happy sin which begets redemption, to tap into Catholicism for imagery. Zimbabwe is already seeing this windfall, which is why her foreign earnings have swollen to USD7,7bn, and still counting.

But should matters escalate in this western civil war — and signs for escalation are equally ample — our planet is headed for Armageddon! Life will go extinct, even for us donkeys. Let's eat and make merry. For the day!

Source - The Herald
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