The horror never ends

By Barbara Simpson

They’d lost everything. Their home and property and everything else. It was all stolen by their own government for one reason. They were white.

They got out with the clothes on their back, a small tapestry scarf and a piece of china. That’s all they had to show for a lifetime of honest, hard work.

Oh – they got out with something else. Their lives. And considering how many weren’t so lucky, that was the most important. They emigrated to the United States with the dream of starting over.

But the shock of such personal devastation had its price. The husband was dead within a year. He was only in his ’50s, but it was too much for him. His surviving wife and children suffered their own hells as they tried to create a new life in a new country, starting with nothing.

I learned this haunting story just this morning as I told a friend about Zimbabwe and the chaos in that deteriorating African nation. She told me about these former neighbors of hers. But it was in the ’70s and the country they escaped was Tanzania.

The horror of such recollections is that history is repeating itself, again, this time in Zimbabwe, and there are signals the same thing is beginning in South Africa.

Politically, Zimbabwe is in the grip of Robert Mugabe, a man some describe as mad. Maybe. Maybe crazy as a fox. Regardless, he took control of the country when the British left and, via corrupt elections, continues to squeeze it dry. A communist in the Marxist mold, Mugabe tightens the noose on his people and the country.

The infrastructure is in ruin, the politics, police, army and courts are corrupt, the media are controlled with foreign press excluded, the economy is in shambles, the people are starving (it will get worse), and government thugs carry out a concerted, racist campaign to steal farms from white owners. In the process, they rape, beat, torture, maim and kill the whites (and their black employees) who made it possible for Zimbabwe to grow enough crops to feed the people and export to support the economy.

All this, and the world hardly notices. The United Nations clears its throat a bit but it’s meaningless. The Brits and the U.S. do the same, but so what?

Mugabe, in his beautifully tailored suits, attends international meetings like the recent U.N. summit in Johannesburg and is warmly received. He gets rousing applause, while at home innocent white farmers are raped and killed, their property looted and land stolen by the police and the army with the best land given to Mugabe’s favorites. The list of human-rights abuses is lengthy and an honest election is a thing of the past.

The utter arrogance of Mugabe and the other U.N. countries at the summit meeting blustering about “sustainable development” is so unbelievable as to be laughable.

Sustainable development. Really? While Mugabe sanctions theft, rape and killing which allow the literal destruction of the country’s entire agricultural system leading to mass starvation and at the same time turns a blind eye to the wanton destruction of habitat and wildlife of the entire country – he was given a standing ovation by U.N. delegates.

And the media ignore the hypocrisy. When have you seen national TV news tell the real story? Have you seen anything about the wildlife devastation? Has anyone spoken for the whites punished for being white or for the blacks abused for wanting a free Zimbabwe?

A perfect example of media propaganda is a front-page story in Sept. 9, Catholic Voice, headlined “Severe food Shortage Creates New Crisis in Southern Africa.”

Here’s their explanation for Zimbabwe’s starvation:

“The food shortage that threatens Zimbabwe is due to a complex combination of factors – a severe drought in the first quarter of 2002, disruptions in the farming cycle due to farm evictions based on the land reform program, and a high HIV/AIDS prevalence rate.”

“Disruptions in the farming cycle”? Well, yes. Burning fields and not planting seed is a cycle disruption. “Farm evictions”? How about shooting up farmhouses and killing the farmers? “Land reform.” Sure. Steal the property.

And since when does HIV cause massive starvation?

Give me a break! It’s no wonder Americans are ignorant of the truth. No one tells them.

The silence of the media about this tragedy and travesty is deafening.