WILLIAMS FOREIGN AFFAIRS
EDITORIAL BOARD EDITOR-IN-CHIEF KORINA NEVEUX '19 CREATIVE DIRECTORS ANGELA CHAN '19 JASON LIU '20 ASSOCIATE EDITORS BEN BEIERS '20 TARAN DUGAL '20 JAKE RINALDI '20 sponsored by the stanley kaplan program in american foreign policy
WILLIAMS FOREIGN AFFAIRS
SAUDI ARABIA & THE U.S. korina neveux
IN YEMEN, U.S. COMPLICITY IS OVERLOOKED giulia mcdonnell nieto del rio
MOZAMBIQUE: CHINESE INVOLVEMENT IN AFRICA taran dugal
SOCIAL MOBILIZATION & NATION-BUILDING IN CHINA jake rinaldi
THE UNITED STATES & THE PARIS CLIMATE ACCORD ben beiers
A COUP IN ZIMBABWE jason liu
SAUDI ARABIA & THE U.S. A Questionable Love Affair
KORINA NEVEUX between the Kingdom and the United states morally wrong? The relationship between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia goes back to 1933 when a diplomatic relationship was established. Since then, the U.S. and Saudi Arabia have worked together against Communism; in favor of stable oil prices and oil fields; and towards strong Western economies. Since the Cold War, the relationship has seen incredible growth; Saudi Arabia has invested billions into the U.S. government and the U.S. has provided equipment and training to the Saudis, naming them a “key player in the U.S. security strategy”. More recently, the historic 2010 and 2017 arms deals with Saudi Arabia - worth billions each - took the spotlight on the international stage. The relationship’s strongest cohesive, however, is oil. Saudi Arabia is the largest producer of oil for the OPEC, or the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, which controls around 40% of the world’s oil supply. Geopolitically, being close allies with Saudi Arabia is the sensible thing to do. But what about morally? Essentially everything the U.S. does in the Middle East is in the name of democracy or human rights, so why isn't it the same for Saudi Arabia? Why are all the standards the U.S. holds other countries to suddenly forgotten when it comes to the Kingdom? The United States claims to boast equal rights for all, religious freedom, a strong democracy, and intolerance against terrorism. These values seem to collectively make up
nder the Trump Administration, a particular executive order has been in the spotlight for some time. The proposal to bar people from six countries from entering the United States has garnered a large amount of media attention. The six counties include Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen and the ban prevents people who do not have a “credible claim of a bona fide relationship” with someone in the U.S. from entering the country. The ban is said by Trump to be an essential preventative measure against terrorism. In June 2017, after the Supreme Court came out with the decision to review the travel ban, Trump made a statement that included him saying that “As President, I cannot allow people into our country who want to do us harm. I want people who can love the United States and all of its citizens, and who will be hardworking and productive.” Clearly, Trump sees the travel ban’s main purpose as a way to bar potential “terrorists” from entering the United States; going along with this rationale, it is curious why Saudi Arabia was omitted from the list of six countries, considering the history of statesponsored terrorism that Saudi Arabia is alleged to have. The relationship that the United States has with Saudi Arabia is one that is nurtured by each new commander-in-chief, but why is it that Saudi Arabia is not held to the same “standards” that the U.S. holds other countries to? Is this relationship
WILLIAMS FOREIGN AFFAIRS the moral foundation that the U.S. prides itself on. How is it possible, then, to be such close allies with country that does not place as much importance-if any-on these values? Women’s rights in Saudi Arabia are virtually nonexistent. The infamous guardianship system in Saudi Arabia prevents women from exercising basic independence; without the permission from a male guardian, women, for the most part, are not allowed to get married, apply and receive a passport, and, until recently, drive-just to name a few of the restrictions. Some important Islamic figures in the Kingdom have spoken against guardianship, arguing that it does not have much grounding in Islam-the Kingdom’s state religion-at all. For the most part, however, this lack of recognizing women as capable, independent adults has remained unchanged. In fact, Saudi Arabia’s explicit mistreatment of women has actually been rewarded. In early 2017, Saudi Arabia was elected to be one of twelve members of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. Membership is decided by 54 countries in the U.N. Economic and Social Council, and the approval of Saudi Arabia as a member caused an uproar in several of the voting countries. What kind of message does this send to other countries? That forgoing social progress in essential values doesn’t matter as long as you have money and oil? Again and again we see this blatant disregard for how Saudi Arabia’s human rights have made only marginal improvements-if any. In terms of religious freedom, there is next to no freedom at all. Public religious expression that does not align with the government-sanctioned interpretation of Sunni Islam is not allowed. Wahhabism-a strict form of Islam that focuses on the literal, face-value interpretation of the Quran is the dominant faith in Saudi Arabia. Millions of muslims worldwide do not agree with Wahhabism and often denounce it for its more extreme views and values. In addition, one cannot obtain a Saudi citizenship if they are non-Muslim and conversion from Islam to another religion is considered apostasy and can be punished with death. Lack of basic human rights in Saudi Arabia is only one of many reasons why the tight-knit relationship between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia is questionable. One of the perks of a democracy that the U.S. heavily values and tries to spread is freedom of speech-something Saudi Arabia seems to ignore. About two years ago, a 17 year-old boy-who was a pro-democracy activist in the Arab Spring-was involved in the conflict between protesters and the government which turned violent. The boy was eventually arrested and sentenced to death-an extremely harsh punishment considering he was exercising free speech and was a child. Where is the U.S. when things like this take place? Why don’t they speak up? It seems as though if
it were any other country, the U.S. would threaten to wage war in the name of democracy. More recently, we caught another glimpse of yet another U.S. official sliding Saudi Arabia’s flaws and faults under the rug while calling out other nations whose interests don’t align with U.S. interests. Earlier this year, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson shared his thoughts regarding the reelection of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani: “We ... hope that he restores the rights of Iranians to freedom of speech, to freedom of organization, so that Iranians can live the life that they deserve. That’s what we hope this election will bring. I’m not going to comment
We see the U.S. go to great lengths to hold other countries “accountable”—even when it’s a gray area—yet in the case of Saudi Arabia, which should be as clear as day, the U.S. looks the other way because it is in their best interest to do so.
on my expectation. But we hope that if Rouhani wanted to change Iran’s relationship with the rest of the world, those are the things he could do.” His hypocrisy was challenged in a media briefing when Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, Stuart Jones, was asked by Dave Clare of Agence France-Presse: “The Secretary criticised the conduct of the Iranian elections and Iran's record on democracy. He did so standing next to Saudi officials. How do you characterise Saudi Arabia’s commitment to democracy and does the administration believe democracy is a buffer, or barrier, against extremism?” He froze in silence for almost half a minute, and that said it all. Why is the United States’ relationship with Saudi Arabia so forgiving? Perhaps the most commonly voiced concern regarding the U.S.-Saudi relationship is the terrorism Saudi Arabia allegedly sponsors. According to The New York Times, American government reports say that the Saudis are providing financial support for terrorism, and that this remains a “threat to the kingdom and the international community.” Hillary Clinton-in a leaked Wikileaks cable-said that “donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide.” Joe Biden, during the Obama Administration, said that Saudi Arabia and other allies’ “policies wound up helping to arm and build allies of al Qaeda and eventually the terrorist Islamic State.” It isn’t just American leaders, however,
who bring attention to the alleged terrorism Saudi Arabia is said to support. German vice-chancellor Sigmar Gabriel had accused Saudi Arabia of funding extremism through the most radical form of Islam-Wahhabism-in communities worldwide: “Wahhabi mosques all over the world are financed by Saudi Arabia. Many Islamists who are a threat to public safety come from these communities in Germany,” he said. Hamidreza Taraghi, a hard-line analyst, reflected the view of many Iranians when he said that “ISIS ideologically, financially and logistically is fully supported and sponsored by Saudi Arabia-they are one and the same,”. With world leaders-even some of our own country’s leaders-accusing Saudi Arabia of supporting terrorist organizations with supporting evidence, why are we still as close as ever? What will it take for Washington policymakers to reevaluate the Saudi-U.S. relationship? The overwhelming hypocrisy we’ve see in the actions of American leaders throughout the decades when it comes to the reasoning behind our actions in the Middle East in comparison to the steady, and even improving, relationship with the Saudis shows absolutely no signs of stopping under the Trump Administration. So, is it wrong? Or is it just ‘politics’ and to be expected? Maybe the relationship would be fine if the U.S. wasn’t so keen on spreading the mission of transforming the world in areas of democracy and human rights. American Exceptionalism today is one of the many things that is causing people to scratch their chin and raise questions about the Saudi-U.S. relationship more than ever before. We see the U.S. go to great lengths to hold other countries “accountable”-even when it’s a gray area-yet in the case of Saudi Arabia, which should be as clear as day, the U.S. looks the other way because it is in their best interest to do so. This relationship goes against the moral values the U.S has-or at least claims to have. So what’s next? Can we expect a change in U.S. Policy in the coming decades as the voices of Western leaders and civilians become louder? Perhaps a change in our relationship with Saudi Arabia will come as we become less reliant on them in certain areas. The U.S. has been producing almost as much oil as Saudi Arabia since the shale revolution. According to the Atlantic, “The U.S. now pumps more than 9 million barrels of oil per day, which almost matches the amount in Saudi Arabia. Observers project that in five years, the U.S. will get 80 percent of its oil from North and South America and will be mostly selfsufficient by 2035.” In May of 2017, OPEC “sent a plea” to the United States, essentially asking them to stop pumping so much oil, causing many people to speak out regarding the United States’ new position in the global oil market. One of those people were Michael Hintze-a billionaire Hedge Fund founder. He said that “the reality is that the U.S. is now... the swing producer” and that Saudi Arabia “cannot be the swing producer any longer because of its fiscal situation.” So will the stability of the relationship be impacted by U.S. oil increasing? This is a question that can only be answered
with time and Saudi Arabia’s ability to diversify its economy. For now, however, we can settle on the claim that U.S.-Saudi relations are morally ambiguous; supporting evidence exists for both sides of the argument. ∆ ************************************************************************************************************** “A question to a US State Department official on Saudi Arabia’s lack of democracy was met by an agonising silence,” Business Insider, May 30, 201, http://www.businessinsider. com/a-question-to-a-us-state-department-official-on-saudi-arabias-lack-ofdemocracy-was-met-by-an-agonising-silence-2017-5. Blanchard, Christopher, “Saudi Arabia: Background and U.S. Relations,” Congressional Research Service, June 13, 2017, https://fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/RL33533.pdf. Clifford, Edward, “Financing Terrorism: Saudi Arabia and its Foreign Affairs,” Brown Political Review, December 6, 2014, http://www.brownpoliticalreview.org/2014/12/ financing-terrorism-saudi-arabia-and-its-foreign-affairs/. Cohen, Josh, “Is It Time For the United States to Dump Saudi Arabia,” Reuters, February 3, 2016, http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2016/02/03/is-it-time-for-the-unitedstates-to-dump-saudi-arabia/ Egan, Matt, “OPEC ‘no longer in control’ of oil prices,” CNN Money, May 18, 2017, http://money.cnn.com/2017/05/18/investing/opec-oil-prices-us-shale-saudi-arabia/ index.html. Erdbrink, Thomas and Mashal, Mujib, “At Least 12 Killed in Pair of Terrorist Attacks in Iran,” The New York Times, June 7, 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/07/world/ middleeast/iran-parliament-attack-khomeini-mausoleum.html. Erickson, Amanda, “Believe it or not, Saudi Arabia was elected to the U.N. women’s rights commission,” The Washington Post, May 3, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/ news/worldviews/wp/2017/05/03/saudi-arabia-where-women-arent-allowed-to-drivewas-just-elected-to-the-u-n-womens-rights-commission/?utm_term=.6470ce5df788. Hart, Parker, “Saudi Arabia and The United States Birth of a Security Partnership,” Indiana University Press, 1998. Huggler, Justin, “German Vice-Chancellor accuses Saudi Arabia of Funding Islamic Extremism in the West,” The Telegraph, December 6, 2015, (http://www.telegraph. co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/germany/12035838/German-vice-chancellor-accusesSaudi-Arabia-of-funding-Islamic-extremism-in-the-West.html. “Liautaud, Alexa, “Saudi Arabia is the top sponsor of terrorism in U.K., report says,” VICE News, July 5, 2017, https://news.vice.com/story/saudi-arabia-is-the-top-sponsor-ofterrorism-in-u-k-report-says. Michaelson, Jay, “Why Saudi Arabia Gets Away With Murder,” The Daily Beast, October 9, 2016, http://www.thedailybeast.com/why-saudi-arabia-gets-away-with-murder. Pollack, Josh, “Saudi Arabia and The United States, 1931-2002,” Meria, September, 2002, http://www-personal.umich.edu/~twod/oil-ns/articles/research-07/research-saudi/ pollack.pdf. “Read Trump’s Statement on the Supreme Court travel ban decision,” The Boston Globe, June 26, 2017, https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2017/06/26/read-trumpstatement-supreme-court-travel-ban-decision/UGNJR7vF8N9DbDaBzWffjK/story. html. “Saudi Arabia 2016 Report on International Religious Freedom,” Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, https://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/irf/2016/nea/268912.htm. “Saudi Arabia: ‘Unofficial’ Guardianship Rules Banned,” Human Rights Watch, May 9, 2017, https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/05/09/saudi-arabia-unofficial-guardianshiprules-banned. “Saudi Male-Guardianship Laws treat women as second-class citizens,” The Guardian, 7th October, 2016, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/oct/07/saudiarabia-women-rights-activists-petition-king. Schiavenza, Matt, “Why the U.S. Is Stuck With Saudi Arabia,” The Atlantic, January 24, 2015, https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2015/01/why-the-us-isstuck-with-saudi-arabia/384805/. The Editorial Board, “Fighting, While Funding, Extremists,” The New York Times, June 19, 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/19/opinion/saudi-arabia-qatar-isis-terrorism. html. “Trump Travel Ban Comes Into Effect for Six Countries,” BBC News, June 30, 2017, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-40452360.
WILLIAMS FOREIGN AFFAIRS
IN YEMEN, U.S. COMPLICITY IS OVERLOOKED (Tyler Hicks/The New York Times)
GIULIA MCDONNELL NIETO DEL RIO number than ever before. In July, three amendments relating to Yemen were added to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in the House. These measures sought to restrict the use of U.S. military force and personnel in Yemen, and attempted to increase the monitoring of Saudi war planes. Ultimately, however, none of these amendments were enacted into law when voted on in the Senate. In a vote that is set to take place anytime in the next couple of weeks in the House, bipartisan House legislation H.CON.RES. 81, introduced by Reps. Ro Khanna, D-Calif.; Mark Pocan, D-Wisc.; Thomas Massie, R-Ky.; and Walter Jones, R-N.C. seeks to invoke the so-called War Powers Act-a Vietnam War-era law meant to check the president’s ability to wage war without congressional consent. The goal: to end any military assistance to Saudi Arabia that may be used in Yemen. In his op-ed published on October 9th in The New York Times, Rep. Ro Khanna writes: “Now, we congressmen are invoking a provision of that 1973 law, which defines the introduction of armed forces to include coordinating, participating in the movement of, or accompanying foreign military forces engaged in hostilities.” Although opposition to the war in Yemen is building, the effort to halt the conflict still remains a long shot. Saudi interests hold considerable sway in Washington as the richest
t is the invisible war—the raging conflict in Yemen, the poorest nation in the Middle East. More than 10,000 people have died, mostly civilians. Another 7 million are on the brink of famine. Yet few Americans are even aware of the war, or of the extensive role that the U.S. plays in the conflict. The United States has been deeply involved in the Saudi-led campaign against Yemen for almost three years. With weapons sales, logistics aid, and intelligence support for the Saudi side, Washington has become a major player in a war that has left 69% of the population of Yemen in need of humanitarian assistance as of March 2017, according to the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). More than 50,000 civilians have been injured since the start of the war in 2015, and in August the number of cholera cases hit more than half a million, the World Health Organization reported. Yemen is a humanitarian disaster-a deadly tragedy abetted by U.S taxpayers, though there is little outcry in the United States. Nonetheless, momentum against United States involvement in the war is slowly building. Last summer, a senate vote failed to block a $510 million munitions sale to Saudi Arabia. Still, the split vote was significant: 47 senators voted to restrict the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia, a higher
country in the Middle East, while Yemen remains the poorest. The current conflict dates back to 2015, when a group of Houthi rebels took over the Yemeni capital, Sana’a. The Houthis, officially known as Ansar Allah (“Supporters of God”), are a northern-based group that had long opposed
infrastructure damage has made it almost impossible for food and other essentials to reach civilians. In Yemen, a child dies every ten minutes. In a joint statement by the chiefs of the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Food Program, and the United Nations Children's Fund(UNICEF), leaders expressed deep U.S. planes and bombs are contributing concern for the state of malnourishment in the country. to the destruction of Yemeni roads, “The country is on the brink ports, and bridges. The extensive of famine, with over 60 per cent of population not knowing where infrastructure damage has made it almost the their next meal will come from,” impossible for food and other essentials the statement declared. “Nearly 2 million Yemeni children are acutely to reach civilians. In Yemen, a child malnourished. Malnutrition makes them more susceptible to cholera; dies every ten minutes. diseases create more malnutrition. A vicious combination.” the central government in Sana’a. The Saudi-and U.S.The Saudi air campaign has caused thousands of backed president, Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, eventually fled civilian casualties, human rights activists say. Not only does to Riyadh. Since then the Saudi-led coalition, including, Washington supply Saudi with aircraft and munitions, but Bahrain, Egypt, and Sudan, has been fighting the Houthi the United States also provides logistical aid, intelligence and insurgents and forces loyal to the the Houthis’ ally-former extensive mid-air refueling for war planes from Saudi Arabia President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was ousted in 2012. and its allies. In August, 30 civilians were killed in an airstrike So what does the United States have to do with the near the capital; in September another air raid killed twelve conflict? First of all, Saudi Arabia is a long-time U.S. ally and civilians northeast of Sana’a. There is no letup in this kind of oil supplier, it is a nation that has had close relations with news from Yemen. The many accounts of airstrikes resulting Washington since 1933. In May, Trump made Saudi Arabia in civilian deaths continue. the first stop on his inaugural foreign trip as president. His In addition, numerous critics say that supporting Saudi unwavering support of the kingdom couldn’t be more clear, Arabia has greatly contributed to the growth of al-Qaeda in despite Riyadh’s record of severe human rights violations. the Arabian Peninsula, regarded as one of the strongest alU.S. planes and bombs are contributing to the Qaeda factions. Al-Qaeda is a bitter enemy of the Houthi-led destruction of Yemeni roads, ports, and bridges. The extensive administration now in control of the capital.
Civilians search their neighborhood for belongings five months after an airstrike turns the buildings to rubble. (Almigdad Mojalli/VOA)
WILLIAMS FOREIGN AFFAIRS
President Trump, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, and President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt, touch an orb to induct the Global Center for Combating Extremism during President Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia at the end of May. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead) In an interview I conducted this fall with Kate Gould, the Legislative Director for Middle East Policy at the Friends Committee on National Legislation in Washington D.C., Gould denounced U.S involvement in the Yemen war as both immoral and unlawful. The war in Yemen is first and foremost inhumane, she argued, but it is also unconstitutional. “Make no mistake: this war against Yemeni civilians is illegal and US complicity in it has resulted in the largest humanitarian crisis on the planet,” she said. A chief goal of advocates such as Kate Gould is to raise consciousness among U.S. residents of the U.S. role in the war. The lack of U.S. casualties on the ground in Yemen may make the war in Yemen seem far off to most Americans. In Congress, the fight to stop U.S. involvement in Yemen continues. But the prospects for complete U.S. withdrawal from the conflict are slim. The Trump administration’s muscular pro-Saudi stance would seem to forestall such an outcome. In Yemen, civilian deaths pile up daily, and disease and famine ravage the country-consequences abetted by U.S. tax dollars, critics say. For much of the world, and for most Americans, it is an invisible conflict. But Yemenis pay a steep price every day. And there is no sign that the carnage will end anytime soon, despite growing signs of discontent in Washington. ∆
"Cholera Count Reaches 500,000 in Yemen." News release. August 14, 2017. Accessed November 2, 2017. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/ 2017/cholera-yemen-mark/en/. Directing the President Pursuant to Section 5(c) of the War Powers Resolution to Remove United States Armed Forces from Unauthorized Hostilities in the Republic of Yemen., H.R. H.Con.Res.81, 115th Cong., 1st Sess. (2017). Accessed November 2, 2017. https://www.congress.gov/115/bills/hconres81/ BILLS-115hconres81ih.xml. Khanna, Ro, Mark Pocan, and Walter Jones. "Stop the Unconstitutional War in Yemen." The New York Times, October 10, 2017. Accessed November 2, 2017. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/10/opinion/ yemen-war-unconstitutional. McDonnell Nieto del Rio, Giulia. "Senate Vote Fails to Block U.S. Munitions Sales to Saudi Arabia." LobeLog (blog). Entry posted June 14, 2017. Accessed November 2, 2017. http://lobelog.com/ senate-vote-fails-to-block-u-s-munitions-sales-to-saudi-arabia/. O'Brien, Stephen. "Statement to the Security Council on Missions to Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and Kenya and an Update on the Oslo Conference on Nigeria and the Lake Chad Region." News release. March 10, 2017. Accessed November 2, 2017. Wintour, Patrick, Saeed Kamali, and Ahmad Algohbary. "Yemen at 'point of no return' as conflict leaves almost 7 million close to famine." The Guardian, March 16, 2017. Accessed November 2, 2017. https://www.theguardian.com/ global-development/2017/mar/16/yemen-conflict-7-million-close-to-famine.
************************************************************************************************************** Almosawa, Shuaib, and Rod Nordland. "Saudi Coalition Airstrikes Near Yemen’s Capital Kill Civilians." The New York Times, August 23, 2017. Accessed November 2, 2017. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/23/world/middleeast/ saudi-airstrike-sana-yemen.html?_r=1.
A woman sits with her children at a camp for internally displaced people in Dharawan, near the capital of Sanaa, Yemen. (Reuters/Khaled Abdullah)
A Case Study of Chinese Involvement in Africa
(Cody Pope/Counting the Dead)
TARAN DUGAL beneficial for Mozambique, but socially as well. China has provided tens of millions of dollars worth of debt relief to Mozambique, including a $22 million package in 2001 and a $30 million package in 2007. China has also invested heavily in various infrastructural development projects in the nation, including a $40 million loan in 2007, an $18 million loan in 2008, and a $9.4 million package in 2012. In addition, they have loaned hundreds of millions of dollars to Mozambique for social causes, including a $154.9 million interest-free loan meant to revitalize the health and education sectors of the country. These charitable initiatives are common-the creation of medical cooperation agreements, the provision of drought relief and food aid, and the donation of musical equipment to the Mozambican Education Ministry are just a few of the many examples of humanitarian-centered aid that China has provided to Mozambique. It is clear that China’s relationship with Mozambique has stretched significantly beyond economic engagement. Although some claim that the numerous provisions of these loans are creating a dependence on China within Mozambique, the opposite can be argued: “China [can] now offer favourable loans to Africa and, consequently, weaken imperial leverage over African economies”. Not only is fiscal aid by the Chinese revitalizing the nation, but it is also serving as a tool to break Western imperial holds of the past. Mozambique has benefitted
xperts have been questioning and analyzing the nature of relations between China and Africa since the second half of the twentieth century. Denounced by some as the actions of a neocolonialist state, and lauded by others as a philanthropic blessing to the continent, the nature of China’s engagement with African nations has been disputed for years. The same debate is found in analyses of Chinese relations with Mozambique. In this essay, I argue that while Chinese relations with Mozambique may initially appear exploitative in nature, they are mutually beneficial-a case that is representative of Chinese interactions with the African continent as a whole. When examining the history of relations between China and Mozambique, evidence pointing to a mutually beneficial relationship is abundant. To start, China and Mozambique enjoy a prosperous and profitable economic relationship. Simply put, both countries reap significant and undeniable economic rewards as a result of their trade with one another-transactions between the two countries totaled more than $1.1 billion in 2012. China is Mozambique’s second largest origin of imports, and Mozambican exports to China, as well as the market they offer in terms of importing Chinese products, have solidified the nation as an important economically to the Chinese. That being said, however, China’s engagement has not just been economically
WILLIAMS FOREIGN AFFAIRS significantly from the social and humanitarian initiatives by the Chinese government. Given that a mutually beneficial relationship is defined as a one in which the interactions between two parties produce positive results for each, it is clear that Sino-Mozambican relations are a paradigm of that. While China benefits economically from trade with the east African nation, Mozambique enjoys economic and social benefits as a result of trade and philanthropic efforts on the part of the Chinese. With this being said, not everyone is sold on the idea that Chinese relations with Mozambique are purely beneficial for the African nation. Many point to potential problems within industries such as logging and fishing in order to claim that Chinese relations with Mozambique are exploitative and offer semblances of neocolonial behavior. One common example that is cited in order to provide evidence for such a claim is that of unethical practices by the Chinese in the Mozambican logging industry. Since the inception of their involvement in the logging industry, the Chinese have drawn criticism for their illegal exportation of logs from Mozambique. Local regulations forbid the export of unprocessed timber, incentivizing foreign countries to invest in processing plants on Mozambican soil. Chinese firms, however, bypass such restrictions by transporting unprocessed logs to the loosely monitored coastline, where they are then taken to ships waiting in international waters that will deliver the logs East. This practice has drawn criticism from many officials, who claim that such a process harkens back to colonial practices carried out centuries ago: “Africa sells raw materials to China and China sells manufactured products to Africa. This is a dangerous equation that reproduces Africa’s old relationship with colonial powers”. With that being said, scholars such as Ian Taylor argue that such practices are easily prevented: “… it is important to note that where troublesome behavior by Chinese actors in Africa does occur, it is very often a function of poor regulatory oversight; the perpetrators can simply get away with it. A tighter legal framework would ensure enforcement of serious customs and excise policies.” The argument, then, is that the export of unprocessed timber from Mozambique is not a result of neocolonial behavior by the Chinese, but rather a failure on the part of the Mozambican government to properly monitor their coastline and prevent against such practices. A similar argument can be made against those who claim that illegal fishing practices by the Chinese are purposefully exploitative against the Mozambican government. A report by the Centre for Chinese Studies at the University of Stellenbosch claims that although concerns have indeed been raised about Chinese fishing practices that result in damaged coastlines and threats to marine life, the “issue is considered to be intimately
related to Mozambican authorities’ low capacity and/or will to monitor the coastline.” Those who claim that these illegal practices on the part of the Chinese are reminiscent of neocolonial behavior seem to ignore the fact that measures can easily be taken to prevent such behavior, and it is the Mozambican government’s inherent responsibility to enforce their own laws. One final argument that is consistently voiced in order
The existence of profitable and fair trade, as well as economic, social, and humanitarian investment in Mozambique proves that China’s motives are undeniably wellintentioned.
to support claims about China’s exploitative influence on Mozambique is that of Chinese engagement in the Mozambican construction industry. Over one third of China’s new road construction is carried out by Chinese firms. However, many contractors from other countries have complained that Chinese firms do not attempt to transfer skills to local Mozambican workers, and that they do not utilize local subcontractors either. Although these claims may initially portray Chinese companies in an exploitative light, they are easily refutable. For one, claims that Chinese entities make no attempt to transfer skills over to the local population are discredited by the sheer amount of educational investment that China has poured into Mozambique. As stated previously, China has invested heavily in various Mozambican industries, one of which is education; this effort on the part of the Chinese to provide a better education for the youth of Mozambique also represents an effort to create a skilled working class for the future. The claim that the Chinese are shying away from hiring locals is false; rather, evidence points to the fact that they are actively attempting to help produce a skilled working class that could potentially be employed by their firms in the future. A second point refuting this claim that Chinese firms fail to hire local workers is that many times, the nature of the claim itself is simply untrue: “A recent report on Chinese activities… [found that] local people accounted for between 85 and 95 percent of the total workforce employed by Chinese construction companies. While many Chinese are employed as unskilled casual laborers, local Africans do attain management and administration positions.” Although claims that Chinese firms do not attempt to hire or invest in local laborers seem exploitative at first, the overwhelming presence of Chinese investment in Mozambican education, as well as data
suggesting that local laborers are indeed hired by Chinese construction firms, suggest that these claims of neocolonial behavior on the part of the Chinese are simply fabrications. In order to conclude my argument that China’s engagement with Mozambique has been beneficial-not exploitative-and that this relationship is representative of China’s engagement with the African continent as a whole, I would like to point out that many critics who denounce China’s exploitative nature fail to draw a line between private and public involvement in Africa. Oftentimes, those who write about China’s exploitative influence on Mozambique fail to distinguish between the Chinese government and independent Chinese firms. This is important to note because the homogenizing of Chinese involvement in Africa results in the idea of an overall “grand strategy” by the Chinese in Africa, when in reality, this grand strategy simply does not exist. In many instances, practices on the part of Chinese entities in Mozambique that may seem exploitative or controversial are carried out by private actors that are acting of their own accord: “… if a Chinese corporation acts in an unscrupulous fashion in Africa, ‘the Chinese’ are instantly castigated, and Hu Jintao is almost personally implicated… Although Beijing has made both concerted efforts to educate Chinese traders operation in Africa about local laws… there is the distinct possibility that it has failed.” As Ian Taylor points out, it is extremely important to note the difference between independent firms and the Chinese government when implicating an actor for their seemingly exploitative practices. The failure on the part of independent firms to recognize and properly abide by Mozambican law is by no means a result of a lack in the Chinese government’s effort to educate such firms. Those claiming that Chinese engagement in Africa has been exploitative must attempt to distinguish between public and private actors, and remember that the Chinese government itself has attempted to educate firms against such behavior. The evidence pointing towards China’s engagement
with Mozambique as mutually beneficial is undeniable. The existence of profitable and fair trade, as well as economic, social, and humanitarian investment in Mozambique proves that China’s motives are undeniably well-intentioned. Objections pointing to illicit behavior in the logging and fishing industries can be countered with the claim that the local government does little to stop such easily preventable practices. Claims of the exploitative nature of Chinese involvement in the construction industry are misled and often objectively false and backed up by incorrect statistics. It seems that Chinese involvement in Mozambique is characterized by mutually beneficial trade and valuable investment in all facets of Mozambican society. These characteristics are suggestive of China’s engagement in Africa as a whole. The arguments cited in this paper, although specific to Mozambique, draw parallels to Chinese involvement in a host of other African nations, many of whom face problems that are almost exactly the same. Western attempts to demonize Chinese engagement with African should be carefully heededChinese involvement in Africa is overwhelmingly evidenced to be a positive force, a claim that will hopefully continue to hold true into the future. ∆ ************************************************************************************************************** Bosten, Emmy. China’s Engagement in the Construction Industry of Southern Africa: The Case of Mozambique (n.d.): n. pag. Institute of Development Studies. 19 Jan. 2006. Web. 12 May 2017. "Chainsaws Cut Down More than Just Trees." IRIN. N.p., 06 Jan. 2016. Web. 12 May 2017. Jansson, Johanna, and Carine Kiala. Patterns of Chinese Investment, Aid and Trade in Mozambique. Issue brief. N.p., n.d. Web. Manji, Firoze, and Stephen Marks. African Perspectives on China in Africa. Oxford: Fahamu, 2007. Print. "Mozambique-China Trade Continues to Grow." AllAfrica. N.p., 9 Dec. 2012. Web. 12 May 2017. Observatory of Economic Complexity "Mozambique." OEC - Mozambique (MOZ) Exports, Imports, and Trade Partners. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 May 2017. Strandow, Daniel, Michael Findley, Daniel Nielson, and Joshua Powell. 2011. The UCDP-AidData codebook on Geo-referencing Foreign Aid. Version 1.1. Uppsala Conflict Data Program. Uppsala, Sweden: Uppsala University. Taylor, Ian. China's New Role in Africa. Boulder (Colorado): Lynne Rienner, 2010. Print.
Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi in Johannesburg, South Africa, Dec. 3, 2015. (Xinhua/Li Tao)
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SOCIAL MOBILIZATION & NATION-BUILDING IN CHINA
JAKE RINALDI “The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas.” Here, Karl Marx posits that the class with state power is also the group with the greatest intellectual influence in society. This theory about class relations is helpful in a sociological examination of pre-modern China, which was ruled by an intellectual and cultural elite, and modern China, which is controlled by an authoritarian state. In both models, the larger collective identity is primarily a tool of the state. The transition, however, from the narrow identity of the pre-modern age to the encompassing identity of the present was catalyzed by popular mobilization. In the case of China, the relationship between the historical construction of nationalism and social mobilization is apparent at particular moments in history. Today, the relationship continues to play a wider role in why and how people identify as “Chinese.” As a prerequisite for larger conceptions of Chinese national identity, I will first examine social depth as a phenomenon in the pre-modern, Republican, and Maoist eras. The importance of increased mobilization to the rise of national consciousness will then be analyzed in the development of specific elements of Chinese nationalism, with one being anti-traditionalism with the rise of socialism and the other the “intense symbolic value” placed on territorial sovereignty. Lastly, the relationship between a state-sponsored national identity and social depth is considered in the context of the
current push for rapid economic development. Before the national model was imported to China, group identities were mainly determined by class. For the ordinary man or woman, identity was constructed on locality or clan. In the case of the elite and educated, a wider conception existed based on what scholars have coined “culturalism.” This body defined China as “a cultural community whose boundaries were determined by the knowledge and practice of principles expressed through the elite cultural traditions.” Although this store of culture was indeed tied to state power, it never fomented a wider consciousness among the masses and was isolated to the educated elite in society. Therefore “culturalism” was what Ernest Gellner termed a “horizontal cultural cleavage.” The Chinese were eventually defeated in wars with the Japanese and other European powers, which not only revealed the country’s technological shortcomings but also a problem of institutionalized social backwardness. Facing fully mobilized nation-states, China needed a more inclusive identity that could “provide the basis for ordering their society in modern times.” A lack of social depth continued even after the rise of nationalist discourse in the early to mid-20th century. After the 1911 Republican Revolution, Sun Zhongshan bitterly compared the Chinese people to a “‘loose sheet of sand’
because they lacked social cohesion beyond the level of the extended family and local community.” This problem was compounded by the “weak development of modern education and communications in most of the country.” Therefore, I
peace with the invaders. The populist incorporation of the peasantry into the communist base as well as patriotic appeals for national unity in the face of extermination brought a transition from an elite cultural understanding of the nation to a popular conception of the Chinese In the complicated relationship between identity. The necessity of a wider polity can also be proven by the long term societal penetration and the size of this construction had the nation, development ultimately has influences on Chinese nationalism. The rise of socialism in China provides an both strengthened the existing polity important trial for this observation, and heightened ethnic consciousness. in that it was a movement powerful enough to reject traditionalism, which argue that a wider social base was a necessary precursor to had been the “ideas of the ruling class” for thousands of years. Chinese national consciousness. The way this social base Also as a result of that initial mobilization, Mao Zedong emerged, from the May Fourth Movement to the end of the was able to launch his “wholesale reorganization of Chinese Chinese Civil War, critically impacted the current makeup of society,” leading to the deaths of millions of people. Chinese nationalism. I will further explain the historical roots In the early 20th century, many Chinese intellectuals of two elements of Chinese nationalism, namely the rejection blamed traditional culture for the nations many humiliations. of traditional culture (with the embrace of socialism) and the These intellectuals, who formed a “new elite in new schools emotional potency attached to issues of territorial sovereignty and treaty ports,” were educated in western political theory as examples of the influence the creation of a larger social and history. Benedict Anderson mentions a similar class of base have had on Chinese nationalism. the intelligentsia in Indonesia, also created by “the colonial The necessity of a wider social base is seen in the school-system,” “which brought into being pilgrimages that outcome of the Chinese Civil War. In many ways, the GMD’s paralleled longer-established functionary journeys.” Some (Nationalist Party) problem of societal penetration marked of these nationalists advocated liberalism and the promotion a continuation in Chinese history, in that the collective of individual rights, while others advocated Marxism which identity was narrowed to an elite. What we now refer to as had found success in the Soviet Union. They were united, the Party’s “base” was composed of a powerful landowning however, in framing their vision for the nation’s future as a class and literate commercial interests. It is clear that “the rejection of indigenous culture. Such a rejection distinguishes relatively narrow social base of the GMD constrained its China in the region. Japan, for instance, turned to the ability to timely transform elite nationalism into mass emperor system in its quest for nationhood, while Korean nationalism.” As the eventual victors of the Chinese Civil nationalists drew from folk religion and ethnic history in War, the Communists meticulously built up support from theirs. the peasantry by calling for land reform. In addition, the Ultimately, after the allies gave swaths of Liaodong CCP (Communist Party) drew an even larger base by calling to Japan in the aftermath of World War I, the Chinese for a united front after the Japanese invasion of 1931 while intellectual embraced Marxism as an ideology that was the GMD committed its forces to rangwai bixian annei, or “antipodal to Chinese tradition and also critical of Western elimination of the communists internally while suing for liberalism and imperialism.” What followed was a series of
Tiananmen, first constructed in the Ming Dynasty, is now seen as a national symbol. (Wikimedia)
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The Port of Qingdao. ( JoC)
national demonstrations that many scholars consider to be one of the first mobilizations of Chinese nationalism. The triumph of socialism over liberalism in this case also laid the foundation for Maoist anti-traditionalism, and so had significant ramifications for ordinary people. Millions of people were persecuted and killed in Chairman Mao’s rejection of traditionalism. The Cultural Revolution condemned Chinese culture as “feudal” and “superstitious.” Many were publicly humiliated, tortured, displaced, and killed under the guise of purifying Chinese society and protecting communism. Ultimately, the Cultural Revolution would not have been possible without the initial mobilization of society in the May Fourth Movement. The issue of national sovereignty is also a prominent piece of modern Chinese nationalism. As a common example, many ordinary Chinese have a powerful emotional response to suggestions of Taiwanese independence. The source of this focus on territorial integrity can be placed in the popular mobilizations of the Self-Strengthening Movement (following the Opium War) and the Boxer Rebellion at the turn of the 20th century. The loss of Chinese territory during this period drew society together in defense of the nation’s land, and that principle plays a central role today in modern Chinese nationalism. The Maoist era, ironically enough, opened the way for the return of traditionalism. Many Chinese were disgusted with the ideological imperatives that had eaten away at the nation’s economy and killed thousands. The CCP was thereafter forced to turn to “the instrumentality of nationalism to rally support in the name of building a modern Chinese nation-state.” Furthermore, after the 1989 crackdown, the Party embarked on a patriotic education campaign to gain loyalty from the nation’s students. This entailed the “replacement of old Marxist indoctrination with patriotic themes.” Patriotism, similar to the World War II period, allowed for the cultivation of a more popular conception of the nation and the pursuit of larger political and economic goals. In the late 20th and early 21st century, China has unquestionably used this force to pursue economic development. Popular mobilization certainly was a necessary precursor
and primary mover of Chinese nationalism. But nationalism, particularly a state-sponsored nationalism, also has ramifications for the social base. Therefore, the question is if the development campaign has served to increase the number of people that identify as Chinese, or exacerbate divisions in the Chinese nation. China’s economic development has lifted millions out of poverty, and that rising living standard coupled with patriotic appeals has acted as a powerful cohesive force. Compared with the “narrowly defined nation built upon class struggle,” the pursuit of opportunity and economic success has also enlisted the support of many Chinese. On the other hand, economic development has affected many different groups unevenly. The Han majority has undeniably benefited the most from economic reform. China is a nation of many ethnic groups, and although the government has pursued a policy of inducement (complete with tax breaks, affirmative action, subsidies, etc.) to quell tensions among ethnic minorities, scholars have widely condemned what they call “internal colonization,” where ethnic regions are robbed of their raw materials for industrialization in Han coastal areas. Thus, to the extent that economic position as a result of the campaign becomes a part of a group’s identity (and a grievance thereafter), the Chinese nation is narrowing. In the complicated relationship between societal penetration and the size of the nation, development ultimately has both strengthened the existing polity and heightened ethnic consciousness. This force of both cohesion and division is a reminder of the way nationalism, particularly one controlled by the state, impacts society, as well as how societal developments influence national identity. ∆ ************************************************************************************************************** Anderson, Benedict. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (New York: Verso, 1983). Downs, Erica Strecker, and Phillip C. Saunders. “Legitimacy and the Limits of Nationalism: China and the Diaoyu Islands.” International Security, Vol. 23, no. 3 (1998): 114-146. http://www.jstor.org/stable/2539340. Gellner, Ernest. Nations and Nationalism (New York: Cornell University Press, 1983). Townsend, James. “Chinese Nationalism.” The Australian Journal of Chinese Affairs, no. 27 (1992): 97-130. http://www.jstor.org/stable/2950028. Zhao, Suisheng. A Nation-State by Construction: Dynamics (Standford: Standford University Press, 2004).
THE UNITED STATES & THE PARIS CLIMATE ACCORD
BEN BEIERS Paris accord is effectively an agreement made in good faith without a specific method of implementation, relying on the credibility of signatory states. Only with absolute longterm compliance to the global standards established can the Paris accord reach its mandated goal of 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, as opposed to the current global temperature of 1.2 degrees above pre-industrial levels. The United States backing out of the Paris Climate Agreement undermines the effectiveness and credibility of the accord, and sets a dangerous precedent of deviance. The fragility of the Paris Climate Agreement is inherent within its structure, which raises larger questions as to the role of international agreements in regulating global carbon emissions. Enforcement of both global standards and country-specific mandates aimed at achieving larger goals is a major issue. Countries, due to the perceived short term economic consequences associated with reducing carbon emissions, are incentivized to continue emitting carbon to the benefit of their economy. However, because nonrenewable energy is limited and the effects of pollution are transnational, countries stand to gain the most when they continue to emit carbon while other countries decrease carbon emissions, as this yields the greatest level of short-term gain. With this in mind, how can an international climate agreement be structured so that it induces compliance of
n November 4th 2016, President Barack Obama agreed to the Paris Climate Agreement, a commitment in which the country pledged to cut carbon emissions by 26-28 percent of 2005 levels by 2025. However on June 1st 2017, President Donald Trump stated that the United States would reverse course and withdraw from the Paris accord, stating that it posed an economic threat to United States workers within the robust energy industry. This argument ignores the vast consequences associated with excessive carbon emissions. Though the United States cannot formally withdraw from the Paris agreement until November 2020, this reversal leaves the United States as one of just two countries-and the only developed nation-that are not part of the agreement. The only other country that is not currently a part of the agreement is Syria, which is in the midst of a civil war with horrific human rights consequences. What does it mean that the United States, arguably the most powerful country in the world and second leading greenhouse gas contributor, refuses to agree to this climate accord? Countries signatory to the Paris accord have agreed to reduce their carbon emissions by specified quantities, allowing for country-specific flexibility in implementation. There are no listed sanctions or consequences for countries that do not meet their carbon emission goals. Thus, the
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all signatory states? In addition to agreement from all states, there must be enhanced, neutral monitoring of emission levels. Further, sanctions or other forms of punishment could be wielded to ensure implementation. A combination of active reporting and punishment has the potential to create large-scale environmental change. This structure would require a high degree of yielded authority from states, as an international organization would monitor the emission levels of all countries, aid in their effective implementation, and punish countries for not meeting established goals. The agreement must also set objectives that are domestically feasible. However, states are unlikely to yield this sort of agency to an environmental international organization because, as sovereigns, they derive political legitimacy from their agency. Yet, climate change and pollution are transnational issues with far-ranging economic and political consequences. Climate change has the ability to affect every country, as it results in factors ranging from rising sea-levels to decreased air quality. Only a more structured agreement in which states are closely monitored by a neutral organization and held to their objectives can yield positive environmental results in a timely manner. The United States withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement brings light to the need for strong international legislation that quickly combats the root causes of climate change. This being said, the Paris accord was ambitious for the current political climate and set a positive precedent for international cooperation around environmental issues. Its
President Barack Obama celebrates after the Paris Climate Agreement is signed. (Christian Liewig/Newsroom)
How can an international climate agreement be structured so that it induces compliance of all signatory states? goals are ambitious and it has the ability to create large-scale change in the arena of global carbon emissions. However, the United States’ deviation from international norms by leaving the Paris agreement has the potential to undermine the agreement and its positive global environmental effects. Hopefully the Paris Climate agreement leads to the adoption of stronger international environmental legislation that can mitigate the consequences of carbon emissions before it is too late. ∆ ************************************************************************************************************** United States. White House. Fact Sheet: U.S. Reports its 2025 Emissions Target to the UNFCC. Washington, US: Office of the Press Secretary, 2015. United Nations. Adoption of the Paris Agreement. New York, NY: UNFCC, 2015.
A protester displays their distaste for President Trump’s global environmental policy. (Reuters/Joshua Roberts)
FALL OF THE LIBERATION LEADER, CONTINUATION OF THE CABAL The End of Mugabe, but not of Zimbabwe's Postcolonial Ruling Class
JASON LIU the apartheid government of Rhodesia. A charismatic leader, at the helm of a nation once considered among the most prosperous in Africa, Mugabe presided over an increasingly oppressive regime and a pattern of extrajudicial military actions, including civilian massacres and the torture of journalists. After a political blow to Mugabe and his allies in 2000, his regime began facilitating land seizures of primarily white-owned farms, decimating the country's economy and plunging much of its population into poverty. The Mugabe government effectively created a sustained economic crisis for political purposes. As a result, many ordinary Zimbabweans now welcome his demise. Mugabe, now 93 years old, has repeatedly denied considering choosing a successor, despite continued speculation. Within the ruling party ZANU-PF, a rift had formed between First Lady Grace Mugabe and Emmerson Mnangagwa, who until last week was the vice president. After Grace Mugabe and her allies accused Mnangagwa of disloyalty, he was ousted and fled to South Africa. Consequently, his allies in the military seem to have orchestrated military action on his behalf. Mnangagwa is now expected to return to Zimbabwe, possibly in a role leading a transitional government. Perhaps recent events demonstrate how power in Zimbabwe is still inextricably tied to the war that birthed the
f there is a lesson to be learned from the recent military coup in Zimbabwe-and it is almost certainly a coup, with President Robert Mugabe under house arrest as of writing-it is that the story of this young nation's birth, from a bloody process of decolonization, is persistently central to its politics. If the following days and weeks proceed without a descent into violent turmoil, Zimbabwe may just emerge with new leaders in name, but not in substance. On November 14, 2017, as tanks and uniformed soldiers rolled onto the streets of Harare (the capital of Zimbabwe), a military officer appeared on the state broadcaster and proclaimed: “This is not a military takeover of government,” noting that Mugabe was “safe and sound.” The strangely worded statement claimed that the military was “only targeting criminals around [Mugabe] who are committing crimes.” Its intentionally vague nature, as well as the relatively anonymous officer on the air and his assurances of judiciary independence, seemed to be aimed at softening criticism of the takeover, domestically and internationally. With Mugabe’s house arrest the next day, it seems all but certain that the end of his 37-year rule is a fait accompli, at least in practice. Mugabe has been a central figure in Zimbabwean politics since leading the nation to independence in 1980 after a bloody guerrilla war against
WILLIAMS FOREIGN AFFAIRS nation in its modern form; military officers have always held significant positions within Mugabe's regime, expanding his power in return for wealth and influence. The discourse on potential successors, even for those who eventually fell out of favour, has largely revolved around other former independence fighters. A notable example was Joice Mujuru, one of the first female commanders in Mugabe's forces. After she fell out of favour with Mugabe, the next potential successors included Mnangagwa, a longtime henchman and fellow fighter whose political machinations helped Mugabe hold onto power in recent decades. Zimbabwe's highest levels of government are dominated by veterans of the war-except for Grace Mugabe. As soon as it seemed that she might hold the reins of power, military leaders such as General Constantino Chiwenga, a former rebel himself, took swift action to regain control. This is not the first time in recent history that General Chiwenga stepped in to protect the military's central role; in 2008, after ZANU-PF lost a parliamentary majority and Mugabe himself lost a first-round presidential election to lifelong civilian and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, General Chiwenga and the 'war veterans' of the Mugabe government launched a series of violent attacks on the opposition. As a result, over 200 people were killed, and tens of thousands of civilians were displaced by the violence, leading to Tsvangirai pulling out of the election and seeking refuge in the Dutch embassy after threats to his life. Tellingly, after the television address, Grace Mugabe's allies in the youth wing of ZANU-PF issued a statement “without regret, fear or compunction” that sharply condemned the actions of the military and called on them to “stay in the barracks.” Yet, hours later, the leader of the Youth League publicly apologized to General Chipanga, saying: “We are still young and make mistakes.” This week's coup is being portrayed as historic by many, but it seems Zimbabweans should not get their hopes up. Mugabe epitomized the ruling class, a series of corrupt military leaders, unshy of using brutally violent tactics to remain in power. Even with him gone, the new regime is likely to be a continuation of the cabal, albeit with a
Even with Mugabe gone, the new regime is likely to be a continuation of the cabal, albeit with a different man at the top. different man at the top. As Chris Mutsvangwa, a close ally to Mnangagwa and leader of the country's powerful war veterans association, told the New York Times: “We just changed the head of the train.” However, the train itself remains, at least for now, ever the same. ∆
************************************************************************************************************** Calamur, Krishnadev. 2017. "Robert Mugabe: When A Leader Overstays His Welcome." The Atlantic. https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/11/zimbabwemugabe/545969/. "'Like A Dream': Harare Wakes Up To New Era After A Very Low-Key Coup." 2017. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/nov/15/harare-wakes-up-tonew-era-zimbabwe-coup-robert-mugabe. Onishi, Jeffrey. 2017. "Robert Mugabe Under House Arrest As Rule Over Zimbabwe Teeters." New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/15/world/africa/ zimbabwe-coup-mugabe.html Smith, Todd. 2017. "Robert Mugabe's Inner Circle Implodes." The Atlantic. https:// www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/11/coup-zimbabwe-robert-mugabeemmerson-mnangagwa/545984/. "Zimbabwe Takeover 'Seems Like A Coup'". 2017. BBC News. http://www.bbc.com/ news/world-africa-42004816.
President Robert Mugabe and his family are now under house arrest by the Zimbabwean military, his 37-year term of rule now effectively ended. (USAF/Jeremy Lock)
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