- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 27, 2005

Nazi tactics

The U.S. ambassador to Zimbabwe accused President Robert Mugabe of using Nazi tactics in his criticism of the United States to distract attention from his failed domestic policies that created an economic crisis and severe food shortages.

Ambassador Christopher Dell said Washington has had enough of Mr. Mugabe’s “scurrilous attacks.”

“It is interesting that the government is using tactics used in Nazi Germany, where you accuse another of doing exactly what you are doing as a distraction,” he told the Financial Gazette, Zimbabwe’s independent weekly newspaper.

In October, Mr. Mugabe compared President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair to Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, when he addressed the Rome summit of the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization.



In an interview last week, Mr. Dell said Mr. Mugabe’s comments in the Italian capital “forced us to respond.”

“We felt the time had come for us to respond to the issues raised by the government of Zimbabwe, the most recent being the … scurrilous attacks made in Rome on the U.S. president,” he said.

The newspaper said Mr. Dell’s remarks “will compound tensions that have reached fever pitch between the U.S. and Zimbabwean governments.”

Mr. Mugabe threatened to expel Mr. Dell for remarks he made early this month when he blamed the Zimbabwean government for creating conditions that brought on 70 percent unemployment and food shortages after a land-redistribution scheme that seized property of white farmers.

Some property was given to landless blacks, but many other black workers employed by white farmers lost their jobs. Many of Mr. Mugabe’s wealthy supporters also claimed farmland, according to reports in Zimbabwe.

Mr. Dell noted that Washington has given Zimbabwe, once a breadbasket in southern Africa, $300 million in food assistance since 2002.

“Our problem with land reforms here is the manner in which they are being carried out,” Mr. Dell said. “New injustices have been created in trying to solve an injustice.

“A massive land-grab has been conducted to the disadvantage of the black African population. A million farm workers have been left stranded.”

In a related development, Mr. Bush last week expanded the list of U.S. sanctions against “persons undermining democratic process or institutions in Zimbabwe.”

He designated 128 persons whose U.S. assets were blocked.

“There is still time for the government of Zimbabwe to avoid a further expansion of the sanctions list should it begin serious efforts to restore democratic norms and the rule of law,” said the U.S. Embassy in the capital, Harare.

Diplomatic traffic

Foreign visitors in Washington this week include:

Today

• Jonathan Sacks, the chief rabbi of England, who discusses the strife in Sudan’s Darfur region at an exhibition of art from the children of Darfur, sponsored by the Foundation for Jewish Campus Life and Human Rights Watch.

Wednesday

• Paulo Paim, a member of the Brazilian Senate, and Luiz Alberto, a member of the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies. They discuss racial discrimination in Brazil at a forum sponsored by the Inter-American Dialogue.

Friday

• Steven Fries, acting chief economist of the London-based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, who addresses the Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies.

• Bengt Sundelius and Lars Hedstrom of the Swedish Emergency Management Agency and Ake Sellstrom of the Swedish Defense Research Agency. They address a conference on U.S.-Swedish homeland security at Johns Hopkins University.

Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297, fax 202/832-7278 or e-mail jmorrison@washingtontimes.com.

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