Rhodesia: 50 Years Later

Robert Mugabe’s “liberation” group – Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) became the chief terrorist organization in Rhodesia supported by the Communist Chinese and was handed power in former Rhodesia – now Zimbabwe – by the duplicitous British Labour government and the feckless Democrat administration of President Jimmy Carter. Rhodesia’s Prime Minister, Ian Smith, summed it up best by declaring, “We were never beaten by our enemies, we were betrayed by our friends.”


By Morgan Norval | November 30, 2015

We recently celebrated Veterans Day, honoring the armistice effectively ending World War I – on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. November 11, 2015, however, marks another notable anniversary. On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1965, Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith signed Rhodesia’s Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) from Great Britain.

That act unleashed a torrent of international abuse and vilification against the country resulting in economic sanctions, condemnations and the diplomatic isolation of Rhodesia. Such activity at the height of the Cold War and the time when the United States was escalating its war in Vietnam to deter the spread of communism, Rhodesia was fighting to deter the spread of communism in southern Africa. Entering into this scenario was the Marxist terrorist leader Robert Mugabe.

Mugabe’s “liberation” group – Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) became the chief terrorist group in Rhodesia supported by the Communist Chinese. Mugabe also received support from Britain, the Scandinavian countries, Canada, and Australia, all channeled funds to the terrorists. ZANU also received funding from the United Nations in spite of its terrorist activities, which included murdering Christian missionaries, bayoneting babies, ambushing Red Cross ambulances, setting off bombs in public streets (anticipating, by decades, current Islamic terrorist tactics), mining roads and the cold-blooded murder of thousands of unarmed civilians suspected of not toeing the ZANU line.

Over the years, the diplomatic and economic isolation, along with the constant barrage by the liberal media of the ludicrous claim that Rhodesia is “a threat to world peace,” took its toll. In Salisbury, Ian Smith was forced to accept a “one-man, one-vote” scheme to elect a black dominated government.

Rhodesia, once the peaceful, prosperous bread basket of Africa, possessing the continent’s highest standard of literacy and education, is no more. It was destroyed by the vicious and corrupt Marxist-Maoist dictatorship of Robert Mugabe. He was handed power in former Rhodesia – now Zimbabwe – by the duplicitous British Labour government with the help of the feckless Democrat administration of President Jimmy Carter.

Of Carter’s refusal to lift sanctions, Smith later wrote in his autobiography, The Great Betrayal, “Carter’s hypocrisy and rank dishonesty was unbelievable and unforgivable. He advanced the reason that the removal of sanctions would be to the prejudice of our country… it was obvious to any thinking person that he had only one objective in mind: winning himself black votes in the coming presidential election.”

The British government, under its Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson, waged a ceaseless battle to kill at birth an independent Rhodesia. On October 3, 2009, the Telegraph’s Home Affairs Correspondent, David Barrett, wrote in an article entitled, MI5 secret file on Harold Wilson: KGB contacts made him a suspect, “The Security Service, MI5, kept a secret file on Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson throughout his time in office because of his friendships with eastern European businessmen and contacts with the KGB.”

Wilson’s efforts were aided by the Organization of African Unity (OAU), the British Commonwealth Office, the West-hating United Nations, the World Council of Churches (WCC), the U.S. State Department and the international media. This early globalist cabal waged economic warfare via international sanctions and provided money, material and political support for Mugabe’s Marxist terrorist ZANU organization.

Rhodesia’s Prime Minister, Ian Smith summed it up best by declaring, “We were never beaten by our enemies, we were betrayed by our friends.”

After years of struggling against this worldwide opposition, Rhodesia was forced to accept a one-man, one-vote election, which was to be monitored by the British who favored the election of Mugabe. The election that followed was rife with ZANU inflicted violence and intimidation that the British monitoring troops ignored. To the delight of the British Foreign Office, Mugabe won the election and became the head of the government of the new nation called Zimbabwe. He is still in power today, some 35-years later. But instead of being the bread basket of Africa, Zimbabwe today is the prime basket-case of Africa.

In a November speech at Africa University in the eastern Zimbabwean city of Mutare, the former U.S. Ambassador to Zimbabwe spoke of the growing economic collapse. Christopher Dell said, “Not too long ago, Zimbabwe had a vibrant and diversified economy. It was a land of great hope and optimism in Africa. A symbol for the rest of the world of what Africa would become. Today, as you know, it is a country in deep crisis.” In the flood of continuously worsening economic news, the World Economic Forum ranked “Zimbabwe as the least competitive of all 117 economies studied.”

The U.S. State Department’s policy has been a disaster. Since Mugabe took power, tens of thousands of innocent people have been murdered and half the population has fled this horror as refugees to neighboring states. Zimbabwe’s example should have alerted the State Department to the consequences of their misguided policies. However, similar policies with probable similar results seems likely, as recent State Department policies in the Middle East and North Africa demonstrate. The Islamic refugee invasion of the European Union states seems to indicate the State Department hasn’t learned from its disastrous Rhodesian policy over a third of a century ago.

Zimbabwe is another example of the growing list of socialism’s failure. Every aspect of Zimbabwe has been ruined by Mugabe’s socialism which sprang from the root of Karl Marx’s demented mind. Yet, his failed theories are still held in thrall on today’s Western college and university campuses and in the minds of today’s so-called “Progressive” elites. But, that’s a misnomer; they should be termed “Regressives,” as they want to go back to prior clear examples of failure. Marx’s friend and financial supporter, Friedrich Engels placed force at the center of politics because, to him, history was a drama where force is the only form of communication. Force then played a key role as political tool during the philosophical birth of Marx’s communism. The Soviet Union, Mao’s China, Pol Pot’s Cambodia, Fidel Castro’s Cuba, and Mugabe’s Zimbabwe are the consequences of Marx’s socialism. Political power for socialists echoes Mao’s observation: “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.” It sure did in those countries and still does in Mugabe’s present day Zimbabwe.

In the 50th year of Rhodesia’s Unilateral Declaration of Independence, or UDI, it is too late to resurrect Ian Smith’s Rhodesia, although present day Zimbabwean citizens probably yearn for its resurrection. It may be too late, but it should serve as a stark reminder of where trudging the path of socialism leads – to poverty and misery for the common man.


Morgan Norval is the founder and Executive Director of the Selous Foundation for Public Policy Research and a contributor to SFPPR News & Analysis.

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