Holiday Reading on Zimbabwe
With the holidays fast approaching, you may find yourself with time to get in some extra reading. If you’re interested in why the US and Britain are dead set on dumping Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe, you may want to give these books, articles and commentary a try.
While it has been available since 2006, Gregory Elich’s Strange Liberators: Militarism, Mayhem and the Pursuit of Profit is one of the best treatments of Zimbabwe around. Anyone looking for a thoughtful, critical and evidence-based understanding of Zimbabwe’s place in international politics (hard to find these days) should pick up Elich’s book.
Solidly ensconced at the other end of the spectrum is Abdiel’s Book of Demonology. Abdiel is a true believer who has rejected the inconvenience of having to think critically for the warm comforts of the absolutes of a new secular religion – one which features Robert Mugabe as the Prince of Darkness and a Jesus who bears a vague resemblance to Leon Trotsky. If you’re one of Abdiel’s co-religionists, steer clear of Elich’s brain-hurter. It’s tough slogging. Too many facts.
Instead, track down one of Pope Patrick Bond’s many homilies, written from his strategic coign of vantage just across the Limpopo River. Sing the old hymns. “Deliver Us From Mugabe,” “What a Friend We Have in the US-Funded “Independent’ Left,” And “Hark! The Independent Media Sings.”
Those who have a fondness for Ian Fleming novels, will want to curl up with one of Keith Harmon Snow’s tales of international intrigue and mystery.
The novelist’s latest potboiler, set in Zimbabwe, has Robert Mugabe being brought to power by an international conspiracy led by the British Croesus John Bredenkamp. Bredenkamp initially conspires to put the Rhodesian ship of state into Mugabe’s hands, but his plans go terribly awry when Mugabe successfully leads a national liberation struggle.
Snow follows Mugabe’s years in power. By rejecting the IMF, expropriating and redistributing land and setting out to indigenize the economy, Mugabe tricks the British and US governments into believing he’s an anti-imperialist.
(In an interstitial chapter, the author explains how, by writing Mien Kampf, whipping up nationalist fervor, and setting out to destroy Communism, Hitler gulled the world into believing he was a fascist.)
When a B-52 runs into trouble off the coast of Somalia and drops its nuclear payload into the sea, Bredenkamp launches a mission to retrieve the weapons. Fearing Mugabe is conspiring with Bredenkamp to hold the world to nuclear ransom for a million, kajillion dollars, the Americans declare Mugabe to be one of their most wanted. “That is why Mubage is under attack,” explains private investigator Keifer Snow Flake, the novel’s protagonist. “He’s too close to Bredenkamp. It’s really Bredenkamp they want.”
This is the first installment of a planned Zimbabwe trilogy by the novelist fans affectionately call Snow Job. In the second book, Bredenkamp and Mugabe hole up in Dr. Evil’s secret lair, and come face to face with Austin Powers, international man of mystery. In the trilogy’s final installment, the evil duo hijack a space shuttle the Americans have been secretly running to Mars, and meet up with the novelist himself at his Martian headquarters.
So, three choices for those interested in Zimbabwe this holiday season.
For escapist fiction: Keith Harmon Snow.
For the fictions of religion: Abdiel and Pope Bond.
For down-to-earth critical analysis: Gregory Elich.