Jenni Williams Thought Experiment

By Stephen Gowans

In March 2007 US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice invited Jenni Williams to Washington to receive the US State Department’s 2007 International Woman of Courage Award for Africa [1]. Williams is an anti-Mugabe activist who leads Women of Zimbabwe Arise, a group which, according to a US State Department report [2], receives US government funding through Freedom House, a CIA-interlocked [3] organization headed by Peter Ackerman, junk bond trader Michael Milken’s former right hand man.

Let’s do a thought experiment. Imagine an American being invited to Harare by Robert Mugabe to receive the International Person of Courage Award for the North Atlantic. Imagine further that the recipient is the leader of a civil society group called Women of America Arise and that the group is financially assisted by the Zimbabwean government. How believable would the claim be that our person of courage is not an agent of the Zimbabwean government? How much scorn would be heaped upon her for accepting an accolade – and money — from the “monster”, Mugabe, in Harare, no less? How likely would it be that our person of courage would escape calls to be sanctioned or deported? And what would we think of a progressive scholar who dismissed the idea that our person of courage could in any way be considered an agent of Zimbabwe, or that she represented an independent left?

In reply to a September 25, 2008 Netfa Freeman article in the Black Agenda Report, “Zimbabwe and the Battle of Ideas”, progressive scholar Stephen Zunes declared that it was impossible to consider Jenni Williams, the woman who is feted in Washington by the monster Condoleezza Rice, to be an American agent. Zunes heads up the board of academic advisors of the International Center for Nonviolent Conflict, a body which trains people to use nonviolence to bring down governments that refuse to accept the free trade, free enterpise, free market demands that are the cornerstone of US foreign policy. The ICNC is run by Peter Ackerman – the same Peter Ackerman, who, pursuing a post-Michael Milken career, also runs the CIA interlocked Freedom House, the same Freedom House that funnels Uncle Sam’s lucre to Jenni Williams. And Stephen Zunes, working with Freedom House head Peter Ackerman at the ICNC says Jenni Williams can in no way be considered an American agent.

1. Jim Fisher-Thompson, “Zimbabwean receives International Woman of Courage Award,” USINFO, March 7, 2007.
3. Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky, Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media, Pantheon Books, New York, 1988, p. 28.

5 thoughts on “Jenni Williams Thought Experiment

  1. Sarah.What do children know of religious absurdities as ishmael and isaac?What trouble and destruction your religions have brought on humanity,all a guise for political,economic domination!.In 1947 Israel began ethnic cleansing of the indigenous population of Palestine,believing that it is thier ”god given right”to own everything from the nile to the euphrates”.No discussion,no agreement,no compramise,No mercy,just blatant rascist aggression.Doe,s your god approve of this?Zionism has brought shame to all of israel,wich recieves billions of $ worth of arms to carry out the foreign policy of the US and its own religious absurdity.what would you do if i kicked youre door down and dragged you out into the street beat you up,arrested half youre family and tortured them,confiscated youre house and farm and drove you out to the desert and dumped you in the middle of nowhere.If you didnt go or tried to come back you would be killed or at best shoved into a prison camp called Gaza.Then erected a wall around you so you couldnt move.Would you fight back?Would you use what ever means to resist such reppresion?Including home made rockets and stones?Youre bigotted fascist views will lead you to a ”final solution”to the ”Arab problem”reminisant of another bunch of bastards that took the lives of millions of people not that long ago including 6 million jews.All aided and abetted by that other fascist monster the United States of Aggression.Youre right Sarah,this is not a game!shame on you!

  2. You write: Israel says it’s defending itself against Palestinian rocket attacks. If that’s so, the response is grossly disproportionate.

    I reply: WHAT??? “disproportionate”? Would you prefer that they go back to center court after each point for another “jump ball”? This isn’t a game, people. This is Ishmael and Isaac fighting for their right to claim the title of first son. Both feel that they are entitled to that birthright, and they will die trying.

    That is as smart as saying, “oh, c’mon dear, let the baby win at least one game of Monopoly. He’s just a kid and you’re an adult.

    There’s only one way to know you’re strong enough – throw a punch and find out. Gotta roll with it.

    Where’s my gun…there’s a mosquito in here.

  3. You are dead right, Steve. The Israeli response to “provocation” by Hamas is totally disproportionate; it’s akin to someone using an AK47 to kill a mosquito because it could bite him and thus infect him with malaria!

    As for my beloved Zimbabwe, I’m praying & hoping that we will be saved from all those bloodthirsty “dogs of war” -local & foreign- and that 2009 will be a better year.

  4. Condoleezza Rice, having observed that more than 300 Gazans were dead, said: “We are deeply concerned about the escalating violence. We strongly condemn the attacks on Israel and hold Hamas responsible.”

    Someone should ask her to comment on teenage knife-crime, to see if she’d say: “I strongly condemn the people who’ve been stabbed, and until they abandon their practice of wandering around clutching their sides and bleeding, there is no hope for peace.”

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