After having willfully and purposely run a once vibrant economy and self-sufficient (and fairly rich) nation into the ground, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe has decided the next place to turn for help is China.
Why? I do love this quote (it probably qualifies as the quote of the day at the very least):
Mugabe's spokesman George Charamba told Reuters on Friday Zimbabwe had also approached India, China and Iran for financial help with infrastructure and energy projects.
"We are trying to break away from Western donors who have conditioned us to conditionalities and that means going East, going South," he said.
Translation? "Too many strings, too much of a demand for performance".
Like all bandit bureaucracies, they just want the "donor" to give them the money and go away.
Mugabe visited China and got the red-carpet treatment. Papers were signed, smiles were smiled, high fives all around. All was well in the Marxist world of Robert Mugabe. In fact, he declared:
"We have turned East, where the sun rises, and given our back to the West, where the sun sets."
That was then, this is now.
But last weekend The Zimbabwe Independent editorialised: "The deals that he trumpeted then have yet to come to fruition. The Chinese dream is collapsing."
Although Zimbabwe, which is celebrating the 26th anniversary of its independence from Britain, was accorded "approved tourism destination status", few Chinese comrades have been attracted.
Arrivals have declined 70 per cent since state-owned Air Zimbabwe began flying to Beijing last year, and the operations to "where the sun rises" are now running rivers of red, losing more than $1 million a month.
A claimed deal through which China would finance a thermal power station and provide a loan to keep the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority afloat has not materialised. Electronic firms and agro-processing plants that were also supposed to be coming from China have failed to arrive.
The Independent said: "We warned that the euphoria about 'looking East' would not benefit the country as long as Zimbabwe did not have foreign currency and was instead reducing itself to a dumping ground for substandard Chinese goods.
"The reality was that nothing would come Zimbabwe's way on the house. The Chinese, like any economic power, demand international commercial rates for whatever services they render Zimbabwe."
I love it when I'm right. And the phrase "there is no free lunch" again proves it's durability.
But it wasn't a total loss:
One Chinese venture is proceeding to plan, however. The China State Farms and Agribusiness Corporation has leased from the Zimbabwe Government a number of farms seized at gunpoint from white farmers.
That the Chinese understand ... it's right there in their "Little Red Book".
To even the @#%?$, ruthlessly but furtively scouring the globe for resources, attention is not wanted. Could the @#%?$ have recognized something of themselves in RM’s murumbhastvina? That mess followed @#%?$’s initial overtures to Zimbabwe. Could the tea leaves have told the @#%?$ that blood could be spattering their nice western suits? And the risk that in the US, @#%?$’s best trading partner, word could be easily spread that @#%?$ was cozying up to a guy who loves the smell of freshly beaten-to-death white farmers in the morning? Another possibilty is that all these pinheads like Mugabe, Ahmadeenajad, Chavez are giddily suggesting that anti American displays of affection and deep Frenching should be very loud and public. Yes indeed, China knows that putting a stick in the westerners eye will be counterproductive. More secured resources for an underconsuming expanding mercantilist economy is not as useful when the buyers are getting their back ups, which is already happening now.