Rhodesia 1973: As Southern Africa Collapses & Terrorist Atrocities Escalate, Illegal Sanctions Still Fail!

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BY GUEST · JUNE 25, 2021

Rhodesian Viewpoint was an official publication provided to the United States of America which should have been a natural anti-communist ally because, to Britain’s fury, in 1965 Rhodesia, a self-governing nation since 1923, became the second nation after America to declare unilateral independence (UDI). “When Rhodesia declared unilateral independence in 1965, after many years of being a self-governing entity, Great Britain opposed the move. Having no Redcoats at hand to put down the alleged ‘rebellion’ (as she did in 1776) the whole matter was thrown into the lap of the United Nations – from whose unworkable bureaucratic attention America was mercifully spared (in 1776).”

Rhodesian Viewpoint, November 13, 1973

Published in The United States Of America by The Rhodesian Information Office, view original preserved here by Rhodesians World Wide. Images and captions added.

Failure of Terrorism

Army Commander Gives Insights Into Border Warfare

The terrorists seem bent on destroying their own cause with continued tactics of robbery, myrder and beatings. As a result they have failed to achieve their objectives. “They have failed dismally,”said Lt. General G.P. Walls, Rhodesia’s army commander, in a speech reported in the Rhodesia Herald, October 23.

In a urvey of the guerrilla fighting of the past ten months General Walls said that the four main factors had been: –

  • The determinations and ability of the security forces, despite many difficulties.
  • The massive backing of all Rhodesians, including those not physically involved in the fighting, against the terrorist threat.
  • The dedication of the farming community – both African and European – to stay put and fight it out.
  • The complete failure of the terrorists to win the hearts of the African population.

Phases of Action

General Walls reported that the terrorist campaign had gone through several phases: –

Firstly, beginning last December, the terrorists attacked European farms.

Secondly, about March, attacks took place on farm stores, suggesting the infiltrators were short of supplies and support. By June it was evident that they were turning their attention more and more to intimidating the African population. Innocent African civilians, refusing to help the raiders, were brutally murdered, beaten up or raped.

The African Times 1974 Communist Terrorist (CT) brutality accelerated against reluctant black Rhodesians.

Thirdly (July, 1973), the terrorists took to abducting African youngsters in an attempt to capture recruits. Most of these efforts were frustrated.

Terrorist Losses

Terrorist losses have been heavy. Of 214 people who have died during the past ten months, 151 have been terrorists. At least as many have been captured. Security forces have lost 25 men. A total of 35 civilians have died of whom were black Rhodesians.

General Walls pointed out that the campaign was far from over, but after almost a year of in-fighting in the northeast border area it seemed clear that Rhodesia was winning her war of terror and comfortably containing the threat.

Sanctions Wrong Policy

British Foreign Secretary Speaks on Rhodesia Question

British Foreign Secretary Sir Alec Douglas-Home says that his government supports the trade sanctions against Rhodesia but he does not think it is the correct policy.

Sir Alec’s remarks were made in a television interview in Washington, D.C. on October 14. He said:

“We disagree with the political systems of a number of countries… but we trade with them, and by and large we don’t believe in ostracism and boycott.

We think that contacts are the way to induce countries with which we disagree to change their policies. This is the way to break down prejudice.”

Sir Alec added that his government was supporting mandatory sanctions against Rhodesia because it had been done by the previous government. “But it wasn’t the right instrument,” he said.

Editor: From 1975 to 1978 sanctions resulted in a 6.4% decline in employment in Rhodesia due to idle capacity and pressure on internal prices. In contrast, ‘liberated’ Zimbabwe has experienced unemployment levels of 80%-90% for decades and inflation rates exceeding 230 million percent in merely one 3 year period. Despite sanctions between 1970-75 Rhodesia averaged 9% real growth p.a. while its liberated Marxist neighbors Zambia, Botswana, Angola, Mozambique and Malawi all became collapsed banana republics (secretly trying to trade with Rhodesia).


From the June 26, 1975 edition.

Odd Motivations on Rhodesian Chrome

Journal Of Commerce Scores Attempt To Re-Impost Boycott

It is odd, when one thinks about it, that even at a time when Washington is worrying about Arab embargoes, Congress is gearing up for another battle over proposals to restore its onetime boycott of Rhodesian Chrome Ore. It is odd because while this country can probably supply most of its oil needs from its own and other sources, its only major source of Chrome Ore outside Rhodesia is the Soviet Union, which currently doesn’t enjoy much support in the more liberal U.S. circles either.

Thus comments in the New York Journal of Commerce (Nov. 2) in an editorial prompted by congressional moves to repeal the Byrd Amendment, which permitted federal authorities purchasing chrome to ignore sanctions against Rhodesia voted by the U.N.

One-Sided Morality

“One half the issue,” says the Journal of Commerce, “is being fought on moral grounds. To buy chrome from Rhodesia, it is said, would be to imply approval of that nation’s racial policies. What is implied by continued U.S. purchases of Soviet chrome is not stated in this connection. That has been neatly cut out of the debate over Rhodesia and transferred to the debate over the trade bill. In other words, the shortcomings of Russia’s internal policies considered germane to one piece of legislation are considered highly irrelevant to another.”

Editor: During this period Leonid Brezhnev was dictator of the USSR where more the 260,000,000 forcibly impoverished people were unable to leave or vote for a democratic government. Brezhnev was active in revitalizing Gulags (work-to-death camps for re-education) while funding proxy terrorist armies in Africa.

Practical Consequences Of Boycott

Noting that the chief effect of the original boycott was that ‘instead of paying $25 per ton for chrome ore originating in a nation not in its good graces, the United States was paying $72 per ton for the same ore to another country that was not in its good graces either.’

“Just what moral lesson was supposed to have been imparted by this baffles the imagination. But that was only part of the story. Even last year and during the earlier months of this year, when Washington was drawing all kinds of fire for ignoring the U.N. sanctions against Rhodesia, this country’s purchases of chrome ore were concentrating more and more heavily on the Soviet Union and less and less on Rhodesia. The U.S.S.R. now supplies more than half of these imports. The Rhodesia share is still less than 10 per cent. So the moral lesson, whatever it is, becomes more and more obscure. But that is not all, either. What happens when a nation having some resourcefulness is threatened by specific sanctions? That is something the Arab oil producers ought to be thinking about now, but something that never seems to have occurred to the sponsors of Rhodesian sanctions.”

Other Comments On Chrome

“For the good of the United States, we need to buy from non-Reds rather than Reds. Which be more likely to cut us off?”

Chattanooga (Tenn.) News-Free Press

“Whatever the statistical claims, it seems to us this may be a case in which the United States, having adopted a course – and twice sustained it in the congress – should move carefully before departing from it.”

New Bedford (Mass.) Standard Times

“It is not the moral duty to enforce political virtue around the globe by trade sanctions or any other means. We cannot survive if we adhere to foreign policy based on murky and hypocritical sentiments. Our national self-interest, the only sound basis of policy, demands that we continue to import Rhodesian chrome.”

Savannah (Georgia) News

“Proposed federal action to halt chrome imports from Rhodesia would result in United States specialty steel and ferrochrome producers having to pay higher prices for the vital alloying element… Sanctions of this type can only work to the detriment of U.S. national security.”

William D. Manly, retiring head of the American Society for Metals, quoted in American Metal Market

“It would be a mistake to foresake Rhodesian chrome in a forlorn hope of resolving what is purely an internal affairs matter of Rhodesia. Another embargo would be a quitoxic – and highly expensive – gesture on our part.”

Shrevport (La.) Times

“The United States has need of continuing access to chrome and all other strategic and critical materials for the rest of this century. Indeed concern about this need was the reason for the establishment of the National Commission of Materials Policy. The U.S. not only has need to import Rhodesian chrome but should be developing major new mines and metallurgical works in Rhodesia, one of the great sources of metals in the free world.”

Anthony Harrington, Executive Vice President of the United States Industrial Council

“So we re-impose the sanctions. So again we’ve got to buy the poorer quality Russian chrome at higher prices, and Russia then uses our money to buy the higher quality Rhodesian chromium for use in her own steel mills. Guess who is the goat.”

Steel executive quoted in the Youngstown (Ohio) Vindicator

Rhodesia: A Reassessment

British Study Group Critical Of Policy

Sanctions are an ineffective and unsophisticated approach to the problem of Rhodesia, and unless a new policy is adopted in the immediate future Britain can give up hope of influencing conditions there.

This is the finding of a Bow Group study under the above title compliled by Michael Stephen, a lawyer who held a Harkness Fellowship in International Law at Standford and Harvard Universities and was attached for a time to the British delegation to the United Nations. (The Bow Group a stands in much the same relationship to the Conservative Party in Britain as the Ripon Society to the Republican Party in the United States.)

Unsound Legal Argument

Mr. Stephen states that the policies hitherto pursued by Britain and the United Nations have rested on unsound legal arguments. This has been damaging to the international rule of law but, more important for Rhodesia, the real issues have been obscured and attention has been diverted from the search for a genuine political solution.

The interpretation of international law put forward by Britain and the U.N. has never been tested in the International Court of Justice, and the Rhodesian Government has had no opportunity to challenge it in any international forum. They have also been denied a hearing on political issues.

According to international law, says Stephen, Rhodesia is an independent state and is not a colony in rebellion. The authority of its government, courts and other institutions derives from Rhodesian law, and British las is inapplicable since British authority has effectively been ousted.

The Rhodesian situation has never been more than a potential threat to the peace, and in purporting to authorise sanctions the Security Council has exceeded its powers.

Editor: Left, the USSR symbol for forging by force or stealth International Communism. Right, the UN has the same symbol with the world a target in its gun sight. Britain and the USA agreed to Communist China and the USSR being permanent members of the UN Security Council as they continued to oppress and slaughter tens of millions of civilians while denying them “majority rule”.

Remedial Action

Stephen advocates that Britain should take a new initiative to resolve the Rhodesian question in consultation with her European partners and friends on other continents. He envisages a progressive dismantling of sanctions geared to certain political changes in Rhodesia.

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