What Wetherell thought about 9-11


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Iden Wetherell, then editor of the Zimbabwe Independent, said he hoped judgement on the terrorists who had attacked the Pentagon would come soon because terrorist everywhere deserved the same robust response.

He was commenting on the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington on 11 September 2001 which left scores of United States citizens dead.

“No doubt there will be the usual apologists for extremism who argue that these events and the attack on the Pentagon were retribution for US support for Israel – the same people who branded Israel a racist state in Durban when it was the only country to take in African refugees in the 1980s.

But whatever happens, the US will be scarred by the events of Tuesday. September 11, 2001 is surely a day that will live in infamy. And the world will never be the same again as the battle with increasingly sophisticated terrorist organisations intensifies,” he said.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 01HARARE2716, TFUSO1: MEDIA REACTION TERROR ATTACKS IN THE

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Reference ID

Created

Classification

Origin

01HARARE2716

2001-09-17 05:24

UNCLASSIFIED

Embassy Harare

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

 

170524Z Sep 01

 

 

UNCLASSIFIED     PTQ7420

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 02716 01 OF 02 170541Z

ACTION SS-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AF-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00 INL-00   DODE-00

DS-00   EUR-00   UTED-00 VC-00   TEDE-00 INR-00   LAB-01

VCE-00   DCP-01   NSAE-00 IRM-00   SSO-00   TEST-00 USIE-00

IIP-00   DSCC-00 DRL-02   NFAT-00 SAS-00     /004W

——————2024CF 170541Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9720

INFO NSC WASHDC

AMEMBASSY PRETORIA

AMEMBASSY LUSAKA

AMEMBASSY WINDHOEK

AMEMBASSY GABORONE

AMEMBASSY LILONGWE

AMEMBASSY LONDON

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 002716

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/PD FOR COX, ROBERTSON, AF/S FOR KRAFT, AF/P,

INR/R/MR, NSC FOR JENDAYI FRAZER

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: ZI PREL PHUM

SUBJECT: TFUSO1: MEDIA REACTION TERROR ATTACKS IN THE

U.S.; HARARE

 

 

¶1.   SEPTEMBER 14 EDITORIALS IN THE ZIMBABWEAN PRINT

MEDIA FOCUS ON THE TERRORIST ATTACKS IN THE U. S. THE

NEWSPAPERS ALSO CARRY LENGTHY OPINION PIECES ABOUT THE

DISASTER. EXCERPTS FOLLOW:

 

¶2.   UNDER HEADLINE “TERROR, VIOLENCE WON’T END WORLD’S

CONFLICTS,” THE INDEPENDENT DAILY “THE DAILY NEWS”

COMMENTS:

 

“TUESDAY’S ATTACKS ON THE WORLD TRADE CENTER IN

NEW YORK AND THE PENTAGON IN WASHINGTON MUST HAVE

INDUCED IN MOST ZIMBABWEANS A SENSE OF GENUINE

HORROR, OUTRAGE AND A CERTAIN HELPLESSNESS.

WHATEVER POLITICAL DIFFERENCES THE MASTERS OF THE

PERPETRATORS OF THE SAVAGE ATTACKS HAD WITH THE

UNITED STATES ADMINISTRATION COULD NEVER JUSTIFY

THE COLD-BLOODED MURDER OF INNOCENT CIVILIANS

GOING ABOUT THEIR DAILY BUSINESS IN A FREE AND

DEMOCRATIC COUNTRY. . . THE

¶U. S. GOVERNMENT HAS NOT ALWAYS ACQUITTED ITSELF

WELL AS WHAT ITS ENEMIES HAVE CALLED ‘THE WORLD

POLICEMAN.’ THERE HAVE BEEN MISTAKES AND SOME OF

THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE RESORTED TO VIOLENCE AGAINST

UNCLE SAM HAVE NOT BEEN FOREIGNERS, LIKE THE SAUDI

DISSIDENT, OSAMA BIN LADEN, THE NUMBER ONE SUSPECT

IN THE LATEST OUTRAGE. THE OKLAHOMA BOMBING IN

1995 WAS INITIALLY BLAMED ON ARAB TERRORISTS,

UNTIL IT TRANSPIRED THAT THIS WAS A

HOME-GROWN ATROCITY. . . IN THE MIDDLE EAST,

SUCCESSIVE U. S. ADMINISTRATIONS HAVE GRAPPLED IN

VAIN WITH THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN TWO COMBATANTS,

THE ARABS AND THE JEWS. . . SOME OF WASHINGTON’S

UNCLASSIFIED

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 02716 01 OF 02 170541Z

PRESCRIPTIONS HAVE BEEN SO NAVE THEY HAVE NOT

HELPED TO COOL TEMPERS IN JERUSALEM OR THE WEST

BANK. BUT GEORGE W. BUSH’S ‘HANDS OFF’ POLICY HAS

PROBABLY MADE PEACE MORE DIFFICULT TO ACHIEVE.

YET THAT IS STILL NOT A GOOD REASON TO BLOW UP

BUILDINGS AND KILL THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE – IF IT IS

PROVED THIS OUTRAGE WAS SPURRED BY ARABS INCENSED

BY THE ADMINISTRATION’S PERCEIVED

PRO-ISRAELI BIAS. FOR THE WORLD, THE LATEST

DISPLAY OF HUMANKIND’S OWN INHUMANITY TO HUMANKIND

MUST REMIND PEOPLE THAT TERROR AND VIOLENCE MAY

HAVE ONLY

SHORT-TERM ADVANTAGES, BUT IN THE END THEY WILL

NOT SOLVE CONFLICTS. THE UNITED STATES WILL

SURVIVE TUESDAY’S HORROR. . . THE PEOPLE WHO SENT

THE SUICIDE PILOTS HURTLING INTO THE TWIN TOWERS

OF THE WORLD TRADE CENTER AND THE PENTAGON MOST

CERTAINLY DESERVE SEVERE PUNISHMENT, AS DO THE

COUNTRIES WHICH AIDED AND ABETTED THEM. BUT IF

THE RETALIATION CAUSES THE SAME MASSIVE LOSS OF

CIVILIAN LIFE THAT WAS WITNESSED ON TUESDAY, THEN

THE WORLD WILL NOT HAVE LEARNT ANYTHING FROM THE

UNBRIDLED USE OF POWER. . . RESTRAINT IS CALLED

FOR AS ANY EXCESSIVE USE OF FORCE MIGHT TURN

SYMPATHY INTO THE SAME OUTRAGE THAT GREETED

TUESDAY’S INSANITY.”

 

¶3.   UNDER HEADLINE “U. S. REACTION TO ATTACK WELCOME,”

THE GOVERNMENT-CONTROLLED DAILY “THE HERALD” COMMENTS:

 

“TUESDAY’S ATTACK ON THE U. S. HAS GALVANIZED THE

UNCLASSIFIED

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 02716 01 OF 02 170541Z

WORLD

TO COPE WITH A NEW THREAT: THE ABILITY OF A SMALL

WELL-ORGANIZED GROUP OF FANATICS TO KILL THOUSANDS

OF INNOCENT PEOPLE WITH A SINGLE BLOW. . . IT HAS

BEEN DIFFICULT TO COMPREHEND HOW SUCH A SMALL

GROUP – AND THE U. S. FEDERAL BUREAU OF

INVESTIGATION HAS ESTIMATED THAT THERE WERE AROUND

A DOZEN SUICIDAL HIJACKERS BACKED BY ABOUT 50

OTHERS – COULD HAVE MURDERED SO MANY. THE U. S.

HAS NOT – AS SOME MAY HAVE EXPECTED – LASHED OUT

WITH MILITARY FORCE AT VAGUE SUSPECTS FOR THE

MURDERS. INSTEAD IT HAD CONCENTRATED A MAJOR

DIPLOMATIC EFFORT ON CREATING A VAST COALITION FOR

A MAJOR WAR ON INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM THAT WILL

INVOLVE THE POLICE, INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY

AGENCIES IN MANY COUNTRIES. THIS IS WELCOME. .

.THE WORLD IS DANGEROUS ENOUGH WITH SOVEREIGN

STATES ABLE TO WAGE WAR. BUT IT BECOMES FAR MORE

DANGEROUS WHEN ANY SMALL GROUP OF FANATICS CAN

MURDER THOUSANDS IN NEAR ANONYMITY AND WHO ARE

RESPONSIBLE TO NO ONE. THE U. S. SECRETARY OF

 

UNCLASSIFIED

 

UNCLASSIFIED     PTQ7421

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 02716 02 OF 02 170541Z

ACTION SS-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AF-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00 INL-00   DODE-00

DS-00   EUR-00   UTED-00 VC-00   TEDE-00 INR-00   LAB-01

VCE-00   DCP-01   NSAE-00 IRM-00   SSO-00   TEST-00 USIE-00

IIP-00   DSCC-00 DRL-02   NFAT-00 SAS-00    /004W

——————2024D6 170541Z /38

P 170524Z SEP 01

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9721

INFO NSC WASHDC

AMEMBASSY PRETORIA

AMEMBASSY LUSAKA

AMEMBASSY WINDHOEK

AMEMBASSY GABORONE

AMEMBASSY LILONGWE

AMEMBASSY LONDON

 

UNCLAS SECTION 02 OF 02 HARARE 002716

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/PD FOR COX, ROBERTSON, AF/S FOR KRAFT, AF/P,

INR/R/MR, NSC FOR JENDAYI FRAZER

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: ZI PREL PHUM

SUBJECT: TFUSO1: MEDIA REACTION TERROR ATTACKS IN THE

U.S.; HARARE

 

STATE, RETIRED GEN. COLIN POWELL, A FAR MORE

UNCLASSIFIED

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 02716 02 OF 02 170541Z

SOPHISTICATED PERSON THAN MOST OF THOSE ADVISING

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH ON FOREIGN AND DEFENSE

POLICY. . .HAS MADE IT CLEAR THAT THERE IS NO

QUICK FIX. A SINGLE BOMBING RAID WILL NEITHER BE

AN EFFECTIVE NOR CORRECT RESPONSE. HE FORESEES,

PROBABLY CORRECTLY, THAT THE RESPONSE MUST HAVE

DIPLOMATIC AND POLITICAL ELEMENTS AS WELL AS

POTENTIAL MILITARY ACTIONS. THERE HAS ALSO BEEN A

WELCOME APPEAL FROM THOSE AT THE TOP OF THE

AMERICAN LEADERSHIP TO ESCHEW HATRED OF ARABS AND

MUSLIMS. . . SO LONG AS ALL IN AUTHORITY,

ESPECIALLY IN THE MAJOR POWERS ABLE TO PROJECT

DIPLOMATIC AND MILITARY MIGHT FAR BEYOND THEIR

FRONTIERS, CONTINUE TO BEHAVE RATIONALLY THEN

THERE IS A GOOD CHANCE THAT THIS BOMBING WILL

ENHANCE INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION AGAINST CRIMINAL

GROUPS. . . .”

 

¶4.   THE SAME NEWSPAPER ALSO CARRIED AN OPINION PIECE

AUTHORED BY TIM CHIGODO ON PAGE 11 UNDER HEADLINE

“U. S. TERRORIST ATTACKS: TRAGEDY FOR ENTIRE

INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY.” EXCERPTS:

 

“THE TERRORIST ATTACKS ON THE U. S. ON TUESDAY. .

.HAVE DEVASTATED THE WHOLE WORLD AND SHOULD BE

CONDEMNED BY THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY. THE

UNPRECEDENTED ATTACKS HAVE WIDE IMPLICATIONS AND

ARE A DEVELOPMENT WHICH NEEDS QUICK ACTION. ALL

INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS SHOULD STAND UP AND

CONDEMN ALL FORMS OF TERRORISM. . . AS THE WORLD

MOURNS WITH RELATIVES OF PEOPLE WHO DIED IN THE

UNCLASSIFIED

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 02716 02 OF 02 170541Z

ATTACKS ON TUESDAY, OTHER STATES SHOULD ACCEPT

THAT THE TRAGEDY IS NOT FOR AMERICANS ONLY BUT FOR

THE WHOLE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY. . . THE

TUESDAY ATTACKS SHOULD BE TAKEN AS A POINTER TO

THE 21ST CENTURY IN WHICH ORTHODOX WAR BETWEEN

STATES IS REPLACED BY PROXY TERRORIST ATTACKS THAT

KILL INDISCRIMINATELY. . .”

 

¶5.   UNDER HEADLINE “A DAY IN INFAMY,” IDEN WETHERELL,

EDITOR OF THE INDEPENDENT WEEKLY “ZIMBABWE

INDEPENDENT,” WROTE THE FOLLOWING PIECE UNDER THE

“EDITOR’S MEMO” COLUMN IN THE SEPTEMBER 14 EDITION:

 

“. . .I WATCHED NUMBLY THE SHOCKING PICTURES

BEAMED FROM NEW YORK. . . IT WAS A TERRIBLE,

UNFORGETTABLE SIGHT MADE WORSE BY THE KNOWLEDGE

THAT THOUSANDS OF INNOCENT VICTIMS WERE CAUGHT

INSIDE. . . WE SHALL SOON KNOW WHICH FANATICS

SENT THOUSANDS OF INNOCENT PEOPLE TO THEIR DEATHS.

AND HOPEFULLY JUDGEMENT WILL BE QUICK IN COMING.

TERRORISTS EVERYWHERE DESERVE THE SAME ROBUST

RESPONSE BY SOCIETY. NO DOUBT THERE WILL BE THE

USUAL APOLOGISTS FOR EXTREMISM WHO ARGUE THAT

THESE EVENTS AND THE ATTACK ON THE PENTAGON WERE

RETRIBUTION FOR U. S. SUPPORT FOR ISRAEL – THE

SAME PEOPLE WHO BRANDED ISRAEL A RACIST STATE IN

DURBAN WHEN IT WAS THE ONLY COUNTRY TO TAKE IN

AFRICAN REFUGEES IN THE 1980S. BUT WHATEVER

HAPPENS, THE U. S. WILL BE SCARRED BY THE EVENTS

OF TUESDAY. SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 IS SURELY A DAY

THAT WILL LIVE IN INFAMY. AND THE WORLD WILL

UNCLASSIFIED

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 02716 02 OF 02 170541Z

NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN AS THE BATTLE WITH

INCREASINGLY SOPHISTICATED TERRORIST ORGANIZATIONS

INTENSIFIES. . . OUR THOUGHTS WILL BE WITH THE

VICTIMS AND THEIR FAMILIES THIS WEEK. . .”

 

ROTH

 

UNCLASSIFIED

 

>

 

(3 VIEWS)

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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