Written by Jean Fritz

Continued from page 1

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY OBLIGATIONS Unlike many conservatives, I firmly believe that women as well as men should have military obligations. If we women truly want to claim equality underrepparttar law, we have an obligation equal to that of men to protect and defendrepparttar 125932 Constitution which allows us to make that claim. Women inrepparttar 125933 United States haverepparttar 125934 right to vote, to own property, to receive an education, to work outsiderepparttar 125935 home, to pray, and to speak our minds on social policy. Why should we be exempt from action when those rights are threatened? Feminists fought long and hard to allow women to serve in combat roles; including women in selective service call-ups isrepparttar 125936 logical result.

DEFENDING THE SECOND AMENDMENT Gun control advocates userepparttar 125937 excuse thatrepparttar 125938 average citizen shouldn’t own guns, asrepparttar 125939 Constitution only guaranteesrepparttar 125940 right to bear arms to those involved in a “well-regulated militia.” Having every citizen actually be a soldier eliminates this argument. Plus, having more law-abiding people actually trained inrepparttar 125941 effective use of firearms would certainly contribute torepparttar 125942 safety and security of cities and towns acrossrepparttar 125943 country.

The United States is one ofrepparttar 125944 only countries that does not mandate military service for its citizens. Our partner and ally, Israel, has always expected its citizens to be prepared, trained, and ready to defend itself againstrepparttar 125945 burgeoning monster of terrorism. Sincerepparttar 125946 events of 9/11, shouldn’t we begin to think along those same lines?

Jean Fritz is a farmer and freelance writer. Her articles and essays have been published on the internet as well as in print. She can be contacted via email at:

White Farms, Black Farmers

Written by Sam Vaknin

Continued from page 1

Even as lawless invasions of private property recommenced in earnest,repparttar government initiatedrepparttar 125931 Fast Track Land Reform Plan in mid-2000. It envisionedrepparttar 125932 purchase of between 5-8 million of hectares of agricultural land,repparttar 125933 resettlement ofrepparttar 125934 rural indigent,repparttar 125935 provision of infrastructure, technical advice and inputs by both civil and military authorities andrepparttar 125936 involvement of all "stakeholders" - especially white commercial farmers - in an on-going dialog inrepparttar 125937 framework ofrepparttar 125938 Zimbabwe Joint Resettlement Initiative.

Butrepparttar 125939 Plan fast deteriorated into strong-arm, threat-laden, and litigious confiscation of white property. Following a setback inrepparttar 125940 polls - its proposed constitution was rejected - ZANU-PF aided and abetted inrepparttar 125941 disorderly - and, sometimes, lethal - requisitioning of farms by a mob of war veterans, mock veterans, petty criminals,repparttar 125942 rural dispossessed, party hacks, and even middle class urbanites. Ironically,repparttar 125943 very anarchic nature ofrepparttar 125944 process deterred genuine andrepparttar 125945 long term settlers.

About 2000 farms were thus impounded byrepparttar 125946 end of last year. The government refused to compensate farmers forrepparttar 125947 land seized insisting that such reparations should be paid by Britain. It did, however, provide pitiful sums for infrastructure added torepparttar 125948 land byrepparttar 125949 white settlers.

As pandemic corruption, lawlessness, and mismanagement broughtrepparttar 125950 country torepparttar 125951 brink of insolvency and famine, Mugabe tainted with anti-Western diatribe his merited crusade for reversing past injustices. He lashed atrepparttar 125952 IMF andrepparttar 125953 World bank, at Britain andrepparttar 125954 USA, at white farmers and foreign capital. Xenophobia - no less that patriotism - isrepparttar 125955 refuge ofrepparttar 125956 scoundrel in Africa.

In 1997, Britain's New Labor government ceased fundingrepparttar 125957 acquisition of land from white farmers. Donors demanded matching funds from destitute Zimbabwe. By 1999,repparttar 125958 entire West - spearheaded byrepparttar 125959 IMF - disengaged. Zimbabwe was severed fromrepparttar 125960 global financial system.

This was followed by sanctions threatened byrepparttar 125961 EU and partly imposedrepparttar 125962 USA andrepparttar 125963 Commonwealth. Sanctions were also urged by prescriptive think tanks, such asrepparttar 125964 International Crisis Group, and even by corporate and banking groups, such as Britain's Abbey National.

Yet, discarding land reform together with Mugabe would be unwise. The problems - some of which are ignored even byrepparttar 125965 Zimbabwean authorities - are real. A negligible white minority owns vast swathes of forcibly obtained prime arable land in a predominantly black country.

A comprehensive - and just - land reform would cater to farm hands as well. They are mostly black - about one fifth ofrepparttar 125966 population, counting their dependants. They live in shantytown-like facilities onrepparttar 125967 farms with little access to potable water, sanitation, electricity, phones, or other amenities. They were not even entitled to resettlement until recently.

According to "Rural poverty: Commercial farm workers and Land Reform in Zimbabwe", a paper presented atrepparttar 125968 SARPN conference on Land Reform and Poverty Alleviation in Southern Africa, in June 2001, only about one third ofrepparttar 125969 most destitute black farm workforce have been imported as casual and seasonal workers from neighboring countries.

The rest, contrary to government propaganda, are indigenous. Yet, protestations torepparttar 125970 contrary notwithstanding,repparttar 125971 government, preoccupied with relieving growing tensions inrepparttar 125972 communal areas and rewarding its own supporters and cronies, refuses to incorporate farm hands fully in its Fast Track Resettlement Program. They are being accused of causing previous resettlement programs to fail.

The problems facing Zimbabwe's agricultural sector are reminiscent ofrepparttar 125973 situation in Mozambique, Namibia, Malawi, Swaziland, Lesotho, and South Africa. Namibia has already threatened to emulate Zimbabwe. Sam Nujoma,repparttar 125974 country's president, rebukedrepparttar 125975 market mechanism as "too slow, cumbersome and very costly". An understandable statement coming fromrepparttar 125976 head of a government which, according to Namibian news agency, NAMPA, turned down 151 farms last year for lack of funds.

"Land Reform in Zimbabwe: Constraints and Prospects", edited by T.A.S. Bowyer-Bower and Colin Stoneman, notes that development, growth, and poverty alleviation inrepparttar 125977 continent are directly linked torepparttar 125978 ownership and cultivation of land - oftenrepparttar 125979 sole means of production. That no regional approach to this pressing issue has arisen attests torepparttar 125980 quality ofrepparttar 125981 self-centred, thuggish, and venal African leadership.

Politically-motivated land reform will lead torepparttar 125982 emergence ofrepparttar 125983 next generations ofrepparttar 125984 deprived andrepparttar 125985 discriminated against. Resettlement has to be both fair and seen to be fair. It has to be based on unambiguous criteria and transparent and even-handed procedures. It has to backed by sufficient agricultural inputs and machinery, financial and technical assistance, access to markets, and basic infrastructure.

The proximity of services and institutions - from schools to courts - is critical. Above all, land reform has to look after people displaced inrepparttar 125986 process - commercial farmers and their workers - and thus enjoy near universal support or acquiescence. Legal title and tenure have to be established and recorded to allowrepparttar 125987 new settlers to obtain credits and invest in buildings, machinery, and infrastructure.

Alas, as both Human Rights Watch andrepparttar 125988 UNDP concluded in their detailed reports, none of these requirements is observed in Zimbabwe. Hencerepparttar 125989 recurrent failures andrepparttar 125990 blood-spattered chaos they have produced. Is Mugabe to blame? Surely. Is herepparttar 125991 prime mover of this debacle? Not by a long shot. He merely encapsulates and leverages pernicious social forces in his country and inrepparttar 125992 continent. Untilrepparttar 125993 root problems of Africa are tackled with courage and integrity Mugabe and his type of "reform" will prevail.

Sam Vaknin ( ) is the author of Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited and After the Rain - How the West Lost the East. He served as a columnist for Central Europe Review, PopMatters, and eBookWeb , and Bellaonline, and as a United Press International (UPI) Senior Business Correspondent. He is the the editor of mental health and Central East Europe categories in The Open Directory and Suite101.

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