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This programme examines how the world views of the different participants in the Rhodesian crisis coloured their interpretation of the nature of the conflict.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: D233, World politics
Item code: D233; 08
First transmission date: 11-08-1981
Published: 1981
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:24:10
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Producer: Carol Haslam
Contributors: Ian Smith; Olujimi Jolaoso; Soltayi Katsere; James Barber; Harry Byrd; Robert Mugabe; Edison Zvolgo; Anthony Lake; David Owen
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Economic sanctions; Politics; Rhodesia
Footage description: Ian Smith, former Prime Minister of Rhodesia, argues that there was little or no racialism in the Rhodesian state. The Western powers ended a unique experiment in Africa's history. Olujimi Jolaoso, Nigerian Ambassador to the U.N., explains why arguments about the material standards of black people in South Africa cannot justify continued oppression and racialism. Excerpt from Panorama (26.9.77): several white Rhodesian farmers threaten to sabotage their farms and livestock if there were a black takeover of the government. Shots of living conditions of impoverished rural Blacks. Soltayi Katsere argues that immigration is only necessary because of discrimination against the indigenous population. James Barber states that underneath the wrangles about the constitution and sanctions policy, there were more fundamental sources of conflict in Rhodesia. He introduces a proposition from the course reader that states "The outcome of all conflict is determined by the scope of its contagion" and argues that this can be seen to incorporate the values and range of perceptions which the conflict embodies. To illustrate this he introduces two politicians who viewed the Rhodesian crisis as part of the struggle between East and West. Ian Smith states that he saw the struggle as one between Marxists and the Free World. The West negotiated with the guerrillas because it wanted to curry favour with the O.A.U. Senator Harry Byrd sees the struggle as part of a Soviet plan to dominate Southern Africa. James Barber assesses their position and contrasts it with that of African nationalists. In an excerpt from the television programme, 'Portrait of a terrorist', Robert Mugabe traces the history of black resistance in Africa and his decisions to use violence as a means of forcing political change in Rhodesia. Dr Edison Zvobgo, of the Patriotic Front argues that international debates about Rhodesia were always made in terms of objects and resources rather than people. He argues that the enemy for the guerrillas was not the White Man as such but international capital. James Barber argues that these differing world views developed into armed conflict. Sequence from Panorama (12.5.75): shots of people training to shoot, guerrillas training, and troops in helicopters. Over these shots James Barber describes the escalation of the war. He then describes a third world view, liberal pluralism, which, he argues, accepts that international relations and problems have to be managed and that interests have to be balanced. Anthony Lake argues that, the West's interests are best served by getting a peaceful settlement in Southern Africa and better relationships with Black African countries. The Liberal view therefore looks to the longer term assessment of the situation. Dr. David Owen describes the complexities of African politics but argues that the issue of race is fundamental to African problems. James Barber argues that the Liberal view is one of a much more complex world and this acceptance of complexity led to the successful peace talks at Lancaster House.
Master spool number: HOU3676
Production number: FOUD145H
Videofinder number: 120
Available to public: no