BLOGMOCRACY IN ACTION! This is a guest post form our own Osprey. Pamwe Chete!
The Hunyani attack: “A Deafening Silence”
Yesterday was the anniversary of the Hunyani disaster. On September 3rd, 1978, Rhodesian Airways flight 825, the 52 passenger Vickers Viscount Hunyani, flying from the popular Kariba Lake resort to Salisbury was shot down by ZIPRA guerillas with a Soviet-made Strela anti-aircraft missile. Most of those who survived the crash, including several children, were shot to death and bayonetted by the guerillas. 8 crash survivors, adults and children, were lucky enough to escape into the bush and were rescued by Rhodesian police and military forces the following day.
With the sole exception of the International Airline Pilots Association, there was no condemnation by the “international community” for this vicious attack on a civilian aircraft by the African Marxist “liberation forces”. Even from those who should have spoken out in the Western democracies, Britain and the United States, cowed by political correctness against giving what could be considered support of Ian Smith’s white minority government. Instead, there was only what the Dean of the Anglican Church in Rhodesia, the Very Reverend John da Costa, in a sermon to an overflow crowd memorial service at the Anglican Cathedral in Salisbury a few days later, termed “a deafening silence”.
“Nobody who holds sacred the dignity of human life can be anything but sickened at the events attending the crash of the Viscount Hunyani. Survivors have the greatest call on the sympathy and assistance of every other human being. The horror of the crash was bad enough, but that this should have been compounded by the murder of the most savage and treacherous sort leaves us stunned with disbelief and brings revulsion in the minds of anyone deserving the name “human”. This bestiality, worse than anything in recent history, stinks in the nostrils of heaven. But are we deafened by the voice of protest from nations which call themselves “civilised”? We are not. Like men in the story of the good Samaritan. They ‘pass by on the other side’. One listens for condemnation by Dr David Owen, himself a medical doctor, trained to help all in need. One listens, and the silence is deafening. One listens for loud condemnation by the President of the United States, himself a man from the Bible-Baptist belt , and once again the silence is deafening. One listens for condemnation by the Pope, by the Archbishop of Canterbury, by all who love the name of God. Again the silence is deafening. I do not believe in white supremacy. I do not believe in black supremacy either……The ghastliness of this ill-fated flight from Kariba will be burned upon our memories for years to come. For others far from our borders, it is an intellectual matter, not one which affects them deeply.”
A complete recording of Rev. da Costa’s sermon can be heard here.
In his own reaction to the attack, the Rhodesian folk singer John Edmond recorded the song, “You Ain’t No Hero”. (Warning:graphic images in youtube link of African Christian villagers maimed or killed by the “liberation forces” for “collaboration”.) While the song was specifically about the Hunyani attack, the lyrics could be applied anywhere, from Belfast to Sderot to the World Trade Center, that terrorists attack innocent civilians to advance their “cause”:
You ain’t no hero
When you kill a child and cannot cry
You ain’t no hero
When you shoot a liner from the sky
You ain’t no hero
When you’re preaching fear and hate
And you shy away from battle
With the soldiers of our state
Retaliation from the Rhodesian military was soon forthcoming, a daring cross border combined air and ground attack against the terrorist camps in Zambia, the storied “Green Leader” raid. We will examine that event in a future post.