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Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Written by Alternate Historian

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 'The Biti Letter' by Guest Historian Chris Oakley
Guest Historian Guest Historian Chris Oakley says, thanks for visiting TIAH. In this timeline, I explore the idea of the United States and Great Britain becoming directly involved in the Zimbabwean political crisis as a result of the notorious Biti letter. The complete list of my threads is shown on the TIAH site map in the left hand panel. If you're interested in viewing samples of my other work why not visit the Changing the Times web site.

April 14

In 2008, Gordon Brown held a televised press conference to present evidence to back up his accusation that Robert Mugabe had forged the Tendai Biti letter. With Brown at that conference was a Zimbabwean diplomat who had defected to Great Britain the previous day and had debriefed Brown's senior foreign policy and intelligence advisors on the Mugabe forgery plan.


April 16

On this day in 2008 the British embassy in Washington sent President George W. Bush a transcript of Prime Minister Gordon Brown's debriefing with the Zimbabwean defector, code-named 'Charybdis'.            


April 16

In 2008, President George W. Bush made his first public statement on the Zimbabwean forged letter scandal.

In a press conference at the White House Bush blasted the Mugabe regime as 'brutally corrupt' and said the United States would oppose the ZANU-PF dictatorship by any means available.


April 20

In 2008, President Bush ordered the stationing of the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan in the Mozambique Channel in an effort to deter the Mugabe regime in Zimbabwe from persecuting Zimbabwean opposition political leaders.


April 21
In 2008, on this day US senator and Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama introduced a resolution on the Senate floor condemning the Mugabe regime's human rights abuses.

"Robert Mugabe's actions and words are a gross insult to the memory of my ancestors and to the most basic standards of decency and freedom". Obama said in addressing his Senate colleagues on the proposed resolution.

April 23

In 2008, on this day a defiant Robert Mugabe vowed to -- in his words -- "unleash the fires of hell" on US forces in the Mozambique Channel region..


April 25

In 2008, on this day Arizona senator and 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain introduced a bill in Congress which made provisions for Zimbabwean political refugees to immediately receive political asylum in the U.S.

Pres Candidate
Pres Candidate - John McCain
John McCain

April 26

In 2008, on this day tensions between the United States and the Mugabe regime in Zimbabwe escalated when two Air Force of Zimbabwe (AFZ) fighter jets fired on a flight of F/A-18 Hornets on a routine patrol off the USS Ronald Reagan; the Hornets promptly returned fire, downing one of the AFZ jets.

Bibi Letter leads to war Part #1The state-controlled Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation denounced the U.S. pilots' actions as "unprovoked aggression" and accused the Bush Administration of wantonly bombing civilian neighborhoods in Zimbabwe's capital, Harare. (In reality, the Hornets had only been equipped with air-to-air missiles).

A new article from Bibi LetterIncredibly, despite abundant evidence the Mugabe regime had instigated the incident, the AFZ chief of staff claimed the U.S. jets had fired first; in a similar vein, Zimbabwean army commander-in-chief General Constantine Chiwenga accused the United States of plotting to mount a surprise invasion of Zimbabwe just as it had launched a pre-emptive war against Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq five years earlier. While the White House did have a contingent of Marines in the region to expedite the evacuation of American citizens from Zimbabwe, there were no plans at that time for U.S. involvement in a ground war in that country-- which surprised foreign policy analysts who had considered such a conflict not only possible but maybe even inevitable.

April 28

In 2008, on this day U.S. F/A-18s shot down two AFZ fighter jets southeast of the Zimbabwean town of Gutu after the jets ignored repeated warnings not to interfere with the ongoing evacuation of Western diplomats and tourists from Zimbabwe.

Bibi Letter leads to war Part #2Once again Robert Mugabe tried to cast his government as the victim of unprovoked U.S. aggression, but his cover story was quickly discredited when an Omani businessman who'd been visiting the country at the time posted a YouTube video clearly showing the AFZ fighters initiating hostilities.

A new article from Bibi LetterThe incident prompted the African Union to convene a special session that evening to vote on a proposal by South Africa to deploy peacekeepers to Zimbabwe.

April 10

In 2008, Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe accused British prime minister Gordon Brown of conspiring with opposition leader Tendai Biti to overthrow Mugabe's regime.Plot against Robert Mugabe by Chris OakleyAs proof of his allegations Mugabe produced a letter supposedly written by Biti to senior members of Biti's political party, the Movement for Democratic Change. Prime Minister Brown responded by issuing a countercharge that Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party had forged the letter itself in an attempt to not only discredit the Zimbabwean pro-democracy movement but also Great Britain.

According to the Zimbabwe Times, the allegedly letter reads: "The swearing in will be done by the Chief Justice at State House and this must be planned in some detail. We have already sent invitations to President Bush, Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Prime Minister Kelvin Rudd, Chancellor Angela Merkel and our international partners and other key stakeholders in the People's Project. Soon after the swearing in, President Tsvangirai will immediately take occupation of the President's Office and State House. Our British friends have already taken the President, his wife and the rest of the first family through a crash course on ethics, etiquette and basic protocol associated with this high office. Our international partners also continue to send us their assurances that they will guarantee our assumption of power, including with force of arms if need be".

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© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.