Recent events in Zimbabwe have once again captured international attention. This is a situation that has always left me feeling somewhat conflicted. It is quite clear that Robert Mugabe, despite his heroic role in the overthrow of white rule, has become an authoritarian demagogue who has run his country into a ditch.
At the same time I have always felt uncomfortable with how the situation in Zimbabwe has been discussed in the Western media. It always seemed to that whatever Mugabe's demagogic purposes that Zimbabwe was a country in profound need of radical land reform to undo the persistent effects of colonialism and white settler rule.
The glee with which some denounced Mugabe and saw in him confirmation that Zimbabwe's plight could not be blamed any longer on European colonialism had the troubling whiff of racism.
I was please then to read a recent article by Mahmood Mandami that does much to correct popular misconceptions about the situation in Zimbabwe.