One thing you cannot accuse John Pilger of is pack journalism. His strident style has earned him his fair share of enemies, but he has the courage to put forward independent, well-researched views. For this he is often vilified, as was the case with documentary about South Africa, Apartheid did not die (about which Sean Jacobs wrote insightfully in his PhD dissertation), which the South African media lashed out against. It would be interesting to see the reaction on this piece in the South African Mail and Guardian newspaper, in which he points out that one of the gravest sins of Robert Mugabe’s regime is the fact that it gives Western powers an excuse to justify their own prejudicial views and unfair economic practices, usually hidden under a thinly-veiled yet persistent colonial attitude towards Africa. Of course this does not in turn give any legitimacy to Robert Mugabe’s cruel reign (or his crude anti-colonialist rhetoric), but it puts the suffering of Zimbabweans in broader perspective, and warns against thinking Mugabe’s removal will be the only solution to the country’s woes.
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