I say "with my own apologies to normblog" because Norman Geras penned a piece on his blog with this title last year, on the subject of the silence of much of the European and American Left with regard to Islamist fanaticsm, at a time when they were EXTREMELY vocal in their criticism of British and American government policies (some even positing that U.S. policies and actions are actually responsible for Islamist terror--the "chickens coming home to roost" argument). He also touched on the same subject in an article published in Dissent magazine last year. Both are well worth reading. But I digress since the apologists to whom I refer here are not those described in normblog, who see an external "root cause" to Islamist terror (and to Ba'athist terror for that matter)that is U.S. (or U.K.) imperialism. Rather, I am referring to those who see an external "root cause" for the GOZ's increasingly repressive and anti-democratic policies, its arrest and torture of dissidents and political opponents and members of civil society, and its orchestration of an economic meltdown. The rhetoric of the 2 groups of apologists is remarkably similar (and there is no doubt overlap in their membership): U.S. or U.K. imperialism is the force behind the "vilainization" of the regime (e.g. Iraq or Zimbabwe)--or movement/organization (in the case of Islamist fanaticism). A group of North American apologists for the GOZ were in Harare shortly after the September 13th brutalization of ZCTU labor leaders. The representatives of the Global African Congress (GAC), a Canada-based "Pan-Africanist" group, whose visit was sponsored by the GOZ, lavished praise on Mugabe and condemned the western imperialist demons who, they said, are responsible for spreading lies about Zimbabwe. While GAC is clearly an inconsequential group on the lunatic fringe of the left, other, arguably slightly less-inconsequential institutions and individuals on the left in the U.S. and U.K. have mimicked their rhetoric. They apportion the blame for the collapse of Zimbabwe's democratic institutions and of its economy on the U.S. and the U.K., often repeating the 2 shibolleths that it is U.S. "smart sanctions" that have ruined the economy and that it is because of US and UK opposition to land reform that the GOZ has incurred their wrath. Another example of apologist discourse on the North American left with regard to Zimbabwe can be found in this Z magazine article by Mukoma Ngugi . Ngugi speaks of the "Zimbabwe of Western Imagination", and believes that it is being targeted becaue it has "violated the myth that naturalizes racial hierarchy". ("Blacks are not supposed to kick out whites from their farms and their homes".) Read the whole thing for insight into the pathology of some on the Western Left that prevents them from holding regimes responsible for their actions and sees the hand of Western Imperialism behind all of the world's ills.