Instinctively, I agree with Suzanne Nossel -- America should be pushing hard on Mugabe to make Zimbabwe's next elections actually fee and fair, rather than the brutal mockeries they currently are. For that matter, we should be leaning on Thabo Mbeki -- and I mean leaning hard -- until he withdraws his support and legitimation from anything less than a true step forward.
But how popular are we in Zimbabwe? How about South Africa? Will American pressure be a publicly justifiable reason for Mugabe to consolidate his power? Will it allow Mbeki to fall into mindless pan-Africanism? Seems, if not certain, pretty possible.