" The memory of the righteous will be for a blessing, but the reputation of the wicked will rot. Proverbs 10:7
Nelson Mandela and some of his political allies
Now the dust has settled and Nelson Mandela has been buried, here is retrospective look at the phenomenon that occupied so much TV time.
In the UK, media coverage, including the BBC was extensive and gushing; as if a national hero had passed away. He was almost eulogised as an international hero and was likened to Jesus in one newspaper.
This page is an alternative to the recent, endless outpourings in the media; and even some of our churches. One can also ponder what the Mandela phonomenon teaches us about the world, its values and its media.
The Mandela phenomenon is relevant to wildolive because it has carried world opinion along in drawing parallels between his struggle with Apartheid South Africa and Yasser Arafat's campaign to destroy Israel. He is often quoted; "We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians." This linkage of causes parallels Liberation Theology in the Christian world.
I fear there will be similar hysteria when Desmond Tutu leaves us. He would be an interesting case study - especially of the damage he has done to Israel within the Christian church.
A basic profile from Wikipedia
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (18 July 1918 - 5 December 2013) was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician, and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was the first black South African to hold the office, and the first elected in a fully representative democratic election. His government focused on dismantling the legacy of apartheid through tackling institutionalised racism, poverty and inequality, and fostering racial reconciliation. Politically an African nationalist and democratic socialist, he served as President of the African National Congress (ANC) from 1991 to 1997. Internationally, Mandela was Secretary General of the Non-Aligned Movement from 1998 to 1999.
A Xhosa born to the Thembu royal family, Mandela attended the Fort Hare University and the University of Witwatersrand, where he studied law. Living in Johannesburg, he became involved in anti-colonial politics, joining the ANC and becoming a founding member of its Youth League. After the South African National Party came to power in 1948, he rose to prominence in the ANC's 1952 Defiance Campaign, was appointed superintendent of the organisation's Transvaal chapter and presided over the 1955 Congress of the People. Working as a lawyer, he was repeatedly arrested for seditious activities and, with the ANC leadership, was unsuccessfully prosecuted in the Treason Trial from 1956 to 1961. Although initially committed to non-violent protest, he co-founded the militant Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) in 1961 in association with the South African Communist Party, leading a campaign of sabotage against the apartheid government. In 1962 he was arrested, convicted of conspiracy to overthrow the state, and sentenced to life imprisonment in the Rivonia Trial.
The following is a column I wrote when Nelson Mandela was first reported to be seriously ill. I usually don't reprint my columns, but I think this one deserves to be revisited at this time, if nothing more than to counterbalance the worldwide outpouring of canonization hyperbole that has been going on since he died. So in the interest of telling the whole truth concerning the man and his life, here it is.)
When he finally does go, he will be hailed by the Left as one of the greatest men the world has ever known. Movie stars and other pop celebrities will be calling him nothing short of a saint. For decades the man has been revered in the media as a freedom fighter and liberator.
Obama has very recently compared him to George Washington. But, as someone once said, facts are stubborn things. Most things in life are not purely black and white (Sorry about the word play).
Mandela is beloved by the Left because he fought against capitalism and the white man. Towards that end, Mandela was a communist and a terrorist. He was a member of the South African Communist Party. He co-founded Umkhonto we Sizwe, a terrorist organization that killed civilians, including children. Fast food outlets and supermarkets were favored targets.
In addition to terrorist bombings, the military wing of the African National Congress tortured and executed suspected government agents. Post-apartheid South Africa is ruled by the ANC and the South African Communist Party. The ruling ANC defines itself as a "disciplined force of the left." But when he dies, you won't be hearing anything about this part of the man's legacy.
Today's South Africa, the one that Mandela helped create, has declined to the status of the world's most violent and crime-ridden country. As Reuters and NBC News reported last November, "In a country cursed by one of the world's highest murder rates, being a white farmer makes a violent death an even higher risk. Some of South Africa's predominantly white commercial farmers go as far as to brand the farm killings a genocide."
Populist leader Julius Malema and the ANC's youth wing are demanding that white-owned land be turned over to black South Africans and this incites the barbarous murders.
This is the legacy of Nelson Mandela.
Through the years, Mandela's pals included communists and dictators like Fidel Castro, Moammar Qaddafi, Yasser Arafat and Saddam Hussein. His public statements have always been critical of western democratic countries, the USA in particular, while praising communistic regimes and dictatorships. Check out these few examples in his own words:
When he and his wife travelled to Cuba in 1991 to celebrate the communist revolution with Castro, he said, "Long live the Cuban Revolution. Long live comrade Fidel Castro... Cuban internationalists have done so much for African independence, freedom, and justice. We admire the sacrifices of the Cuban people in maintaining their independence and sovereignty in the face of a vicious imperialist campaign designed to destroy the advances of the Cuban revolution. We too want to control our destiny... There can be no surrender. It is a case of freedom or death. The Cuban revolution has been a source of inspiration to all freedom-loving people."
Mandela, in a September 2002 interview in Newsweek, shared his opinion on the Iraq war situation and said, "You will come to the conclusion that the attitude of the United States of America is a threat to world peace."
In February 2003 he was reported as saying, "if there is a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities in the world, it is the United States of America...Iraq produces 64 percent of the oil in the world. What Bush wants is to get hold of that oil." (By the way, his Iraq stat is bogus. Iraq produced about 5 percent.)
But Mandela's views have always been anti-American and pro-Communist from the very beginning. In his book "The Struggle is My Life", a collection of his writings, there's this, in a piece dated 1958: "...the people of Asia and Africa have seen through the slanderous campaign conducted by the U.S.A. against the Socialist countries. They know that their independence is threatened not by any of the countries in the Socialist camp but by the U.S.A., who has surrounded their continent with military bases. The Communist bogey is an American stunt to distract the attention of the people of Africa from the real issue facing them, namely, American imperialism. (pp 76)"
Keep these facts in mind when Mandela passes away and you see crowds gathering in the streets, flowers stacking up in piles ten feet high, and you hear speeches from dewy-eyed world leaders lauding Mandela's life. Yes, Mandela was a revolutionary figure but not all revolutions are equal. Napoleon was a revolutionary, as was Lenin, as was Mao. When it comes to revolutionaries, I don't know if Mandela is another Mao, but he is certainly no George Washington. Not even George Washington Carver.
This paragraph was certainly proved right
A man who embraced brutal dictators throughout the Third World, such as Libya's Gaddafi and Cuba's Castro, singing their praises and defending them publicly even as they trampled on the rights and lives of their own people.
A person who hugged Yasser Arafat at the height of the intifada, hailed Puerto Rican terrorists who shot US Congressmen, and penned a book titled, How to be a good Communist.
Picture all this and, believe it or not, you will be staring at a portrait of Nelson Mandela.
The death of the South African statesman has elicited an outpouring of tributes around the world, with various leaders and media outlets vying to outdo one another in their praise of the man.
Highlighting his principled stand against apartheid, and his firm determination to erect a new, post-racial and color-blind South Africa, many observers have hailed Mandela in glowing terms, as though he were a saint free of blemish and clean of sin.
But such accolades not only miss the mark, they distort history in a dangerous and damaging way and betray the legacy of Mandela himself.
Take, for example, the editorial in The Dallas Morning News, which likened Mandela to Moses and labeled him "the conscience of the world."
And then there was Peter Oborne, the UK Telegraph's chief political commentator, who wrote a piece entitled, "Few human beings can be compared to Jesus Christ. Nelson Mandela was one."
Even taking into account Mandela's astonishing accomplishments and harrowing life story, he is far from being the angel that much of the media is making him out to be.
After all, in 1961, Mandela co-founded Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation), the armed wing of the African National Congress, which undertook a campaign of violence and bloodshed against the South African regime that included bombings, sabotage and the elimination of political opponents.
Indeed, in his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, Mandela justified a car-bomb attack perpetrated by the ANC in May 1983 which killed 19 people and wounded over 200, including many innocent civilians, asserting that, "such accidents were the inevitable consequence of the decision to embark on a military struggle."
His record of support for the use of violence and terror was such that even the lefties at Amnesty International declined to classify him as a "political prisoner" because "Mandela had participated in planning acts of sabotage and inciting violence." No less distasteful was Mandela's unbounded affection for international rogues, thugs and killers.
Shortly after his release from prison in February 1990, he publicly embraced PLO chairman Yasser Arafat while on a visit to Lusaka, Zambia. The move came barely a month after a series of letter-bombs addressed to Jewish and Christian leaders were discovered at a Tel Aviv post office.
Three months later, on May 18, 1990, Mandela decided to pay a visit to Libya, where he gratefully accepted the International Gaddafi Prize for Human Rights from dictator Col. Muammar Gaddafi, whom he referred to as "our brother."
While there, Mandela told journalists, "The ANC has, on numerous occasions, maintained that the PLO is our comrade in arms in the struggle for the liberation of our respective countries. We fully support the combat of the PLO for the creation of an independent Palestinian state."
The following month, on his first visit to New York in June 1990, Mandela heaped praise on four Puerto Rican terrorists who had opened fire in the US House of Representatives in 1954, wounding five congressmen.
"We support the cause," Mandela said, "of anyone who is fighting for self-determination, and our attitude is the same, no matter who it is. I would be honored to sit on the platform with the four comrades whom you refer to" (New York Times, June 22, 1990).
Even in later years, he maintained a fondness for those who used violence to achieve their aims. In November 2004, when Arafat died, Mandela mourned his old friend, saying that "Yasser Arafat was one of the outstanding freedom fighters of this generation." Now you might be wondering: why is any of this important? It matters for the same reason that the historical record matters: to provide us and future generations with lessons to be learned and pitfalls to be avoided.
By painting Mandela solely in glowing terms and ignoring his violent record, the media and others are falsifying history and concealing the truth.
They are putting on a pedestal a man who excused the use of violence against civilians and befriended those with blood on their hands.
By all means, celebrate the transformation that Mandela brought about in his country, the freedom and liberties that he upheld, and the process of reconciliation that he oversaw. But to gloss over or ignore his failings and flaws is hagiography, not history.
And that is something Mandela himself would not have wanted.
In 1999, after he stepped down as South African president after one term in office, he said, "I wanted to be known as Mandela, a man with weaknesses, some of which are fundamental, and a man who is committed, but nevertheless, sometimes he fails to live up to expectations."
Sure, we all need heroes, figures who seem to soar above our natural human limitations and inspire us to strive for greatness.
But Mandela was not Superman. He was neither born on Krypton nor did he wear a large letter "S" on his chest along with a red cape.
He was a flawed human being, full of contradictions and shortcomings, a man who alternately extolled violence and reconciliation according to whether it suited his purposes to do so.
And that is how it would be best to remember him.
The guff about forgiveness that has been gushing forth since the death of Nelson Mandela is really quite... well, unforgivable.
Mandela is rightly much admired for having rejected hatred and making an accommodation with his erstwhile persecutors rather than seeking revenge. This was indeed the behaviour of a statesman and a remarkable individual, and it would be wonderful if others could emulate that.
However, the context is all-important. First, you can only forgive your persecutor if you are in a position to do so - if you have won political power over them, or even more fundamentally if you have survived any attempt by them to harm you.
And second, while you are entitled to forgive someone who has done harm to you personally, you are not entitled to forgive those who have not done you any harm but have done harm to others. Only the victim is in a position to forgive. If others do so, this is a presumptuousness which can lead straight to gross injustice or worse. There can be no forgivenness for Stalin, Hitler or Mao. To 'forgive' them would be to betray their victims and negate their suffering.
Obvious as these points may appear to some, for many others they are not self-evident at all. On the contrary, the prevalent mood in the west holds that compromise and accommodation are always preferable to conflict or war; that in the interests of 'peace', you must somehow blind yourself to the fact that the other guys are continuing to butcher people or even still intending to kill or conquer you. Not so much forgivenness as a 'get out of jail free' card.
It is a view which does not acknowledge the crucial difference between magnanimity in victory and surrender to an active enemy. Nor does it recognise the difference between odious regimes which may give ground in their own interests, as happened in apartheid-era South Africa, and fanatical regimes which view any compromise merely as a faster way to achieve their infernal ends, as is the case today with Iran. It thus leads straight to the appeasement of the unappeasable and the victory of evil over good.
In today's climate, however, where good and bad have become relative concepts, people have increasingly lost the will to fight for the former against the latter. They would rather reach an accommodation, even with active enemies. But you cannot split the difference between good and evil, for what you end up with is merely a sanitised form of that evil.
Moreover, with the distinction between good and bad now very blurred, the division that is now deemed to count instead is between victims and oppressors. The result of that deeply questionable distinction is that bad behaviour by those perceived as victims is ignored, tolerated or condoned (while good behaviour by those perceived as oppressors is correspondingly denied). So the appalling savagery by the ANC in burning perceived 'traitors' alive through 'necklacing', for example, is all too easily 'forgiven' - indeed, forgotten - by those who believed the ANC could not themselves be oppressors because they were victims. And how does one square Mandela's signature characteristic of forgiveness, which in the eyes of so many turned him into a figure of unimpeachable goodness, with his embrace of Soviet communism, which persecuted, imprisoned and murdered so many millions of people?
In similar vein, it is hard not to conclude that substituting 'truth and reconciliation' for justice against the Afrikaners who oppressed black south Africans, as well as failing to act against those black south Africans who burned people alive, might well be the reason many fear a bloodbath now that the restraining presence of Mandela himself has departed. It is why criminal trials are necessary against war criminals, Nazi or otherwise, without limit of time - not just to obtain justice for their victims, but because unless a society expresses its collective abhorrence of such deeds, it is more likely to commit them again in the future.
Forgiveness may be necessary for an individual to move from darkness into light; but justice is essential if a society is to be civilised. Forgiveness is a great virtue; but it can never be at the expense of the fundamental moral distinction between right and wrong, good and bad. To make it so, as many are now doing over Mandela's legacy, is another example of the vicious culture of sentimentalisation to which the morally confused west is now unfortunately all too prone.
In 1990, Mandela likened Israel to a "terrorist state" and declared that "we do not regard the PLO as a terrorist organization.
Nelson Mandela has already been mourned by many Jews around the world. And for good reasons. When Mandela was released from prison by de Klerk, he showed statesmanship and reconciliation rather than revenge.
But his biography reveals that he was an enemy of the Israeli people.
A post-apartheid Pretoria that joins in boycotting Jerusalem is one of the more powerful victories for the boycott and divestment campaign. And it's Nelson Mandela's legacy.
Historically, black leaders in South Africa such as Desmond Tutu viewed the Jews as a part of the "capitalist camp", and therefore exploitative of the blacks. Neo Mnumzama, chief representative of the ANC (Mandela's party) at the United Nations, called Zionism an "ally of apartheid" and "an accomplice in the perpetuation of the crimes of Pretoria against the South African people".
In Mandela's twisted version, Israel and South Africa - both, in his view, under apartheid rule - were small bastions of Western interests surrounded by a larger and non-Western people; both governed hostile majorities, using force and denying rights to subjugate them; both were run by nationalistic, racist governments unwilling to grant rights to these people but anxious to exploit labor.
Mandela always made it clear that those who are the enemies of the Jews are not necessarily his enemies.
In 2000, the American Jewish Committee cancelled a Washington luncheon scheduled to honor Mandela after he said that 13 Jews tried for "espionage" in Iran were receiving a "fair trial".
Mandela laid a wreath on the grave of Ayatollah Khomeini, the father of the Iranian revolution, warmly greeting his successor, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. "We are indebted to the Islamic Revolution", Mandela proclaimed. It is the same Mandela who claimed that Communist Cuba had achieved the "systematic eradication of racism".
In 1990, Mandela likened Israel to a "terrorist state" and declared that "we do not regard the PLO as a terrorist organization. If one has to refer to any parties as a terrorist state, one might refer to the Israeli government because they are the people who are slaughtering defenseless and innocent Arabs in the occupied territories".
Mandela should have raised Jewish eyebrows when in 1990 he embraced Arafat in Lusaka, Zambia, likening the Palestinian-Israeli conflict to the struggle against South African apartheid. "If the truth alienates the powerful Jewish community in South Africa, that's too bad", said Mandela.
During a trip to Libya, Mandela declared that "we consider ourselves to be comrades in arms to the Palestinian Arabs in their struggle for the liberation of Palestine. There is not a single citizen in South Africa who is not ready to stand by his Palestinian brothers in their legitimate fight against the Zionist racists".
In September 1990, addressing the Reform congregation of Johannesburg, Mandela said: "If Zionism means the right of the Jewish people to seize territory and deny the Palestinian people the right to self-determination, we condemn it".
In 1999 Mandela supported the Palestinian Arab use of violence. With Arafat seated next to him in Gaza, Mandela declared: "All men and women with vision choose peace rather than confrontation, except in cases where we cannot proceed, where we cannot move forward. Then if the only alternative is violence, we will use violence".
A few weeks later, the Palestinian Arabs began the Second Intifada. 2,000 Jewish civilians have since been killed in suicide attacks and shootings. When the terrorist Arafat died, Mandela called him "outstanding freedom fighter".
Then Israel's President Ezer Weizmann said of Mandela: "He calls Arafat by his first name, Yasser. They embraced, and he said he and Arafat were brothers. I said: 'Then, Mr. President, we are cousins'".
Nelson Mandela might be a symbol of goodness for many, but for Israel's Jews he has been an enabler of anti-Semitism.
an unknown South African
... READS LIKE A FAIRY TALE, MR ZUMA
-19 years of ANC rule unemployment has gone up by 60% !!
- South Africa is now the rape capital of the world
- After 19 years of ANC rule we have achieved the dubious distinction of being 140th on a world list of 144 countries for our education department.
- We are officially the country where the most hijacks take place
- We are also on the top ten list for the most murders
- In 19 years the rand/dollar has gone from R3.41 to R10.00
- During ANC rule the petrol price has gone from R1.73 to R12.83 per litre
- In 19 years our defence force has gone from being the iron fist of Africa to a laughing stock that can't defend Disneyland from an invasion of fluffy toys
- On the list of most corrupt governments they have given us a special place right at the top
- In 19 years we have ten times more people in squatter camps and 1000% more illegal immigrants
- In 19 years our roads, railways, military, police, municipal services, old age homes, hospitals and orphanages have literally fallen apart and are worth nothing anymore
- No other country on the planet has more convicted criminals in their parliament than us!!
- 25% of all South African school girls are HIV+
- Our school girls had 100 000 abortions last year
- We have one of the highest unemployment rates in the world
* Regarding Aids in Africa: there is a superstition out there, particularly in South Africa, that Aids can be cured by having sex with a girl who is a virgin. So they play safe in choosing a virgin by raping young - very young - girls, many of them children.
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