RIP Nelson Mandela

Discussion in 'Academy/Military News' started by hornetguy, Dec 5, 2013.

  1. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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  2. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    That he could endure so much and still be a forgiving leader for a country in such turmoil is a great testament to his character.
     
  3. Strength and Honor

    Strength and Honor Member

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  4. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    I don't judge the man, who was South African, for whether he was sufficiently pro-American or not. His concern was the world.
     
  5. Strength and Honor

    Strength and Honor Member

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    I'm not criticizing him for being anti-American, I'm criticizing him for being pro-Fidel Castro and pro-Gaddafi!
     
  6. -Bull-

    -Bull- Member

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    Hard to say I can't really feel bad for him. Yes, he did do some good, but his legacy leading up to his imprisonment is nothing I support. Including his allegiance to communist dictators and leading a terrorist organization.
     
  7. cb7893

    cb7893 Member

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    Citing RT? Are you kidding?

    S & H and Bull, I would suggest that you go back a read just what Apartheid was and what it meant to the Black, Asian descent, and mixed race South Africans. No civil rights and no support from the US and Great Britain even in their peaceful struggle.

    The Cold War was a complicated time. The ANC took money from whomever would give it. It is difficult to say nice things about the US when Reagan and Thatcher were both telling the Nationalists to hang tough.

    Thank goodness he and FW De Klerk had the wisdom to face down their own supporters", thereby avoiding what would have been a civil war of epic proportions. Forbearance on both their parts probably also saved Namibia and Botswana from falling into the same pit with Zimbabwe.
     
  8. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    All people have warts. Even great men. Undertakers don't necessarily enhance the appearance of the warts so they will be visible to all at the funeral. Remember the good the man did. His other views didn't seem to have much impact on history, or even South Africa, anyway.
     
  9. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    Why would he have been our friend? When he set out on his mission, the US was already supporting his opponent, that being a support based upon the 2-superpower model of world order (capitalism vs communism).
    I'm not sure his concern was the world (at least initially), more about his homeland. He was a patriot to his nation first.
    We have had other friends who were closer to our least favorite opponents than we would like. It is that black and white view of the world that tends to isolate countries and leads to conflict.
    Our history includes supporting a list of "dictators" and "people who lead a terrorist organizations". While you might see "allegiance", I'd say his allegiance to these folks is no better than many of our frenemies who are allegedly allied with us. I judge him more by what he did once he was no longer beholden to those who financed his rise to power. I can't say he made horrible political choices once he was no longer financially beholden to those undesirable allies.

    He was a politician - and a politician who ultimately didn't lose his bearing once he gained success. And it was an important bearing to his nation and to the world at large. There are very few others who can claim his level of success.
     
  10. -Bull-

    -Bull- Member

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    I'm not saying what Apartheid was, was much better. I've read about what went on. Lots of both sides died. I'm not saying I don't like who Mandela was, because I support his opponent. I don't support him because he was an avid Marxist and led the terrorist arm of ANC, who did some very bad things. He was made into a martyr. Noones ever really disputed his 27 years in prison, because you can't. Amnesty International wouldn't even touch it, because they knew what had happened. It's also why I said prior to his prison term. I do agree, he was able to leave some of it behind him once he was released, and did do good things after.

    Just because I'm younger, doesn't mean I'm supposed to eat what the media feeds me (look how it worked out for Ted Cruz). Everyone's entitled to an opinion of someone, and I'm not trying to change anybody else's. Based on the reading I've done, I simply don't care for "Madiba".
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2013
  11. Stevewar2

    Stevewar2 Member

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    Not a Fan

    I don't hold Mandela in exalted regard. Nothing specific, just no great shakes. However, our great community activist President is going to his funeral, but not did not go Margaret Thatcher's funeral? Really?
     
  12. NorwichDad

    NorwichDad Member

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    Well Said. Yesterdays enemies are todays friends and vice versa. The warts regress or grow through the passage of time and politics.

    Nelson, rest in peace.
     
  13. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Hell, I knew he'd be going before it was announced, so he could bask in the afterglow. That being said, there would be a large part of his base who would be upset with him if he didn't attend. The only people he upset by not attending Thatcher's funeral was his opposition. So... I'm cutting him a break... which I don't do often and only reluctantly.
     
  14. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    If you aren't eating what the media feed you, may I ask where you get your information from? I am assuming here you don't have first hand experience with Mandela, so your impression of him is based upon what has been written in some way shape or form by the "media" at one time or other.

    And while we are talking about Marxist, terrorists, shall we bring up another complicated historical leader who fits that profile who you might consider a friend of America... Moshe Dayan

    Grew up on a kibbutz (what most of us would call a commune). Joined a paramilitary organization to defend his people and was imprisoned for those activities by the British (yes, our friends the British). Got out and fought against the Vichy French during the remainder of the war. Led the forces in the fight for Israeli independence. A great military leader, but also a peacemaker as he was heavily involved with the Camp David accords which brought peace between Israel and Egypt. A left of center politician who also agreed to be foreign minister for the right of center Likud.

    A very complicated man with many conflicting alliances, but ultimately a man mostly interested in his homeland.

    Not a perfect parallel, but there are no perfect parallels for many of the great leaders of their countries.

    Ultimately Nelson Mandela had a tremendously positive affect on the nation of South Africa and much of the rest of that part of the world. South Africa serves as a model for how a country can move forward from a troubled past without repeating the mistakes. And there is no argument that without Mandela, South Africa would be a far worse place than it is today.
     
  15. EDelahanty

    EDelahanty Member

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    Obama has some relationship-mending to do which extends beyond domestic political considerations. Qadaffi was popular in a number of sub-Saharan countries, and South Africa, including Mandela was unhappy that the United States collaborated in his overthrow. During the 1980s Qadaffi had supported the ANC financially as well as with military training and Mandela remained grateful. The financial aid may have persisted In 1990 and again in 1997, Mandela defied our wishes and visited Qadaffi in Libya, and the Libyan dictator was welcomed to Mandela's swearing-in 1994. Mandela did not see things through an American prism

    I wonder in what regard do you hold F. W. deKlerk, Mandela's negotiating partner and Nobel Prize co-winner: courageous statesman, cynical pragmatist, or cowardly sellout?

    Mandela may or may not have been a Communist prior to his imprisonment in the early 1960s. At least one scholar, Stephen Ellis, has asserted that he probably was despite his denials. Certainly the ANC was closely allied with the South African Communist Party in protesting apartheid though it is unlikely Mandela ever shared many of Communism's ideals.

    Mandela can be accurately described as having been a terrorist, both by modern standards as well as those prevailing 50 years ago. However, this was a last resort. The ANC had for many years used passive resistance as its main tactic, persisting even as apartheid laws and restrictions were being tightened. But the ANC's military wing, headed by Mandela, was not formed until 1961, i.e., after the Sharpville massacre and the banning of political activity by the ANC. The surge in murderous activity by the ANC did not occur until the 1970s, by which time Mandela had been in prison for many years.

    If Mandela had been hung after the 1964 Rivonia trial, as he and his fellow defendants expected, his speech at the trial about the injustice of apartheid, would still be revered, possibly even more than it is now, because it would have been his last achievement. A sign of the transformation he helped to bring about after his release from prison can be seen in the following comparison. In the 1989 general election, the last one before the disbanding of apartheid, a total of 2.2 million votes were cast. In 1994, when the ANC accounted for 63% of the vote, a total of 19.5 million votes were cast.

    Fun facts: Apartheid was promulgated as a formal system following the victory of the Reunited National Party in the 1948 general elections. That party and its ally, the Afrikaner Party, gained control by winning a majority 79 of 153 seats and 42% of the popular vote. The incumbent United Party and its allies won a minority 74 seats but 58% of the popular vote. The reason for the disparity? Gerrymandering.
     
  16. NorwichDad

    NorwichDad Member

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    I think let's forget about the old enemies and starting gearing up for the newest foe, the Chinese, or until some one else comes along.:thumb:
     
  17. Strength and Honor

    Strength and Honor Member

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    Agreed! :biggrin:
     
  18. cb7893

    cb7893 Member

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    Who was the "right of center" Prime Minister in that gov't? Menachem Begin, who as the then leader of the "Irgun", approved the bombing of the British Admin Headquarters in the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. Almost 100 folks were killed, mostly hotel staff and paper pushers.

    His successor, Yitzakh Shamir, was a member of the "Stern Gang" which advocated a harder line towards the British than even the Irgun, to the point of making common cause with Italy and Germany against Great Britain in the run up to and in the early stages of WWII.

    History is loaded with characters whose pasts are forgotten or otherwise obscured. Successful ones; the one's with a generally accepted positive legacy share one thing, a willingness to compromise on issues held most dear by those who supported their rise to power and prominence. Those who don't fade into obscurity or ignominy.
     
  19. cb7893

    cb7893 Member

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    Mandela and De Klerk are examples of how winners and losers are supposed to conduct themselves after the struggle ends.

    Mandela avoided triumphalism at all costs: The country was not renamed. The free-market system protected. No nationalization of industries nor confiscation of private property. People also tend to forget that Mandela successfully held off forces of tribalism within the Black population.

    Most important he only served one term. Like George Washington (two terms) he walked away.

    De Klerk matter of factly admitted that the defenders of Apartheid lost in political terms, thereby taking armed struggle or revanchism off the table. He didn't leave the country. On the contrary, he continued to serve in gov't as a member of the loyal opposition.
     

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