R.I.P. : Nelson Mandela

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from miscricket. Show miscricket's posts

    Re: R.I.P. : Nelson Mandela

    Indeed. The world lost a great man today. Would that we had more leaders like him....

  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from dcr400m. Show dcr400m's posts

    Re: R.I.P. : Nelson Mandela

    Mandela wa able to transition a new government before he left jail - He was a true leader who will never be forgotten - rest in peace SIR!


  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from andiejen. Show andiejen's posts

    Re: R.I.P. : Nelson Mandela

    Below is a boston.com story on the death of this courageous man, though there are not enough words to do justice to this remarkable human being.

    May you rest in eternal peace. God Bless You, Mr. Mandela.


    Nelson Mandela, 20th century colossus, dies at 95   By CHRISTOPHER TORCHIA and MARCUS ELIASON  /  Associated Press  / December 5, 2013      

    JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Nelson Mandela, who became one of the world’s most beloved statesmen and a colossus of the 20th century when he emerged from 27 years in prison to negotiate an end to white minority rule in South Africa, has died. He was 95.

    South African President Jacob Zuma made the announcement at a news conference late Thursday, saying ‘‘we've lost our greatest son.’’

    His death closed the final chapter in South Africa’s struggle to cast off apartheid, leaving the world with indelible memories of a man of astonishing grace and good humor. Rock concerts celebrated his birthday. Hollywood stars glorified him on screen. And his regal bearing, graying hair and raspy voice made him instantly recognizable across the globe.

    As South Africa’s first black president, the ex-boxer, lawyer and prisoner No. 46664 paved the way to racial reconciliation with well-chosen gestures of forgiveness. He lunched with the prosecutor who sent him to jail, sang the apartheid-era Afrikaans anthem at his inauguration, and traveled hundreds of miles to have tea with the widow of Hendrik Verwoerd, the prime minister at the time he was imprisoned.

    His most memorable gesture came when he strode onto the field before the 1995 Rugby World Cup final in Johannesburg. When he came on the field in South African colors to congratulate the victorious South African team, he brought the overwhelmingly white crowd of 63,000 to its feet, chanting ‘‘Nelson! Nelson! Nelson!’’


    For he had marched headlong into a bastion of white Afrikanerdom — the temple of South African rugby — and made its followers feel they belonged in the new South Africa.

    At the same time, Mandela was himself uneasy with the idea of being an icon and he did not escape criticism as an individual and a politician, though much of it was muted by his status as a unassailable symbol of decency and principle. As president, he failed to craft a lasting formula for overcoming South Africa’s biggest post-apartheid problems, including one of the world’s widest gaps between rich and poor. In his writings, he pondered the heavy cost to his family of his decision to devote himself to the struggle against apartheid.

    He had been convicted of treason and sentenced to life imprisonment in 1964 for leading a campaign of sabotage against the government, and sent to the notorious Robben Island prison. It was forbidden to quote him or publish his photo, yet he and other jailed members of his banned African National Congress were able to smuggle out messages of guidance to the anti-apartheid crusade.

    As time passed — the ‘‘long, lonely, wasted years,’’ as he termed them — international awareness of apartheid grew more acute. By the time Mandela turned 70 he was the world’s most famous political prisoner. Such were his mental reserves, though, that he turned down conditional offers of freedom from his apartheid jailers and even found a way to benefit from confinement.

    ‘‘People tend to measure themselves by external accomplishments, but jail allows a person to focus on internal ones; such as honesty, sincerity, simplicity, humility, generosity and an absence of variety,’’ Mandela says in one of the many quotations displayed at the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg. ‘‘You learn to look into yourself.’’

    Thousands died, were tortured and were imprisoned in the decades-long struggle against apartheid, so that when Mandela emerged from prison in 1990, smiling and waving to the crowds, the image became an international icon of freedom to rival the fall of the Berlin Wall.

    South Africa’s white rulers had portrayed Mandela as the spearhead of a communist revolution and insisted that black majority rule would usher in the chaos and bloodshed that had beset many other African countries as they shook off colonial rule.

    Yet since apartheid ended, South Africa has held four parliamentary elections and elected three presidents, always peacefully, setting an example on a continent where democracy is still new and fragile. Its democracy has flaws, and the African National Congress has struggled to deliver on promises. It is a front runner ahead of 2014 elections, but corruption scandals and other missteps have undercut some of the promise of earlier years.

    ‘‘We have confounded the prophets of doom and achieved a bloodless revolution. We have restored the dignity of every South African,’’ Mandela said shortly before stepping down as president in 1999 at age 80.

    Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born July 18, 1918, the son of a tribal chief in Transkei, one of the future ‘‘Bantustans,’’ independent republics set up by the apartheid regime to cement the separation of whites and blacks.Continued...




  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from andiejen. Show andiejen's posts

    Re: R.I.P. : Nelson Mandela

    In response to miscricket's comment:

    Indeed. The world lost a great man today. Would that we had more leaders like him....


    Imagine that indeed, cricket. How incredibly fortunate we were to have this amazing human being.

    Our sadness at his passing is of course as it should be.

    It time, for those of us who recognize the greatness of this man, it will be replaced, as it usually is when we lose someone of this magnitude, by all that he did, all that he stood for.

    His legacy will live forever. Men never do, but their legacacies, if warranted do live on.

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  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from sshore123. Show sshore123's posts

    Re: R.I.P. : Nelson Mandela

    Still in awe that he never once looked to exact any sort of retribution for the decades of his life he lost while in prision.  A model of human decency

  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from UserName9. Show UserName9's posts

    Re: R.I.P. : Nelson Mandela

    “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from UserName9. Show UserName9's posts

    Re: R.I.P. : Nelson Mandela

    Ronald Reagan was angry. It was October 1986, and his veto against the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act had just been overridden — and by a Republican-controlled Senate, at that.

    He had appeared on TV a month earlier to warn Americans against the Anti-Apartheid Act, decrying it as "immoral" and "utterly repugnant." Congress disagreed, and one month later, it produced the two-thirds majority needed to override Reagan and pass tough new measures against South Africa's apartheid government. These measures included a ban on bank loans and new investments in South Africa, a sharp reduction of imports, and prevented most South African officials from traveling to the United States. The Act also called for the repeal of apartheid laws and the release of political prisoners like African National Congress (ANC) leader Nelson Mandela, who had spent the last 23 years in prison.

    It is difficult to fully comprehend the evils of apartheid today. Blacks were denied citizenship and the right to vote. They were forcibly relocated into impoverished reservations. People of color were barred from operating businesses or owning land inside white areas, which comprised most of the country. Sexual relations or marriage between people of color and whites was strictly forbidden. Racial segregation was enforced in public areas, including schools, hospitals, trains, beaches, bridges, churches and theaters. To enforce apartheid, the government often resorted to police brutality, the imprisonment and assassination of political dissidents, and the murder of black protesters.

    The United States had a complicated relationship with South Africa. Hawks in the U.S. national security complex had argued since 1948 that South Africa was an important ally in the fight against communism. Their arguments persuaded presidents from Truman to Nixon to stifle criticisms of apartheid in the interest of maintaining good relations with the white South African government, whose leaders surpassed Joseph McCarthy in their anticommunist zeal.

    Richard Nixon believed that American interests could best be served by working with the white Afrikaner government to thwart Soviet designs in Africa. The U.S. would discourage black resistance to apartheid, as such revolutionary fervor could only play into the hands of communists. Nixon and his National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger thus continued the same tragic trajectory initiated by Truman and Eisenhower by misreading nationalistic aspirations around the globe as communist uprisings. South Africa was forced into a bipolar fairy-tale in which U.S. inaction over apartheid seemed justified. Jimmy Carter tried to break with this pattern upon taking office by making apartheid a front-and-center issue, but he, too, gave way before the altar of national security and the belief that South Africa was needed as a partner in the fight against communism.

    In Ronald Reagan's first term, a series of anti-apartheid protests erupted across South Africa. The Afrikaner government's response was merciless: over 2,000 blacks were killed, and almost 30,000 more were incarcerated as political prisoners. Military forces detained 3,000 black children. Americans watched the horror unfold on TV as white South African troops attacked black protesters with tanks, guns, whips, and attack dogs, evoking disturbing parallels to America's own not-so-distant racial strife in places like Selma, Birmingham, and Chicago.

    The State Department warned that it would be premature to act, and urged Congress not to give in to emotional appeals for action. Reagan's newly appointed assistant secretary for African affairs, Chester Crocker, argued for an approach he optimistically dubbed "constructive engagement:"

    "We continue to suffer from an inflated notion of American power despite considerable contrary evidence … since the power to coerce Pretoria is not in American hands, the limited influence available should be carefully husbanded for specific application to concrete issues of change ... If that means that the United States becomes engaged in what some observers label as only 'amelioration,' so be it ..."

    Senator Paul Tsongas (D–Mass.) disagreed with the administration's passive approach:

    "I think ultimately there is a moral responsibility to look back at one's stewardship and say, we made a difference. And the fact is, there has not been a difference."

    Appalled by the rising violence, Americans began calling for action. Randall Robinson at TransAfrica, an advocacy group that had been founded with help from the Congressional Black Caucus, staged a sit-in at the South African embassy in Washington, D.C. — an act repeated by others across the country almost 6,000 times over the next two years. Americans across the political spectrum pressured their government to take action, and within months Congress began working on economic sanctions against South Africa.

    Not everyone agreed.

    Conservatives believed the U.S. had no business hectoring the South African government over apartheid. Senator Jesse Helms (R–N.C.), the Senate's leading race-baiter, took the Senate floor to filibuster on behalf of the apartheid government of South Africa. Helms was an old pro at using the filibuster: he had launched a similar one three years earlier against establishing a national holiday to honor Martin Luther King, Jr. He was joined by like-minded conservatives including noted segregationist Strom Thurmond (R–S.C.) and future presidential hopeful Phil Gramm (R–Texas) in voting against the bill's final passage. Over in the House, Representative Dick Cheney (R–Wyo.) joined the minority in opposing the Anti-Apartheid Act. In earlier battles over South Africa, Cheney had denounced Nelson Mandela as a terrorist and argued against his release.

    But conservatives were unable to stop the majority from acting. Congress approved the bill and sent it to President Reagan.

    He vetoed it.

    Reagan took his case directly to the people on a live TV broadcast. He echoed Crocker in urging Americans to be patient with South Africa's apartheid government. Reagan argued that sanctions would disproportionately hurt black South Africans without significantly undermining apartheid, and blamed black extremists for contributing to the violence. Change, if it were to come at all, would happen incrementally. He believed he had sold his case effectively, and considered the matter closed.

    Back in the Senate, Edward Kennedy chastised Republicans for Reagan's actions:

    "The Republican Party is at a crossroads. It must decide whether it wants to be the party of Lincoln or the party of apartheid."

    Under considerable pressure, Republican moderates rallied. Thirty-seven (37) out of 53 Republican senators joined their Democratic colleagues to pass the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act over Reagan's veto. Conservatives fumed, but they were powerless to stop the law from passing. It was the first time in the 20th century that a presidential veto on a foreign policy issue had been overturned.

    Reagan issued a tersely worded response:

    "I deeply regret that Congress has seen fit to override my veto of the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986. Punitive sanctions, I believe, are not the best course of action; they hurt the very people they are intended to help ... [T]his will not solve the serious problems that plague that country."

    But he was wrong.

    Despite inconsistent enforcement by the Reagan administration, the law triggered a wave of international divestment in the apartheid regime. Banks refused to renew loans to South Africa. Foreign investment dried up, and exports to the U.S. and other countries contracted significantly. The enormous capital flight caused a dramatic decline in the exchange rate of the rand, and in 1989, Prime Minister P.W. Botha resigned. His successor, F.W. de Klerk, announced in his opening address to Parliament the end of the ban against the ANC and other black liberation groups, freedom of the press, and the release of all political prisoners. A few days later, Nelson Mandela walked out of Robben Island a free man after spending 27 years behind bars. Four years later, he was elected South Africa's first black president in the post-apartheid era.


    Republican moderates deserve credit for having the courage to go against Reagan in passing the Anti-Apartheid Act. Though denounced by conservatives for their actions, they held firm. As a result, the United States directly contributed to the liberation of millions of people from one of the world's most oppressive regimes. It was a Wilsonian vision of America's ability to create positive change in the world, and it wouldn't have happened without Republicans working in common purpose with Democrats. When Newt Gingrich later became Speaker of the House, his partisan leadership style would make such collaboration all but impossible. But that was still eight years away, and for the moment members of both parties could take pride in what they had accomplished together.

    Those who preached delay in fighting apartheid often pointed to the hopeless complexity of the situation. But to many Republicans in 1986, the issue was obvious:


  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from MattyScornD. Show MattyScornD's posts

    Re: R.I.P. : Nelson Mandela

    I can't think of a more powerfully eloquent, important, or dignified proponent of peace and justice in my lifetime.

    The man truly walked it like he talked it every single day of his life.

    His legacy will endure forever.



  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from portfilio. Show portfilio's posts

    Re: R.I.P. : Nelson Mandela



    Reagan, Strom Thurmond, and D1ck Cheney all voted against the USA's efforts to end Apartheid.  Thankfully moderates in Congress from both parties overrode Reagan's veto of the legislation to end cooperation with the fascist regime.


    Today Cheney expresses no regret over his stupidity.