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Member since: Thu Sep 25, 2008, 03:38 PM
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Remembering the Conservative (Republican) Position Regarding Apartheid...

This is an old article, but it does clearly point out how then-prominent US conservatives regarded both apartheid and Nelson Mandela:

Tuesday, Aug 1, 2000 03:00 AM CDT
Conservative whitewash
Dick Cheney is relying on our cultural amnesia to wipe away his record on South Africa.

Joe Conason

“Whitewashing” is the only word to describe the weak explanations offered by Dick Cheney about his votes on South Africa during the apartheid era. Ever since the peaceful advent of democracy in Pretoria, politicians like Cheney who habitually coddled the old racist regime have escaped accountability for their actions. And he is still relying on our customary national amnesia to wave away the questions raised by his vice presidential nomination.

For American conservatives who misused their influence to defend apartheid, the controversy over Cheney’s congressional voting record actually presents an opportunity to own up to their terrible mistakes. Unfortunately, however, Cheney and his supporters have prevaricated and obfuscated rather than admitting forthrightly that they were on the wrong side. This disingenuous response is a poor start for a man who boasts that he and George W. Bush will restore straight talk and integrity to the White House.


Contrary to his sentimentalized recollection of that period, some people were indeed in favor of keeping Mandela behind bars and keeping South African blacks in bondage. The roster of infamy begins with Ronald Reagan, who upon becoming president in 1981 immediately reversed the Carter administration’s policy of pressuring the Afrikaner minority toward democracy and human rights. In an early interview with CBS newsman Walter Cronkite, Reagan called South Africa a “friendly nation” whose reliable anticommunism and wealth of strategic minerals justified stronger ties between Washington and Pretoria.

Overtly and covertly, the Reagan administration moved to strengthen the apartheid regime. Jeanne Kirkpatrick, then the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, fought every attempt to impose sanctions. The late William Casey, as director of the Central Intelligence Agency, intensified cooperation with the South African Bureau of State Security and military intelligence agencies. He went so far as to secretly visit Pretoria to confer with the racist murderers who ran those agencies.



History Retrieved in Spite of the NYT: The iconicity of “peaceful resistance”

The iconicity of “peaceful resistance”
by Three Fingered Fox on December 6, 2013

Before it falls down the memory hole, it should be noted that the online US edition of the New York Times marked the sad passing of the great Nelson Mandela with this odd headline: “Nelson Mandela, South African Icon of Peaceful Resistance, Dies”. (They’ve since changed it to “South Africa’s…Moral Center”, which sounds like a place FIFA could have held business ethics conventions during the last World Cup.)

“Icon of Peaceful Resistance” makes it sound like Mandela was an advocate and practitioner of nonviolence. He wasn’t. Apartheid was above all a socioeconomic system of structured viciousness: the whites were not going to give up their advantages without a fight. The struggle against Apartheid was necessarily bloody. The symbolic force of an “icon”, no matter how noble its martyrdom, could not have defeated Apartheid. It had to be defeated at the cost of lives. Mandela always knew this.

Mandela founded and ran Umkhonto we Sizwe, the paramilitary wing of the ANC, which carried out armed resistance and a bombing campaign. The bombings mostly targeted high-profile pieces of property, but were nevertheless responsible for many civilian deaths. Umkhonto we Sizwe also executed collaborators.



History from the site South African History Online (http://www.sahistory.org.za/)

uMkhonto weSizwe (MK)

On 16 December this year, it will have been 50 years since Umkhonto weSizwe (MK) was launched as an armed wing of the African National Congress (ANC).

To mark this anniversary, SAHO will be updating this feature, specifically, the organisation’s history in exile; focusing on its activities in numerous countries in Southern Africa. Countries that will be covered in this series include Angola, Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Tanzania.

The presence of MK in countries like Angola and Lesotho has been covered in some detail in the past, so it was easy to start off this series of histories with these 2 countries. Our challenge is now to develope material on those exile histories that have not been covered in detail. If you have any information that you feel should be added to this feature, from names of unsung heroes to information about certain campaigns and camps.



It is interesting what is forgotten.

US embarrassment at terror list inclusion
Saturday, December 07, 2013

In 2008, just before his 90th birthday, the United States gave Nelson Mandela a special present, striking him from a decades-old terror watch list and ending what US officials called “a rather embarrassing matter”.


In the 1980s however, late Democratic US senator Ted Kennedy drafted legislation with senator Lowell Weicker that would eventually become one of the global catalysts leading to the collapse of the apartheid system.

President Ronald Reagan sought to bury their 1986 anti-apartheid bill aiming to impose economic sanctions on South Africa, by imposing his veto, saying he believed it would only lead to more violence and repression for black South Africans.

But for the first and only time that century, Congress rebelled and overrode Reagan’s veto on a foreign policy issue, passing legislation that slapped sanctions on Pretoria, snapped direct air links and cut vital aid.



Here is the US government record of the US Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986 and some of its legislative history:

Latest Title: Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986
Sponsor: Rep Gray, William H., III [PA-2] (introduced 5/21/1986) Cosponsors (106)
Related Bills: H.RES.478, H.RES.548, H.R.997, H.R.1098, S.2701
Latest Major Action: 10/2/1986 Became Public Law No: 99-440.


5/21/1986 Introduced in House
6/11/1986 House Committee on Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs Discharged by Unanimous Consent.
6/13/1986 Reported to House (Amended) by House Committee on Foreign Affairs. Report No: 99-638 (Part I).
6/16/1986 Reported to House (Amended) by House Committee on Ways and Means. Report No: 99-638 (Part II).
6/18/1986 Passed/agreed to in House: Passed House (Amended) by Voice Vote.
8/15/1986 Passed/agreed to in Senate: Passed Senate in lieu of S. 2701 with an amendment by Yea-Nay Vote. 84-14. Record Vote No: 252.
9/12/1986 Resolving differences -- House actions: House Agreed to Senate Amendments by Yea-Nay Vote: 308 - 77 (Record Vote No: 381).
9/12/1986 Cleared for White House.
9/15/1986 Presented to President.
9/26/1986 Vetoed by President.
9/29/1986 Passed House over veto: Passed House Over Veto by Yea-Nay Vote: 313 - 83 (Record Vote No: 425).
10/2/1986 Passed Senate over veto: Passed Senate over veto by Yea-Nay Vote. 78-21. Record Vote No: 311.
10/2/1986 Became Public Law No: 99-440.
Note: Public Law enacted over veto.



Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX): Slipping Down the Slide of History into the Dustbin of History

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX): "time index 36:20)... Because if we don't, we will slip down the slide of history into the dustbin of history, and people will only be able to look back and say what an amazing country that once was. I'm here in Congress because I believe we have the chance to salvage this great country and get back our international leadership we once had and stand for freedom of religion in the world and in America, but God help us if we don't. Mr. Speaker, I yield back."

Rep. Louie Gohmert is a shining example of American exceptionalism.

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