Mandela dead but de Klerk yet lives.


 Nelson Mandela died today.  He was one of the 20th Century's great men.  Forebearing, and long suffering, he early turned from the path of violence.  I have never heard anyone suggest that he was personally anything other than a man of great itegrity and kindness.

The other man in the photo is Willem de Klerk, the last apartheid president of South Africa.  He and Mandela were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.  De Klerk made the key decision to yield political power in South Africa to majority rule.  He ordered Mandela released frm prison and served as vice-president in the new regime.  He still lives and is a lecturer across the world.

Two remarkable men.  pl

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94 Responses to Mandela dead but de Klerk yet lives.

  1. nick b says:

    I had the great pleasure of meeting Nelson Mandela at a reception at Gracie Mansion in 1992. I’m sure he met hundreds of people that day, but he was warm and seemed quite pleased to make my acquaintance. I recall he used both hands when shaking mine.

  2. Will Reks says:

    Remarkable indeed. I don’t think Mandela expected to die peacefully in his sleep.

  3. Tyler says:

    I guess I’ll be the spoiler.
    Mandela was some unholy amalgamation of Mugabe and Che, who introduced the world to “necklacing” in order to punish black collaborators and was singing “Kill the Boer” well into the 2000s. As far as I know he never renounced the violence inflicted against the white populace of South Africa after the end of apartheid.
    de Klerk was a coward who was more worried about being invited to cocktail parties by the “right” people and him and the rest of South Africa’s “elite” sold out their countrymen so they could get the luxuries they craved while they fled the mess they left behind for those that couldn’t afford villas in Europe and Canada.
    Between the two of them they turned a nuclear powered, first world nation into a third world hellhole where they sell portable flame throwers to keep you from getting carjacked and violent crimes are through the roof and resulted in a massive diaspora of the Afrikaaner people who could get out and the brutal existence of those who stayed behind.
    The BEST thing that could be said, IMHO, is that South Africa proves the saying “the road to Hell is paved with good intentions.”

  4. turcopolier says:

    Life is more than an opportunity to be ungracious. Irony. Irony. Irony. pl

  5. Tyler says:

    I’m still trying to learn poise, graciousness, and all the other subtle arts from observing you. You make it look easier than it is.

  6. turcopolier says:

    You see! It is not all that difficult. Irony. Irony. pl

  7. Many are alive that would otherwise be dead if Mandela had not lived!

  8. confusedponderer says:

    Re: Mandela’s leftist past …
    It didn’t take a commie to object to Apartheid.
    It casts a sad light on the Reaganites that they – to stereotype – were only able to perceive Mandela through the prism of the cold war, in which every lefty was an ally of Moscow, and thus had to be opposed, quite irrespective of what he was rebelling against.
    People tend to express themsleves in the language of the time, and at Mandela’s time that was largely a leftist language. And then, under pressure as intense as under Apartheid, for good or ill, or just for lack of choice, people tend to take whatever allies they can get just to survive.
    But with ideology it’s not as with Calvinism and predetermination – once a commie, and always a commie and thus forever damned. People can change and some do.
    Irrespective of Mandelas beliefs and associations, Mandela has done a lot of good, and for that he deserves credit.

  9. mo says:

    “resulted in a massive diaspora of the Afrikaaner people”?
    To those of us opposed to colonialism in all its forms, mission f********g accomplished!

  10. turcopolier says:

    How about us European descended Americans and Canadians? Should we be dispersed as well? The Boers have been in Africa just about as long. Who is a South African? A similar question can be asked of many “Arabs?” Should those descended from the Ottoman ruling class return to Turkey? How far back do you want to start in a search for legitimacy? pl

  11. turcopolier says:

    Baloney. Mandela was, as Tyler, says, a reformed terrorist/guerrilla nationalist. His conversion to non-violence seems to have occurred during his long prison term. Perhaps you have forgotten but there really was a Cold War and the outcome did matter, not least to Germany. pl

  12. turcopolier says:

    “Many are alive that would otherwise be dead if Mandela had not lived!” Explain to me how that is. Is along the line of argument that Abraham Lincoln was a great peace maker and humanitarian? pl

  13. turcopolier says:

    There is a lot of sentimentalist nonsense being said about Mandela. “Beginning on 16 December 1961, the campaign by Umkhonto we Sizwe with Mandela as its leader, launched bomb attacks on government targets and planned for possible guerrilla warfare.[6] The first target of the campaign was an electricity sub-station. Umkhonto we Sizwe undertook other acts of sabotage in the next eighteen months. The government alleged more acts of sabotage had been carried out and at the Rivonia trial the accused would be charged with 193 acts of sabotage in total.[7] The sabotage included attacks on government posts, machines, power facilities and crop burning.[5]” What a surprise that Reagan and Thatcher did not want to see this man take over the government. Wiki on Mandela. pl

  14. mo says:

    When someone such as Tyler complains that the colonial can no longer enjoy the comforts of the savagery of apartheid then I make no apology in welcoming them to go find a life elsewhere.

  15. turcopolier says:

    You did not answer my question. “the colonial?” How are Afrikaners whose ancestors arrived in Southern Africa in the 18th Century more “colonialists” than I am? pl

  16. Matthew says:

    Tyler: If the only way Afrikaner people survive in South Africa is by maintaining a brutal system of racial superiority, then they should go into the Disapora. And few would mourn their departure.
    When the South Africa government requires white South Africans to live in bantustans and carry internal passports, get back to us.

  17. Matthew says:

    Col: That’s easy. There is a big difference between stripping one ethnic group of privileges versus strippping it of rights. Whites can vote and hold office in the new South Africa. They are not being asked to carry internal passports. They are not relegated to bantustans. They just no longer have the privilege of ruling Blacks.

  18. turcopolier says:

    “there is a big difference between stripping one ethnic group of privileges versus strippping it of right” This is a good description of British behavior all over the world before WW2. Do you not consider the American Indian to be an oppressed people? I am still waiting for an answer to my question to “mo.” pl

  19. oofda says:

    And don’t forget the Anglos (from UK heritage)in South Africa- remember the Boer Wars. The social strata is complicated, with blacks, Anglos , Boers/Afrikaaners (Dutch descent), mixed-race, and those of Indian descent (think Ghandi). And the blacks are from different tribes.

  20. Tyler says:

    “Colonialism” hurr. Another leftist with emotional arguments. Yes the “colonials” who lived there for hundreds of years and built a country out of nothing are dying and fleeing en masse, but your moral superiority muscle is massaged.
    Meanwhile the colonization of then first world by the third continues to the cheers of many on the Left. Hypocrisy.

  21. Tyler says:

    Your moralistic declaratives and demand to meddle in someone else’s society would likely be recognizable to any Confederate.

  22. Fred says:

    Should we be freeing Mexico from thier ‘colonial’ elites? How about Peru, or Brazil?

  23. Rehmat says:

    A few months ago, Rabbi Dana Evan Kaplan, posted an article at the Jewish Daily Forward, titled, ‘The 2 Sides of Nelson Mandela’. In it he claims “the iconic figure not always perfect leader – especially for Jews“.

  24. Fred says:

    Perhaps you could enlighten us on the great deeds of Robert Mugabe, ‘liberator’ of Rhodesia?

  25. Matthew says:

    Col: I thought I had answered it implictly. Of course, white South Africans are real South Africans. I’m not sure how opposing white privilege implies believing in white illegitimacy. (I disagree with Mo.)
    We had white Rhodesians in our family. I think they had just as much right as Mugabe to live there. But they did not have a right by law to rule a black majority.
    I don’t support black rule in South Africa or Zimbabwe. I only support democratic rule. (BTW, Indians in South Africa are real South Africans too.)

  26. Matthew says:

    Col: Sorry for the double post, but I do not consider current Native Americans as oppressed people. It is my understanding that they are full citizens of the United States. See

  27. PL! Robert Ruark’s book “Something of Value” you might find of interest! In the end the transition was not solely by force or as bloody as it might have been IMO in S.Africa.
    Perhaps I am wrong. Ifs don’t really count in history.

  28. turcopolier says:

    I read it in the fifties when it was published. That was about Kenya. pl

  29. turcopolier says:

    Yes, they are citizens, but we took their lands by force and trickery did we not and we still call them “Redskins.” Sob. pl

  30. The beaver says:

    May be the rabbi should have done his homework:
    Mandela tailor was a gentleman by the name of Alfred Khan and his first job in J’Burg when he fled there was as a clerk in a Jewish law firm. He may not have had LOVE written over Israel (wrt Arafat) but he had many Jewish friends.

  31. The Twisted Genius says:

    You’re right in pointing out that a lot of sentimentalist nonsense is being said about Mandela. However, his leadership in Umkhonto we Sizwe and involvement in committing violent acts of sabotage against the South African government certainly do not mark him as a bad man. His preparing to wage guerrilla warfare is a plus in my book. Although I am not making a case for equivalence, the life of Saint Ignatius of Loyola springs to mind. “Go forth and set the world on fire” could characterize Mandela’s life as well.

  32. Charles I says:

    One cannot stop history Tyler. As I saw De Klerk on the news last night and thought of the surrender of the WMD program as quite an achievement as well. Even cynically as keeping it out of a mob’s hands. What would apartheid look like now were it not for these men? Would there would be no Prime Minister Mulroney, rallying to the cause all this time? Would the country not just be a terrorist wasteland? With loose nukes?

  33. turcopolier says:

    Charles I
    “One cannot stop history Tyler.” Wrong. History is not a river flowing in some particular direction. There is no inevitability at all about the events of the future. There is no “right side” of history. pl

  34. turcopolier says:

    There is something about the man that repels me in the same way as does Karzai and Arafat. Raising an insurgent force “does not mark him as a bad man.” No” Interesting that you do not think leading an armed revolt against the SA government does not make him a bad man. How many burned farmhouses and ambushed buses would it have taken to make you feel otherwise? Maybe I have seen too many destroyed buses to share your view. pl

  35. ISL says:

    Wow, this thread took an unexpected turn.
    And here I thought the irony of Netanyahu’s sorrow would be expressed, eventually Israel has a demographic choice – genocide or accommodation – and eventually accommodation likely will be impossible.
    There is IMO no clear formula that peaceful protest is better than armed resistance. it depends – had I been there I would not have died as a sheep in the Warsaw ghetto. But Mandela could have used his opportunity for power as a chance to clean the slate, alla Maliki, or _______(fill in the blank), and South Africa and the world is a better place that he did.
    So will there be a Palestinian Mandela? My take on human nature is the winning bet is no.

  36. Babak Makkinejad says:

    You asked:
    “How far back do you want to start in a search for legitimacy?”
    For myself, to the days of the Great King.

  37. Babak Makkinejad says:

    They were colonialist because they were outnumbered by Africans who themselves had also moved in – about the same time as the Dutch into Southern Africa.
    I think the racial difference was certainly an element but also the construction of historical narratives also lend itself to this view.
    Chinese moved into Malaysia starting from the 15-th century yet they were spared the rubric of colonizers – I guess because they were not “White”.
    Likewise, Turkic tribes had been invading Central Asia and Middle East for centuries; they accomplished their colonization and Turkification projects before the “White” historians came unto the scene – I suppose.
    And one could go on with the Goths and their invasions of the Roman Empire; they even gave their name to the Lombard province in Italy.
    Personally, everything has gone wrong since the time of Xerxes II.

  38. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Like Abraham Lincoln, Mandela is now an untouchable political saint in the world.
    Lincoln would shed tears when meeting with this or that widow or grieving mother, yet he was unwilling to parole the Confederate POWs since he preferred to burden the South with the care of Union POWs in Andersonville and other such places.

  39. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I agree with you, Calvin was an enemy of Humanity.

  40. Nancy K says:

    One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. It just depends what side one is on. It is all tribal, a concept I have read about many times on this blog. That being said, I think the world has lost a great man in the passing of Mandela.

  41. Will Reks says:

    I think then that his “conversion” from violent radical while in prison was fortunate for South Africa post-apartheid. It could have been much worse otherwise and perhaps de Klerk recognized that. I plan to learn more about the man.

  42. kxd says:

    I was too young to experience the full effect of Apartheid laws the way my mother, grandparents and their generations had experienced them. I do not claim Mandela or his compatriots to be a saint, I do not believe any man on this earth to be a saint really. But I will always be grateful to Mandela and his peers for fighting on my generations behalf. You are right Colonel, he did lead an armed revolt against the SA Government. A government that refused to recognise our individual liberty and freedoms. A government that resorted to violence against us first, before MK retaliated. I have asked this question to Tyler before, but what would any of the SST followers on this board do if they were in our situation? Would they not have rebelled against an oppressive government after other avenues had been tried? And other, legal avenues had been tried. Then the sharpville massacre happened.
    Tyler, you talk about Mandela introducing necklacing, but you are wrong. His wife and her “soccer” boys were the ones who engaged in such barbaric acts. Mandela was imprisoned when those things happened. Winnie was a vicious individual, and if Mandela could receive any blame, it would be in not reigning her in. Again Mandela was no saint, but he did try to minimise civilian casualties. Don’t take my word for it, research the attacks MK carried out. You then talk about how Mandela did not try to renounce violence against whites in South Africa, then I would ask you to do your research on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. If it was not for the TRC, South Africa might have fallen into a civil war then and there. You criticise De Klerk, but I ask you to research the state of the economy of South Africa and its standing in the world and I ask you, how was that country to survive such an isolation? Forgive the pun, but things were not so black and white during those times. Mandela and De Klerk, to their credit, did a lot after Mandela’s release from prison to contain a volatile situation and help transition the country peacefully. The fact that South Africa has the problems it does now, I would lay more of the blame down to his successors and the corruption that runs deep amongst those lot. But South Africa, is not Zimbabwe or Lesotho. For all the negatives that country still faces, we came out better than all of Southern Africa.
    Mandela was a terrorist, but he was also my freedom fighter. For that I am grateful.

  43. turcopolier says:

    Mandela after prison was a Gandhi like figure. Like De Clerk he managed to overcome his inner beast and to do what was right for the country. The Peace and Justice Commission was a work of genius. The acknowledgement of their crimes by so many on both sides was certainly a miracle. Nothing like that happened in the US after the civil war and we still bear the scars. I should make my self clear concerning what I think of revolutionary war waged with the use of; terrorism, agitprop, guerrilla war, sabotage, and propaganda aimed at manipulating foreign power, power that seldom has any real understanding of the internal situation. I am equally opposed TO COIN campaigns that inevitably use equally heartless and morally depraved methods. Such wars on either side inevitably and usually quickly become wars designed to do one thing. That is to capture control of the people by fair means and foul. The control of the people is the key to victory in such wars. No matter how much one may wish to avoid targeting the population (whether they adhere to the government or to the rebels) in the end that is impossible and always will be. This level of violence is analogous to that wrought upon civilian populations by unrestrained strategic air bombing of population centers or bombardment of cities with artillery to force the population to rise against their government. There are a few instances in which guerrillas operating as an auxiliary to a conventional force avoid such vicious behavior; Lawrence in the Hijaz would be an example, but they are few. As a Special Forces and MI officer I know a lot of such warfare and have been a participant many times. i am utterly opposed to such warfare. pl

  44. Tyler says:

    The Communists were fond of claiming the same thing. “Ash heap of history” is what Trotsky was fond of saying.
    Yet here we are, and Russia is returning to its autocratic rule with the RO Church back in the saddle. Don’t be so sure that your “progress” is anything but hubris.

  45. Tyler says:

    The Confederates would likely instantly recognize the Yankee-Puritan impulse to meddle in someone else’s society based off what they think is correct, and damn the reality on the ground.

  46. turcopolier says:

    The CSA government made a conscious decision once defeated that they would not call for a “levee en masse” against the victorious enemy. I know my adopted people well. the guerrilla war that might have resulted would IMO opinion have made the reconstruction of the union impossible. Their reward for this decision was 150 years of scorn, prejudice and disdain. pl

  47. Fred says:

    Don’t forget Democracy Tyler. The Russian’s have elections! Doesn’t that sit well with the liberal elite; except those elected aren’t obeying their theories?

  48. Fred says:

    “…but what would any of the SST followers on this board do if they were in our situation?”
    We would rebel. However that would take a different form here as we are a different people.

  49. Fred says:

    I’ve told a number of Northerners I know here that I spent my formative years in Westmoreland County, birthplace of those two great Americans, Washington and Lee. They are invariable shocked. Some will ask why I think they were both great. I tell them one won a war for independence, the other won the peace. I’m usually greeted with a blank stare as they have no idea what I am talking about.

  50. Mark Logan says:

    After watching a tape Reagan’s speech, given after his veto was over-ridden, I don’t think it was a mindless fear of communism that was driving him, but instead a judgement call that a sudden change would result in a blood-bath. Had all the makings, and “it” goes that way most of the time. Mandela was certainly key in avoiding that.
    Mandela’s character and strength may have enabled a near-miracle, an “indispensable man”, I guess, but it’s hardly fair to judge Reagan and his advisors with hindsight on that one. I’ll admit I would have made the same call anyway. There seems to me to be both a wee bit too much adulation for Mandela and too much scolding of Reagan.
    I was under the impression the southerners did engage in an insurgency which derailed the Reconstruction, the KKK. They did well in the north too, albeit with different ways and means, so perhaps there should be no finger-pointing on that one.

  51. The Twisted Genius says:

    I agree revolutionary war and COIN campaigns inevitably prove that war is an abomination. I’ve seen what it does in many villages in the Chouf Mountains. I’m also opposed to such violence. But then I think of my relatives and their stories about their fight against the Soviets. One of the things done was to mine the farms of Lithuanians that were killed, imprisoned or “resettled” in Siberia by NKVD troops. The Russian peasants that were forcibly resettled on these Lithuanian farms often suffered from these mining operations. Others were burned out. One of my uncles told me the LFA (Lithuanian Freedom Army) purged the nation of weak and undesirable elements before operating in earnest against the Soviets. I never asked him what he meant by that, but I imagine it included things that make this kind of war an abomination. Yet, I’m still proud of my family’s part in this brutal war. I’m sure there are Irish kids in Boston that feel the same way about their relatives in the IRA and that struggle. It’s an emotional and tribal thing, but it’s certainly real.
    As you noted, the greatness of Mandela and de Klerk was to rise above their inner beasts and do what is right for their country. The Peace and Justice Commission was indeed a work of genius. If not for both these men and the self discipline they displayed, South Africa would have devolved into a prolonged civil war as kxd said.

  52. Tyler says:

    Another liberal who calls it “colonization” when its Westerners building a society but screams about how immigration is a human right when its the third world pouring into first world countries.

  53. Tyler says:

    How could it have been much worst? SA is a damn mess!

  54. Tyler says:

    That’s a lot of handwaving to try and disguise the fact that SA is now a basketcase of a country.
    de Klerk and the rest of the elites brave? Please. They turned over the rulership of the country knowing full well what was going to happen next, and then either fled the country or sheltered down into guarded and fortified fortress suburbs. Those who could not afford fortress neighborhoods or to haul stakes were literally tossed to the wolves.
    “Tried to minimize civilian casualties”? This is more white washing of history. The ANC was bombing busses and massacreing farmers, and you’re claiming he tried to “minimize civilian casualties”?
    A civil war might have been better for all involved. The TRC was a joke – de Klerk and the rest got what they wanted (amnesty and to get their invitations to cocktail parties), while the rapists and murderers were let go.
    Obviously there’s a parallel to what our “elites” are trying to do here. “Into the Cannibal’s Pot” is a non fiction book for a reason.

  55. Tyler says:

    The only thing to hope for is that perhaps the next time things turn it will proceed differently.

  56. Tyler says:

    The equation I’m trying to balance here is how many raped/murdered white farmers in rural SA and black diamond miners have to die before it begins to outweigh the sense of “moral superiority” Western countries thousands of miles away feel whenever they talk about apartheid.

  57. Tyler says:

    Go take a walk in Johannesburg one night if you feel like the end of apartheid was such a boon, and then get back to me.
    If you somehow survive, I have a feeling your opinions on this matter will not.

  58. Stephanie says:

    De Klerk was capable of recognizing the changed reality on the ground, which was certainly not true of all of the country’s white elite. Mandela had small use for de Klerk personally, believing, with some reason, that de Klerk was complicit in the killings conducted by “rogue” elements of the army and police even as the negotiations for the political transition were ongoing.

  59. Amir says:

    The greatness of Mandela is his magnanimity in victory as well as his sense of justice ( ).
    He broke free at last…I am happy to day that my country of birth, was even willing to cut in it’s own flesh to assist the ANC in contrast to Reagan.
    After the revolution, the ties with the Apartheid Regime were broken in light of the deep entanglement of the latter with Shah. Iran, at a dire moment of it’s history, halted the shipment of oil to South-Africa and supported ANC militarily, despite the Saddam’s War brewing.

  60. turcopolier says:

    “the changed reality on the ground,” What was that? Demographics had changed? Liberals in American and Europe were unhappy? The South Sfrican economy was in decline? What? pl

  61. turcopolier says:

    IMO resistance warfare fought against foreign occupation is quite differed from revolutionary warfare. pl

  62. turcopolier says:

    mark Logan
    The first KKK was never more than a nuisance to the occupation army in the former confederate states. The occupation ended because Democratic Party politicians in the North wanted allies from the South . To achieve that the occupation had to end and former Confederates had to be given back their voting rights. this had nothing to do with the first KKK. pl

  63. turcopolier says:

    The hostility of the North towards the South is culturally based and seems immutable. pl

  64. steve g says:

    IMHO the cultural hostility works both ways.
    It depends of the individual person and locality.
    My dad was from Arkansas and my mother from Minn-
    sota. Two completely divergent cultures in that
    period in history. My southern relatives never
    really accepted her or me for that matter as we
    were all G*& D%#@m Yankees to them. Visting there
    many times in the fifties as a youth one out of
    all accepted my as their cousin. A pretty humbling
    and humiliating experience.
    Both sides play to stereotype. My wife’s relatives
    on her fathers side are from Alabama. The older
    generation gave you the outlier treatment on first
    blush to test you. Once they found out you were a
    normal human being with a different dialect they
    accepted you more warmly than most. Many Midwest-
    erners still reference the so called buffoonery of
    the South. Shows like Duck Dynasty might not help,
    although the head Duck is worth 20Mil! A transplanted
    Bostonion has lived here 25 years and still thinks
    we are bunch of frostbitten naves(could be!)
    The more things change, the more they remain the
    same as the saying goes.

  65. The Twisted Genius says:

    You said, “IMO resistance warfare fought against foreign occupation is quite different from revolutionary warfare.”
    I agree, but IMO revolutionary warfare encompasses a wide variety of armed struggles beyond the idea of an outside communist vanguard fomenting insurrection where there was none before. I think it includes civil war and revolution waged by a people against their own internationally recognized and legitimate government. In the case of South Africa, the government was still in the process of implementing its full apartheid policies to create weak and dependent bantustans, though nominally independent, that could be harvested for their labor to support white South Africa. I’m not surprised that most of black South Africa found this intolerable. It was IMO far more intolerable than the conditions leading to our Revolution and Civil War, both of which I consider legitimate revolutions. So, to answer a point you posed to me earlier, I do not think leading an armed revolt against that SA government made Mandela a bad man.

  66. Charles I says:

    I didn’t use the word progress, my focus was the ineluctable nature of change from below and response to it. Historically, it seems proven you can’t keep abusing a huge mass of the locals, whatever their own faults and foibles without consequences, including various conceptions of progress taking hold, even in one’s own mind.
    One lives as a Mandela, and the government responds. One dies a suicidal Tunisian symbol and the government falls. Doing nothing but the same thing if you firmly come to believe the shite must hit the fan sometime might be hubris or insanity. Even if the best choice, knowable only in hindsight does not assure progress.
    In any event, whether progress or hubris, as Mao or Deng is oft quoted about the French Revolution “too soon to tell”.
    What you’re up to there at home with family and all those critters, that sounds like real progress. I’d like to see a Christmas picture of that.

  67. Charles I says:

    I didn’t mean to say anything value laden about progress or rightness, never used the words as I tried to explain above. I meant a pot of water gonna be boiling you keep it on the fire long enough, a battery will explode if you toss one in, no wrong or right about it, just is, like physics(until we actually divine Creation) and what’s gone before – if that’s what you want.
    Foreseeable phenomena, replete with historical example and scriptural guidance offer one potential for ill or bad is all I meant, and different responses will serve up different meals.
    To me history over the millennium is a wheel of achievement, a striving for organization and progress, and then The Fall , drawn in every iteration of the Creation story from the first Sumerian go at one to the King James. Lack of technological ability in past civilizations to escape their cataclysms, their Flood, their magnetic field reversal, whatever seems to have doomed each. I see no difference now. I have little faith in our ability to maintain the current civilization on its current trajectory in face of the environmental population shifts we will see over the next couple of centuries, let alone other banana peels, asteroids and declining immune systems.
    I guess I should have said you can’t stop physics.
    But I suppose I still hope and bleat for “progress” whatever

  68. Charles I says:

    He’d be limited in his options w/o an Israeli de Klerk.

  69. Charles I says:

    This morning former Canadian PM Mulroney, point man for the whole western pivot, in an interview on CBC Radio’s The House, definitively painted Reagan’s concern with Mandela and the ANC as Commie based. He expressed concerns to Mulroney over ANC relations with Cuba as the manifestation that precluded acting on his humanitarian impulses against apartheid. Mulroney replied: You support those that support you.
    For better or worse.

  70. Charles I says:

    My gramps, father and uncles were there, Grandpa died there. Never spoken of except as too horrific, but clear that they were fighting foreign oppression in total war to victory or defeat and felt legitimate to the end.

  71. Charles I says:

    They seem so often intertwined.

  72. turcopolier says:

    As Catholics we understand that people are redeemable. IMO Mandela and de Klerk found salvation together whether they liked each other or not.
    I realize that I am trying to make distinctions that are hard to see,but I still think that they must be made and insisted on. If your Lithuanian partisan “cleaned up” the communist element in the population that is unfortunates but it should not obscure the basic truth that they were defending their country against a foreign invader and that invader’s local fifth column. Neither the American War of independence, not the WBS were characterized by revolutionary warfare of the Maoist/Giap model. they were determined in outcome by the conventional forces on either side. There partisan forces in play but they played a minor role being thought to be somewhat unsavory. IN the CSA case the government in Richmond early on disavowed Quantrill for his actions and revoked his commission. John Mosby’s force was directly subordinated to the cavalry division of the AoNV and Stuart watched him closely to be sure that he stuck to his mission of making the Army of the Potomac uncomfortable in their rear areas. Mosby’s men were billeted on the population in Fauquier and Loudoun. They seem to have welcomed. they were the “home team.” Out in the Shenandoah, McNeill’s men took to holding up trains to stay “in funds” but IMO that was acceptable. pl

  73. The Twisted Genius says:

    Ah your point is now clear… I think. There are standards and rules that should govern all who engage in war. I wholeheartedly agree. Even in the case of the LFA, strict organization, a responsible chain of command and a code of conduct were in place. I did not mean to imply that our War of independence and the WBS were Maoist revolutions in any way, but they were wars against existing governments that claimed sovereignty over those that rebelled. Although there is serious doubt about that claim in the case of the WBS. I just don’t agree that a recognized government whether in firm control of the people or not, has any inherent right to continue to govern those people nor do the people have any moral duty to perpetuate that government. I think that’s why we swore our oaths to the Constitution rather than to the USG.

  74. kao_hsien_chih says:

    It’s not as much of a mess as it could be. (see Zimbabwe.) For all its faults, ANC did go out of its way to maintain a reasonably working legal order for all (although the rates of mayhem, corruption, and criminality do run high throughout society, it isn’t quite so terrible vis-a-vis its peers–not just its African neighbors, but, say, Brazil or perhaps Russia.) What I wonder, though, is that, without the gigantic symbolic figure of Mandela (who has always been more useful as a statue than a real person), things could get closer to Zimbabwe in South Africa…

  75. turcopolier says:

    “I just don’t agree that a recognized government whether in firm control of the people or not, has any inherent right to continue to govern those people nor do the people have any moral duty to perpetuate that government.” I completely agree. The Declaration of Independence although not law agrees. My point had nothing to do with Afrikaner right to maintain their government . It had to do with the limits of just action on the part of Mandela and the ANC. pl

  76. The Twisted Genius says:

    PL, Then we agree. Especially in our knowledge that people are redeemable. Thank you for indulging my thinking out loud.

  77. MRW says:

    But it wasn’t like that when Mandela was ruling, Tyler. The rich whites begged Mandela to run for a second term in 1998, when he stepped down. I know this only because rich South African whites told me so. What he accomplished was nothing short of remarkable. And standing in that prison cell he was in for 27 years on Ronnen Island was a sobering experience for me.

  78. kxd says:

    I dispute your assertion De Klerk and the others who supported the transitional government knew the country would turn into where it stands now. None of that was guaranteed. Both Mandela and De Klerk did not want the country torn apart, judging by their desire to cooperate. I did not say the ANC or a number of its supporters had clean hands in what happened in SA. I know fully well the atrocities they commited against whites and blacks and other ethnic minorities of SA. The TRC revealed as much. I simply stated Mandela had tried to conduct those missions leading up to his trial and conviction with the intent of minimising civilian casualties, based on the fact they tried to carry out attacks at times and periods when it would result in minimal casualties. After Mandela’s imprisonment the ANC and MK to be more specific, did regress to more unruly, unbecoming tactics. I stated as much when mentioning Winnie’s role. And I did notfully absolve Mandela either did I? I stated he should have used his influence while in prison to reign her and her cohorts in. But my overall point was you cannot lay all the massacaring at Mandela’s doorstep.
    As for the TRC being a joke, that’s your opinion, but I believe an attempt to try and break the cycle of violence and allow the country to move forward was a better choice than going to civil war and carrying on the bloodshed. For sure, we would’ve turned into Zimbabwe before Zimbabwe did. I know people on boths sides believe the TRC did not do anyone justice. That may be, but I don’t how a civil war would served justice either.
    In the end though, I understand Colonel Lang’s point and wholeheartedly agree: there must be rules to follow and standards to adhere to in war. The ANC commited atrocities, Mandela had a part to play in that before his formative years in prison. It should have never come to that, there should’ve been a just response to the apartheid regime. But it is easy for me to make such a statement, as I personally have never had to experience a life that would test my resolve to hold onto my humanity and intregity and act justly.

  79. turcopolier says:

    I heard one of Mandela’s colleagues from prison say yesterday that they came to believe that NM had actually been recruited by the government. He was in several prisons, and they were more and more comfortable as his confinement progressed and his thinking evolved. After some years he came to have long chats with people like the wardens of his jails, the head of the prison system, the head of South African intelligence and finally de Klerk. This is an interesting thought. A number of such figures have been “corrupted” by people like me and TTG. Michael Collins was thought by his killers to be an asset of either MI-5 or Special Branch. He had played the role of double agent for many years supposedly in the interest of deceiving them. After after a while it becomes difficult to be certain what such a person is. Perhaps he felt as president that he was too compromised in favor of the white rich class and should remove himself from power. pl

  80. Tyler says:

    If your benchline is “not worst than Rhodesia”, then you’ve obviously got a problem. The results of what were going to happen was only a surprise if you believed in pie in the sky narratives. You had Rhodesia staring you right in the face a border away. Of course, these events always “surprise” the elites responsible for pursuing them, away from the events of the ground. Its not about laying all the massacres on Mandela’s doorstep, its about pointing out the Emperor has no clothes as opposed to this creepy beatification by the media that’s currently engaged in pretending Mandela walked on water.
    You say the TRC kept the country from civil war? That’s inane – there might not be a civil war but there’s a diaspora and wholescale massacre of the whites left behind. The TRC has done nothing to address that situation, which should have been obvious to anyone with eyes in lieu of making sure anyone who claimed their crimes were “against apartheid” couldn’t be prosecuted. If the TRC was successful, why the wholescale FLEEING from South Africa?
    Apartheid built the civilization there, much as it might pain some to admit it. Now look where we are. Like I told Matthew – if you thinks things really are better, go take a walk through Johannesburg and get back with me.

  81. Tyler says:

    The rich whites are able to ensconce themselves in fortresses protected by armed guards.
    Meanwhile the non-elites get by the best they can.
    The “rich” abandoned their people so they could get their luxuries imported – a disgusting betrayal. It doesn’t change the fact SA is a hellhole now by and large.

  82. Tyler says:

    Well we can agree on that, but then again the “change” didn’t come from below as much as it did from busybody moralizers from outside the country.
    I’m sure Assad would recognize the same blend of propaganda, make believe “Facts”, and gathering of world opinion him that South Africa suffered.

  83. Babak Makkinejad says:

    You have to develop the leadership to whom power can be past.

  84. Jack says:

    I am aware of South Africans of Afrikaner descent returning because their worst fears of mass genocide against the white population didn’t materialize.
    Would you know the percentage of the white population that have fled in the past couple years? What are the incidents of “wholescale massacres ” of whites?

  85. Tyler says:

    I know plenty who are leaving South Africa for greener pastures in New Zealand and Australia because its so bad over there. Are you really going to try and argue “WELL MY FRIEND” when they’re using flamethrowers to stop carjackings over there?
    Here’s the results a google search:
    I’d say if you’re so hot to trot on South Africa, accept what I am now calling the “Johannesburg Challenge” with your own skin before being feeling all moral without any risk to your own person.

  86. Tyler says:

    When your benchmark goes from “First World Nuclear Power” to “Well at least we’re not Rhodesia!” I think that’s what you call a disaster.

  87. Tyler says:

    I imagine a lot of my issue with the entire South African situation is that I can see parallels between how apartheid went down and how the amnesty treason is being presented to us now.

  88. Stephanie says:

    From NYT obit:
    “Tokyo Sexwale, who had come to Robben Island as a student rebel, spoke in a “Frontline” interview about encountering Mr. Mandela in this comfortable house. Mr. Mandela walked them through the house, showing off the television and the microwave. “And,” Mr. Sexwale said, “I thought, ‘I think you are sold out.’ ”
    Mr. Mandela seated his visitors at a table and patiently explained his view that the enemy was morally and politically defeated, with nothing left but the army, the country ungovernable. His strategy, he said, was to give the white rulers every chance to retreat in an orderly way.”
    From The Daily Telegraph:
    “In the event, Mandela got his way, ensuring that he would be released at the prison gates, but compromising on the timing by settling for an extra week in jail instead of 10 days.
    This set the pattern for their confrontations to come: Mandela would generally get his way, with just enough of a compromise to allow de Klerk to save face.”
    Doesn’t sound like negotiating from strength to me, although certainly de Klerk had cards to play and did play them. De Klerk does deserve credit for a sense of realism and a willingness to retreat in the orderly way on offer, qualities not universally evident among the white elite. I don’t regard him as being of anywhere near Mandela’s stature, myself, but opinions will differ.

  89. Poul says:

    I’m not so sure that he ever gave up on armed struggle.
    “Finally, Mandela was released from prison in February 1990. Mandela encouraged internationals to continue pressuring the apartheid government for reform. He stated his commitment to work toward peace, but also declared that the ANC’s armed struggle would continue until the black majority received the right to vote. Mandela was thus very firm on the rights of Black South Africans, but also signaled a willingness to move towards reconciliation, setting aside any bitterness or malice because of his prison ordeal.”
    Some of the worst violence which the ANC carried out was after Mandela’s release from prison.
    Bombings against restaurants and shopping malls to hit the white populations and attacks on Black political rivals in particular the Zulus who got burned alive with gasoline soaked tyres around their necks.
    On the plus side once the goal of abolishing Apartheid was accomplished. Vengeance was not on the top of his agenda.

  90. turcopolier says:

    NM’s statements and behavior sound to me like the rationalizations of a recruited asset. Assets often seek to persuade themselves that they are not controlled by forces other than themselves. It is a common thing. pl

  91. Tyler says:

    Here’s a rather involved piece (with links!) for some of y’all.
    “The show argues that Mandela was able to quell racial tensions in South Africa and bring together a “rainbow nation” merely by being big-hearted enough to endorse the country’s rugby team. We are not informed that two years after his release from prison, Mandela joined ANC members in a group sing-along of a cheery ditty whose lyrics reputedly included “kill the whites.” Nothing was mentioned of other ANC slogans such as “kill the Boers” and “one settler, one bullet,” nor of ANC officials’ comments such as “When Mandela goes, we will kill you whites like flies.” And they didn’t dare show any photos of the thousands of white farmers that have been savagely massacred since apartheid ended. And we were not informed that rather than ushering in a post-racial utopia, South Africa’s Black Economic Empowerment program dictates wealth redistribution along racial lines. ”

  92. Babak Makkinejad says:

    BCC Radio 4 Schedule for the next few days
    6:00am – Shipping Forecast: The weather, and how rough weather delayed Nelson Mandela’s boat when returning from Robben Island at the end of his captivity.
    6:05am – News bulletin – Today Programme: An overview of the latest news. Our team of reporters broadcast from Pretoria and Cape Town to give you the latest developments on N Mandela’s funeral and feelings in the country.
    9:00am – Woman’s Hour – Four women are invited to talk about Nelson Mandela and his legacy. One of them is South African and he once made a pass at her during a political meeting. Discover what happened.
    10:00am – Book reading – An extract from the authorized biography of Nelson Mandela.
    10:45am – World Music – Focus on South Africa and Nelson Mandela’s legacy.
    11:30am – Cookery programme – Nelson Mandela’s favourite recipes.
    12:30pm – News bulletin – Broadcast live from Jo’burg: latest on Nelson Mandela’s funeral. Ukraine and Nelson Mandela. The Philippines and Nelson Mandela. The Euro-Zone and Nelson Mandela. The rise in energy prices in the UK and Nelson Mandela. Terrorism in Egypt and Nelson Mandela.
    1:30pm – Travel and far-away places: A journey across the South Africa of Nelson Mandela.
    2:30pm – Social issues and Politics (debate): The politics of Apartheid and South Africa in the 21st century. What has changed? What hasn’t?
    4:00pm – Children’s Corner – We broadcast from a secondary school in Soweto: “What does Nelson Mandela mean to you, children?”
    5:00pm – News bulletin: Live from Cape Town and Durban in South Africa. Nelson Mandela, Britain, and the price of baked beans in the shops.
    6:00pm – Evening concert/Classical Music: A memorial concert broadcast from Pretoria to commemorate the life and achievements of Nelson Mandela. Sponsored by Shell Oil, British Telecom, HSBC and the Liberal Democrats. Followed by discussion: Nelson Mandela and Classical Music: What did Mozart and Haendel think of Nelson Mandela?
    9:00pm – Blues and Jazz: Blues and Jazz in South Africa and Nelson Mandela.
    10:00pm – Today’s World of Science & Technology: Nelson Mandela and nuclear physics.
    11:00pm – Question Time in Parliament: The PM is asked about Nelson Mandela’s funeral and its impact on the British people and the UK as well as Europe.
    12 midnight: Close. South African national anthem.
    PS I have nothing against the man, and he was clearly a great leader, but I am grateful that he will not die a 2nd time. Once is enough.

  93. Babak Makkinejad,
    I loved this. Have you ever lived in Britain — or is this just the product of listening to Radio 4? The current controller, incidentally, grew up there.

  94. Amir says:

    Slavok Zizek, probably shares the conclusion of your analysis:
    Mandela won against Apartheid but prolonged the Inequality in S.A.

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