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theolein
Jul 18, 2003, 05:33 PM
Nelson Mandel turned 85 today. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/3076819.stm) A man who spent half of his life in prison yet forgave his captors and oppressors, and went on to pave the way for my country to become a true democracy, being a true example of honesty and integrity to us all.

If you wish you may send (http://www.safrica.info/) your regards as well.

Amandla Madiba, baie dankie vir alles wat jy vir ons land en die wereld gedoen het. Jy's 'n lig in die duisternis vir almal wat nie kan sien nie.

Spheric Harlot
Jul 18, 2003, 05:41 PM
Much respect.

Happy Birthday, Mr Mandela.

May your past and future deeds never be forgotten. May the greatness of your character brighten the world for years to come.

Thank you.

-s*

Troll
Jul 19, 2003, 06:01 AM
http://www.chico.mweb.co.za/images/zapiro/18-july03.gif
Yes, Happy Birthday Madiba.

I bought a CD of his greatest speeches the last time I was in SA, which I stuck on the iPod and listened to again yesterday. Incredibly moving. The Rivonia Trial Speech (http://www.anc.org.za/ancdocs/history/rivonia.html) is my favourite and I think relevant today not only because it gives insight into the mind of a terrorist but because it shows the esteem in which South Africans held Britain and the United States. Esteem which has been eroded by recent abuses of human rights,international law and institutions. An erosion which lead Mandela to avoid meeting with Bush on his recent trip.
I have great respect for British political institutions, and for the country's system of justice. I regard the British Parliament as the most democratic institution in the world, and the independence and impartiality of its judiciary never fail to arouse my admiration.

The American Congress, that country's doctrine of separation of powers, as well as the independence of its judiciary, arouses in me similar sentiments.
And the end of his speech will I think be remembered and quoted with Churchill and Martin Luther King. Incredibly inspiring words from a man who had been persecuted by the apartheid government and was potentially about to be sentenced to death because of the colour of his skin and yet shows no bitterness!
During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.Thank God the apartheid South African justice system had not been corrupted to the point where assassinations of terrorists were acceptable. Thank God, terrorism was fought in those days by policemen and not Hellfire missiles. Or who knows where South Africa, indeed the world, might be today. Mandela is a man of the future who made South Africa a country of the future. Happy Birthday Madiba!

MacGorilla
Jul 19, 2003, 08:48 PM
Happy Birthday! Truly one of the great ones, a walking page from history and a great guy!

Developer
Jul 19, 2003, 08:58 PM
Originally posted by theolein:
my country Are you interested in writing a few sentences about the history of your country?

How it was founded, how it came that it wasn't a democracy, why Mandela was in prison and how he became president.

theolein
Jul 19, 2003, 09:00 PM
Originally posted by Troll:

Thank God the apartheid South African justice system had not been corrupted to the point where assassinations of terrorists were acceptable. Thank God, terrorism was fought in those days by policemen and not Hellfire missiles. Or who knows where South Africa, indeed the world, might be today.

That changed drastically very soon after that. Steve Biko, Chris Hani, Neil Agget, a good friend of mine from varsity and many, many thousands others were killed by the police and BOSS until the elections came, and the army used Mirages to bomb ANC camps in Botswana in 1982. One can also not forget the Army being used to quell riots in the townships in the 80's.

I think the miracle in South Africa is that it ended and that revenge wasn't taken. The TRC and Nelson Mandela made that possible.

theolein
Jul 19, 2003, 09:37 PM
Originally posted by Developer:
Are you interested in writing a few sentences about the history of your country?

How it was founded, how it came that it wasn't a democracy, why Mandela was in prison and how he became president.

Bist aber auch super spt auf, wa? ;)

South Africa has a history of conflict, treachery and exploitation that goes back almost to the day the Dutch landed there in 1652 to found a trading post. It wasn't discovered by the Dutch, as the Portuguese were the first one's to land there, but the Dutch founded their post under a man called Jan van Riebeeck, mainly as a stopping point for ships from the East Indies.

From all accounts the Dutch were about as corrupt as everyone else at the time, imported thousands of slaves from Malaysia (whose muslim descendants today largely still live around the Cape) The Dutch, very much like other slave holders, weren't above having sex with their slaves.

In the 18th century thousands of French protestant refugees, called Hugenots, fled France and settled in the Cape. Their being there is the reason why South Africa has such good wine, the reason Afrikaans has a few French words in it, and the reason why so many Afrikaans South Africans have French sirnames. My mother's family comes from them.

In 1805, the British invaded the Cape in order to stop the French doing the same, and thereafter the Cape remained British until 1910. The british abolished slavery, and that pissed of the Dutch settlers, would had this narow Calvinistic view of the world and view mixed races as something diabolical. So the Dutch settlers packed their stuff and trekked inland in many groups. This is where the word trek, as in star trek, comes from. Except where the Dutch settler's were going was not a place where no man had been before, even though they claim so.

Their trek was hard, make no mistake about it, because the largest part of South Africa is desert, and they didn't have SUV's. The more fertile parts of South Africa, north of the Orange river, were, apart from a few scattered tribes, relatively empty. The reason for this was because a large, and very warlike African tribe, the Zulus, under a ruler called Mzilikaze, had gone on the warpath in the previous century and had decimated everything and everyone in their path, including most of the tribes in South Africa's interior and their influence stretched as far north as today's Zimbabwe, where one of the tribes, the Matabele, speak a dialect of Zulu.

By the time the Dutch trekkie fans got to the coastal mountains bordering the North Eastern coast they got into contact with the Zulus, who were not in the mood for surrendering land to anyone having just thrashed and been thrashed by the British on the coastal side of those mountains. The result was a number of battles where the Boers, armed with 19th century WMD's such as muskets, slaughtered thousands, and, as a consequence gained control of most of what is South Africa today north of the Orange river.

They formed a three Boer republics (Boer means farmer in Dutch) where they could live in their narrow Calvinistic ways and have as many slaves as they liked.

All that would probably have remained that way, had there not been gold discovered on their territory. And their was a lot of gold. gold in those days had the same effect on people as oil does today. The British, in their infinite wisdom, never being ones to pass up a good opportunity when it presented itself, and then as now, not being overly bothered about things like moral scruples or simple things like the truth, proceeded to inflame opinion about the Boer republics and made a number of "sexed-up" reports on Boer aggression, all part and parcel of a man called Cecil Rhodes, who was the Uk's local spin doctor and chief gold greed monger.

theolein
Jul 19, 2003, 10:03 PM
The British then proceeded to get their troops together, and after enough pith helmets had been delivered, started a war of conquest for the Empire.

They won the first one, which was to gain control of the Boer republic which had access to the north coast. The second one carried on for much longer than they imagined. The Boers thrashed them initially, but had far fewer men and lost a lot of plus points in mistreating the local mixed race population in the areas which they captured.

The British eventually captured most of the remaining two republics, and the Boers turned to Guerilla warfare, with their Fedayeen, harassing the British wherever they could. Awacs and helicopters were not a concept yet, and their bush war was very effective.

The Local boss in charge of putting a stop to the attacks, Lord MIlner, known as Darth to his friends, came up with a novel plan: Concentration camps. The British, after having patented this ingenious invention and selling it to the Germans, collected all the women and children they could find, who had been giving support to the unlawful enemy combatants, and herded them off to the camps. (The high school I went to, was called Milner high, and was erected on the site of one of those camps) 26000 Boer women and children died from malnutrition and disease. Considering that the total Boer population of the time was only about 176000, that was a lot of people. The Boers then surrendered, and South Africa became part of the Empire. Slavery was abolished.

in 1910, the British, in line with what they were doing elsewhere, gave South Africa self government. The Union of South Africa was formed.

in 1914, at the start of WWI, the UK expected every man to do his duty, and South Africa was expected to invade and occupy German South West Africa. Due to the fact that almost every person alive in South Africa had lost family members in the camps, there was a huge amount of bitterness against the English. Some of the more bitter ones openly rebelled, and were then chased, captured and executed for treachery to the King. South Africa did however, invade and capture South West Africa.

During the 20's most of South Africa's money came from mining and huge amounts of people flocked to the big cities in search of work. The white Boers, mostly very poor after the Boer war, but numerically the biggest amongst the whites and steadily gaining power in elections were frightened of the blacks taking away their jobs. The first laws restricting black political expression were passed. In 1925, Afrikaans, the Boer language, a dialect of Dutch, that had developed over the past three hundred years, became an official language.

OldManMac
Jul 19, 2003, 10:15 PM
Happy Birthday, Mr. Mandela! A great man indeed!

Logic
Jul 19, 2003, 10:25 PM
Happy Birthday, Mr. Mandela. One of the greatest personalities in history and will hopefully stay there forever.

"After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can rest only for a moment, for with freedom comes responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not yet ended."

Nelson Mandela

theolein
Jul 19, 2003, 10:39 PM
During WWII, South Africa, as part of the commonwealth, entered the war against the Germans. However, the bitterness of the Boers against the English had not been forgotten and there were a number of Boer resistance organisations that openly sympathised with the Nazis and blew up some trains and official buildings etc.

After the war, in 1948, the main Boer political party, the National Party, won the elections for the first time. They proceed almost immediately to pass laws forbidding racial intermarriage and different races to live together.

Around this time, in 1950, the ANC, a black political party that had been around since 1912, had started to openly call for resistance against the white minority government. This culminated in the Sharpeville massacre in 1956, in which over a hundred black demonstrators were shot by white police.

The ANC started a campaign of armed rebellion, and was consequently banned and it's leaders either fled or were put in jail on charges of treason (nobody had thought of unlawful enemy combatants yet). The communists were also banned at the same time, a move very popular with the USA. Nelson Mandela was one of those jailed for life.

There started a campaign of armed violence against the white government, and many were killed. In the mean time, South Africa was becoming an embarrasment to the UK, and under demands to change it's system, the White minority government became a Republic in 1961 and ceded from the commmonwealth.

The prime minister, Hendrick verwoerd, started a process of moving the entire black population in South Africa to so called bantustans, or tiny areas reserved for the various tribes covering not more than 20% of the country. Apartheid, or seperateness in Afrikaans, was born.

The armed resistance became stronger, with more bombs being planted, and the state became more and more repressive, with thousands being arrested on petty charges.

The country became internationally isolated and sanctions were imposed. All this time South Africa was fighting against a full scale guerilla war in South West Africa, which wanted it's independance.

in 1976, black school children rebelled against having their oppressive schools, and this was crushed by the police and hundreds of children were shot and arrested. This was a catalyst and thousands of black children fled abroad to join the ranks of the ANC.

in th 80's the political climate was one of a police state, with martial law being called out numerous times, thousands of people being detained without trial by the police and with many state sanctioned murders of dissedents. Torture was widespread. The ANC armed campaign had become quiet widespread by then and many public buildings were blown up, thereby increasing the violence.

The segregated black townships were in allmsot constant turmoil, with riots taking place almsot every day.

in 1989, the new White Prime Minister, F. De Klerk, realising that there was no future in the white minority, unbanned the ANC, the communists and others. In the beginning of 1990, Nelson Mandela was released.

There was a bit of turmoil in the ensuiing period, but the ANC and the NP and others governed the country jointly until 1994, when the country's first true democratic elections were held, which the ANC won by a huge majority, with Nelson Mandela as President. A Truth and Reconciliation Commitee was set to hear all the grievances of all the people who had suffered and who had done wrong under Apartheid. Those who came forward and admitted their crimes were given amnesty.

So, I hope you enjoyed my few sentences.

Troll
Jul 20, 2003, 03:37 AM
Nice summary.

I'm not sure I agree with the characterisation of the boer's trek as being about wanting to keep their slaves. AFAIK, they didn't take slaves with them on their treks and were quite fiercely independent when they did set up camp. Calvinistic sure, but I think that was part of the reason they left. They wanted to keep their lifestyle and their language and culture and were prepared to go into the unknown to preserve it. A lot of them had fled Europe or had taken a voyage to South Africa to escape criminal punishment or family persecution. The last thing they wanted was to be dictated to by the English who spoke a different language, had a different religion, a different legal system and were less interested in South Africa as a viable country than they were in its resources.

Slavery wasn't a huge part of boer culture. Certainly no more a part of their culture than it was of any other at the time. I think the Nationalists who finally put a lot of boer thinking into political language always saw the boers as a new separate nation striving to make its mark and establish its identity. They thought this meant that they needed their own country and to protect it from the other South African cultures. Wrong as they were, they felt that they had won the land through blood and were entitled to make the rules that they wanted to apply.

I'm not sticking up for the Nats but I do think that Afrikaners generally have been demonised a bit much. Not all Afrikaners were Nats. My uncle who was as Afrikaans as biltong (we have two Presidents in the family), represented Madiba at the Rivonia Trial and finally took up arms, was captured and died in detention.

The boers first encountered diamonds rather than gold which was the reason for the first clash with the English, wasn't it? Kimberly?

Troll
Jul 20, 2003, 03:55 AM
Originally posted by theolein:
That changed drastically very soon after that. Steve Biko, Chris Hani, Neil Agget, a good friend of mine from varsity and many, many thousands others were killed by the police and BOSS until the elections came, and the army used Mirages to bomb ANC camps in Botswana in 1982. One can also not forget the Army being used to quell riots in the townships in the 80's.Yeah, you have a point although assassination was never a policy of the government for dealing with terrorism. Certainly, PW Botha would never have declared that in a War on the ANC, assassinating them was acceptable. Some covert stuff happened in other countries (as it does everywhere), but in SA, they consistently tried to arrest and try the terrorists.

Chris Hani wasn't killed by the police; he was assassinated by a right winger. An individual. A Greek if I remember correctly supported by a paramilitary right-wing organisation. And he went to jail. It wasn't a state-sponsored execution.

Aggett and Biko died in detention. I guess the net result is the same, but arresting them in the first place shows a different approach to dealing with terrorism than sending in a cruise missile la the Israelis or Americans. As I said, my Uncle died in detention as a terrorist, so I don't think the government treated them well and I'm not trying to justify what they did (perhaps they just hadn't thought out an argument for justifying assassinations) but I the fact that so many terrorists survived to govern the country after the death of apartheid (which is itself a product of the approach taken to dealing with terrorism) helped make the peace too.

Sorry to hear about your friend Theolein. Who was he?

Spheric Harlot
Jul 20, 2003, 04:00 AM
Thank you, theolein and troll!

that was pretty comprehensive.

-s*

theolein
Jul 20, 2003, 07:04 AM
Originally posted by Troll:
Nice summary.

I'm not sure I agree with the characterisation of the boer's trek as being about wanting to keep their slaves. AFAIK, they didn't take slaves with them on their treks and were quite fiercely independent when they did set up camp. Calvinistic sure, but I think that was part of the reason they left. They wanted to keep their lifestyle and their language and culture and were prepared to go into the unknown to preserve it. A lot of them had fled Europe or had taken a voyage to South Africa to escape criminal punishment or family persecution. The last thing they wanted was to be dictated to by the English who spoke a different language, had a different religion, a different legal system and were less interested in South Africa as a viable country than they were in its resources.

Slavery wasn't a huge part of boer culture. Certainly no more a part of their culture than it was of any other at the time. I think the Nationalists who finally put a lot of boer thinking into political language always saw the boers as a new separate nation striving to make its mark and establish its identity. They thought this meant that they needed their own country and to protect it from the other South African cultures. Wrong as they were, they felt that they had won the land through blood and were entitled to make the rules that they wanted to apply.

I'm not sticking up for the Nats but I do think that Afrikaners generally have been demonised a bit much. Not all Afrikaners were Nats. My uncle who was as Afrikaans as biltong (we have two Presidents in the family), represented Madiba at the Rivonia Trial and finally took up arms, was captured and died in detention.

The boers first encountered diamonds rather than gold which was the reason for the first clash with the English, wasn't it? Kimberly?

You're right about my summary not being 100% factually correct. I wrote it at 4 AM this morning and started off trying to put some spice and irony (Boer WMD, Darth Milner etc) into it and using terms that would make it more easily understood, such as slavery. In retrospect, that is perhaps not such a good idea. The British had already abolished slavery in the Cape pretty soon after their takeover in 1805 IIRC, and the Boers, who were not only overwhelmed by language and culture, but a part of it was definitely that they were against the practice of racial mixing. While it is history and the history we learned in school was Christlyke Nasionaal Onderwys and therefore heavily slanted towards the Boers version of things, I suspect that the Boers started their trek for a number of reasons, a lot of which probably had to do with taxes and laws, that the English imposed.

Kimberly already belonged to the Cape, and therefore the British, and while I can't remember the exact happeneings of the start of the war, I do remember that Rhodes did his utmost to push it over the edge .I suppose I could do a Google, but that would spoil the fun and go against everything that this board stands for ;)

Edit: I did just do a google, and cringed when I saw how wildly inaccurate my dates had been. The Sharpeville massacre was in 1960 and the Rivonia trials were in 1963. Ouch! The trials against the SACP and ANC members was, however in 1956. They were all aquitted however.

Sven G
Jul 20, 2003, 07:04 AM
Originally posted by theolein:
A man who spent half of his life in prison yet forgave his captors and oppressors [...]

:thumbsup:

I wish the state's judicial institutions could learn something from such a positive attitude: a more forgiving society, as a whole (beginning from the individual level), would certainly avoid many, many crimes from even happening...

theolein
Jul 20, 2003, 07:50 AM
Originally posted by Troll:
Yeah, you have a point although assassination was never a policy of the government for dealing with terrorism. Certainly, PW Botha would never have declared that in a War on the ANC, assassinating them was acceptable. Some covert stuff happened in other countries (as it does everywhere), but in SA, they consistently tried to arrest and try the terrorists.

Chris Hani wasn't killed by the police; he was assassinated by a right winger. An individual. A Greek if I remember correctly supported by a paramilitary right-wing organisation. And he went to jail. It wasn't a state-sponsored execution.

Aggett and Biko died in detention. I guess the net result is the same, but arresting them in the first place shows a different approach to dealing with terrorism than sending in a cruise missile la the Israelis or Americans. As I said, my Uncle died in detention as a terrorist, so I don't think the government treated them well and I'm not trying to justify what they did (perhaps they just hadn't thought out an argument for justifying assassinations) but I the fact that so many terrorists survived to govern the country after the death of apartheid (which is itself a product of the approach taken to dealing with terrorism) helped make the peace too.

Sorry to hear about your friend Theolein. Who was he?

Yup, you're right about Chris Hani. And not only that, but he was murdered after the ANC had become legal in 1989. It's not as though the Nats didn't try to kill him though. When he was in lesotho in the 80's, there were nurmerous assasination attempts and one car bomb attempt on his life. I do remember his death sparking a lot of violence. His murderers wer a Polish immigrant and Clive Derby Lewis, who had been a Conservative Party member prior to that.

Aggett died in detention in the week in which I started university in 1982, but was not the first or the last to do so.

I must sadly, disagree on the Nats policy towards dissidents, though. The Nats not only murdered or tried to murder as many exiled dissidents as they could, they were also not above killing foreign politicians. Ruth First, the woman portrayed as the mother of a little girl in the movie "A world apart", was killed by a letter bomb in 1982, and there is a lot of speculation as to the Nats involvement in the crash of the plane in which Samora Machel died. During the TRC hearings, you must also have heard of the former BOSS agent who claimed that the Nat government was behind the assasination of Olaf Palme.

Our country had such a brutal history that what happened is nothing short of a miracle.

My friend's name was Mark van Rensburg.

theolein
Jul 20, 2003, 09:33 AM
Originally posted by Troll:


I'm not sticking up for the Nats but I do think that Afrikaners generally have been demonised a bit much. Not all Afrikaners were Nats. My uncle who was as Afrikaans as biltong (we have two Presidents in the family), represented Madiba at the Rivonia Trial and finally took up arms, was captured and died in detention.


You're related to Bram Fischer?

voodoo
Jul 20, 2003, 09:58 AM
theolein and troll :thumbsup:

Developer
Jul 20, 2003, 02:21 PM
Originally posted by theolein:
I hope you enjoyed my few sentences. Thanks, that was a very interesting read. I knew nothing about South Africa before. History is difficult for me to understand.

Troll
Jul 20, 2003, 04:18 PM
Originally posted by theolein:
You're related to Bram Fischer? Kolskoot.;)

theolein
Jul 20, 2003, 06:36 PM
Originally posted by Troll:
Kolskoot.;)

Ek het met my ma vanaand gepraat, en vir haar vertel dat Bram jou oom was. Sy't gese dat jy ook Breyten Breytenbach moes ken as jy in Parys woon.

Just a couple of strangers in a strange world yakking away folks. Nothing to get worried about. No terrorists plotting evil deeds ;)

Troll
Jul 21, 2003, 02:47 AM
Originally posted by theolein:
Ek het met my ma vanaand gepraat, en vir haar vertel dat Bram jou oom was. Sy't gese dat jy ook Breyten Breytenbach moes ken as jy in Parys woon. Nog nie. Ek is darem net die laaste paar jare in Parys en Breyten beweeg ook baie. Ever-increasing social circles it appears but never an overlap.

theolein
Jul 21, 2003, 09:48 AM
Originally posted by Troll:
Nog nie. Ek is darem net die laaste paar jare in Parys en Breyten beweeg ook baie. Ever-increasing social circles it appears but never an overlap.

Ek's maar baie nuuskierig om te weet wat jy doen en hoekom jy in europa is. As dit vir jou beter sou wees, kan ons die "pm" gebruik.

Spheric Harlot
Jul 21, 2003, 09:53 AM
Oy.

Langsam nervt's.

:)

-s*

eklipse
Jul 21, 2003, 09:55 AM
You know a person is truly great when a thread about them in the MacNN Politics Lounge gets more than 24 replies without a single negative comment.

If only there were more.

theolein
Jul 21, 2003, 09:58 AM
Originally posted by Spheric Harlot:
Oy.

Langsam nervt's.

:)

-s*

I thought that someone would get upset, which is why I suggested we move our discussion to the pm.

Apart from that: Leck mich doch.

:)

Logic
Jul 21, 2003, 09:58 AM
Is your language some sort of mix between german and dutch(if that is what it is called in english)? It looks like that and I can almost understand some words;)

theolein
Jul 21, 2003, 10:02 AM
Originally posted by Logic:
Is your language some sort of mix between german and dutch(if that is what it is called in english)? It looks like that and I can almost understand some words;)

It's derived from Dutch. Lost a lot of grammatical bagage on the way and is actually really easy to learn, has no verb conjugation, simple tenses and somewhat wacky if absolutely consitent spelling.

Logic
Jul 21, 2003, 10:06 AM
Originally posted by theolein:
It's derived from Dutch. Lost a lot of grammatical bagge on the way and is actually really easy to learn, has no verb conjugation, simple tenses and somewhat wacky if absolutely consitent speeling.
Ah, grammatics. Something I have never understood or been able to learn. Verb conjugation, simple tenses etc I have no idea what is:) These were the classes I slept through in my youth. My idea of learning languages has always been to just make it sound ok.

But it looks interesting, perhaps I'll pick up something about it at the library.

Spheric Harlot
Jul 21, 2003, 10:09 AM
Originally posted by theolein:
Apart from that: Leck mich doch.

:) Vorsicht: Drohung oder Angebot?

:p

theolein
Jul 21, 2003, 10:35 AM
Originally posted by Spheric Harlot:
Vorsicht: Drohung oder Angebot?

:p

Du.... :D

Anyway, let's get this back on topic and in language, ok? I really enjoy occaisional linguistic excursions, but I suppose it buggers those who don't speak Icelandic.

:p

Spheric Harlot
Jul 21, 2003, 10:41 AM
Originally posted by theolein:
I suppose it buggers those who don't speak Icelandic.

:p Damn foreigners.

:D

Logic
Jul 21, 2003, 10:54 AM
Originally posted by Spheric Harlot:
Damn foreigners.

:D
:D

Alveg sammla;)

Troll
Jul 21, 2003, 03:07 PM
Funny, every time I see LerkFish around here, I remember fondly my days in Switzerland and the old exclamation of "Leeeeeeeccccckkkkkcchhhhh". Made me laugh to see Theo use it again!!

For those who don't speak Swiss German or High German, "Leckch" is the Swiss German shortened version of "leck mich im arsch," which means lick my ass. You think maybe English people are more polite to ask for their asses to be kissed, or are the Germans just more kinky?

I still use Afrikaans when I really get mad. There's nothing quite as threatening in English as "Ek gaan jou gat skop, 'lat jou neus blooi," (I'm going to kick your ass until your nose bleeds), or "Ek gaan jou arm afbreek en jou met die natkant slaan" (I am going to break off you arm and hit you with the wet end).

Anyway, back to the topic. Theo wanted to know why I'm in France. Well, partly because I was following my significant other who is a very talented actress (the South African stage is pretty dead), partly because getting experience as an international lawyer required me leaving South Africa for a while, partly because I love Paris and wanted to explore the opportunities it has offered. Still manage through business and pleasure to get back to SA once a year or so. How 'bout you Theo?

Logic
Jul 21, 2003, 03:13 PM
"Ek gaan jou arm afbreek en jou met die natkant slaan" (I am going to break off you arm and hit you with the wet end).

:D

I'll have to learn and remember that one!

OAW
Jul 21, 2003, 03:30 PM
It is my understanding that the while the ANC was engaged in armed struggle against the white minority apartheid government in SA, they never engaged in widespread, systematic targeting of white civilians. Yet despite this, they were referred to as "terrorists" by many Western governments for decades. Though I suppose the word "communist" was used more frequently since that was the term that was more "in vogue" during those days.

I think the Palestinian militant groups can learn a lot from the example set by the ANC. The targeting of civilians does not develop and cultivate international sympathy, which is undoubtedly needed in a struggle against a better armed and financed adversary.

As far as Mr. Mandela is concerned, I will never forget the day he walked out of jail. It was shown on live TV, and I remember my wife and I shedding tears together as we witnessed a great historical event unfolding. IMO, Mr. Mandela is a leader of unparalleled stature in the world today. The elder statesman of all elder statesmen. Happy Birthday Mr. Mandela!

OAW

lil'babykitten
Jul 21, 2003, 03:33 PM
Mandela is amazing.

:cry: (tears of joy)!

Happy Birthday Mandela.

(i'm a little late I know)

theolein
Jul 21, 2003, 05:48 PM
Originally posted by Troll:
Funny, every time I see LerkFish around here, I remember fondly my days in Switzerland and the old exclamation of "Leeeeeeeccccckkkkkcchhhhh". Made me laugh to see Theo use it again!!

For those who don't speak Swiss German or High German, "Leckch" is the Swiss German shortened version of "leck mich im arsch," which means lick my ass. You think maybe English people are more polite to ask for their asses to be kissed, or are the Germans just more kinky?

I still use Afrikaans when I really get mad. There's nothing quite as threatening in English as "Ek gaan jou gat skop, 'lat jou neus blooi," (I'm going to kick your ass until your nose bleeds), or "Ek gaan jou arm afbreek en jou met die natkant slaan" (I am going to break off you arm and hit you with the wet end).

Anyway, back to the topic. Theo wanted to know why I'm in France. Well, partly because I was following my significant other who is a very talented actress (the South African stage is pretty dead), partly because getting experience as an international lawyer required me leaving South Africa for a while, partly because I love Paris and wanted to explore the opportunities it has offered. Still manage through business and pleasure to get back to SA once a year or so. How 'bout you Theo?

My favourite has always been, "Ek gaan jou fokken moer"- "I'm gonna **** you up", with the long rolled "rrrrrr" at the end. It shows the true wonders of Afrikaans in international communication as it seemingly never fails to get the message across to the other party.

Sadly, I haven't been home in 3 years. My sister lives in Ozland and I juggle visits between her and my mom in SA. I recently lost my job and am now seriously considering going back to SA permanently. I sort of feel I don't really have anything keeping me here anymore.

spacefreak
Jul 22, 2003, 10:27 AM
Originally posted by eklipse:
You know a person is truly great when a thread about them in the MacNN Politics Lounge gets more than 24 replies without a single negative comment.

If only there were more.
All he'd have to do would be to support the GOP, then we'd see just how transparent your praise is.

Spheric Harlot
Jul 22, 2003, 10:34 AM
Originally posted by spacefreak:
All he'd have to do would be to support the GOP, then we'd see just how transparent your praise is. Well, that *is* partly the point, isn't it?

If he were an idiot and a reactionary *******, people wouldn't be praising him as they are.

Good of you to let us know that you got the message. Troll.

-s*

spacefreak
Jul 22, 2003, 10:38 AM
Originally posted by Spheric Harlot:
If he were an idiot and a reactionary *******, people wouldn't be praising him as they are.
If he were an idiot and a reactionary *******, he'd be a liberal - which he is. Hence, the praise.

I like the old Mandela, but once he started running with the celebrity party cicuit with Clinton in the mid-90s, he lost track of himself. Lost a loyal wife as well - one who waited and worked an eternity for her husband to be released from prison.

Happy Birthday, Nelson.

Spheric Harlot
Jul 22, 2003, 10:45 AM
Originally posted by spacefreak:
If he were an idiot and a reactionary *******, he'd be a liberal - which he is. Hence, the praise. So, you're saying that Mandela is an idiot and a reactionary *******, and that's why he's revered across the globe.

Well - okay. If you say so.

I think that will do for today.

-s*

Spheric Harlot
Jul 22, 2003, 10:47 AM
Originally posted by spacefreak:
Lost a loyal wife as well - one who waited and worked an eternity for her husband to be released from prison. You added this after I'd hit reply...

IIRC, Winnie Mandela had a little trouble with the law in the 90's no?

-s*

spacefreak
Jul 22, 2003, 11:26 AM
Originally posted by Spheric Harlot:
So, you're saying that Mandela is an idiot and a reactionary *******, and that's why he's revered across the globe.

Well - okay. If you say so.
Actually, he said so. From Race and Rescue: Nelson Mandela's Odious Views on Iraq (http://slate.msn.com/id/2078003/)

t's a strong field in which to compete, but the contest for the most stupid remarks about the impending confrontation with Saddam Hussein has apparently been won by Nelson Mandela. Not content with describing this confrontation as a "holocaust" and attributing every administration motive to the greed for oil, the first president of liberated South Africa said that contempt had been shown for the United Nations because Kofi Annan was black, and that such things never used to happen when U.N. general secretaries were white. (This is the second time in six months that Mandela has said this and the second time that Kofi Annan has had no comment on the suggestion.)

Mandela also praised Col. Qaddafi and Maximum Leader Fidel Castro

Also: Mandela Sees Racism in US plan to Attack Iraq (http://www.sacobserver.com/news/091902/mandela_iran_attack.htm)

Sounds idiotic and reactionary to me, and all from the mouth of Nelson Mandela.

spacefreak
Jul 22, 2003, 11:28 AM
Originally posted by Spheric Harlot:
Winnie Mandela had a little trouble with the law in the 90's no? So she stands by him while in trouble with the law for decades, but he ditched the moment she encounters a problem? Pure class.

Spheric Harlot
Jul 22, 2003, 12:07 PM
Originally posted by spacefreak:
Actually, he said so. From Race and Rescue: Nelson Mandela's Odious Views on Iraq (http://slate.msn.com/id/2078003/)



Also: Mandela Sees Racism in US plan to Attack Iraq (http://www.sacobserver.com/news/091902/mandela_iran_attack.htm)

Sounds idiotic and reactionary to me, and all from the mouth of Nelson Mandela. Well, prove that he's wrong!

:p

Troll
Jul 22, 2003, 12:10 PM
Originally posted by spacefreak:
So she stands by him while in trouble with the law for decades, but he ditched the moment she encounters a problem? Pure class. I spent two years studying international relations with Winnie Mandela. Winnie managed to pass IR I after three attempts and followed me up to IR II where she got stuck for a few years after I moved on. Given that I usually arrived to class late, and she came in late for security reasons, we wound up sitting next to each other in the last available seats quite a lot. I had visions of being mown down in some assassination attempt. I don't know her well though. She probably wouldn't even recognise me and that's the way I'd like it to stay!!

Winnie seems to have taken the attitude that South Africa owes her for her work during the struggle. That consequently, she is above the law. Nelson dumped her not because of the things she'd been involved in during apartheid or his incarceration but because of what she did after apartheid had died. Nelson didn't have trouble with the law so much as the law had trouble with him. Getting involved in the murder of young black children, embezzling money, defrauding the state and private companies is not comparable with the reasons for Nelson's incarceration. Nothing un-classy about dumping a wife who went from being a freedom fighter to the Godfather.

spacefreak
Jul 22, 2003, 01:18 PM
Originally posted by Spheric Harlot:
Well, prove that he's wrong!
You're racist. Prove that I'm wrong. :p

Troll
Jul 22, 2003, 02:59 PM
Originally posted by spacefreak:
You're racist. Prove that I'm wrong. :p More correct would have been to ask us if Spheric was a racist. That's closer to what Mandela said!

I don't think this was Mandela's finest hour actually. I think he got unbelievably angry, as a lot of us did, at the arrogance of Bush telling the rest of the world to go to hell. When read in context, he is asking a series of leading questions. He starts off saying that the UN was the product of the cooperation of British and American presidents and then seems to wonder aloud what changed that those countries went from supporting it to undermining it. I think it has a slightly different slant in context but still, I think anger got the better of him here.

Speech delivered to the International Women's Forum meeting in Sandton, South Africa. The speech, on the theme of Courageous Leadership for Global Transformation

"We have not had world wars in 57 years, and it is because of the United Nations. We should condemn both Blair and Bush and let them know in no uncertain terms that what they are doing is wrong. Other international countries like France and Russia must influence the United Nations to condemn what he is doing.

Bush is now undermining the United Nations. He is acting outside it, not withstanding the fact that the United Nations was the idea of President Roosevelt and Winston Churchill. Both Bush, as well as Tony Blair, are undermining an idea which was sponsored by their predecessors. They do not care. Is it because the secretary-general of the United Nations is now a black man? They never did that when secretary-generals were white.

What is the lesson of them acting outside the United Nations? Are they saying any country which believes that they will not be able to get the support of the countries with a veto [in the United Nations] are entitled to go outside the United Nations and to ignore it? Or are they saying we, the United States, are the only superpower in the world now, [so] we can act as we like? Are they saying this is a lesson we should follow or are they saying 'we are special, what we do should not be done by anybody [else]?"

"Who are they, now, to pretend that they are the policemen of the world? To want to decide for the people in Iraq what they should do with their government and with their leadership?

If this is done by the United Nations, if the United Nations says that 'Saddam Hussein is not carrying out the resolutions of the United Nations, therefore we the United Nations are going to take action,' I will support that without reservation.

What I am condemning is that one power, with a president who has no foresight, who cannot think properly, is now wanting to plunge the world into a holocaust. I am happy that the people of the world - especially those of the United States of America - are standing up and opposing their own president.

I hope that that opposition will one day make him understand that he has made the greatest mistake of his life in trying to bring about carnage and to police the world, without any authority of the international body. It is something we have to condemn without reservation.

I only hope that the people of the United States will make Bush aware that he has made a big mistake to want to surpass the global body, the United Nations, whose ideals are to bring peace and eradicate wars.

The people of the U.S. should use their democracy to get rid of him. It is best for the U.S. to use the ballot box and demonstrations to draw attention to the issue.

And the women at this forum are there to look into these things, to be bold with their leadership and to condemn what is wrong."

BDiddy
Jul 22, 2003, 03:16 PM
I have two main issues with this speech:

"We have not had world wars in 57 years, and it is because of the United Nations."

Funny, I would have thought that two nuclear countries scaring the :censor: out of each other would have had something to do with that.


"To want to decide for the people in Iraq what they should do with their government and with their leadership?"

Since when have the people of Iraq had any say in their government and leadership?

Troll
Jul 22, 2003, 03:45 PM
Originally posted by BDiddy:
I have two main issues with this speech:Well, you're a bit late to the party :D
Originally posted by BDiddy:
Funny, I would have thought that two nuclear countries scaring the :censor: out of each other would have had something to do with that.Actually, it wasn't just two countries. A number of countries including Mandela's own country have had nuclear weapons. It would be your opinion that the UN wasn't responsible for the peace. I'd give the UN credit for giving those countries an outlet.
Originally posted by BDiddy:
Since when have the people of Iraq had any say in their government and leadership? Mandela's people had no say in their government and they didn't need Dubya to help them out. When he speaks of them resolving their problems, I think you have to give him a little more credit for knowing what he's talking about than you appear to be.

theolein
Jul 22, 2003, 04:03 PM
Originally posted by Troll:
I spent two years studying international relations with Winnie Mandela. Winnie managed to pass IR I after three attempts and followed me up to IR II where she got stuck for a few years after I moved on. Given that I usually arrived to class late, and she came in late for security reasons, we wound up sitting next to each other in the last available seats quite a lot. I had visions of being mown down in some assassination attempt. I don't know her well though. She probably wouldn't even recognise me and that's the way I'd like it to stay!!

Winnie seems to have taken the attitude that South Africa owes her for her work during the struggle. That consequently, she is above the law. Nelson dumped her not because of the things she'd been involved in during apartheid or his incarceration but because of what she did after apartheid had died. Nelson didn't have trouble with the law so much as the law had trouble with him. Getting involved in the murder of young black children, embezzling money, defrauding the state and private companies is not comparable with the reasons for Nelson's incarceration. Nothing un-classy about dumping a wife who went from being a freedom fighter to the Godfather.

Here, ou, jy is werklyk ooral gewees!

Winnie suffered a lot in the years that Nelson was in prison, including banning harrasment by the cops and other troubles. It was hard, no mistake. But one shouldn't forget that she wasn't alone. She had the support of the whole black community. But during the riots of the 80's, when the black townships were practically no go areas and blacks who were suspected of being police informers were "necklaced" (A car tire was shoved around there bodies, gasoline was poured over them and set alight) Winnie Mandela went on record as saying this was the right thing to do. Not only that but a young boy was murdered in her house in Soweto by her supporters and she covered it up. I remember it quite well. I was at university at the time.

After Nelson was released Winnie was given a lot of power in the ANC. She abused that power and was finally divorced by Nelson because of what she had become, but more importantly because of what she had lost: her honesty and her integrity.

BDiddy
Jul 22, 2003, 04:05 PM
Originally posted by Troll:
Actually, it wasn't just two countries. A number of countries including Mandela's own country have had nuclear weapons. It would be your opinion that the UN wasn't responsible for the peace. I'd give the UN credit for giving those countries an outlet.

These nations with nuclear capabilities were covered under a security blanket by either the US or USSR. They would never have made a move w/o their "master's" consent. Otherwise Israel would have gone nuclear some time ago, and Cuba would have leveled the East Coast of the USA (IMO). They didn't need the UN. Old fashioned fear prevented a third world war. PLUS, Russia was a member of the Security Council. The UNSC could never take an official stance on anything because either Russia or the US would veto it.

Originally posted by Troll:
Mandela's people had no say in their government and they didn't need Dubya to help them out. When he speaks of them resolving their problems, I think you have to give him a little more credit for knowing what he's talking about than you appear to be.

I grant you this, however, I wasn't arguing the point that a repressed people need or don't need the United States to help. I was simplying saying that Mandela said that the Iraqi people could choose their government and leadership, and this is completely untrue. Sure, Iraq had elections. I believe in the most recent election Saddam won with 100% of the vote. As I understand it, if you voted against Saddam you got shot. As a matter of fact, IIRC, you voted at gunpoint in Iraq.

Troll
Jul 22, 2003, 04:46 PM
Originally posted by theolein:
I remember it quite well. I was at university at the time. That means you were there when I was!

Troll
Jul 22, 2003, 04:50 PM
Originally posted by BDiddy:
These nations with nuclear capabilities were covered under a security blanket by either the US or USSR.Hmmm, whose security blanket was South Africa under? I don't think they would agree that they couldn't act without their master's consent.
Originally posted by BDiddy:
Mandela said that the Iraqi people could choose their government and leadership, and this is completely untrue. I don't see the part where he says that. Where is it? The part you quoted doesn't say that: " To want to decide for the people in Iraq what they should do with their government and with their leadership?"

BDiddy
Jul 22, 2003, 05:22 PM
Originally posted by Troll:
Hmmm, whose security blanket was South Africa under? I don't think they would agree that they couldn't act without their master's consent.

Acutally, S.Africa was in the middle of some civil unrest at the time that socialism came to Africa. The anti-apartheid dissidents begged for soviet support. Naturally, the U.S. gov't backed the current government to thwart communism. Eventually, the U.S gave up on SAfrica and took to Congo.

Originally posted by Troll:

I don't see the part where he says that. Where is it? The part you quoted doesn't say that: " To want to decide for the people in Iraq what they should do with their government and with their leadership?"

Open your eyes, you just typed it all down! By definition, if the US 'wants to decide FOR the people' then they are taking the power AWAY from the people, thus arguing that the people had the power in the first place. "What they should do with" also implies that they have control over "their government" and "their leadership."

Spheric Harlot
Jul 22, 2003, 06:47 PM
Originally posted by BDiddy:
These nations with nuclear capabilities were covered under a security blanket by either the US or USSR. They would never have made a move w/o their "master's" consent. Otherwise Israel would have gone nuclear some time ago, and Cuba would have leveled the East Coast of the USA (IMO). Interesting.

Cuba is/was a nuclear power? Are you sure you don't mean the Soviets? Cuba Crisis? Russian missiles?

They didn't need the UN. Old fashioned fear prevented a third world war. PLUS, Russia was a member of the Security Council. The UNSC could never take an official stance on anything because either Russia or the US would veto it. I'm pretty sure Simey could blast that last point into oblivion, if he were so inclined.

Iraq resolutions? 1990? Hey, that's even relevant to the situation today! Except that today, the world doesn't agree with US policy, so history doesn't matter.

-s*

Spheric Harlot
Jul 22, 2003, 06:53 PM
Originally posted by BDiddy:
Acutally, S.Africa was in the middle of some civil unrest at the time that socialism came to Africa. The anti-apartheid dissidents begged for soviet support. Naturally, the U.S. gov't backed the current government to thwart communism. Eventually, the U.S gave up on SAfrica and took to Congo. So Apartheid kept going much longer than it would have, had the country been left alone, simply because it was convenient for US policy at the time?

And "naturally" so?

Even if this is so, I find it astounding that you can type it like that without screaming bloody revolution in your own country.

-s*

theolein
Jul 22, 2003, 08:04 PM
Originally posted by BDiddy:
Acutally, S.Africa was in the middle of some civil unrest at the time that socialism came to Africa. The anti-apartheid dissidents begged for soviet support. Naturally, the U.S. gov't backed the current government to thwart communism. Eventually, the U.S gave up on SAfrica and took to Congo.



Open your eyes, you just typed it all down! By definition, if the US 'wants to decide FOR the people' then they are taking the power AWAY from the people, thus arguing that the people had the power in the first place. "What they should do with" also implies that they have control over "their government" and "their leadership."

This is not true, or at least highly simplified.

The real story:

The South African Communist Party (http://www.sacp.org.za/) was founded into 1921. What is highly ironic is that originally many white Afrikaaners in SA supported the party because they felt it would support them in there fight to reserve jobs for whites in place of blacks. There was a big strike in the 20's in South Africa where the South African Air Force actually bombed striking communist miners. The SCAP only lost power when it became a platform for all races in the face of Afrikaaner nationalism. Socialism, soviet style, came to Africa in a big wave when African States started getting their independance after WWII. That is what frightened the west and the reason why South Africa was tolerated openly for so long, and covertly (especially in the fields of bioweapons) for much longer.

The story of South Africa's nuclear weapons is a long one. Basically South Africa developed the weapons on their own, plus medium range missiles to deliver them. Soviet and American spy satellites discovered the test center more or less at the same time and BOTH of them made a huge stink at the UN (it was more important back then) about it, and SA closed the center. A little while later, a spy satellite spotted a huge flash in the southern Atlantic ocean, and although it has never been conclusively proven, it is assumed that that was the first and only live test of a South African nuclear weapon. Both the USSR and the USA were worried about SA nuclear weapons as SA was not in any way directly a proxy of either of them and it meant a huge sway in the balance of power in Southern Africa. The South Africans now had a weapon, which they could use as a weapon of last resort against any enemy. They put themselves essentially in the position that Israel is today. Posessing a nuclear arsenal which would assuerdly be used if there was a danger of the country falling.

Thank god, F. De Klerk, the last apartheid PM, decided to dismantle them and the new government unilaterally scrapped the programme in cooperation with UN weapons inspectors.

What does this have to do with US support you ask? Well, the ANC did ask for western support, it wasn't overtly communist at the time, but that overt support by western governments was denied. The SACP asked the Soviets for support and they were given training and weapons and eventually became the ANC's military wing, Umkonto We Siswe, or spear of the nation. The western governments that did support the ANC, Sweden was one were singled out for special hatred by South African agents, and in the TRC Amnesty commision in the 90's a South African Agent, Willem de Kok, claimed that it was the South Africans who assasinated the Swedish premier, Olaf Palme in 1988. South Africa's Apartheid regime was not being controlled by anyone in the west or east, which is one of the reaons they eventually fell.

The US suppported the civil war in Angola, supplying the right wing Unita rebels in their fight against the socialist MPLA government up until the Soviet block fell, whereupon the US simply ditched Unita which however carried on fighting for almost a decade. This is very similar to what happened in Afghanistan where the support dried up as soon as the Soviets left. And you know who was in Afghanistan, fighting the Soviets after having been trained by the CIA.

For the record the US didn't "give up" on South Africa and move on to the Congo. The US tried for years after the fall of apartheid to badger the SA government into delivering it's simple and easily mounted helmet mounted sighting system for jets to the USA, which thankfully the SA government refused to do. The US has never had much influence in the Congo. The three wars of attempted seccesion by the southern province of Katanga were stopped by the UN intervention in the first one, and troops of the organisation of African Unity in the second two. The later wars, where the Congo lost it's dictator Mobuto Sesseko and after the massacres in Rwanda were a mixture of civil wars with various parties supported by Uganda and Rwanda. The last one has officialy ended and that is why the French have peacekeepers there right now.

theolein
Jul 22, 2003, 08:06 PM
Originally posted by Troll:
That means you were there when I was!

Wits or UCT?

Troll
Jul 23, 2003, 02:56 AM
Originally posted by BDiddy:
"What they should do with" also implies that they have control over "their government" and "their leadership." No need to get nasty. Earlier when we were talking about the same quote, you conceded that Mandela had as little (if not less) control over his leadership and government as Iraqis do. You said you concede that but

"I was simplying saying that Mandela said that the Iraqi people could choose their government and leadership, and this is completely untrue."

All I was pointing out was that he didn't say that. Which brings us back to the original point. That the Iraqis had as much control over their government as Mandela had over his. Voting is not the only way you can control your destiny. Mandela is saying that it wasn't up to the USA to decide for Iraqis what should be done with the leadership and government of Iraq. The UN deciding would have been a different thing though.

Troll
Jul 23, 2003, 02:57 AM
Originally posted by theolein:
Wits or UCT? WITS! Me and Winnie down on East Campus. Sounds Simon and Garfunkelish no?

Troll
Jul 23, 2003, 04:00 AM
Originally posted by theolein:
This is not true, or at least highly simplified.

The real story:Debunking the Myth - a bestseller by Theolein.

Good post!

BDiddy
Jul 23, 2003, 08:58 AM
Originally posted by Troll:
No need to get nasty. Earlier when we were talking about the same quote, you conceded that Mandela had as little (if not less) control over his leadership and government as Iraqis do. You said you concede that but

"I was simplying saying that Mandela said that the Iraqi people could choose their government and leadership, and this is completely untrue."

All I was pointing out was that he didn't say that. Which brings us back to the original point. That the Iraqis had as much control over their government as Mandela had over his. Voting is not the only way you can control your destiny. Mandela is saying that it wasn't up to the USA to decide for Iraqis what should be done with the leadership and government of Iraq. The UN deciding would have been a different thing though.

I agree with you there...

BDiddy
Jul 23, 2003, 09:00 AM
Originally posted by Spheric Harlot:
So Apartheid kept going much longer than it would have, had the country been left alone, simply because it was convenient for US policy at the time?

And "naturally" so?

Even if this is so, I find it astounding that you can type it like that without screaming bloody revolution in your own country.

-s*

I never said that the U.S. wasn't partly responsible for the full effects of apartheid. Please, try to keep things in my original context, which was about the UN lack of involvement in the Cold War.

BDiddy
Jul 23, 2003, 09:02 AM
Originally posted by theolein:
This is not true, or at least highly simplified.

The real story:

The South African Communist Party (http://www.sacp.org.za/) was founded into 1921. What is highly ironic is that originally many white Afrikaaners in SA supported the party because they felt it would support them in there fight to reserve jobs for whites in place of blacks. There was a big strike in the 20's in South Africa where the South African Air Force actually bombed striking communist miners. The SCAP only lost power when it became a platform for all races in the face of Afrikaaner nationalism. Socialism, soviet style, came to Africa in a big wave when African States started getting their independance after WWII. That is what frightened the west and the reason why South Africa was tolerated openly for so long, and covertly (especially in the fields of bioweapons) for much longer.

The story of South Africa's nuclear weapons is a long one. Basically South Africa developed the weapons on their own, plus medium range missiles to deliver them. Soviet and American spy satellites discovered the test center more or less at the same time and BOTH of them made a huge stink at the UN (it was more important back then) about it, and SA closed the center. A little while later, a spy satellite spotted a huge flash in the southern Atlantic ocean, and although it has never been conclusively proven, it is assumed that that was the first and only live test of a South African nuclear weapon. Both the USSR and the USA were worried about SA nuclear weapons as SA was not in any way directly a proxy of either of them and it meant a huge sway in the balance of power in Southern Africa. The South Africans now had a weapon, which they could use as a weapon of last resort against any enemy. They put themselves essentially in the position that Israel is today. Posessing a nuclear arsenal which would assuerdly be used if there was a danger of the country falling.

Thank god, F. De Klerk, the last apartheid PM, decided to dismantle them and the new government unilaterally scrapped the programme in cooperation with UN weapons inspectors.

What does this have to do with US support you ask? Well, the ANC did ask for western support, it wasn't overtly communist at the time, but that overt support by western governments was denied. The SACP asked the Soviets for support and they were given training and weapons and eventually became the ANC's military wing, Umkonto We Siswe, or spear of the nation. The western governments that did support the ANC, Sweden was one were singled out for special hatred by South African agents, and in the TRC Amnesty commision in the 90's a South African Agent, Willem de Kok, claimed that it was the South Africans who assasinated the Swedish premier, Olaf Palme in 1988. South Africa's Apartheid regime was not being controlled by anyone in the west or east, which is one of the reaons they eventually fell.

The US suppported the civil war in Angola, supplying the right wing Unita rebels in their fight against the socialist MPLA government up until the Soviet block fell, whereupon the US simply ditched Unita which however carried on fighting for almost a decade. This is very similar to what happened in Afghanistan where the support dried up as soon as the Soviets left. And you know who was in Afghanistan, fighting the Soviets after having been trained by the CIA.

For the record the US didn't "give up" on South Africa and move on to the Congo. The US tried for years after the fall of apartheid to badger the SA government into delivering it's simple and easily mounted helmet mounted sighting system for jets to the USA, which thankfully the SA government refused to do. The US has never had much influence in the Congo. The three wars of attempted seccesion by the southern province of Katanga were stopped by the UN intervention in the first one, and troops of the organisation of African Unity in the second two. The later wars, where the Congo lost it's dictator Mobuto Sesseko and after the massacres in Rwanda were a mixture of civil wars with various parties supported by Uganda and Rwanda. The last one has officialy ended and that is why the French have peacekeepers there right now.

Good post... but that was not my argument... you took my statement way out of context. I was arguing how the chess match between the US and USSR was more responsible for ww3 not developing than the UN was.

BDiddy
Jul 23, 2003, 09:04 AM
Originally posted by Spheric Harlot:
Interesting.

Cuba is/was a nuclear power? Are you sure you don't mean the Soviets? Cuba Crisis? Russian missiles?

I'm pretty sure Simey could blast that last point into oblivion, if he were so inclined.

Iraq resolutions? 1990? Hey, that's even relevant to the situation today! Except that today, the world doesn't agree with US policy, so history doesn't matter.

-s*

Why does everyone want to take my post out of context? Please, try to read all of my posts before going off on a tangent! Your statement about Cuba is very true, and it backs up my point!! The fear between the US and USSR is what prevented a nuclear exchange, not some UN resolution. As far as the Iraq resolutions, once again, that is out of context. I was talking about the Cold War.

theolein
Jul 23, 2003, 09:37 AM
Originally posted by BDiddy:
Good post... but that was not my argument... you took my statement way out of context. I was arguing how the chess match between the US and USSR was more responsible for ww3 not developing than the UN was.

This thread is about Nelson Mandela and South Africa and the various influences on the country. It is not about the USA. There are more than enough threads for that. This thread and my posts should have shown by now that South Afrca, while theoretically in the western camp was a rogue country, more so than even my posts got to show. It was not a product of, nor did it have all that much to do with the cold war. The problems in South Africa were home grown, and "fertilized" to a certain extent by covert support of the various parties by the superpowers.

You had a dig at Mandela because you felt he insulted your president. While you have the right to feel that I don't feel that you have provided convincing counter arguments as to why Mandela's statements were so wrong. He was angry at the time and said what a lot of people felt. I suspect he was especially angry because the US/UK were running roughshod over the UN and were insulting their older allies and were using instruments of war without a broad international consensus. He was angry because people would die who had nothing to do with their government.

theolein
Jul 23, 2003, 09:38 AM
Originally posted by Troll:
WITS! Me and Winnie down on East Campus. Sounds Simon and Garfunkelish no?

The beginnings of the Rainbow Nation :D

BDiddy
Jul 23, 2003, 09:51 AM
Originally posted by theolein:
This thread is about Nelson Mandela and South Africa and the various influences on the country. It is not about the USA. There are more than enough threads for that. This thread and my posts should have shown by now that South Afrca, while theoretically in the western camp was a rogue country, more so than even my posts got to show. It was not a product of, nor did it have all that much to do with the cold war. The problems in South Africa were home grown, and "fertilized" to a certain extent by covert support of the various parties by the superpowers.

I made a post about Mandela's speech. He claimed the UN was responsible for WW3 never developing. My argument was that this is crap. How can I be off topic with a direct response toe a previous post in this thread? I never said that S.Africa was a product of the Cold War. I never even brought up S.Africa's role or lack thereof in the cold war until Troll brought it up. I had nothing to say about S.Africa at all, I wanted simply to comment on Mandela's speech. And I truly believe he was dead wrong in stating the UN prevented WW3 for 57 years. The UN didn't do anything at all. They couldn't. They were deadlocked with their hands tied for the first 40 of those years.


Originally posted by theolein:

He was angry at the time and said what a lot of people felt. I suspect he was especially angry because the US/UK were running roughshod over the UN and were insulting their older allies and were using instruments of war without a broad international consensus. He was angry because people would die who had nothing to do with their government.

I agree completely.

Spheric Harlot
Jul 23, 2003, 10:25 AM
Originally posted by BDiddy:
I made a post about Mandela's speech. He claimed the UN was responsible for WW3 never developing. My argument was that this is crap. How can I be off topic with a direct response toe a previous post in this thread? Well, I could go into a lengthy diatribe at this point on how this is possible, and what you need to look out for, and guess what: It would be a direct response to a previous post in this thread. And it would be massively off-topic.

:)

And I truly believe he was dead wrong in stating the UN prevented WW3 for 57 years. The UN didn't do anything at all. They couldn't. They were deadlocked with their hands tied for the first 40 of those years. Actually, while I'm not too firm on the matter, I do believe that the Cold War would not have gone anywhere near the way it did, had China, Soviet Russia, and the United States not been locked into a kind of stalemate in the UNSC. The UNSC was instrumental in maintaining the balance of power.

If the Cold War were still going on, I'm willing to bet that the ridiculing of peaceniks and the unilateral killing spree we've just witnessed from the U.S.A. would not have happened.

Conjecture, of course.

-s*

Troll
Jul 23, 2003, 10:28 AM
Originally posted by BDiddy:
I never even brought up S.Africa's role or lack thereof in the cold war until Troll brought it up. Just to be clear, you claimed that the the peace was kept not by the fact of the existence of the UN but by the fact that the world was split into two 'security blankets' with all nations responding to one of two 'masters.' What we pointed out to you was that there were countries that had nuclear weapons that weren't reporting to any masters, e.g. South Africa. That seems to throw your theory as to why there hasn't been a world war for 57 years into question.

There have been pages written about whether the UN has worked or not and I think most people concede that it has had some impact. At the very least it provides a forum for discussion and plays a legitimising role which hitherto didn't exist. No need to go into again. Mandela has his opinion, you have yours.

BDiddy
Jul 23, 2003, 10:30 AM
Originally posted by Spheric Harlot:
Actually, while I'm not too firm on the matter, I do believe that the Cold War would not have gone anywhere near the way it did, had China, Soviet Russia, and the United States not been locked into a kind of stalemate in the UNSC. The UNSC was instrumental in maintaining the balance of power.

If the Cold War were still going on, I'm willing to bet that the ridiculing of peaceniks and the unilateral killing spree we've just witnessed from the U.S.A. would not have happened.

Conjecture, of course.

-s*

I agree with you there... I guess I never thought of it that way.... lack of action was actually the most favorable action... it's like they say in baseball - sometimes the best trade is no trade at all.

BDiddy
Jul 23, 2003, 10:37 AM
Originally posted by Troll:
Just to be clear, you claimed that the the peace was kept not by the fact of the existence of the UN but by the fact that the world was split into two 'security blankets' with all nations responding to one of two 'masters.' What we pointed out to you was that there were countries that had nuclear weapons that weren't reporting to any masters, e.g. South Africa. That seems to throw your theory as to why there hasn't been a world war for 57 years into question.

Whether or not S.Africa was in the corner of the East or West is irrelevant, IMO. Perhaps I stand corrected on S.Africa's stance. However, my position still holds that S.Africa, were it compelled to use nukes, would not have done so because they would know that they would be obliterated by one side or the other. I'll give you guys the benefit of the doubt, and accept I was wrong on S.Africa's history. But at the same time, I argue that a nation with nukes between 1945-1985 would feel restrained from using them more-so by fear of reprisal from the US or USSR rather than UN sanctions (which hardly occurred in the aforementioned timeframe).

Troll
Jul 23, 2003, 11:14 AM
Originally posted by BDiddy:
But at the same time, I argue that a nation with nukes between 1945-1985 would feel restrained from using them more-so by fear of reprisal from the US or USSR rather than UN sanctions (which hardly occurred in the aforementioned timeframe). I once heard a lecture given by a German relating to this. At the time I agreed with you, but he was pretty convincing. He said that if SA nuked Southern Angola during the Angolan war, he doubted the USSR or the USA would respond with their own nuclear attack. Because such an attack would likely precipitate global nuclear war which neither of them wanted. He thought that Angola was not strategically important enough to them and that they would both condemn a nuclear attack but not respond to it for fear of escalating.

I guess if that had happened, the UN would have been quick to denounce the attack and I don't think the USA or the USSR would have blocked a Security Council resolution to send blue helmets off to Pretoria to sort the South Africans out. I guess the flip side would be that if SA was throwing nukes at Angola, wouldn't it throw them at blue helmets too? Maybe actually, SA would faced sanctions only.

I think rogues with nuclear weapons are very difficult to deal with. I mean, in our unipolar 2003 world, what do you think stops nuclear powers like Israel from firing nukes? The fear of a nuclear attack from the US? Maybe just the simple realisation that nukes are pretty scary things.

BDiddy
Jul 23, 2003, 11:30 AM
Originally posted by Troll:
I once heard a lecture given by a German relating to this. At the time I agreed with you, but he was pretty convincing. He said that if SA nuked Southern Angola during the Angolan war, he doubted the USSR or the USA would respond with their own nuclear attack. Because such an attack would likely precipitate global nuclear war which neither of them wanted. He thought that Angola was not strategically important enough to them and that they would both condemn a nuclear attack but not respond to it for fear of escalating.

I guess if that had happened, the UN would have been quick to denounce the attack and I don't think the USA or the USSR would have blocked a Security Council resolution to send blue helmets off to Pretoria to sort the South Africans out. I guess the flip side would be that if SA was throwing nukes at Angola, wouldn't it throw them at blue helmets too? Maybe actually, SA would faced sanctions only.

I think rogues with nuclear weapons are very difficult to deal with. I mean, in our unipolar 2003 world, what do you think stops nuclear powers like Israel from firing nukes? The fear of a nuclear attack from the US? Maybe just the simple realisation that nukes are pretty scary things.

Agreed. :thumbsup:

theolein
Jul 23, 2003, 11:56 AM
Originally posted by Troll:
I once heard a lecture given by a German relating to this. At the time I agreed with you, but he was pretty convincing. He said that if SA nuked Southern Angola during the Angolan war, he doubted the USSR or the USA would respond with their own nuclear attack. Because such an attack would likely precipitate global nuclear war which neither of them wanted. He thought that Angola was not strategically important enough to them and that they would both condemn a nuclear attack but not respond to it for fear of escalating.

I guess if that had happened, the UN would have been quick to denounce the attack and I don't think the USA or the USSR would have blocked a Security Council resolution to send blue helmets off to Pretoria to sort the South Africans out. I guess the flip side would be that if SA was throwing nukes at Angola, wouldn't it throw them at blue helmets too? Maybe actually, SA would faced sanctions only.

I think rogues with nuclear weapons are very difficult to deal with. I mean, in our unipolar 2003 world, what do you think stops nuclear powers like Israel from firing nukes? The fear of a nuclear attack from the US? Maybe just the simple realisation that nukes are pretty scary things.

This is a brilliant post! There is so much in this wolrd that has changed since the fall of the Soviet bloc. The chance that the USA would use nuclear weapons now is far greater than it was during the cold war. The USA and the Soviet Uniion were petrified of one another's ability to rid our planet of all life. Neither would have allowed the other to unilaterally use nuclear weapons against South Africa for fear of retaliation.

The UNSC was important, in that it provided a forum of checks and balances, essentially providing a deadlock in international relations. None of the superpowers could have really done much at the UN level against another because of the system of the veto, but it kept them talking while they sponsored many dozens of wars by proxy nations and organisations.

theolein
Jul 23, 2003, 12:05 PM
Originally posted by Troll:
WITS! Me and Winnie down on East Campus. Sounds Simon and Garfunkelish no?

This means that there is a good chance that we might have sat together unknowingly in Senate House drinking that awful liquid that passed for coffee while watching the strange strata of social species known as bagels and kugels parading around displaying their designer clothes.

You were perhaps there a bit later than I was though. Mid-80's, late-80's, early 90's ?

Troll
Jul 23, 2003, 02:58 PM
Originally posted by theolein:
This means that there is a good chance that we might have sat together unknowingly in Senate House drinking that awful liquid that passed for coffee while watching the strange strata of social species known as bagels and kugels parading around displaying their designer clothes.

You were perhaps there a bit later than I was though. Mid-80's, late-80's, early 90's ? Yeah, I got there in '91 just as the sh1t was starting to slide off the fan. Spent a bit of time on the Concourse watching the koogs, but hopping between East and West campus 10 times a day kept me pretty busy.

OAW
Jul 23, 2003, 06:22 PM
Originally posted by spacefreak:
Mandela also praised Col. Qaddafi and Maximum Leader Fidel Castro

Well since you brought it up, let's see what President Mandela actually said ...

"JOHANNESBURG, March 29 (AFP) - South Africa's President Nelson
Mandela announced Sunday that he intends to visit Iran soon,
insisting on his country's friendly relations with Tehran.
"I will visit Iran shortly and I do not hide those things," he
told CNN television, hours after seeing off visiting US President
Bill Clinton.
On Friday, Mandela told Clinton he was proud of Pretoria's close
relations with Cuba, Iran and Libya -- three countries Washington
treats as pariah states.
"Libya, Cuba, Iran are my friends," Mandela told the US
television channel, noting those countries' support for the
anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa "when the United States, as
other western powers, at the time of the struggle were really
helping our enemy."
Mandela repeated his opposition to the Growth and Opportunity
Bill on trade relations which is before the US Senate. The bill
offers trade bonuses to African countries that back democracy and
apply IMF reforms.
"We resist any attempt by any country to impose conditions on
our freedom of trade. That we cannot accept. And the provisions of
this Bill will restrict our freedom to trade with other countries,
something that I found totally unacceptable," Mandela said.
Mandela has several times upset Washington since his election in
1994 but has escaped much criticism because of his high
international moral standing.
In September 1996, then Iranian president Ali Akbar Hashemi
Rafsanjani visited Pretoria and the two countries maintain good
trade relations.
Mandela said Sunday he was willing to play a role in resolving
differences between Washington and those regimes it opposes.
"The enemies of the United States are not our enemies, I will
not accept that ... We are ready, and there are many influential
heads of state who are ready to help ensuring that the relations
between the USA and those countries are sorted out peacefully in a
way that will please both countries," he said.
"The United States of America plays an important role in world
affairs but ... American foreign policy should be consistent with
the provision of the United Nations charters which call upon all the
countries to settle their dispute by peaceful means."
"As a world leader, we would like them to set an example in
tring to carry out those principles."
Clinton left South Africa Sunday and arrived in Botswana, the
fifth country visited on a six-nation African tour. He had spent
four days in South Africa, making it the highlight of his visit. "

Personally, I don't have a problem with his statement, especially the portions I emphasized in bold which relate directly to the issue you raised. It is only the arrogance on the part of certain Americans that would cause them to actually think that after the US supported the apartheid government of SA for decades ... President Mandela and his government should suddenly disavow those countries that supported them in their struggle against tyranny and oppression simply because the US said so.

OAW

theolein
Jul 23, 2003, 08:30 PM
Originally posted by Troll:
Yeah, I got there in '91 just as the sh1t was starting to slide off the fan. Spent a bit of time on the Concourse watching the koogs, but hopping between East and West campus 10 times a day kept me pretty busy.

I dropped out in 1985, but still spent a fiar amount of time on campus after that as a lot of my friends were there. East campus was being built at the time, and I only got to write some exams there. The sh1t was flying thickly and heavily at the time. I lived a block away from Senate House in Jorrisen street and the demos at the time were quite hairy. There were shots fired, people were beaten up and quite a few got arrested by the security cops. In those years things seemed so bad I thought it was only a matter of time before full scale civil war broke out. Thank god that De Klerk, as the first and only PM had the sense to end the nonsense.