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Nelson Mandela Dead At 95 311

Posted by timothy
from the specials-song-now-in-my-head dept.
New submitter Emilio Hodge writes "Nelson Mandela, the revered statesman who emerged from prison after 27 years to lead South Africa out of decades of apartheid, has died, President Jacob Zuma announces. He was 95." Mandela's death is covered by lots of news sources, of course, including The New York Times and The Washington Post.
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Nelson Mandela Dead At 95

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  • Re:What a great man (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 05, 2013 @06:32PM (#45613535)
    Both. He was, in his own words in his autobiography, a terrorist inspired by Castro and Che Guevara and spearheaded the creation of an ANC spinoff for the purposes of armed violence.
  • Local perspective (Score:5, Informative)

    by Any Web Loco (555458) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @06:36PM (#45613595) Homepage
    South Africa's Mail & Guardian [] is worth a read - local perspective.
  • by RLiegh (247921) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @06:43PM (#45613641) Homepage Journal

    Because it's "stuff that matters."

  • One word (Score:5, Informative)

    by bob_super (3391281) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @06:49PM (#45613715)


    Learn a bit.

  • Re:What a great man (Score:5, Informative)

    by bmajik (96670) <> on Thursday December 05, 2013 @07:05PM (#45613871) Homepage Journal

    Not that you're interested, but for the benefit of people who come across your posts, I offer this clarification:

    Read the Wikipedia article on Mandela. All of it.

    ANC/Mandela supported economic nationalism. He was honored by the Soviet Union for his pro-communist affiliations. In 61-62 he participated in a _bombing campaign_ to put pressure on the apartheid government.

    Mandela was anti-capitalist. Not as in, "bmajik says so", but as in, Mandela says so.

    Reagan and Thatcher were hesitant to cut off South Africa not because they gave a shit about Mandela or because they loved sticking it to black people; they saw SA as a pawn in the cold war. They didn't want a bunch of African Nationalist Parties starting communist and Russia-aligned states all over the untapped African continent.

    To Manela's credit, while he advocated for nationalizing of banks, gold production, other mining, and the abolition of private property, he didn't enact these policies when he eventually took control of the government. He was smart enough to understand that SA badly needed foreign investment, and nationalizing industry and destroying property doesn't get you investors.

    Mandela is a mixed bag. As terrorists go, he was a pretty pleasant one -- MK (the militant wing he was part of) only attacked infrastructure at night, hoping to minimize civilian losses.

    But, he was willing to resort to violence to bring about a communist revolution in Africa.

    You think Reagan and Thatcher were against that? You're right.

    Again -- read the WP article. I just summarized it here.

  • Re:What a great man (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 05, 2013 @07:42PM (#45614199)

    Thatcher never called Mandela a terrorist, you'll comb records in vain for any first-hand report of that remark because it never happened.

    Mandela himself stated that he considered Thatcher to be a strong enemy of apartheid, and it's even been argued that she played a pivotal role [] in ending it.

  • Re:What a great man (Score:4, Informative)

    by isorox (205688) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @07:51PM (#45614269) Homepage Journal

    Was he still considered a terrorist by the US

    It's so much worse than just Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher calling Mandela a "terrorist".

    When congress passed anti-apartheid sanctions, Reagan vetoed them, and then actively called the Senators before the veto override vote to try to convince them to let it stand. Congress went ahead and overrode the veto, giving Reagan one of his worst political defeats as president. It was the only time in the 20th century when congress overrode a president's veto of a foreign policy bill.

    Reagan still refused to enforce the sanctions against the apartheid regime, asking South African President Botha to call congress himself and lobby to have the sanctions lifted.

    Reagan's successor, George H W Bush, included in his platform a promise to enforce the sanctions to their fullest extent, which he ultimately did.

    Mandela's legacy will ring out long after Reagan and Thatcher's have been relegated to the trash.

    I continue to feel Reagan is overrated. Mandela was the Gandhi of our time.

    How many buildings did Gandhi blow up?

  • Re:What a great man (Score:5, Informative)

    by PopeRatzo (965947) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @08:31PM (#45614589) Homepage Journal

    Thatcher never called Mandela a terrorist

    That's interesting, because the Tories apologized for her having called Mandela a terrorist. []

    and it's even been argued that she played a pivotal role in ending it.

    How funny is it that people post links without reading them. Here's the headline of the story you link to:

    How Margaret Thatcher helped end apartheid - despite herself

    And here's an interesting quote from that story:

    A close aide once told me that she opposed apartheid more on the grounds that it was a sin against economic liberalism rather than a crime against humanity. She also was bitterly against sanctions of any sort â" they were a crime against free trade. She even went on denouncing them after Britain and the rest of the Commonwealth had imposed a ban on sporting contacts and other marginal sanctions. She boasted that she alone had managed to fight off demands for stronger sanctions.

    Advised by her husband, Dennis, who had business interests in South Africa, she felt that anything that damaged wealth creation must be bad for South Africa. She was also a great admirer of Laurens van der Post, the South African writer and traveller later exposed as a fraud, who also opposed sanctions on the country. He introduced her to Mangosuthu Buthelezi, the Zulu leader, who played an ambivalent role in the struggle against apartheid, splitting from the ANC in 1979 and accepting "homeland" status for Kwazulu. His movement, Inkatha, helped the South African police repress ANC rebellion in the townships.

    That's right, Margaret Thatcher's household income came in part due to South African investments under apartheid.

  • Re:What a great man (Score:5, Informative)

    by clarkkent09 (1104833) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @10:26PM (#45615241)

    Reagan after the Congress vote on SA sanctions:

    "America - and that means all of us - opposes apartheid, a malevolent and archaic system totally alien to our ideals. The debate, which culminated in today's vote, was not whether or not to oppose apartheid but, instead, how best to oppose it and how best to bring freedom to that troubled country ....
    Punitive sanctions, I believe, are not the best course of action; they hurt the very people they are intended to help. ...
    It would be tragic to lose this opportunity to create a truly free society which respects the rights of the majority, the minority, and the individual. There is still time for orderly change and peaceful reform. South Africans of good will, black and white, should seize the moment."

    He (correctly IMHO) believed that gradual change was the best course and that suddenly weakening the government would hand the power to ANC which at the time was a strongly anti-capitalism, pro-USSR, extremely violent (look up its practice of "necklacing") movement.

    It is to Mandela's credit that he controlled such a vicious organization and managed to bring about peaceful change instead of the race and ideological war that would have taken place with just about anybody else in his place.

  • Re:What a great man (Score:4, Informative)

    by PopeRatzo (965947) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @11:23PM (#45615583) Homepage Journal

    30 secs of google found a NY Times article* by Floyd Norris from 2011, using data from the Commerce Department, shows that it avg GDP growth was 3.5% under Reagan, The Gipper and 3.2% under Carter,

    Here's something more recent that shows something different:

    If you calculate the average GDP growth by term, you get the figures you cite. If you calculate the average GDP growth by presidency you get Carter ahead. See the paper below, figure 1b: []

  • Re:What a great man (Score:5, Informative)

    by mjwx (966435) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @11:25PM (#45615591)

    Reagan & Thatcher opposed "sanctions". They didn't support apartheid.

    They supported the apartheid government, which is the same thing. It's like saying you support the German government in 1939, but you don't support Nazis.

    The Nazis were democratically elected into power []. If you supported democracy, you had to support the Nazis in 1939 (prior to their invasion of Poland in September). I opposed the younger Bush and voted against him both times, but I supported his government because he fairly won a democratic election.

    The Nazi's were elected, but not democratically.

    In 1933, the Nazi's had an organisation called the Sturmabteilung or SA (commonly called the brown shirts) which acted as a private army for the Nazi party. Their role during the election was to act as standover men to watch who voted for who and to provide "assistance" to people who voted incorrectly. The German election of 1933 was pretty much rigged and immediately after the election Hitler set about destroying the democracy, stabbing his political enemies and adsorbed the SA into the German army. []

    It has no equilency to the election of George Bush (either of them).

    Now I did not vote for Tony Abbott in the Australian elections, I do not support the Abbott government as is my democratic right to oppose an elected government and I will take any steps, legal under Australian laws to oppose and democratically remove the Abbott government because I believe the Abbott government is bad for Australia (he's essentially our George W Bush and in his 2 months in office has proved this in spectacular fashion). The brilliant thing about democracy is that the leaders dont get to rule by fiat until the next election and that you are allowed to be critical or in open opposition of a government. Of course Abbott supporters will oppose me (as is their right), but I'm not worried as Abbott seems to be proving my points for me.

  • by Smauler (915644) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @11:46PM (#45615707)

    Mandela, ~ unlike all other hypocritical politicians all around the world, ~ is a dude who was TRUE TO HIS WORDS.

    I think his actions speak louder [].

    "The TRC (Truth and Reconciliation Commission) found that torture was "routine" and was official policy – as were executions "without due process" at ANC detention camps particularly in the period of 1979–1989."

    Mandela founded MK [], because he thought the ANC was not militant enough.

    I think he was right and just to do most of the things that he did. Brushing under the carpet military and terrorist tactics like most seem to do now, because he was on the right side, is unhelpful IMO.

    It wasn't his words that influenced politics in South Africa, it was his actions, however unsavoury they were. Also, yes, I do know he was in prison when those attacks took place. The organisation he founded carried out the attacks.

  • Re:What a great man (Score:5, Informative)

    by flyingfsck (986395) on Friday December 06, 2013 @01:47AM (#45616293)
    You just have no fscking idea do you? How the hell do you use 250,000 hand grenades and 140 tons of explosives for peaceful purposes? If you want to ignore all the people who died because of his callousness, maybe you should think of the children his wife murdered?
  • Re:What a great man (Score:1, Informative)

    by torsmo (1301691) on Friday December 06, 2013 @02:03AM (#45616345)
    He is not his wife. Her actions are her own responsibility.
  • Re:What a great man (Score:5, Informative)

    by shutdown -p now (807394) on Friday December 06, 2013 @05:26AM (#45617033) Journal

    Thing is, ANC did deliberately target civilians. Churches, that kind of thing. A lot of that came up in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

    So yes, ANC were definitely terrorists. Fighting for a just cause, perhaps, but the definition is about the means, not the ends.

Contemptuous lights flashed flashed across the computer's console. -- Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy