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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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  • What a great man (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Finallyjoined!!! (1158431) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @05:18PM (#45613399)
    He will be sadly missed. Huge respect.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Absolutely. Was he still considered a terrorist by the US, or did he live to see that finally set right?

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        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.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Deadstick (535032)

          OK, let's see. We had to fight a war that killed over half a million people to destroy slavery in a country of thirty million. That godless commie killed maybe a few hundred people in destroying apartheid in a country of fifty million. Wonder if a lesson lurks therein...

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by PopeRatzo (965947)

        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

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

          by bmajik (96670) <matt@mattevans.org> on Thursday December 05, 2013 @06:05PM (#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:5, Interesting)

            by PopeRatzo (965947) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @06:20PM (#45613977) Homepage Journal

            So, when Thatcher and Reagan participate in "bombing campaigns" it's "fighting for liberty" but when Mandela does it, they call it terrorism. Yes, that sounds like what you're saying.

            Thatcher was "resorting" to her own campaign of violence in Ireland, and Reagan, disappointed that he didn't have a real war to fight, sent the marines to invade, uh, Grenada.

            South Africa was enormously helped by the influence of Nelson Mandela. Both the UK and the US were left worse off by the influence of Thatcher and Reagan, (may they burn in Hell).

            • by bmajik (96670) <matt@mattevans.org> on Thursday December 05, 2013 @06:32PM (#45614103) Homepage Journal

              I hesitated to respond to you because we live in entirely different worlds, and I don't think any number of Slashdot posts is going to fix that.

              However, to be clear, I wasn't implying that Reagan or Thatcher had a problem with violence.

              On the contrary; they had a problem with South Africa becoming a communist satellite. When the communist agitators resort to violence, that just makes it easier to convince the domestic public that the communists are bad. Obviously when it is bin Laden fighting the Soviets, violence is just fine. We both understand how it works.

              Regarding your last point: South Africa of today is one of the most dangerous and violent places on earth; Mandela did next to nothing to address black on white or even black-on-black violence. There was a huge white-flight out of SA during the 90s.

              Perhaps you think this is a positive outcome. I don't.

              No racial reconciliation is perfect, of course. I would say that the US probably didn't do enough to help re-enfranchise blacks, and that South Africa may have done a bit too much.

              The bottom line is this: I very much enjoyed living in the Reagan years America. I very much would NOT have liked living in the Mandela years SA.

              I think Reagan and Thatcher were both great, as far as people who have actually held office go, and I am disappointed that the Reagan we got was nowhere close to the Reagan that campaigned. I was all for abolishing the Depts of Ed, Energy, and the ATF. Very disappointed with Reagan on that score...

              The other transgressions in his career (military adventurism) bother me, but I don't think they actually bother Reagan detractors that much. The people who bitterly hate Reagan tend to hate him for reasons that his supporters like him. Similarly, if you accuse Thatcher of being a union buster or for cleaning up free loaders on the dole, people like me will say "bravo Thatcher".

              The bottom line is that you and I probably agree that Reagan/Thatcher supported a bunch of wars and terrorists that they shouldn't have. But you shouldn't pretend like that is the basis for your displeasure with them. Especially not when every other US and UK leader since (some of which you've certainly hated LESS, if not mildly supported) has done the same exact shit...

              • by PopeRatzo (965947) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @07:46PM (#45614667) Homepage Journal

                I very much enjoyed living in the Reagan years America.

                Did you know that the average annual growth in GDP under Reagan was less than it was under Jimmy Carter? That doesn't figure in to your Reagan hagiography, does it?

                Of course "living in the Reagan years America" was good, especially compared to the years after his trickle-down insanity kicked in.

                Sometime, go take a look at the trend in middle-class income, starting with Ronald Reagan. In many ways, we're still living in Reagan's America. It's still his trickle-down voodoo economics. Even Pope Francis has recently weighed in on Ronald Reagan's beloved "supply-side" economics, calling it a "new tyranny".

                And it's only very recently that we're starting to see people begin to push back, as they start to understand what Ronald Reagan really did to this country.

                • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                  by phantomfive (622387)
                  I'm not sure where you are getting your numbers, it looks like the gdp dropped under Carter, and rose under Reagan [kitco.com]. Maybe you forgot to adjust for inflation? You could probably give some credit to Carter because Reagen followed some of his economic policies (like keeping Volcker around), but strictly looking at the numbers, growth was higher during Reagan's presidency.
                  • by PopeRatzo (965947)

                    If you average the GDP growth by term, Reagan comes out 2 tenths of a percent ahead.

                    If you average the GDP growth by presidency, Carter comes out ahead.

                    I've posted a link to the very recent study elsewhere in this thread. Look for figure 1b.

                    • Dang it, I was wrong, I got tricked in the graph I linked to, which is measuring GDP in gold ounces (an utterly useless measurement for this purpose). Here's a better graph [safehaven.com]. I didn't realize the economy was growing so quickly at the end of the Ford administration.
                • I very much enjoyed living in the Reagan years America.

                  Did you know that the average annual growth in GDP under Reagan was less than it was under Jimmy Carter?

                  Real GDP growth (meaning factoring in inflation) shows higher growth under Reagan than Carter [google.com].

                  • by PopeRatzo (965947)

                    It depends. If you're talking about average GDP growth by term, then Reagan is 0.2% better than Carter.

                    But if you measure by presidency... Well, go see for yourself. I've posted the very recent study elsewhere in this thread.

              • by Kjella (173770) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @07:47PM (#45614673) Homepage

                Regarding your last point: South Africa of today is one of the most dangerous and violent places on earth; Mandela did next to nothing to address black on white or even black-on-black violence. There was a huge white-flight out of SA during the 90s. Perhaps you think this is a positive outcome. I don't.

                What did you expect? I suspect a lot of "white flight" from certain areas of the US post-1865, it's not easy to have a man you used to have in shackles and call your property now be a free man and your equal - though I doubt most ex-slave owners ever saw it that way. We here in Norway did some very unkind things to children of Nazi soldiers and their mothers (there were 400.000 soldiers = males at the capitulation occupying a country of 3.000.000 and they'd been there for 5 years, contraception was generally not available and the Nazis had their Lebensborn program - shit happens), you don't get a toss-up like that without revenge.

                Like you say, a lot of that is black-on-black violence which is more about SA being in the same troubles as many other countries in Africa, they're 15th on the global list of murder rates but only 6th in Africa. The entire continent is so screwed up in more ways than you can count, there are still countries there with <35% literacy rates while South Africa is actually the most literate country in all of Africa, they have the highest GDP south of Sahara and so on. We're all affected by our neighbors and really they got nobody to look up to in a 5000 km radius.

              • by Darinbob (1142669)

                When it comes to apartheid, Reagan was nearly on his own as quite a lot of conservatives were also opposed to apartheid and wanted the sanctions. Yes at the start it was mostly right wing versus left over the issues of communism. But the average American was also very ignorant of what was happening in South Africa and did not know about apartheid or the atrocities happening there. Once the Americans began to become better informed and learned how things were in South Africa the mood changed even amongst

          • ANC/Mandela supported economic nationalism. He was honored by the Soviet Union for his pro-communist affiliations. ...

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

            And? Mandela could have been Satan incarnate. That doesn't justify vetoing anti-apartheid sanctions.

            In 61-62 he participated in a _bombing campaign_ to put pressure on the apartheid government.

            I like how you sandwich that in the above. It's as if you believe that Mandela was a one dimensional man with sp

          • by istartedi (132515)

            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.

            So he was smart enough to use communist rhetoric as a first stage, and then jettison it to fire stage 2 and insert South Africa into a succ

          • by Darinbob (1142669)

            Privatising mines makes sense. The wealth of the land belongs to the people, not just one individual. Maybe some hard liners think that means communism but it's not necessarily opposed to capitalism either. Being rich owner of a mine in an extremely poor nation isn't about creating wealth or free markets, it's more like theft. No white Afrikaaner or Englishman ever went about negotiating in good faith with the native black residents to have access to mineral resources, instead they just took it and expl

          • he advocated for nationalizing of banks, gold production, other mining

            Acceptable foreign leaders are those who abuse their power (making it easy to get rid of them at any time in the future) and grab a stack of cash for themselves (ditto). All other leaders are advised to update their life insurance policy.

            Mandala was too Gandhi-like for U.S. tastes. At least the CIA spinner landed on "time-in-prison" rather than "the-patsy-did-it".

            Once released he was an untouchable martyr. Quelle nightmare.
        • by ackthpt (218170)

          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.

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

            by isorox (205688) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @06:51PM (#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?

            • by Darinbob (1142669)

              How many buildings did Gandhi blow up?

              Not nearly as many as Reagan did.

              You're making the assumption that violence from someone you agree with is good whereas violence from someone you disagree with is bad. Ie, freedom fighters versus terrorists depends upon your viewpoint. What about all the founding fathers of the US who burned down a lot of buildings and tortured or killed a lot of British supporters? Ie "tar and feathering" which we are taught about in grade school was not just some mild public humiliation but a form of torture that could

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          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 [theguardian.com] in ending it.

          • Top marks, upvote parent.
          • Re:What a great man (Score:5, Informative)

            by PopeRatzo (965947) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @07:31PM (#45614589) Homepage Journal

            Thatcher never called Mandela a terrorist

            That's interesting, because the Tories apologized for her having called Mandela a terrorist.
            http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/cameron-we-were-wrong-to-call-mandela-a-terrorist-413684.html [independent.co.uk]

            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.

          • Thatcher never called Mandela a terrorist,

            She called the ANC a terrorist organization [margaretthatcher.org], which isn't much different.

        • by couchslug (175151)

          The Cold War was on at the time, compared to which little countries didn't matter but the strategic location of South Africa certainly did. With the survival of the West at stake, all of South Africa and it people were wisely considered expendable.

          In serious conflicts, it may be expedient to support one evil against another. We don't have serious wars any more because the world has been largely at peace since the Cold War ended. A few recreational neocolonial squabbles aren't much at all, but things were di

      • I recall Chomsky a couple of years ago said that Mandela was cleared from
        the US terrorist list only fairly recently. Maybe 2003?.
        The US Government is a monster with its head up its ass.

    • by krygny (473134)

      The guy sure had prunes.

      RIP

    • I love the justaposition of your sentiment and signiture.

    • He will be sadly missed. Huge respect.

      History remembers the great conquerors, but he was one of the great peacemakers. Let his memory last as long. This was one Nobel prize that was richly deserved.

      Sad to lose him, even though it's been years since he was a major player. The last year could not have been pleasant, though. Now he can rest. He's earned it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 05, 2013 @05:19PM (#45613419)

    ...he was...like...Morgan Freeman 2.0 down there...

  • by Gravis Zero (934156) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @05:24PM (#45613453)

    hang gliding accident

  • by JoeyRox (2711699) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @05:29PM (#45613499)
    To be imprisoned for 27 years but still have the selflessness to bring peace and freedom to his country so that nobody should share his fate is the essence of compassion, generosity, and forgiveness. He is a shinning example of the human spirit.
  • by Niterios (2700835) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @05:32PM (#45613537)
    Just wait for all the Bill Cosby pictures with the caption "RIP Nelson Mandela".
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      It's Morgan Freeman's pictures, dork!
  • Local perspective (Score:5, Informative)

    by Any Web Loco (555458) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @05:36PM (#45613595) Homepage
    South Africa's Mail & Guardian [mg.co.za] is worth a read - local perspective.
  • by _UnderTow_ (86073) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @05:44PM (#45613645)
    I just heard some sad news on talk radio - Anit-Apartheid activist Nelson Mandela was found dead in his South Africa home this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in this community will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to popular culture. Truly a South African icon.
  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @05:55PM (#45613777) Homepage

    When Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress took power, they were in a position where they could well have taken revenge for a couple of centuries of repression by the English and Afrikaners. He led the effort to do something else (the Truth and Reconciliation Commissions), so that his country would not tear itself apart the way so many of its neighbors had done, repeatedly.

    I'm not saying South Africa is a paradise compared to, say, the UK, but it's doing a heck of a lot better than Zimbabwe or Lesotho, and his decisions had a lot to do with that.

  • They must've broken the sound barrier getting here to post.

  • My own Mandela story (Score:5, Interesting)

    by spaceyhackerlady (462530) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @06:07PM (#45613893)

    When Nelson Mandela turned 70 there was quite a bit of coverage in the news here. He was still in jail, so I called Cape Town information, got the number, phoned the jail and left a message ("Happy Birthday!") for him.

    The man who answered the phone sounded like he'd been on the phone a lot that day. He was also very careful to take down my name and where I was calling from. I suspect that until the government changed there would have been little point in trying to get a visa to visit South Africa...

    ...laura

  • by richy freeway (623503) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @06:42PM (#45614195)
    Respect where it's due... That's 5 miles an hour faster than Paul Walker!
  • One of the greatest leaders our world has ever known. May he rest in peace.

  • R.I.P. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Mr. Mandela, who died Thursday night at age 95, seemed to understand that the motivating force behind ethnic, religious and racial hatred is not only, or even primarily, self-interest; it is fear, distrust, a lack of understanding. In his person and his policies, he set out to show those on the other side that they had little to fear. He sought unity rather than revenge, honesty and understanding rather than the naked exercise of power. These are all fine abstractions, of course, but never so clear to us as
  • by chameleon3 (801105) <thishastobeafake@gmail.com> on Thursday December 05, 2013 @07:22PM (#45614503)
    every word the truth [theonion.com]
  • Larger than Life (Score:4, Interesting)

    by allcoolnameswheretak (1102727) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @08:51PM (#45615063)

    Nelson Mandela is a larger-than-life figure. The true hero, that sacrifices his life and gives all of his energy for a cause. He may not always have resorted to peaceful means, but when your opponents will not listen to reason and only speak the language of violence, the temptation to fight fire with fire runs high. Despite losing friends, witnessing the mercilessness and brutality of a police state and being treated less than human, he transitioned the unjust, abusive apartheid regime of South Africa into a free democracy for all.
    South Africa is still a troubled country. But this is the product of decades of apartheid, that has created a huge divide between the rich and the poor, and ignoring the education and integration of most of its population. With these foundations, it is no wonder that poverty and crime still pose a huge challenge to South African society.

    Nelson Mandela has done more than his part, much more than can be expected from a single lifetime. Rest in peace.

  • Once again humaity is shown how to live.
  • I would think "news" or "the world" would be a better fit. Calling him a politician is a bit like calling Einstein a mathematician.
  • by Chrisq (894406) on Friday December 06, 2013 @03:22AM (#45616837)
    Nelson Mandela was one of my heroes. His "truth and reconciliation" was the only way to heal South Africa after apartheid, and puts lie to the claims that "people who are mistreated have no choice but to become murderers" that we hear so often.

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