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05 December 2013


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

William R. Cumming

PL! Robert Ruark's book "Something of Value" you might find of interest! In the end the transition was not solely by force or as bloody as it might have been IMO in S.Africa.

Perhaps I am wrong. Ifs don't really count in history.



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



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

The beaver

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

The Twisted Genius


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

Charles I

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


Charles I

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



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


Wow, this thread took an unexpected turn.

And here I thought the irony of Netanyahu's sorrow would be expressed, eventually Israel has a demographic choice - genocide or accommodation - and eventually accommodation likely will be impossible.

There is IMO no clear formula that peaceful protest is better than armed resistance. it depends - had I been there I would not have died as a sheep in the Warsaw ghetto. But Mandela could have used his opportunity for power as a chance to clean the slate, alla Maliki, or _______(fill in the blank), and South Africa and the world is a better place that he did.

So will there be a Palestinian Mandela? My take on human nature is the winning bet is no.

Babak Makkinejad

You asked:

"How far back do you want to start in a search for legitimacy?"

For myself, to the days of the Great King.

Babak Makkinejad

They were colonialist because they were outnumbered by Africans who themselves had also moved in - about the same time as the Dutch into Southern Africa.

I think the racial difference was certainly an element but also the construction of historical narratives also lend itself to this view.

Chinese moved into Malaysia starting from the 15-th century yet they were spared the rubric of colonizers - I guess because they were not "White".

Likewise, Turkic tribes had been invading Central Asia and Middle East for centuries; they accomplished their colonization and Turkification projects before the "White" historians came unto the scene - I suppose.

And one could go on with the Goths and their invasions of the Roman Empire; they even gave their name to the Lombard province in Italy.

Personally, everything has gone wrong since the time of Xerxes II.

Babak Makkinejad

Like Abraham Lincoln, Mandela is now an untouchable political saint in the world.

Lincoln would shed tears when meeting with this or that widow or grieving mother, yet he was unwilling to parole the Confederate POWs since he preferred to burden the South with the care of Union POWs in Andersonville and other such places.

Babak Makkinejad

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

Nancy K

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

Will Reks

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


I was too young to experience the full effect of Apartheid laws the way my mother, grandparents and their generations had experienced them. I do not claim Mandela or his compatriots to be a saint, I do not believe any man on this earth to be a saint really. But I will always be grateful to Mandela and his peers for fighting on my generations behalf. You are right Colonel, he did lead an armed revolt against the SA Government. A government that refused to recognise our individual liberty and freedoms. A government that resorted to violence against us first, before MK retaliated. I have asked this question to Tyler before, but what would any of the SST followers on this board do if they were in our situation? Would they not have rebelled against an oppressive government after other avenues had been tried? And other, legal avenues had been tried. Then the sharpville massacre happened.

Tyler, you talk about Mandela introducing necklacing, but you are wrong. His wife and her "soccer" boys were the ones who engaged in such barbaric acts. Mandela was imprisoned when those things happened. Winnie was a vicious individual, and if Mandela could receive any blame, it would be in not reigning her in. Again Mandela was no saint, but he did try to minimise civilian casualties. Don't take my word for it, research the attacks MK carried out. You then talk about how Mandela did not try to renounce violence against whites in South Africa, then I would ask you to do your research on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. If it was not for the TRC, South Africa might have fallen into a civil war then and there. You criticise De Klerk, but I ask you to research the state of the economy of South Africa and its standing in the world and I ask you, how was that country to survive such an isolation? Forgive the pun, but things were not so black and white during those times. Mandela and De Klerk, to their credit, did a lot after Mandela's release from prison to contain a volatile situation and help transition the country peacefully. The fact that South Africa has the problems it does now, I would lay more of the blame down to his successors and the corruption that runs deep amongst those lot. But South Africa, is not Zimbabwe or Lesotho. For all the negatives that country still faces, we came out better than all of Southern Africa.

Mandela was a terrorist, but he was also my freedom fighter. For that I am grateful.



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


The Communists were fond of claiming the same thing. "Ash heap of history" is what Trotsky was fond of saying.

Yet here we are, and Russia is returning to its autocratic rule with the RO Church back in the saddle. Don't be so sure that your "progress" is anything but hubris.


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



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


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


"...but what would any of the SST followers on this board do if they were in our situation?"

We would rebel. However that would take a different form here as we are a different people.


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

Mark Logan

After watching a tape Reagan's speech, given after his veto was over-ridden, I don’t think it was a mindless fear of communism that was driving him, but instead a judgement call that a sudden change would result in a blood-bath. Had all the makings, and “it” goes that way most of the time. Mandela was certainly key in avoiding that.

Mandela's character and strength may have enabled a near-miracle, an "indispensable man", I guess, but it's hardly fair to judge Reagan and his advisors with hindsight on that one. I'll admit I would have made the same call anyway. There seems to me to be both a wee bit too much adulation for Mandela and too much scolding of Reagan.

I was under the impression the southerners did engage in an insurgency which derailed the Reconstruction, the KKK. They did well in the north too, albeit with different ways and means, so perhaps there should be no finger-pointing on that one.

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