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Why was South Africa "singled out" by the international community?

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JackNewtown Donating Member (703 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 02:13 PM
Original message
Why was South Africa "singled out" by the international community?
The boycott, global sanctions against apartheid South Africa were before my time and I am wondering why of all the brutal governments in the world why South Africa was singled out? Was it because of some sort of racism against South African whites?
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HereSince1628 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 02:15 PM
Response to Original message
1. Maybe a google on Apartheid is the best way to start.
I can assure you it was NOT about racism against Whites.
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VelmaD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 02:15 PM
Response to Original message
2. Are you serious?
*blinkblinkblink*

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JackNewtown Donating Member (703 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 02:18 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Not really
Edited on Thu Aug-03-06 02:19 PM by JackNewtown
I am trying to make a point to those who think there is a vast progressive conspiracy against Israel motivated by anti-Semitism. ;) I bet most of the people in the US leveling that charge supporting the anti-South African apartheid movement.
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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 02:22 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. Aah. Got ya.
After the posts that have appeared over the last 2 wks, I just assume everything posted is serious.
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JackNewtown Donating Member (703 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 02:26 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. The weak spin is annoying
Edited on Thu Aug-03-06 02:27 PM by JackNewtown
I occassionally like to demonstrate the "weakness" (to put it mildly) of that spin by applying it to other situations. :evilgrin: You can bet none of those who claim there is a vast progressive conspiracy against Israel will post in this thread.
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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 02:59 PM
Response to Reply #8
30. Good post
The similarities are amazing.
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jonnyblitz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 02:33 PM
Response to Reply #4
12. I know exactly what you are saying.nt
Edited on Thu Aug-03-06 02:35 PM by jonnyblitz
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JackNewtown Donating Member (703 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 02:36 PM
Response to Reply #12
15. Isn't hasbara grand?
Did you hear of the online army the Israeli foreign ministry has deployed to major websites?

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/printFriendly/0,,1-3-22892...
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jonnyblitz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 02:46 PM
Response to Reply #15
25. I sure have!!
War is Peace!! :patriot:
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JackNewtown Donating Member (703 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 02:48 PM
Response to Reply #25
26. Good citizen!
Now make sure to report thoughtcrime when you see it and you will be a true patriot!
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jonnyblitz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 02:49 PM
Response to Reply #26
27. !!!
:thumbsup:
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JackNewtown Donating Member (703 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 02:52 PM
Response to Reply #27
28. Some helpful tips
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bowens43 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 02:17 PM
Response to Original message
3. No, it wasn't about racism against South African whites......
use google
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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 02:19 PM
Response to Original message
5. "racism against South African whites?"
Edited on Thu Aug-03-06 02:20 PM by marmar
I'm with VelmaD. Are you serious?
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JackNewtown Donating Member (703 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 02:25 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. Post #4 ; ) nt
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HamdenRice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 02:29 PM
Response to Original message
9. Actually South Africa was not "singled out" even in Africa
Edited on Thu Aug-03-06 02:30 PM by HamdenRice
Before the anti-apartheid movement against South Africa, the sanctions against Rhodesia were much more severe. In both cases, these countries had sanctions imposed on them because they were violating international law.

Rhodesia was a colony of the United Kingdom with a high degree of self-rule under a whites only franchise. Therefore, the UK had the responsibility for setting the terms of independence to which the UK had in principle agreed. Having granted independence to several other African colonies, the UK decided that the terms of independence required a full franchise. The Rhodesian whites instead chose "unilateral declaration of independence" in 1965 on the basis of a whites only franchise. This violated the international norm, established after WWI, of self-determination for the majority population. The matter was referred to the UN and sanctions were imposed. When Rhodesia finally gave up as a result of the armed struggle for majority rule, Rhodesia actually was returned to the UK, which allowed the UN to supervise elections leading to the creation of Zimbabwe.

South Africa also had sanctions imposed because of violations of international law. At the end of WWI, South Africa was granted trusteeship by the League of Nations (precursor to the UN) over the formerly German colony of South West Africa. South Africa imposed segregation and then apartheid over South West Africa. But ultimately, the United Nations had legal responsibility over South West Africa. Because South Africa refused to recognize its obligations to the United Nations trusteeship program and the obligation of decolonization and self-determination, sanctions were imposed -- but primarily relating to South West Africa. Later, United Nations resolutions determined that apartheid was a crime, and individual countries, including the United States, imposed various limited sanctions on South Africa.

Meanwhile, as a result of armed struggle by the movement for majority rule in South West Africa, South Africa agreed to return South West Africa to United Nations trusteeship, and elections were held, leading to the independence of Namibia.

The idea that sanctions were imposed on South Africa because of racism against white South Africans is simply wrong.

on edit: sorry my sarcasm detector was turned off. but the outline of events may be helpful in understanding what happened.
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JackNewtown Donating Member (703 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 02:33 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. Thanks for the info, and a question
How did Reagan politically get away with vetoing a sanctions bill on South Africa? What was the USA's historical role regarding apartheid South Africa? I heard the US once heavily backed it as a favorite client state in the region. Is that true?
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Armstead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 02:38 PM
Response to Reply #11
16. Theyt made it one of those "bleeding heart leftie" issues
Edited on Thu Aug-03-06 02:39 PM by Armstead
The US response to South Africa was an example of human-rights supporters sticking to a goal. People who were opposed to apartheid were stubborn and pushed the issue into the mainstream. But it wasn't quick or easy.

For a long time the usual suspects in the Coirportate World and the Right-Wing Lackeys in the US did their best to support their freedom to do business with South Africa.

Until the truth sunk in, the neocons of that time managed to make it seem that the boycott movement against South Africa was just another of those funny little causes of the whacky left.

They took it seriously though. Dick Cheney, among others was opposed to sanctions against South Africa.

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JackNewtown Donating Member (703 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 02:40 PM
Response to Reply #16
19. So what happened to the momentum of that movement?
After the movement succeeded what happened to its momentum? Why didn't the movement set its sight on some other oppressive country? It would be great if we could always have a movement to reform an oppressive country.

I am not surprised about Cheney. I wonder if Bush the 2nd even knew what SA was back then. :rofl:
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HamdenRice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 05:36 PM
Response to Reply #19
42. They're still involved in Africa and South Africa
This is a lesson for the supporters of Israel.

The anti-apartheid movement continued to support the ANC and United Democratic Front during the constitutional negotiations of the 1990s. When South Africa achieved majority rule many continued to focus on Africa and supported the Mandela administration.

It is interesting that in the 1970s and 1980s, a lot of us then-young people had a commitment to Africa that was "Africa right or wrong" and we supported some bad regimes, just because they were independent. But after the 1980s, people become much more critical about which governments deserved support.

Some are involved in criticizing Sudan over Darfur and others are highly critical of the post-Mandela Mbeki government of South Africa for failing to address the AIDS crisis effectively and its neo-liberal economic policies.

In other words, the mostly African American community deeply involved in Africa became oriented to the African people, not African governments.

I wish the people who support Israel would make the same distinction.

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HamdenRice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 05:28 PM
Response to Reply #11
41. Reagan didn't get away with it
This was a period when there were still decent Republicans in Congress. Reagan vetoed sanctions, and then the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committe, Dick Lugar (still a moderate Republican in the Senate) gave an amazing speech and convinced the Republican controlled Congress -- an alliance of Democrats and moderate Republicans) -- to override the veto. The next day practically, SA had a financial crisis and the decent New York bankers, led by ironically David Rockefeller, refused to roll over their loans. That was the beginning of the end. They could not continue on their path of increasing apartheid.

I remember watching this all take place in a conference room at the Ford Foundation.
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Tierra_y_Libertad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 02:32 PM
Response to Original message
10. Israel sold arms, including nuclear technology, to SA.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,,1704037,00.ht...


Brothers in arms - Israel's secret pact with Pretoria

During the second world war the future South African prime minister John Vorster was interned as a Nazi sympathiser. Three decades later he was being feted in Jerusalem. In the second part of his remarkable special report, Chris McGreal investigates the clandestine alliance between Israel and the apartheid regime, cemented with the ultimate gift of friendship - A-bomb technology

Israel was openly critical of apartheid through the 1950s and 60s as it built alliances with post-colonial African governments. But most African states broke ties after the 1973 Yom Kippur war and the government in Jerusalem began to take a more benign view of the isolated regime in Pretoria. The relationship changed so profoundly that, in 1976, Israel invited the South African prime minister, John Vorster - a former Nazi sympathiser and a commander of the fascist Ossewabrandwag that sided with Hitler - to make a state visit.

By the 1980s, Israel and South Africa echoed each other in justifying the domination of other peoples. Both said that their own peoples faced annihilation from external forces - in South Africa by black African governments and communism; in Israel, by Arab states and Islam. But each eventually faced popular uprisings - Soweto in 1976, the Palestinian intifada in 1987 - that were internal, spontaneous and radically altered the nature of the conflicts.

The biggest secret of all was the nuclear one. Israel provided expertise and technology that was central to South Africa's development of its nuclear bombs. Israel was embarrassed enough about its close association with a political movement rooted in racial ideology to keep the military collaboration hidden.

Note: There were many Israelis who opposed Israel's alliance with South Africa and spoke out. And, a South African Jew, Helen Suzman, fought long and hard against the apartheid regime, and was the ONLY member of the South African Parliament to do so for many years.
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JackNewtown Donating Member (703 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 02:35 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. Israel is progressive, though
Israel is a democracy--the only democracy in the Middle East aside from Lebanon, Iraq, and Palestine. Why would it support South Africa?
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Tierra_y_Libertad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 02:36 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. I suggest you read the whole article.
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JackNewtown Donating Member (703 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 02:38 PM
Response to Reply #14
17. I know
Still, I don't think any truly progressive state would be in bed with apartheid SA. For the record, I don't think the US is truly progressive in foreign affairs either.
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jonnyblitz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 03:04 PM
Response to Reply #13
31. LOL....you are cracking me up!
:rofl:
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RaleighNCDUer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 03:21 PM
Response to Reply #13
33. Because in a democratic system, it is possible for anti-democratic
forces to get themselves elected.

Haven't you noticed?
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The Deacon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 02:40 PM
Response to Original message
18. Because South Africa Was Israel's Only Ally In The World
A pro-Israeli with a sense of irony might say - along with Rhodesia. No shit, look at a photo from the day of Rhodesian commandos - they carried Uzis. Israel & South Africa shared technology in developing their nukes - and South Africa supplied a lot of the uranium (the place is lousy with pitchblende.)
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JackNewtown Donating Member (703 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 02:43 PM
Response to Reply #18
21. Progressives stick together, plus didn't SA have a right to defend itself?
Edited on Thu Aug-03-06 02:44 PM by JackNewtown
Didn't South Africa have a right to defend itself from the ANC? What would you do if you were president of South Africa and you were taking land from blacks, oppressing them, etc. and had them attacking your people totally unprovoked?
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The Deacon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 02:44 PM
Response to Reply #18
23. Aw, You-all Beat Me To It Again
I have to start hanging around FR - where nobody knows their history. How else can I use that fancy education I paid so much for?
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 02:40 PM
Response to Original message
20. Why I'm not entirely sold on the Israel as Apartheid State
argument: The occupation of the West Bank and Gaza is horrific to be sure, and indeed the humiliations piled on Palestinians can be compared to S.A., but Israel itself has an Arab population of approximately one million- and although there is discrimination in Israel, it is not codified; it's much like racism in the U.S.

I can see the appeal of the argument; after all, Israel has several hundred thousand people living in settlements in the West Bank, and they are treated completely differently than the Palestinians, but the situation within Israel itself is at odds with that in the Occupied territories.
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JackNewtown Donating Member (703 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 02:45 PM
Response to Reply #20
24. Same here
I just think the "progressives single out Israel due to anti-Semitism" argument is "weak"...
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oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 02:44 PM
Response to Original message
22. So this is actually a post about Israel?
I think there are new rules about that:

1. ORIGINAL POSTS MUST BE ABOUT A CURRENT EVENT, AND CONTAIN NON-INFLAMMATORY, SUBSTANTIAL CONTENT
If you wish to start a thread in the General Discussion forum about the Middle East situation involving Lebanon, Israel, and the surrounding countries, it must be based on a current news story. The moderators may lock threads which are started with substance-free posts (for example, nothing but a link), or threads started with posts which contain inflammatory rhetoric.

2. DEBATE THREADS WHICH ARE NOT BASED ON A CURRENT NEWS STORY WILL BE MOVED
If you start a thread in General Discussion which is not based on a current event or news story, it will be moved to the Israel/Palestine forum where the thread will be subject to the special rules of that forum. (Yes, we know the name of the forum isn't entirely appropriate, but that's the least of our concerns at the moment.)

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T Town Jake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 03:17 PM
Response to Reply #22
32. Yes. The OP thinks he's being clever with this juvenalia.
(n/t)
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Donald Ian Rankin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 02:58 PM
Response to Original message
29. Because it was a Western-style society.

The reason South Africa under apartheid generated so much more international attention than other, comparably or even more unpleasant, governments was that it was a Western society doing it - South African whites are comparatively rich on average, they governed their country nominally democratically and they have a recognisably Western culture.

The same thing is true of Israel, which, I think, is why it is generating so much more attention than other comparable or worse crises.

Cuba also suffers from the same phenomenon, to a lesser extent.

I think that both the western media and the western population (it is unfair to lay too much of the blame on the former and too little on the latter) tend to divide the world up into "People Like Us" and a category that varies between "Strange People" and "Savages" from person to person.

People Like Us doing things to other People Like Us generates by far the most media attention. PLU oppressing non-PLU and vice versa generate roughly comparable amounts of attention, although of rather different forms. Any number of Africans can kill any number of other Africans without it making very much dent on the Western collective consciousness.

In fairness, I think there's some justification to some parts of this attitude, inasmuch as rich, democratic Western nations are likely to be far more susceptible to Western public opinion than others are. Protesting against South Africa (or Israel or Cuba) probably accomplishes more than protesting against Burma or Iran or North Korea or one of the world's *really* unpleasant regimes.
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JackNewtown Donating Member (703 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 03:35 PM
Response to Reply #29
36. Good points, good post nt
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Marie26 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 03:22 PM
Response to Original message
34. I'm thinking you're not interested in S.A. history here. nt
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Laughing Mirror Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 03:31 PM
Response to Original message
35. Dick Cheney is the man you want to ask this question
Remember he voted against economic sanctions on apartheid South Africa in the 1980s. He might have special insight about racism against South African whites.


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JackNewtown Donating Member (703 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 03:36 PM
Response to Reply #35
37. What were the "official" arguments Cheney and co. used to justify that? nt
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enigma000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 04:09 PM
Response to Reply #37
38. This is just my recollection
but I think the reason was anti-communism for the most part. South Africa was a Western nation (but a pariah Western nation) with natural resources and the regional power in Africa. The end of Apartheid could have lead to the installation of a pro-Soviet regime - as happened in many African countries. The Reagan Administration was dedicated to holding the line against communist expansion. At the time it did seem like a reasonable argument.

But then a stoke of good luck came. The minority white government opted to end Apartheid and Mandela was released from prison just as the Cold War came to an end. I think that after seeing Africa ruled by military juntas with Presidents for life and their impoverished socialist economies, the Black and mixed race population of SA wanted to try something different.
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JackNewtown Donating Member (703 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 04:16 PM
Response to Reply #38
39. Thanks
:toast:
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HamdenRice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 06:00 PM
Response to Reply #38
43. One correction ...
Edited on Thu Aug-03-06 06:01 PM by HamdenRice
The South African government did not just "opt" to end apartheid. By 1988, Black South Africans had basically taken over society and the end of apartheid was a forgone conclusion. The unions could bring the economy to a standstill, the corporations realized they had to throw in their lot with the unions, the United Democratic Front had taken over governing the Black townships, the leaders of several "homelands" had gone over to the ANC creating "liberated territory" within the country, foreign governments were dealing with the ANC's foreign affairs bureau as an equal diplomatic force as the South African government, and a big minority of whites were in favor of majority rule.

It was one of the greatest victories for internal non-violent action in human history.

Also, while we consider the impending mortality of Fidel Castro, it should be added that in the biggest tank battle since WW II, the Angolan Army backed by Cuban advisors, Cuban air power and ANC guerillas, defeated the South African Defense Force in southern Angola in the decisive battle of Cuito Carnavale. That meant that the SADF could not control southern Angola, which meant they could not keep SWAPO out of Namibia, which meant they had to grant Namibia independence, which meant that apartheid in South Africa was toast.
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enigma000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 07:09 PM
Response to Reply #43
45. Interesting - I did not know this
I've always felt proud the Canadian government at the time was a leader in opposing apartheid.
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JackNewtown Donating Member (703 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 09:08 PM
Response to Reply #43
47. Thanks for the history lesson
Very interesting, informative!
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HamdenRice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 06:03 PM
Response to Reply #37
44. Cheney's argument was ...
that the ANC was a terrorist organization and that Nelson Mandela was a terrorist.

Sound familiar?
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enigma000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 07:15 PM
Response to Reply #44
46. Maybe he was then
It's just 3 decades in prison has an effect on a man. Perhaps, without which, he would not be the great statesman we know him to be.

I remember thinking in 1990: is Mandela another Mugabe?
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HamdenRice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 10:24 PM
Response to Reply #46
51. But Mugabe was still a good guy in 1990
Seriously, Mugabe was a good leader until he went crazy in the mid 1990s. So "another Mugabe" in 1990 wasn't such a bad thing.
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enigma000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 08:03 AM
Response to Reply #51
52. Maybe it was someone else
Kenneth Kunda? Idi Amin?
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JackNewtown Donating Member (703 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 09:09 PM
Response to Reply #44
48. I think I may have heard that once or twice
;)
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mogster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 04:40 PM
Response to Original message
40. The story of South Africa is also the story of the great schism
between left and right in the late 70's, although the apartheid regime had been in power since 1948, and isolated since 1960.
It was a prelude to Reagan and Thatcher and the conservative swing of the 80's, the revolution in Iran, and the current neoconservative world disasters.

A good background is given here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apartheid

Google "muldergate" and "eschel rhoodie" ;-)
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JackNewtown Donating Member (703 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 09:09 PM
Response to Reply #40
49. Thanks nt
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JackNewtown Donating Member (703 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 09:10 PM
Response to Original message
50. Dems vs. Reps on this issue
Were there any major differences between the two parties on this issue?
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lostnfound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 09:52 AM
Response to Original message
53. Locking
Please do your best to honor the spirit, as well as the letter, of the new rules. Thanks.

New GD Guidelines for Threads Relating to the Middle East Situation
1. ORIGINAL POSTS MUST BE ABOUT A CURRENT EVENT, AND CONTAIN NON-INFLAMMATORY, SUBSTANTIAL CONTENT
If you wish to start a thread in the General Discussion forum about the Middle East situation involving Lebanon, Israel, and the surrounding countries, it must be based on a current news story. The moderators may lock threads which are started with substance-free posts (for example, nothing but a link), or threads started with posts which contain inflammatory rhetoric.

2. DEBATE THREADS WHICH ARE NOT BASED ON A CURRENT NEWS STORY WILL BE MOVED
If you start a thread in General Discussion which is not based on a current event or news story, it will be moved to the Israel/Palestine forum where the thread will be subject to the special rules of that forum. (Yes, we know the name of the forum isn't entirely appropriate, but that's the least of our concerns at the moment.)

3. KEEP IT CIVIL
If you decide to persist in calling people who are attempting to have a reasonable discussion about these issues anything along the lines of terrorists, Jew-haters, Jew-lovers, neo-cons, Nazis, or any other red-hot rhetoric, then you may face further disciplinary action. There are plenty of other places on the Internet where you can have discussions like that. But not here.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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