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Old December 6 2013, 11:14 AM   #16
J. Allen
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Re: Nelson Mandela has died

Mister Spock wrote: View Post
I'm sorry, but the man was a terrorist who, in his time as leader of the MK, orchestrated the bombing of civilian targets and executions without trial. Yes it was right for the ANC to fight Apartheid, but when you kill civilians you lose all legitimacy.
Legitimate sources, well cited, please. I mean, after all, one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. While Mandela even insisted he was no saint, and he did, at times, advocate violence, you seem to be portraying his life as that of a bloodthirsty tyrant.
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Old December 6 2013, 11:59 AM   #17
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Re: Nelson Mandela has died

Santa Hooves wrote: View Post

Legitimate sources, well cited, please. I mean, after all, one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. While Mandela even insisted he was no saint, and he did, at times, advocate violence, you seem to be portraying his life as that of a bloodthirsty tyrant.
Nelson Mandela was the head of UmKhonto we Sizwe, (MK), the terrorist wing of the ANC and South African Communist Party. At his trial, he had pleaded guilty to 156 acts of public violence including mobilising terrorist bombing campaigns, which planted bombs in public places, including the Johannesburg railway station. Many innocent people, including women and children, were killed by Nelson Mandela’s MK terrorists.

- Church Street West, Pretoria, on the 20 May 1983

- Amanzimtoti Shopping complex KZN, 23 December 1985

- Krugersdorp Magistrate’s Court, 17 March 1988

- Durban Pick ‘n Pay shopping complex, 1 September 1986

- Pretoria Sterland movie complex 16 April 1988

- Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court, 20 May 1987

- Roodepoort Standard Bank 3 June, 1988

Tellingly, not only did Mandela refuse to renounce violence, Amnesty refused to take his case stating "the movement recorded that it could not give the name of 'Prisoner of Conscience' to anyone associated with violence, even though as in 'conventional warfare' a degree of restraint may be exercised."
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Old December 6 2013, 02:58 PM   #18
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Re: Nelson Mandela has died

Mister Spock wrote: View Post
I'm sorry, but the man was a terrorist who, in his time as leader of the MK, orchestrated the bombing of civilian targets and executions without trial. Yes it was right for the ANC to fight Apartheid, but when you kill civilians you lose all legitimacy.
So since the British army killed civilians on Bloody Sunday and consequently denied it for 38 years. They have no legitimacy. Not to mention Bomber Harris, and all the misdeeds of the British Empire.
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Old December 6 2013, 03:10 PM   #19
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Re: Nelson Mandela has died

Mister Spock, your sources are not quite correct or you might have misinterpreted them. Or perhaps you accidentially accessed documents from a smear campaign.

He was a co-founder of the umkhonto we sizwe, however at that time they restricted themselves to sabotage acts against the racist government. The terrorist acts you mentioned happened later, when Mr Mandela had already distanced himself from them.
Before that he had worked as a lawyer and specialized in defending victims of racism and working against the apartheid government, for which said government kept trying to get him into prison but for a long time failed to construct a watertight case against him. They only succeeded in 1964 and he was sentenced to lifelong imprisonment for sabotage. In his final speech at court, when he was facing the possibility of being executed, he did indeed speak of the necessity of an armed fight agaist the government since peaceful means had not worked. But that was not meant to make people start terrorist acts but rather as a defense of a possible civil war (like the Namibian liberation war. Namibia was under South African occupation back then and around 1964 the resistance went up to a warlike dimension that lasted till the late 80s).

If you check the dates you cited you will see that Mandela can impossibly have participated in the terrorist attacks. From 1964 on he was continually imprisoned in different locations, mainly on Robben Island.
In April 1982 he was transferred to Pollsmoor Prison in Capetown where he remained till December 1988
After he got TBC there he was moved to Paarl where he stayed imprisoned till Feb., 11th 1990.

You will admit that - particularly in as tightly controlled an environment as ZAn prisons were back then - one can not throw a bomb on people or orchestrate terrorist acts and executions without trial while being imprisoned hundreds of miles away.

I wholeheartedly agree that those deeds of the MK were absolutely inexcusable, but we must not blame a parent for the acts of an evil child.


The fact that Mr Mandela received the Nobel Price for Peace supports his relative innocence. You don't get that price with a terrorist past.

(edit to add my sources:
For the 1964 speech in court and the time of his imprisonment see any bio of Mandela, for example the one on Wikipedia.
Source for info on Namibian liberation war: myself. Been there during the mid-80s in a development aid project near Walfish Bay)
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Last edited by Rhubarbodendron; December 6 2013 at 04:01 PM.
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Old December 6 2013, 07:50 PM   #20
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Re: Nelson Mandela has died

Mister Spock wrote: View Post
Santa Hooves wrote: View Post

Legitimate sources, well cited, please. I mean, after all, one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. While Mandela even insisted he was no saint, and he did, at times, advocate violence, you seem to be portraying his life as that of a bloodthirsty tyrant.
Nelson Mandela was the head of UmKhonto we Sizwe, (MK), the terrorist wing of the ANC and South African Communist Party. At his trial, he had pleaded guilty to 156 acts of public violence including mobilising terrorist bombing campaigns, which planted bombs in public places, including the Johannesburg railway station. Many innocent people, including women and children, were killed by Nelson Mandela’s MK terrorists.

- Church Street West, Pretoria, on the 20 May 1983

- Amanzimtoti Shopping complex KZN, 23 December 1985

- Krugersdorp Magistrate’s Court, 17 March 1988

- Durban Pick ‘n Pay shopping complex, 1 September 1986

- Pretoria Sterland movie complex 16 April 1988

- Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court, 20 May 1987

- Roodepoort Standard Bank 3 June, 1988

Tellingly, not only did Mandela refuse to renounce violence, Amnesty refused to take his case stating "the movement recorded that it could not give the name of 'Prisoner of Conscience' to anyone associated with violence, even though as in 'conventional warfare' a degree of restraint may be exercised."
Cite your sources, please.
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Old December 6 2013, 08:18 PM   #21
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Re: Nelson Mandela has died

[QUOTE=Mister Spock;8981734]
Santa Hooves wrote: View Post
Tellingly, not only did Mandela refuse to renounce violence, Amnesty refused to take his case stating "the movement recorded that it could not give the name of 'Prisoner of Conscience' to anyone associated with violence, even though as in 'conventional warfare' a degree of restraint may be exercised."
Amnesty seems to say only good things about him.

http://www.amnesty.org.uk/nelson-man...e#.UqIigvRdWM8
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Old December 6 2013, 10:24 PM   #22
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Re: Nelson Mandela has died

Rhubarbodendron wrote: View Post
The fact that Mr Mandela received the Nobel Price for Peace supports his relative innocence. You don't get that price with a terrorist past.
Yasser Arafat would find that statement amusing.

Mandela rose to achieve greatness, but he didn't start out as exactly a saint, which makes his transformational story even more inspirational.
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Old December 6 2013, 10:52 PM   #23
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Re: Nelson Mandela has died

Meester Spock!!!!
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Old December 7 2013, 12:13 AM   #24
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Re: Nelson Mandela has died

Ó Méith wrote: View Post
Mister Spock wrote: View Post
I'm sorry, but the man was a terrorist who, in his time as leader of the MK, orchestrated the bombing of civilian targets and executions without trial. Yes it was right for the ANC to fight Apartheid, but when you kill civilians you lose all legitimacy.
So since the British army killed civilians on Bloody Sunday and consequently denied it for 38 years. They have no legitimacy.
Nation states and governments, whatever their misdeeds, have more innate legitimacy than the criminal/terrorist/guerrilla movements who often lack sprawling court systems and often exacerbate the cycle of violence more than the occupying forces or power elites do (which is why they often eventually branch out and soften their strategy, like the ANC movement did when Nelson Mandela was released from decades of custody and did not make a call to arms).

Not to mention Bomber Harris
Whatever the real merits, that was total war against a powerful industrialised nation.

and all the misdeeds of the British Empire.
Oh please, fretting over the bad side-effects and misdeeds of the mostly defunct, much mutated British Empire is a futile exercise in unbaking a gigantic cake.
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Old December 7 2013, 12:27 AM   #25
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Re: Nelson Mandela has died

^ Or perhaps, leaving that cake out in the rain because it took so long to bake it, and you'll never have that recipe again.

Whatever the hell that means.

As for Nelson Mandela: The world is a lesser place now that he's gone. I honestly had no idea of his violent past, though.
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Old December 7 2013, 12:52 AM   #26
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Re: Nelson Mandela has died

Well according to this blog entry it links an article states that Mandela did not fully denounce armed guerrilla struggle and shocked Irish media people at a dinner meeting by stating this:

"My position, my position... my position is that you don't hand over your weapons until you get what you want... " (In reaction to the IRA dithering over disarming themselves in April 2000)

The editors around the table were stopped in their tracks.
Belfast Telegraph

EDIT - While I think the blog poster opened a can of worms when comparing the IRA with the ANC or even the PLA, I agree that the mass media sycophancy (with hypocritical corporate and political slugs piling in) is off putting.
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Old December 7 2013, 01:29 AM   #27
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Re: Nelson Mandela has died

Mister Spock wrote: View Post
Nelson Mandela was the head of UmKhonto we Sizwe, (MK), the terrorist wing of the ANC and South African Communist Party. At his trial, he had pleaded guilty to 156 acts of public violence including mobilising terrorist bombing campaigns, which planted bombs in public places, including the Johannesburg railway station. Many innocent people, including women and children, were killed by Nelson Mandela’s MK terrorists.

- Church Street West, Pretoria, on the 20 May 1983

- Amanzimtoti Shopping complex KZN, 23 December 1985

- Krugersdorp Magistrate’s Court, 17 March 1988

- Durban Pick ‘n Pay shopping complex, 1 September 1986

- Pretoria Sterland movie complex 16 April 1988

- Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court, 20 May 1987

- Roodepoort Standard Bank 3 June, 1988
That's pretty amazing that he orchestrated all that from the various isolated prison cells which he was in from 1962-1990. Is he directly responsible for what the organization did when he was no longer its operational leader (and indeed, he only was for one year)?

He founded the MK in 1961 and was arrested shortly thereafter in 1962, and during his very brief tenure their attacks were limited to sabotage of government buildings and infrastructure, mostly at night, and with deliberate efforts made to avoid civilian casualties, which is the precise opposite of the goals of terrorism, which seeks to capitalize on civilian casualties in order to spread... wait for it... terror among a populace.

Meanwhile, this is a very small sample of the kind of totally not terrorism type stuff the apartheid government was doing before, during, and after that time:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharpeville_massacre
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soweto_massacre

He was absolutely an advocate for violent resistance against oppression, but so was Malcolm X during the civil rights movement, the Founding Fathers in the American Revolution, and the French Resistance in WWII to name a few.

Regardless of his earlier violent tactics and what the militant arm of the ANC that he founded went on to do after he was imprisoned, he brought legal equality to the black majority of South Africa while preaching forgiveness and coexistence with the white minority who dominated the country during his incarceration and once he was freed from prison. And any guerrilla, sabotage, or "terrorist" tactics he used during his brief stint as head of the MK before being arrested were desperate, last resort acts that they were forced to use to address the massive military and logistical power imbalance in South Africa, and pale in scope and intent to the massacres and terrorist acts ordered by the South African government and perpetrated by their military and police forces.

The man deserves respect for his actions in promoting equality in South Africa, the rest of Africa, and indeed the rest of the world.
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Old December 7 2013, 12:48 PM   #28
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Re: Nelson Mandela has died

Mandela was no Gandhi. Mandela did support violence at one point but Gandhi never supported violence. Gandhi was the better man. Mandela did forgive his captors after he was released. That was one good redeeming aspect of him.
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Old December 7 2013, 01:53 PM   #29
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Re: Nelson Mandela has died

Mister Spock wrote: View Post
I'm sorry, but the man was a terrorist who, in his time as leader of the MK, orchestrated the bombing of civilian targets and executions without trial. Yes it was right for the ANC to fight Apartheid, but when you kill civilians you lose all legitimacy.
Well that puts him in great company then, namely the US government who is currently bombing innocent women and children from drones.
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Old December 7 2013, 01:55 PM   #30
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Re: Nelson Mandela has died

EmoBorg wrote: View Post
Mandela was no Gandhi.
Gandhi was no Gandhi, at least not the idealized image most people build up of him. Amidst all the good he did, he had some pretty heinous personal activities and questionable beliefs. The same goes for Mother Theresa, who so many people unquestioningly venerate. While Martin Luther King Jr. didn't do some of the more questionable things they did, he was far from perfect either. The Founding Fathers --who many of the conservatives who consider Mandela nothing more than a terrorist (like Dick Cheney) deify to an unhealthy degree and treat as infallible-- were slave holding white supremacists.

I'm not saying these people should be idealized and their human faults be overlooked, but at the same time it takes a huge amount of cynicism (or other, more sinister "isms," as the anti-Mandela threads at the Stormfront boards are geared to, among others) to completely dismiss all the good that someone like Mandela did to focus on the relatively small amount of violence he perpetuated, especially without comparing it against the cruel and unjust regime he was fighting, and the complete imbalance of power he was facing that caused him to have to resort to those tactics. He wasn't capable of fielding his own equally well-equipped army to face the apartheid forces down one-to-one on the field of battle, he had to improvise and turn his weaknesses into strengths (small size and logistical needs means stealth and mobility and being part of the oppressed majority gave them the ability to blend into the populace) and the enemy's strengths into weaknesses (fixed bases and infrastructure of a sitting government make easy targets, and having exclusive power over the majority builds resentment).

I know a lot of the objection to Mandela getting praise in death is just your typical overdone internet cynicism and misanthropy mixed with the ability to be outrageously offensive and judgmental that anonymity affords, plus no shortage of trolling, but I just have to call into question the motives when so many white, conservative-leaning people get so up at arms over Mandela's legacy, when his alleged "crimes" simply don't come anywhere close to the immense positive legal and inspirational influence he had on the affairs of South Africa and by extension the world. There are certainly legitimate criticisms that can be leveled at the man, and he shouldn't be considered perfect, but if all you see him as is a negative force in the world, then there's something really wrong with you (general you, not anyone here personally) and your outlook on life.
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