| Palpable hypocrisy: Vultures feed off Mandela’s memory!

The vultures feeding off Mandela’s memory ~ Nureddin Sabir, Editor, Redress Information & Analysis. 

The death of Nelson Mandela, the world’s most revered fighter for freedom, justice and dignity, has been met with genuine, spontaneous sadness all over the world.

Whether it is because of Mandela’s selfless sacrifice for his people, his 27 years of perseverance in the face of adversity or his willingness to forgive his wicked incarcerators, millions of people in all corners of the world are genuinely grief stricken at the passing of this giant of giants. They mourn not only the huge gap he leaves behind, but also the fact that the standards of decency he had set are unlikely to be met by any living politician. As Archbishop Desmond Tutu says,

…he will go down in history as South Africa’s George Washington, a person who within a single five-year presidency became the principal icon of both liberation and reconciliation, loved by those of all political persuasions as the founder of modern, democratic South Africa…

[T]he crucible of excruciating suffering which he had endured purged the dross, the anger, the temptation to any desire for revenge, honing his spirit and transforming him into an icon of magnanimity. He used his enormous moral stature to good effect in persuading his party and many in the black community, especially young people, that accommodation and compromise were the way to achieve our goal of democracy and justice for all.

The hypocrites and vultures

But there are also the hypocrites and vultures seeking to feed off the outpouring of emotion unleashed by Mandela’s death. At the top of the list of these scoundrels are, as one would expect, Israeli, US and British politicians. As Ami Kaufman says in +972 Magazine, “Israeli politicians have begun updating their Facebook pages with eulogies for the late Nelson Mandela,” and, he asks: “What do statesmen of the Jewish state – one of the last Western countries to support the South African apartheid state and which today practises apartheid-like policies between the [Jordan] river and the [Mediterranean] sea – have to say about the man who brought racism to its knees? (You can read what these despicable bigots have to say in Kaufman’s article here.)

Indeed, as Juan Cole points out,

The attempt to make Nelson Mandela respectable is an ongoing effort of Western government spokesmen and the Western media.

He wasn’t respectable in the business circles of 20th-century New York or Atlanta, or inside the Beltway of Washington, DC. He wasn’t respectable for many of the allies of the United States in the Cold War, including Britain and Israel.

Cole reminds us of the facts which the forked-tongued hypocrites in the US and among its Israeli and European allies would rather we forget:

The US considered the African National Congress to be a form of communism, and sided with the racist prime ministers Hendrik Verwoerd and P.W. Botha against Mandela.

Decades later, in the 1980s, the United States was still supporting the white apartheid government of South Africa, where a tiny minority of Afrikaners dominated the economy and refused to allow black Africans to shop in their shops or fraternize with them, though they were happy to employ them in the mines. Ronald Reagan declared Nelson Mandela, then still in jail, a terrorist, and the US did not get around to removing him from the list until 2008! Reagan, while delivering pro forma denunciations of apartheid or enforced black separation and subjugation, nevertheless opposed sanctions with teeth on Pretoria. Reagan let the racist authoritarian P.W. Botha come to Washington and met with him.

Likewise British PM Margaret Thatcher befriended Botha and castigated Mandela’s ANC [African National Congress] as terrorists. As if the Afrikaners weren’t terrorizing the black majority!…

The Israeli government had extremely warm relations with apartheid South Africa, to the point where Tel Aviv offered the Afrikaners a nuclear weapon(presumably for brandishing at the leftist states of black Africa). That the Israelis accuse Iran of being a nuclear proliferator is actually hilarious if you know the history. Iran doesn’t appear ever to have attempted to construct a nuclear weapon, whereas Israel has hundreds and seems entirely willing to share.

In the US, the vehemently anti-Palestinian Anti-Defamation League in San Francisco spied on American anti-apartheid activists on behalf of the apartheid state. If the ADL ever calls you a racist, you can revel in the irony.

Ronald Reagan imagined that there were “moderates” in the Botha government. There weren’t. He wanted “constructive engagement” with them. It failed.

Principles vs unscrupulousness

Mandela subscribed to a value system a world apart from that of the Western and Israeli vultures now seeking to make political capital by heaping praise on him,postmortem. He, as Cole says, “was a socialist who believed in the ideal of economic equality or at least of a decent life for everyone in society. He was also a believer in parliamentary government. So, he was a democratic socialist.” They, on the other hard, are out and out capitalists, the spokesmen and slaves of global corporations and, in the case of the Israelis quoted by Kaufman, racists, bigots, land thieves and squatters.

Mandela, to quote Cole,

is a pioneer to be emulated. We honour him by standing up for justice even in the face of enormous opposition from the rich and powerful, by taking risks for high ideals. We won’t meet his standards. But if all of us tried, we’d make the world better. As he did.

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| Nelson Mandela: a life in quotes!

Nelson Mandela: a life in quotestheguardian.com,

Key comments from South Africa’s first black president.

“One day I will be the first black president of South Africa.” 1952

“There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountain tops of our desires.” 21 September 1953. Adapted from a statement by Jawaharlal Nehru. Presidential address to ANC conference

“The struggle is my life. I will continue fighting for freedom until the end of my days.” 26 June 1961

“If I had my time over I would do the same again. So would any man who dares call himself a man.” Mitigation speech after being convicted of inciting a strike and leaving the country illegally, November 1962

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela. Photograph: Mike Hutchings/Reuters

“During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.” Rivonia trial on 20 April 1964

“Difficulties break some men but make others. No axe is sharp enough to cut the soul of a sinner who keeps on trying, one armed with the hope that he will rise even in the end.” Letter to Winnie Mandela, 1 February 1975

“I have never regarded any man as my superior, either in my life outside or inside prison.” Letter written to commissioner of prisons while on Robben Island, 12 July 1976

“Between the anvil of united mass action and the hammer of the armed struggle we shall crush apartheid and white minority racist rule.” June 1980

“Only free men can negotiate; prisoners cannot enter into contracts.”Replying to an offer to release him if he renounced violence 10 February 1985

“I cannot and will not give any undertaking at a time when I, and you, the people, are not free. Your freedom and mine cannot be separated.”Message from prison, read by his daughter to a rally in Soweto, 10 February 1985

“I am not less life-loving than you are. But I cannot sell my birthright, nor am I prepared to sell the birthright of the people to be free.” Response to the offer of freedom from PW Botha, February 1985. Remark quoted in A Part of My Soul Went With Him by Winnie Mandela 1985

“Friends, comrades and fellow South Africans, I greet you all in the name of peace, democracy and freedom for all. I stand here before you not as a prophet but as a humble servant of you, the people. Your tireless and heroic sacrifices have made it possible for me to be here today. I therefore place the remaining years of my life in your hands.” Speaking on his release from Robben Island from the balcony of Cape Town city hall on Sunday 11 February 1990

“Since my release, I have become more convinced than ever that the real makers of history are the ordinary men and women of our country; their participation in every decision about the future is the only guarantee of true democracy and freedom.” The Struggle is My Life 1990

“I never think of the time I have lost. I just carry out a programme because it’s there. It’s mapped out for me.” 3 May 1993

“If the ANC does to you what the apartheid government did to you, then you must do to the ANC what you did to the apartheid government.”Speaking to South Africa‘s trade union congress, July 1993

“A critical, independent and investigative press is the lifeblood of any democracy. The press must be free from state interference. It must have the economic strength to stand up to the blandishments of government officials. It must have sufficient independence from vested interests to be bold and inquiring without fear or favour. It must enjoy the protection of the constitution, so that it can protect our rights as citizens.” February 1994

“My fellow South Africans, today we are entering a new era for our country and its people. Today we celebrate not the victory of a party, but a victory for all the people of South Africa.” Speech following his election to the presidency, Cape Town 9 May 1994

“The task at hand will not be easy, but you have mandated us to change South Africa from a land in which the majority lived with little hope, to one in which they can live and work with dignity, with a sense of self-esteem and confidence in the future.” Speech at his inauguration as president 10 May 1994

“Years of imprisonment could not stamp out our determination to be free. Years of intimidation and violence could not stop us, And we will not be stopped now.” – Press conference, 26 April 1994

“Death is something inevitable. When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace. I believe I have made that effort and that is, therefore, why I will sleep for the eternity.” Interview for the documentary Mandela, 1994

“I had no specific belief except that our cause was just, was very strong and it was winning more and more support.” Visit to Robben Island, February 1994

“In South Africa, to be poor and black was normal, to be poor and white was a tragedy.” Long Walk to Freedom 1994

“Man’s goodness is a flame that can be hidden but never extinguished.”Long Walk to Freedom 1994

“I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.” Long Walk to Freedom 1994

“It would be very egotistical of me to say how I would like to be remembered. I’d leave that entirely to South Africans. I would just like a simple stone on which is written ‘Mandela’.” 1997

“It is in the character of growth that we should learn from both pleasant and unpleasant experiences.” November 1997

“Real leaders must be ready to sacrifice all for the freedom of their people.” April 1998

“There will be life after Mandela. On my last day I want to know that those who remain behind will say: ‘The man who lies here has done his duty for his country and his people.'” 1999

“It is never my custom to use words lightly. If 27 years in prison have done anything to us, it was to use the silence of solitude to make us understand how precious words are and how real speech is in its impact on the way people live and die.” July 2000

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” May 2002

“Those who conduct themselves with morality, integrity and consistency need not fear the forces of inhumanity and cruelty.” July 2003

“When the history of our times is written, will we be remembered as the generation that turned our backs in a moment of global crisis or will it be recorded that we did the right thing? On HIV/Aids, June 2005

“You sharpen your ideas by reducing yourself to the level of the people you are with and a sense of humour and a complete relaxation, even when you’re discussing serious things, does help to mobilise friends around you. And I love that.” August 2005

“Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do.” Letter to cricketer Makhaya Ntini, December 2009

“I can’t help it if the ladies take note of me; I am not going to protest.”

“That was one of the things that worried me – to be raised to the position of a semi-god – because then you are no longer a human being. I wanted to be known as Mandela, a man with weaknesses, some of which are fundamental, and a man who is committed, but never the less, sometimes he fails to live up to expectations.”

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| Red Line Facts: Israel even tried selling it’s own rogue, non-IAEA, zio-Nukes to Apartheid SA!

Revealed: how Israel offered to sell South Africa nuclear weapons ~  in Washington, The Guardian, Monday 24 May 2010.

 

Secret apartheid-era papers give first official evidence of Israeli nuclear weapons.

The secret military agreement signed by Shimon Peres and P W Botha

The secret military agreement signed by Shimon Peres, now president of Israel, and P W Botha of South Africa. Photograph: Guardian

Secret South African documents reveal that Israel offered to sell nuclear warheads to the apartheid regime, providing the first official documentary evidence of the state’s possession of nuclear weapons.

The “top secret” minutes of meetings between senior officials from the two countries in 1975 show that South Africa‘s defence minister, PW Botha, asked for the warheads and Shimon Peres, then Israel’s defence minister and now its president, responded by offering them “in three sizes”. The two men also signed a broad-ranging agreement governing military ties between the two countries that included a clause declaring that “the very existence of this agreement” was to remain secret.

The documents, uncovered by an American academic, Sasha Polakow-Suransky, in research for a book on the close relationship between the two countries, provide evidence that Israel has nuclear weapons despite its policy of “ambiguity” in neither confirming nor denying their existence.

The Israeli authorities tried to stop South Africa‘s post-apartheid government declassifying the documents at Polakow-Suransky’s request and the revelations will be an embarrassment, particularly as this week’s nuclear non-proliferation talks in New York focus on the Middle East.

They will also undermine Israel’s attempts to suggest that, if it has nuclear weapons, it is a “responsible” power that would not misuse them, whereas countries such as Iran cannot be trusted.

A spokeswoman for Peres today said the report was baseless and there were “never any negotiations” between the two countries. She did not comment on the authenticity of the documents.

South African documents show that the apartheid-era military wanted the missiles as a deterrent and for potential strikes against neighbouring states.

The documents show both sides met on 31 March 1975. Polakow-Suransky writes in his book published in the US this week, The Unspoken Alliance: Israel’s secret alliance with apartheid South Africa. At the talks Israeli officials “formally offered to sell South Africa some of the nuclear-capable Jericho missiles in its arsenal”.

Among those attending the meeting was the South African military chief of staff, Lieutenant General RF Armstrong. He immediately drew up a memo in which he laid out the benefits of South Africa obtaining the Jericho missiles but only if they were fitted with nuclear weapons.

The memo, marked “top secret” and dated the same day as the meeting with the Israelis, has previously been revealed but its context was not fully understood because it was not known to be directly linked to the Israeli offer on the same day and that it was the basis for a direct request to Israel. In it, Armstrong writes: “In considering the merits of a weapon system such as the one being offered, certain assumptions have been made: a) That the missiles will be armed with nuclear warheads manufactured in RSA (Republic of South Africa) or acquired elsewhere.”

But South Africa was years from being able to build atomic weapons. A little more than two months later, on 4 June, Peres and Botha met in Zurich. By then the Jericho project had the codename Chalet.

The top secret minutes of the meeting record that: “Minister Botha expressed interest in a limited number of units of Chalet subject to the correct payload being available.” The document then records: “Minister Peres said the correct payload was available in three sizes. Minister Botha expressed his appreciation and said that he would ask for advice.” The “three sizes” are believed to refer to the conventional, chemical and nuclear weapons.

The use of a euphemism, the “correct payload”, reflects Israeli sensitivity over the nuclear issue and would not have been used had it been referring to conventional weapons. It can also only have meant nuclear warheads as Armstrong’s memorandum makes clear South Africa was interested in the Jericho missiles solely as a means of delivering nuclear weapons.

In addition, the only payload the South Africans would have needed to obtain from Israel was nuclear. The South Africans were capable of putting together other warheads.

Botha did not go ahead with the deal in part because of the cost. In addition, any deal would have to have had final approval by Israel’s prime minister and it is uncertain it would have been forthcoming.

South Africa eventually built its own nuclear bombs, albeit possibly with Israeli assistance. But the collaboration on military technology only grew over the following years. South Africa also provided much of the yellowcake uranium that Israel required to develop its weapons.

The documents confirm accounts by a former South African naval commander, Dieter Gerhardt – jailed in 1983 for spying for the Soviet Union. After his release with the collapse of apartheid, Gerhardt said there was an agreement between Israel and South Africa called Chalet which involved an offer by the Jewish state to arm eight Jericho missiles with “special warheads”. Gerhardt said these were atomic bombs. But until now there has been no documentary evidence of the offer.

Some weeks before Peres made his offer of nuclear warheads to Botha, the two defence ministers signed a covert agreement governing the military alliance known as Secment. It was so secret that it included a denial of its own existence: “It is hereby expressly agreed that the very existence of this agreement… shall be secret and shall not be disclosed by either party”.

The agreement also said that neither party could unilaterally renounce it.

The existence of Israel’s nuclear weapons programme was revealed by Mordechai Vanunu to the Sunday Times in 1986. He provided photographs taken inside the Dimona nuclear site and gave detailed descriptions of the processes involved in producing part of the nuclear material but provided no written documentation.

Documents seized by Iranian students from the US embassy in Tehran after the 1979 revolution revealed the Shah expressed an interest to Israel in developing nuclear arms. But the South African documents offer confirmation Israel was in a position to arm Jericho missiles with nuclear warheads.

Israel pressured the present South African government not to declassify documents obtained by Polakow-Suransky. “The Israeli defence ministry tried to block my access to the Secment agreement on the grounds it was sensitive material, especially the signature and the date,” he said. “The South Africans didn’t seem to care; they blacked out a few lines and handed it over to me. The ANC government is not so worried about protecting the dirty laundry of the apartheid regime’s old allies.”

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