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Let Us Not Forget The Revolutionary That Was Nelson Mandela

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  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    Four of the five living United States Presidents, along with countless other Heads of States, dignitaries, and tens of thousands of South African citizens, descended on FNB stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa to pay tribute to the larger than life figure that was Nelson Mandela. The affair was more like a jubilant party than a memorial service, which I'm sure would have the late leader smiling from ear to ear if only he could have been there to witness it.

    Funeral's and memorial services of world leaders are always an occasion that bring together friend and foe alike. It's no secret that Presidents Bush and Mandela did not have the strongest relationship, especially after America's abysmal decision to go to war with Iraq. President Mandela came out forcefully against the invasion and even accused President Bush and Prime Minister Blair of rushing to war because the Secretary General of the United Nations was a black man. He also claimed that President Bush could not think properly and wanted to "plunge the world into a holocaust."

    My point of bringing this up is because the pundits, especially here in America, like to gloss over things that make America look bad. The same media that never questioned why Mandela's name was on a terrorist watch list until 2008 is now anointing him as a saint. The same media that bashed President Mandela for his forceful resistance against American imperialism is now heaping praise on his peaceful resistance so they can capitalize on whatever ratings bump they may get due to his passing.

    Nelson Mandela was a revolutionary that devoted his life to ending apartheid in South Africa and spreading peace around the world. The lessons that he taught us must not be lost in the endless rewriting of history.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Yes, the media seems to practice what many of the politicians do...selective amnesia. There is a reason Nelson Mandela was not removed from terrorist watch list until 2008, and media complacency is one of them.

    Another comment that will make as I watched the cameras roll over George and Laura Bush in the stands and listening to the commentator laud Bush's program to combat AIDS in Africa: Huh? Amnesia again.

    CBS News, February 8, 2008: Bush's AIDS Claims Fall To Scrutiny

    "One of the White House's major aid initiatives, the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), has wasted much of its funds on scientifically questionable programs designed to please American religious conservatives. Though studies show that only a comprehensive approach, including condom distribution, sexual education, and antiretrovirals, could reduce HIV, the White House insisted that PEPFAR spend one-third of its behavioral prevention budget on programs that promote abstinence until marriage. It also refused to let PEPFAR money go for programs like needle exchanges and aggressive condom promotion. Recipient nations had to sign an American pledge vowing to oppose prostitution, even though prostitutes are major carriers of HIV in Africa, and signing the pledge could scare PEPFAR recipients out of helping sex workers. Virtually no other major multinational donor agreed with PEPFAR's strategy. Even the administration's own inspector general responsible for overseeing aid couldn't prove that its methods had worked. (As a footnote, Randall Tobias, the administration official responsible for overseeing AIDS programs, including the prostitution pledge, resigned after his number was discovered on the D.C. Madam's infamous call lists.)"

    Bush's African programs like combating AIDS were more politically motivated to improve his standing at home. As the article also points out, Bush, consumed by the war on terror, did not support democratic institutions but rather embraced the new generation of African authoritarians, backing whatever African leader claimed to be battling militant Islam. This went against everything Nelson Mandela stood for.

    I cringe when I see the media swooning over Bush's accomplishments in Africa now. I guess he is rewriting his presidency with the help of the media.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Schmidt Wrote: Yes, the media seems to practice what many of the politicians do...selective amnesia. There is a reason Nelson Mandela was not removed from terrorist watch list until 2008, and media complacency is one of them.

    Another comment that will make as I watched the cameras roll over George and Laura Bush in the stands and listening to the commentator laud Bush's program to combat AIDS in Africa: Huh? Amnesia again.

    CBS News, February 8, 2008: Bush's AIDS Claims Fall To Scrutiny

    "One of the White House's major aid initiatives, the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), has wasted much of its funds on scientifically questionable programs designed to please American religious conservatives. Though studies show that only a comprehensive approach, including condom distribution, sexual education, and antiretrovirals, could reduce HIV, the White House insisted that PEPFAR spend one-third of its behavioral prevention budget on programs that promote abstinence until marriage. It also refused to let PEPFAR money go for programs like needle exchanges and aggressive condom promotion. Recipient nations had to sign an American pledge vowing to oppose prostitution, even though prostitutes are major carriers of HIV in Africa, and signing the pledge could scare PEPFAR recipients out of helping sex workers. Virtually no other major multinational donor agreed with PEPFAR's strategy. Even the administration's own inspector general responsible for overseeing aid couldn't prove that its methods had worked. (As a footnote, Randall Tobias, the administration official responsible for overseeing AIDS programs, including the prostitution pledge, resigned after his number was discovered on the D.C. Madam's infamous call lists.)"

    Bush's African programs like combating AIDS were more politically motivated to improve his standing at home. As the article also points out, Bush, consumed by the war on terror, did not support democratic institutions but rather embraced the new generation of African authoritarians, backing whatever African leader claimed to be battling militant Islam. This went against everything Nelson Mandela stood for.

    I cringe when I see the media swooning over Bush's accomplishments in Africa now. I guess he is rewriting his presidency with the help of the media.

    I guess since I started writing on this site; I said many times politicians are "chameleons" all the time; they never are there for the "people", only have their own agenda's, which in most cases are not even their own . So I'm not surprised by what you wrote; sorry to say Obama is not much different.
  • Liberal
    Independent
    Durham, NH
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    I'm still waiting to hear why Obama is supporting the TTP