RANGER AGAINST WAR: Mano a Mano <

Monday, December 30, 2013

Mano a Mano

{Look for the 3rd and final installment of the brew-ha-ha, "Duck Trois Gras," next}

Today: Mandela, in Perspective
 

 --Mbeki, Mandela, Tutu, 
Rainer Hachfeld (Neues Deutschland) 

 We have now sunk to a depth at which
restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men
--George Orwell
_____________________

Recently deceased South African activist Nelson Mandela was revered by many as a person who shifted a society away from apartheid, a repressive policy of racial separation. Mandela spent 27 years in prison based upon the fact that he founded, supervised and led the guerrilla wing of the African National Congress (ANC) movement, Umkhonto we Sizwe (abbreviated "MK"), translated as "Spear of the Nation".

Mandela was given a life sentence for his direct involvement in bombing campaigns, among other forms of terror and violence. The Mandela that emerged to be lionized by the West was this former Communist who grew capitalist spots.

Mandela was a bomber, a favored activity of terrorists and militants as it is cheap and effective, creating terror due to its spectacularly violent, random and indiscriminate nature. Onto the kindly-looking elder statesman Mandela it is easy to project the myth of the long-suffering inmate, but this image belies the other Mandela (South Africa in the Shadows.)

Our relationship with terrorists is ambivalent. While we choose not to negotiate with them, we do accept them as world leaders. Why were they bad then, and good now? Are there good terrorists and bad ones, and where is the dividing line?

In an absolute sense, if terrorism is "evil", then time does not ameliorate that evil. An evil act remains so in perpetuity. Good does not emerge from evil -- is this not the basis of western legal thought?

Are we willing to see someone like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM) as a freedom fighter, versus a terrorist? For surely as god made little green apples, he is that to his acolytes.

When terrorists used airplanes as bombs and attacked the World Trade Center, the U.S. began 12 years of continuous warfare resulting in an unknown number of casualties. History has shown that Mandela was an existential threat to the continued existence of South Africa, while the al Qaeda threat to America was a pinprick, in comparison. Yet which nation reacted in a more tempered manner to its threat?

The United States sentenced Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh to death and terminated him for roughly the same type of activity for which Mandela served 27 years. PVT Manning has been delivered a 35-year sentence, eight years more than Mandela received.

Was Manning's threat to the existence of the U.S. as significant and effective as that of Mandela's to S.A.?


The facts:
  • Manning was not involved in espionage, nor did he work for a worldwide Communist or terrorist organization (as did Mandela)
  • Manning never used violence
  • Manning was not dedicated to the destruction or overthrow of the U.S. government. His actions were not tactically or strategically significant

In Ranger's opinion, Manning was railroaded in comparison to Mandela, who received a fair trial. So how do Americans justify calling Mandela a "symbol of Freedom" while throwing Manning into a black hole for 35 years?

Did Manning receive a fair trial, or has our justice system been subverted by trumped-up security concerns posing as justice? The 35-year sentence (which was noted as being "light") is Kafkaesque, while the whitewashing of Mandela as Ghandi-esque freedom fighter is like something out of a DC Comic story line.

Mandela's conviction was proportional to his crimes, while Manning's was not, and it was the result of a punitive show trial. Manning will never be a hero of mythic status. If a society is known by its enemies, we chose a poor example with Manning.

Further, how did Mandela, Sadat, Begin, Gerry Adams and before them, myriad Nazis transform themselves by entering the historical dry cleaners, emerging as clean world leaders? Where and when is the pivot point at which terrorists become no longer terrorists? Or is it that our memory is short, or that we no longer care?

In an absolute sense, if terrorism is "evil", then time does not ameliorate that evil. An evil act remains so in perpetuity. Good does not emerge from evil -- is this not the basis of western legal thought?

When U.S. national leaders praise a futile Phony War on Terror (PWOT ©) while concomitantly praising a terrorist like Mandela, perhaps it is time to reevaluate our policies and practices vis a vis terrorism.

[cross-posted @ milpub]

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7 Comments:

Blogger Brooklyn Red Leg said...

Mandela was a thug. I kept my mouth shut on Facebook when people left and right were gushing over his memory since I had no want to fight with brain-dead jackasses about a dirt-bag. People conveniently overlook his direct actions with explosives that killed innocent men, women and children. However, they also overlook his involvement in the Blood Diamond movement as well as his support for Charles Taylor that lead to the deaths of tens of thousands across several African nations. Its ironic that fellow South African Eeben Barlow (who founded Executive Outcomes) is generally reviled in the West for being a slimy mercenary but Mandela is held up as some kind of g&ddamned paragon of virtue.

Its come out Mandela received some of his thuggery training from the Israeli Mossad. Of course, he did this under the cover of a different identity, but it merely reinforces the fact that we have become the latter day Roman Empire. We train tin-plated dictators, murderous narco-cartel drekwipes and other assort scum and villainy either directly or through our proxies like The Mossad.

One has to truly wonder at how much the death toll of the 20th Century was the result of the US and its imperialistic foreign policy. Its easy to point to truly evil frakkers like Hitler, Stalin, Mao tze-Tung, Pol Pot and so forth, but its a helluva lot harder to look in the mirror and realize your own nation commits truly evil and heinous acts through proxy violence. Fundamentally, there is no difference between violence done directly (drone bombings, shelling, missile barrages etc) and done through proxy group of human slime. Dead people are dead people and it matters not one iota whether they were shot, gassed or blown to bits.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013 at 5:31:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Wrestling is Real said...

As was so famously asked by President Harry Truman in the early days of the Cold War, when discussing whether to get involved in the troubles of a South American banana republic: “Well, tell me… is he our sonova bitch or their sonova bitch?”. Such is the politics of the planet!

Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 11:38:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

BRL,

I appreciate your considered response.

Would you mind if I also posted it @ milpub (where this piece is co-posted).
I feel it will get better play there.

Thanks,

Lisa

Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 12:23:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Brooklyn Red Leg said...

Be my guest!

Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 1:31:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

BRL,

Thanks -- I did so this afternoon,

Lisa

Friday, January 3, 2014 at 12:48:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

BRL,

Thanks -- I did so this afternoon,

Lisa

Friday, January 3, 2014 at 12:48:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger James Buchanan said...

Interesting what you said, and true. But also like BRL's comments. And would expand upon the last paragraph, to the point of adding after "and so forth", whom our government and businesses supported. American interests supported the revolutionaries of the "Soviet" empire and the "Nazi" empire. And were excused by the administrations for their work against the american empire. If you would look back at the histories of the Ford family, and the Bush family and the support of foreign interests. And then we go to the backstabbing of the south american interests, american generals of the marine corps, almost being bought by the owners of the banana republics, and such, or the CIA and their training and supporting of the South Asian revolutionaries, and then dropping them like hot potatoes in war zones without support, such is our legacy, creating our enemies from friends..

Tuesday, January 7, 2014 at 11:18:00 AM GMT-5  

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