Obama hails Mandela as "last great liberator"

President Barack Obama speaks to crowds attending the memorial service for former South African president Nelson Mandela at the FNB Stadium in Soweto near Johannesburg, Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013. World leaders, celebrities, and citizens from all walks of life gathered on Tuesday to pay respects during a memorial service for the former South African president and anti-apartheid icon. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Barack Obama speaks to crowds attending the memorial service for former South African president Nelson Mandela at the FNB Stadium in Soweto near Johannesburg, Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013. World leaders, celebrities, and citizens from all walks of life gathered on Tuesday to pay respects during a memorial service for the former South African president and anti-apartheid icon. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

JOHANNESBURG (AP) - Amid cheers and song for the prisoner who became peacemaker, President Barack Obama energized tens of thousands of spectators and nearly 100 visiting heads of state Tuesday with a plea for the world to emulate Nelson Mandela, "the last great liberator of the 20th century."

Obama's eulogy was the rhetorical highlight of a memorial service in which South Africans celebrated Mandela's life with singing and dancing, often during dignitaries' speeches. They also booed their own president and were chided by a top government official who said: "Let's not embarrass ourselves."

Lashing rain lent a freewheeling aspect to the memorial, with people taking shelter in the stadium's wide hallways, where they sang anti-apartheid anthems from the 1970s and 1980s. Foul weather kept many away, and the 95,000-capacity stadium was only two-thirds full.

Obama implored people to embrace Mandela's universal message of peace and justice, comparing the South African leader to Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and Abraham Lincoln. Mandela spent 27 years in prison under a racist regime, and promoted forgiveness and reconciliation when he was finally freed.

"We will never see the likes of Nelson Mandela again," Obama said. "But let me say to the young people of Africa, and young people around the world - you can make his life's work your own."

He hailed Mandela, who died Thursday at 95, as the unlikely leader of a movement that gave "potent voice to the claims of the oppressed and the moral necessity of racial justice. "

"Born during World War I, far from the corridors of power, a boy raised herding cattle and tutored by the elders of his Thembu tribe, Madiba would emerge as the last great liberator of the 20th century," Obama said, referring to Mandela by his clan name.

Obama, who like Mandela became the first black president of his country, said he was inspired by Mandela as a student. The speech was greeted with thunderous applause, and many heads of state and other foreign dignitaries gave a standing ovation.

Obama pointed out that "around the world today, men and women are still imprisoned for their political beliefs, and are still persecuted for what they look like, or how they worship, or who they love."

Among the heads of state and government were some from countries like Cuba that don't hold fully democratic elections. On the way to the podium, Obama shook hands with Cuban President Raul Castro, underscoring a recent warming of relations between their countries.

Other attending leaders criticized for their human rights records were Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe, Equatorial Guinea's Teodoro Obiang Nguema and Gambia's Yahya Jammeh.

In contrast to the wild applause given to Obama, South African President Jacob Zuma was booed. Many South Africans are unhappy with Zuma because of state corruption scandals, though his ruling African National Congress, once led by Mandela, remains the front-runner ahead of elections next year.

Mandela's record after he was elected in the first all-race elections in 1994 has faced some criticism, most of it indirect because he is such a revered figure.

He did not push for major restructuring of the economy, fearing it could alienate whites who still control most of South African industry. Today, the country struggles with economic inequality, though Mandela's moral stature sets him far apart from his successors.

"Mandela was a very humble man, and he gave himself to the world. He sacrificed time with his family for us and for me. It is a privilege to be here, it is a humbling experience," said 35-year-old Dipolelo Moshe, who works for a marketing company.

She had a South African flag draped over her shoulders and carried a big photo of Mandela as she stood in line at the stadium.

Rohan Laird, the 54-year-old CEO of a health insurance company, said he grew up during white rule in a "privileged position" as a white South African and that Mandela helped whites work through a burden of guilt.

"His reconciliation allowed whites to be released themselves," Laird said. "I honestly don't think the world will see another leader like Nelson Mandela."

A dazzling mix of royalty, statesmen and celebrities was in attendance.

Thabo Mbeki, who succeeded Mandela as president, got a rousing cheer as he entered the stands. French President Francois Hollande and his predecessor and rival, Nicolas Sarkozy, arrived together.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon waved and bowed to spectators as he called Mandela "one of our greatest teachers."

"He taught by example. He sacrificed so much ... for freedom and equality, for democracy and justice," Ban said.

Mandela's widow, Graca Machel, and his former wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, gave each other a long hug before the ceremonies began.

Actress Charlize Theron, model Naomi Campbell and singer Bono were among the celebrities paying final tribute.

Symbolically, Tuesday was the 20th anniversary of the day when Mandela and South Africa's last apartheid-era president, F.W. de Klerk, received the Nobel Peace Prize. De Klerk, a political rival who became friends with Mandela, was also in the stadium.

In his Nobel acceptance speech at the time, Mandela said: "We live with the hope that as she battles to remake herself, South Africa will be like a microcosm of the new world that is striving to be born."

The rain was seen as a blessing among many of South Africa's majority black population.

"Only great, great people are memorialized with it," said Harry Tshabalala, a driver for the justice ministry. "Rain is life. This is perfect weather for us on this occasion."

People blew on vuvuzelas, the plastic horn that was widely used during the 2010 World Cup soccer tournament in South Africa, and sang songs from the era of the anti-apartheid struggle decades earlier.

"It is a moment of sadness celebrated by song and dance, which is what we South Africans do," said Xolisa Madywabe, CEO of a South African investment firm.

After Tuesday's memorial, Mandela's body will lie in state for three days at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, once the seat of white power, before burial Sunday in his rural childhood village of Qunu in Eastern Cape Province.

___

Follow Jon Gambrell on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jongambrellAP.

___

Follow Alan Clendenning on Twitter at www.twitter.com/alanclendenning.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Comments » 45

sslf#243951 writes:

The undocumented Obama brought along his buddy from "Fast and Furious" gun running, the criminal Eric Holder....and a gaggle of free loading former President, Carter, Bush II, Clinton also hitched a ride on Air Force One which costs $180,000 per hour to fly....

OnTheOutside writes:

Nice to see leaders can come together and show mutual respect for someone despite their political differences.

kkayla writes:

A little sad in my opinion. He leaves a mess here to be idolized and treated like royalty there. Well, no accounting for taste or intelligence and this is more proof on that subject. BTW, for anyone that remembers Clinton and his big news on Obama "fixing" the "doughnut hole" for seniors regarding medication, DNC speech, didn't happen and is not going to happen (at least in the foreseeable future) so another lie made by this party to us, the citizens of the U.S. This time, however, we can give credit for this "no information, information" to "big" Bill Clinton! Gee, he and wifey have lots in common when it comes to lies or truth avoidance at the very least.

Hopper writes:

This is an Associated Press (AP) article, they receive daily talking points from the White House. I'm sure this article was actually written beforehand and passed to the AP once obummer gave his speech. Just more lib propaganda.

SlowDancer writes:

HAIL OBAMA!!!

Here lays the USA...RIP

RonPaul2012 writes:

Oooooh... just the mention of the name... OhBAMA sends thrills up the legs of journalists everywhere

unclewede writes:

Goosh, doesn't like look a lot like the statues of "great leaders" one often found cast in Moscow???

unclewede writes:

Let me try again:
Doesn't that look a lot. . .

TheCrusader writes:

in response to sslf#243951:

The undocumented Obama brought along his buddy from "Fast and Furious" gun running, the criminal Eric Holder....and a gaggle of free loading former President, Carter, Bush II, Clinton also hitched a ride on Air Force One which costs $180,000 per hour to fly....

With comments like this I cannot understand why African Americans, Hispanics, Asian Americans, young Americans, women and smart Americans have all left the GOP. Go figure.

jjohnjj writes:

Perhaps it wasn't President Obama himself that thrilled the crowd, but his words...

"It took a man like Madiba to free not just the prisoner, but the jailer as well, to show that you must trust others so that they may trust you; to teach that reconciliation is not a matter of ignoring a cruel past, but a means of confronting it with inclusion and generosity and truth. He changed laws, but he also changed hearts.”

Humble_Beginnings writes:

Mandela may have repented but he still was a terrorist.

I'm amazed how many people that worship Mandela, know nothing about him.

Read his Autobiography, then form your opinion.

Hopper writes:

in response to TheCrusader:

With comments like this I cannot understand why African Americans, Hispanics, Asian Americans, young Americans, women and smart Americans have all left the GOP. Go figure.

Actually your lib polls are all showing that independents, women, and college age kids and all flocking to the GOP. Go figure...

Hopper writes:

in response to Humble_Beginnings:

Mandela may have repented but he still was a terrorist.

I'm amazed how many people that worship Mandela, know nothing about him.

Read his Autobiography, then form your opinion.

I agree, all these people flocking to his funeral and most know nothing about him. He spent 27 years in jail and all he had to do to get out was to renounce terrorism, he wouldn't do it. I guess once a terrorist, always a terrorist.

dreckerson writes:

He should just stay over there and run for president where someone actually believes he is capable of doing anything but look at himself in the mirror. This guys ego is beyond huge and into the realm of unbelievable. All hail Cesar Obama.

Tiredoflibs writes:

in response to TheCrusader:

With comments like this I cannot understand why African Americans, Hispanics, Asian Americans, young Americans, women and smart Americans have all left the GOP. Go figure.

Why would someone have to be from the GOP to have views such as this? Obama's problems are not due to the color of his skin but rather his character. He has proven himself to be a liar, a poor leader, a weak leader, a con-man, etc. Those are the traits that people now see from him.

Humble_Beginnings writes:

in response to Tiredoflibs:

Why would someone have to be from the GOP to have views such as this? Obama's problems are not due to the color of his skin but rather his character. He has proven himself to be a liar, a poor leader, a weak leader, a con-man, etc. Those are the traits that people now see from him.

Obama's character traits are all negative.

Obama is fantastic at faking all positive attributes.

His greatest assets are his ability to lie with conviction and convince others that failure is actually success.

To Obama's credit he is "diligent" in continually finding ways to successfully fail.

tumbleson#777960 writes:

Have any of you seen the picture of Obama and Hillary taking a "selfie" during the ceremony? Such a lack of decorum for a head of state.

DavidAtkins writes:

in response to TheCrusader:

With comments like this I cannot understand why African Americans, Hispanics, Asian Americans, young Americans, women and smart Americans have all left the GOP. Go figure.

Seriously. Just give these rabid wingnuts a megaphone. They do all our work for us.

DavidAtkins writes:

in response to Hopper:

I agree, all these people flocking to his funeral and most know nothing about him. He spent 27 years in jail and all he had to do to get out was to renounce terrorism, he wouldn't do it. I guess once a terrorist, always a terrorist.

And now we know that at least a few of the regular conservative VC Star commentators think Mandela is a terrorist.

This would be a good time to point out that Ronald Reagan vetoed the Anti-Apartheid Act, and that Dick Cheney relentlessly called Mandela a terrorist as well.

Basically, the Republican Party still hates Nelson Mandela. They just can't say it openly, and gnash their teeth at the "Political Correctness" of it all.

These people would be hilarious if they weren't doing so much damage to the country before they finally age out of the electorate.

DavidAtkins writes:

in response to SlowDancer:

HAIL OBAMA!!!

Here lays the USA...RIP

Is a lack of education and intelligence a prerequisite for conservatism? How hard is it to get the difference between "lay" and "lie"?

kkayla writes:

in response to DavidAtkins:

Is a lack of education and intelligence a prerequisite for conservatism? How hard is it to get the difference between "lay" and "lie"?

Wow....now we see a true and important world stopper! Maybe "Dancer" meant it this way: "Obama knows now to lie like a rug". Get it, get it?.... (just another little world stopper for you!) BTW, keep up the good work for your liberal causes....you're doing just great making friends and impressions right and left...

OnTheOutside writes:

in response to DavidAtkins:

And now we know that at least a few of the regular conservative VC Star commentators think Mandela is a terrorist.

This would be a good time to point out that Ronald Reagan vetoed the Anti-Apartheid Act, and that Dick Cheney relentlessly called Mandela a terrorist as well.

Basically, the Republican Party still hates Nelson Mandela. They just can't say it openly, and gnash their teeth at the "Political Correctness" of it all.

These people would be hilarious if they weren't doing so much damage to the country before they finally age out of the electorate.

Vetoed until the Republican controlled senate overturned it. Back when there were sensible, compromising politicians that can see the entire picture. People unlike yourself.

Eagleshift writes:

Ahhhhh. The hatred on this site is palpable.
Mandela a terrorist? Since when is resisting racism backed by political power terrorism? Were our American heros such as Washington and Madison terrorists? The English would have named them so; we rightly call them heros.
Mandela was a great man and a model for all the world; a hero and our President was correct in honoring him.

Eagleshift writes:

Ps the worls press thought our President stole the show; lets just take a moment to be proud of him and proud to be Americans.

OnTheOutside writes:

in response to Eagleshift:

Ahhhhh. The hatred on this site is palpable.
Mandela a terrorist? Since when is resisting racism backed by political power terrorism? Were our American heros such as Washington and Madison terrorists? The English would have named them so; we rightly call them heros.
Mandela was a great man and a model for all the world; a hero and our President was correct in honoring him.

Well put Eagle.

analog writes:

in response to Eagleshift:

Ps the worls press thought our President stole the show; lets just take a moment to be proud of him and proud to be Americans.

Oh yeah, Barry shaking hands with Raul Castro and other assembled communists. What a disgrace.

Eagleshift writes:

in response to analog:

Oh yeah, Barry shaking hands with Raul Castro and other assembled communists. What a disgrace.

Gasp, a handshake. Curse you Obama you should have snubbed him and her, and him and him...
Analog, your posts regarding Obama are predictable and boring. Anything he does is roundly criticised by you, including a handshake (apparently covered in the "(name calling removed)'s guide to Diplomacy: when a handshake is a disgrace" )
Kindly explain how a handshake with a person, even if you disagree with them, is a disgrace.
Heck I shake Republican hands all the time and, due to his collegial manner, I'm even starting to have a man crush on Traditional. (Dear Dems please don't call me a disgrace)
Anyone else, of any party, a little help please!

bionox writes:

The so-called conservatives see their unabated attacks on the POTUS as the only weapon left in their arsenal.

A handshake? Mandela is a terrorist worthy of scorn? Cesar (Caesar) Obama? Stalinesque Obama statues? Undocumented Obama? Begrudging former POTUS a ride on Air Force One to a State function? Really, nutters? This is all you got?

These are the voices of the mentally unhinged screaming at the bushes in the park.

Cy writes:

in response to bionox:

The so-called conservatives see their unabated attacks on the POTUS as the only weapon left in their arsenal.

A handshake? Mandela is a terrorist worthy of scorn? Cesar (Caesar) Obama? Stalinesque Obama statues? Undocumented Obama? Begrudging former POTUS a ride on Air Force One to a State function? Really, nutters? This is all you got?

These are the voices of the mentally unhinged screaming at the bushes in the park.

Apparently you missed the 8 years of Bush bashing that was going on pretty much everywhere all of the time.

That was pure vitriol. Talk about something to be ashamed about!

The guy was not a great president and made some bad mistakes, but he obviously was a man of great conscience. Libs were just hateful. Evil even.

Cy writes:

in response to bionox:

The so-called conservatives see their unabated attacks on the POTUS as the only weapon left in their arsenal.

A handshake? Mandela is a terrorist worthy of scorn? Cesar (Caesar) Obama? Stalinesque Obama statues? Undocumented Obama? Begrudging former POTUS a ride on Air Force One to a State function? Really, nutters? This is all you got?

These are the voices of the mentally unhinged screaming at the bushes in the park.

A handshake? Yes, a handshake with a brutal murding dictator who has ruined the lives of millions of people. A handshake with the dictator who we have isolated for 50 years.

Mandela is a terrorist worthy of scorn? Yes, blowing up women and children and lighting people on fire with gasoline is evil. Not soldiers mind you, but regular citizens.

Cesar (Caesar) Obama? Yes, Obama has set a very dangerous precedent of re-writing law from the white house. Left unchallenged this will be the undoing of Democracy.

Stalinesque Obama statues? Yes, this is funny. Communists love statues. Heck the guys whole campaign artwork collection looked like something out of a communist politburo.

Undocumented Obama? This is a fair question. The man used different names living in different places all over the world. He even claimed to be a foreigner in his first book. Probably also when he was getting accepted to pretty exclusive universities.

Begrudging former POTUS a ride on Air Force One to a State function? Okay...that's silly.

Cy writes:

in response to Eagleshift:

Ahhhhh. The hatred on this site is palpable.
Mandela a terrorist? Since when is resisting racism backed by political power terrorism? Were our American heros such as Washington and Madison terrorists? The English would have named them so; we rightly call them heros.
Mandela was a great man and a model for all the world; a hero and our President was correct in honoring him.

No! Washington and Madison were not terrorists. They were devoutly Christian men. Our troops were fighting against the British military.

The British were terrorists. They burned down Americans homes and killed their families. They captured and sold black soldiers fighting on the American side into slavery. They killed the majority of American POWs they took.

Cy writes:

One more thing...

If Mandela was such a great man of peace, freedom and equal rights why is Raul Castro speaking at his memorial? SERIOUSLY, how is a brutal communist dictator taking part in this? Why is our president legitimizing him? What a farce.

SlowDancer writes:

in response to DavidAtkins:

Is a lack of education and intelligence a prerequisite for conservatism? How hard is it to get the difference between "lay" and "lie"?

Sorry anushead...you just don't get it...like your beloved leader...the communist and your socialist party aka...the democrat party.
And you are supposedly some sort of community leader?...OH Yeah...so was the other...bleep!

DavidAtkins writes:

Keep stepping in it, ladies and gentlemen. Cy and Hopper think Mandela was a terrorist. Piru_T and FormerNPer think there were WMDs and terrorist camps in Iraq.

Conservatism at its finest.

Tom__Johnston writes:

so what...if Mandela "was" a terrorist? If so, he's probably in pretty good company really.

I think history has many examples of former insurrectionary leaders, who, in time, become legitimate leaders in their own countries. Whatever Mandela did, or thought about doing (mostly given his lengthy prison term) is way overshadowed by his achievements after his release from prison in South Africa.

Many of the Right have often come to the defense of Israel..which is fine, but many historical Israeli leaders (Menachem Begin notably) had their formative years as insurrection leaders, or in the view of their oppressors...terrorists. Menachem for example, was a member of the Jewish resistance in Palestine in the 1940's and was member if the splinter group the Irgun. The Irgun undertook a "terror" campaign including the bombing of Jerusalems King David Hotel, killing nearly a hundred British miltary and civilian personnel (and others).

Our own "Founding Fathers" would like have been considered "terrorists" by the English Crown if they used that word during those days. Not every revolutionary leader resorts to violence during their liberation campaigns, but many do and have so let's just get over that in this case with Mandela.

As far as President Obama's handshake with Raul Castro...who frickin' cares? DId anyone else see/remember Sen McCain's recent handshake with Moammar Khadafy? Truth is, handshakes in these circumstances arre protocol only, get over it.

Now don't think what i mean is that i approve or disregard the true probelm of "terrorism", i don't. But calling Mandela one now...well, that's just plain stupid.

Actually, Obama should have gone further, right on the spot, and invited Raul to high level talks to finally end this worthless and counterproductive Cuban embargo once and for all. Time and again, history has shown the best way to open a closed society like Cuba, is to shine light there, open trade, begin dialogue. Pandering to the anti-Castro Cuban minority just has to stop in this country IMHO.

Cy writes:

in response to DavidAtkins:

Keep stepping in it, ladies and gentlemen. Cy and Hopper think Mandela was a terrorist. Piru_T and FormerNPer think there were WMDs and terrorist camps in Iraq.

Conservatism at its finest.

Mandela was quite clearly a communist thug and terrorist.

When the Western world ended apartheid he traded in violence for cocktail parties and crony capitalism.

maxxx11 writes:

How long before the Messiah Obama takes credit for being solely responsible for ending apartheid in South Africa?

FormerNPer writes:

in response to DavidAtkins:

Keep stepping in it, ladies and gentlemen. Cy and Hopper think Mandela was a terrorist. Piru_T and FormerNPer think there were WMDs and terrorist camps in Iraq.

Conservatism at its finest.

.... and Atkins believes being a smarmy, "foul mouthed" Troll is the best way to lead the Democratic Party of Ventura County.

Along with:

*If you like your insurance, you can keep it.
*If you like your Doctor, you can keep them.
*I will close Gitmo.
*I never met/had a relationship with my Uncle.
*You'll have to read it, to find out what is in it.
*Prop 30 is for the kids and Education.
*Simi residents who aren't Democrats are racist and members of the KKK.
*Expecting women to be responsible when it comes to "procreation," is anti-woman, killing a million babies, half of which are female, is "choice."
*Everything said by the Democrats is to be taken as the absolute truth. Never question them, or you are (insert derogatory name here.)

Yeah Atkins, enjoy your time, people are beginning to see through your shenanigans. Piru and I have family in the Armed Services (something you have never done) who have seen things first hand that would cause you to soil your tighty whities.

Keep up the rhetoric. You, especially given the position you hold, do more for the Republican's than any of us ever could.

Piru_T writes:

Wasn't going to say anything about Obama's trip until I saw how disgraceful he conducted himself while at Mandela's memorial service, and if there is anyone who dares to defend his horrid actions of disrespect, all I will say is that even the South African dignitaries share my displeasure.

Piru_T writes:

in response to DavidAtkins:

Keep stepping in it, ladies and gentlemen. Cy and Hopper think Mandela was a terrorist. Piru_T and FormerNPer think there were WMDs and terrorist camps in Iraq.

Conservatism at its finest.

Dumacrat lying tool !

Never said anything about terrorist camps in Iraq, another David Atkins Lie !

Have you no shame in you dishonesty or is just the way you were raised ?

I told you that 500+ tons of Yellow Cake urainium which is a well documented fact that you can research and find out for yourself but I doubt you have the ability to do so, given your natural propensity to seek untruths.

It is hard to believe that someone as scurrilous as you is involved in any political party, but hey that's the Dumbacrat Party for ya folks !

OnTheOutside writes:

in response to Piru_T:

Wasn't going to say anything about Obama's trip until I saw how disgraceful he conducted himself while at Mandela's memorial service, and if there is anyone who dares to defend his horrid actions of disrespect, all I will say is that even the South African dignitaries share my displeasure.

Are you referring to the supposed "selfie" picture? I'm will to bet that there is more to that than we know. It is easy to take that information out of context and make it mean just about anything.

Piru_T writes:

in response to Tom__Johnston:

so what...if Mandela "was" a terrorist? If so, he's probably in pretty good company really.

I think history has many examples of former insurrectionary leaders, who, in time, become legitimate leaders in their own countries. Whatever Mandela did, or thought about doing (mostly given his lengthy prison term) is way overshadowed by his achievements after his release from prison in South Africa.

Many of the Right have often come to the defense of Israel..which is fine, but many historical Israeli leaders (Menachem Begin notably) had their formative years as insurrection leaders, or in the view of their oppressors...terrorists. Menachem for example, was a member of the Jewish resistance in Palestine in the 1940's and was member if the splinter group the Irgun. The Irgun undertook a "terror" campaign including the bombing of Jerusalems King David Hotel, killing nearly a hundred British miltary and civilian personnel (and others).

Our own "Founding Fathers" would like have been considered "terrorists" by the English Crown if they used that word during those days. Not every revolutionary leader resorts to violence during their liberation campaigns, but many do and have so let's just get over that in this case with Mandela.

As far as President Obama's handshake with Raul Castro...who frickin' cares? DId anyone else see/remember Sen McCain's recent handshake with Moammar Khadafy? Truth is, handshakes in these circumstances arre protocol only, get over it.

Now don't think what i mean is that i approve or disregard the true probelm of "terrorism", i don't. But calling Mandela one now...well, that's just plain stupid.

Actually, Obama should have gone further, right on the spot, and invited Raul to high level talks to finally end this worthless and counterproductive Cuban embargo once and for all. Time and again, history has shown the best way to open a closed society like Cuba, is to shine light there, open trade, begin dialogue. Pandering to the anti-Castro Cuban minority just has to stop in this country IMHO.

While I must say that I thought of Obama's actions while in South Africa where deplorable and I felt that his handshake with Raul Castro was prearranged but not as bad as him kissing Hugo Chavez, my disgust was at his blatant lack of respect at a time of such magnitude.

Regarding Mandela, I had a long discussion with my two youngest about him, and yes one could say that he was a terrorist but as I would say in the context of Menachem Begin or David Ben-Gurion prior to 1948 who were such as a means of rebellion against an oppressive regime, a regime by the way that was unworthy and unfit to have the power that they had and who's to say he was wrong?

You could say with complete honesty that he was a communist and a Marxist as well, but as opposed to previous communists and Marxist, Mandela evolved and softened his grip on his views as he realized the reality of his country's untruth being at stake and rather than all out war and purging of whites as his former Wife Winnie demanded in the early 90's, he chose unity, and that is where his greatness at least to me lies.

I say that being an anti-communist and Marxist with every fiber of my being, but he was no Stalin and he was no Mao and he was no Castro or Ho Chi Men for that matter, he chose a united Black and over South Africa over the "Hammer and Sickle " Black only South Africa.

Nelson Mandela could have chosen a hard line approach in the days hollowing the demise of the PW Botha presidency that even Botha commended him his call for unity.

Nelson Mandela could have chose total dominance over peace and did to South Africa what Ayatollah Komeni did to Iran or even worse had he chosen to do so, but instead chose to unite his country over power and control.

And to me at least, that is what I will remember him for, not his politics or actions some view as terrorism that I view as being no different than any Rebel militant seeking a better nation but as a man who chose his countries unity over all else.

And that is what I believe will define his greatness.

Piru_T writes:

in response to OnTheOutside:

Are you referring to the supposed "selfie" picture? I'm will to bet that there is more to that than we know. It is easy to take that information out of context and make it mean just about anything.

Yes that was just disgusting to the point that we as a nation should be embarrassed, as well as from what I saw was him in effect trying to steal the show for his own selfish reasons.

Nelson Mandela though not a perfect man by any strech of the imagination, abused bis wives and had many serious character flaws for what ever reason, but he paid his dues and suffered for his beliefs and became an icon of his country in very unselfish ways.

And for that reason Obama should have been a humble man of few words and dignified our country with proper respect at that moment.

He was very revealing to put it in the mildest of terms.

OnTheOutside writes:

in response to Piru_T:

Yes that was just disgusting to the point that we as a nation should be embarrassed, as well as from what I saw was him in effect trying to steal the show for his own selfish reasons.

Nelson Mandela though not a perfect man by any strech of the imagination, abused bis wives and had many serious character flaws for what ever reason, but he paid his dues and suffered for his beliefs and became an icon of his country in very unselfish ways.

And for that reason Obama should have been a humble man of few words and dignified our country with proper respect at that moment.

He was very revealing to put it in the mildest of terms.

I didn't really take much from that picture as I'm sure it's not what some are using for. They are real people after all and can't be stoic every minute. Remember how the picture of Bush looking out the window of the airplane was used by the trolls? Reasonable people understood that him being on the ground at that moment would have taken manpower away from rescue efforts yet those that just want to keep up the war of "them vs. us" used it for their agenda. I did however like the picture of them all sharing discussions together despite the party differences while on the plane. Bush was sharing his art work with Hillary which I'm sure left Atkins in a series of grand mal seizures

OnTheOutside writes:

in response to DavidAtkins:

Keep stepping in it, ladies and gentlemen. Cy and Hopper think Mandela was a terrorist. Piru_T and FormerNPer think there were WMDs and terrorist camps in Iraq.

Conservatism at its finest.

You should listen to this. Might just open your mind a bit.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/st...

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Featured Promotions

Social

Wire

Features