No, the next Nelson Mandela of the world is rotting in a jail cell tonight, just like Mandela nearly withered for 27 years on Robben Island. Or he is on someone’s terrorist watch list, or she is segregated and searched every time she travels through an international airport. Somewhere, government spies are reading the emails of the next Nelson Mandela. They are tracking his cell phone and listening to his calls, or monitoring her meetings with their undercover cops.
Some of the people who are most opposed to oppression from Washington attack Mandela when he was opposed to oppression in his own country….I would ask of his critics: where were some of these conservatives as allies against tyranny? Where were the masses of conservatives opposing Apartheid? In a desperate struggle against an overpowering government, you accept the allies you have just as Washington was grateful for a French monarchy helping him defeat the British.
Newt Gingrich, who supported anti-apartheid measures when in Congress, making sense and criticizing troglodyte conservatives who are attacking Nelson Mandela for advocating violence and joining the Communist Party while pushing for the end of the apartheid regime. (via politicalprof)
You mean the Founding Fathers (peace be upon them) accepted French help?
I think some people bought a rationale that defined everybody who was in any way in rebellion against the established system in the third world as anti-American. There are people who have sustained this kind of mythology. There’s no question that in the ’50s Mandela moved from a nonviolent model toward being allied with the Communists. My point to conservatives is: there weren’t any conservative allies. Churchill allied with Stalin in World War II. I think in a similar tradition, Mandela was desperate by that stage, he saw the scale of the oppression, and the only allies that were available, frankly, were on the hard left.
Newt Gingrich, calling out his commenters for being jerks about Nelson Mandela’s death on his Facebook page, while simultaneously pointing out that politics aren’t the same in every other country.
Short version: Get a broader perspective on how the world works, my America-centric supporters.
EDIT: Gingrich also commented about the situation on his website, offering some sorely needed clarity to his audience.
Context matters. BTW, for comparison, it’s worth noting that Reagan negotiated with Iran, Nixon made friends with Communist China, and Reagan became close friends with the Soviet Union’s last leader. Politics is often about compromise, even with ideological adversaries, in the name of achieving ulterior motives. For Reagan it was the release of American hostages in Iran and the opening up of the Soviet Union. For Nixon detente with Maoist China was a way to outflank the Soviet Union.
Sometimes, smart conservatives can (and do and should) embrace ideological opponents if the real world policy alternatives are worse and/or if the gains from cooperation are larger than the costs. But that’s politics, after all.