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Midnight Massacre
Crunch Time for South Africa and the ANC
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  • Tim Fairbank

    So, what’s your assessment? Is there any hope left for South Africa?

    • Dale Fayda

      No, there isn’t. Once the ANC took over the government, “Venezuelalization” of the country was just a matter of time.

    • D4x

      RSA is still a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. Zimbabwe was suspended in 2002 for misgovernment, and then withdrew rather than conform to Commonwealth criteria. So, there IS hope for South Africa.

  • f1b0nacc1

    This is what third world leaders (particularly those in one-party states) do. Is anyone seriously surprised?

    • ——————————

      “Is anyone seriously surprised?”

      No….

  • Suzy Dixon

    The ANC is SA’s misfortune. Just gangsters beating up would be opposition, and that’s on top of rampant crime and an otherworldly AIDS epidemic.

    • f1b0nacc1

      The ANC is more than simply a misfortune or an embarrassment, they are a betrayal of the legacy that Mandella (who, to my eternal shame, I failed to recognize as a great man for far, far too long) left them.

      • Dale Fayda

        Mandela was not a great man. He was a Communist terrorist, whose biggest achievement was to sit in prison for half of his life because of his refusal to renounce violence against the government of South Africa.

        • Tom

          And even if everything you said was true, he was still a better man than his opponents.

          • Dale Fayda

            Not judging by the results of his party’s rule, he wasn’t.

            And even if that were true, it still doesn’t make him a “great man”, just somewhat less of a homicidal imbecile than Robert Mugabe.

          • Tom

            Given that if his opponents had stayed in power South Africa would be a war-torn wasteland right now and there wouldn’t be an Afrikaner left in the country, you are mistaken.

          • Dale Fayda

            Why? Afrikaners were getting along just fine with Mandela in prison and with the ANC skulking on the fringes of the country. They were in no danger of being militarily overthrown. It was the “international community” and South Africa’s home-grown progressives who forced the (peaceful) political changes, which brought the ANC to power.

            As for becoming a war-torn wasteland, what do you think is in its future with the ANC in power? Have you read this article? South Africa is only a few years behind Venezuela in becoming an oppressed, desperate economic basket case.

          • Tom

            If you think the Afrikaners were going to be able to maintain their dominance over South Africa once the whole “communism is the enemy” thing passed away with the Soviet Union, you’re delusional.

          • Dale Fayda

            Why do you speak with such certainty? I can think of dozens of scenarios where the “Afrikaners” would be able to stay in power with or without communism in the world. The hypothetical future is not knowable, however the concrete present is and it’s not looking great for South Africa.

        • f1b0nacc1

          With respect (and I believe we have had this discussion before), you are missing the point.

          Yes, he was a Communist (and unrepentant to the last….he defended plenty of terribly unsavory/evil people right to the end), and he at the very least supported, if not necessarily participated in, terrorism and violence against the RSA. At no point have I suggested that he was perfect, or even exceptionally ‘good’, however you wish to define that….

          With that said, when he finally won his long fight, and would have been able to very easily succumb to the temptation for revenge against those he no doubt hated (and lets put aside for a moment whether or not that hate was justified), he stepped back from it, and used his not inconsiderable influence and reputation to put forward a policy of reconciliation and forgiveness to those on *BOTH* sides of the conflict. This same sort of policy when advocated in our own history (by Lincoln after the Civil War) is lauded by historians as far-seeing and magnanimous…I can in principle do no less than applaud Mandela for having the courage to do the same. This was the act of a great man, and Mandela stood by his words with his actions, something that is altogether too rare in these times. That he may not have been perfect (or, as I said, even particularly good) makes this even more impressive and important.

          I will not defend his party (the ANC are a bunch of corrupt thugs, most of whom were unworthy of Mandela) and as for that harpy of a wife of his…I can only say that we in the US are hardly in a position to criticize presidential wives….grin….

          • Dale Fayda

            As I have mentioned in a previous comment in this string, his decision not to conduct wholesale dispossession of the white population of SA is not evidence of his “greatness”, but of a mere modicum of common sense. The absolutely disastrous example of what Robert Mugabe did in Zimbabwe had to serve as a warning about what happens when you crack down on the (by far) the most productive part of your nation’s population.

            The bloody carnage of the Civil War, unsurpassed since, is in no way comparable to the situation in South Africa after the fall of apartheid. While Lincoln showed political courage in advocating national reconciliation, he got bumped off and his successors took a very different tack. We’ll never know what Lincoln’s policies in this regard would have been, had he lived.

          • f1b0nacc1

            That Mugabe’s policies have been a disaster has not stopped numerous other African (and other) regimes from implementing them. Minority (or even majority!) tribes in Africa has been subjected to horrific discrimination by victorious insurgents (the list is endless, even if most of those tribes are not white!), and the disastrous consequences of this great evil haven’t deterred others from doing it. Much more to the point, however, Mandela didn’t simply ‘not do stupid stuff’, he went much further and put his own reputation on the line encouraging forgiveness and reconciliation when a lesser man (particularly given what he personally suffered, whether right or wrong) might have done much less. Given the outrages committed by both the ANC and the RSA government, Mandela insisted on forgiving BOTH sides, not just the ANC victors….that is the mark of a great man, and a courageous one.

            The US Civil War was indeed bloody, but hardly uniquely so, and in fact a good argument could be made that the RSA’s civil (or uncivil?) war was equally awful. Do we really need to indulge in mindless bean-counting though? They were both awful, both left the country involved deeply scarred, and there were heroes and villians on both sides. As for Lincoln’s assassination, it had little to do with his intention to be generous to the defeated CSA (in fact, the irony of his death is that it strengthened the hand of the hardliners who wanted revenge), and his successors were a deeply divided group, split between the hardliners and those who supported Lincoln. His death, particularly the manner of it (at the hands of a Southern bitter-ender) and the political incompetence of his Vice President (Johnson was a terrible choice, but that is a subject for another thread) combined to create a perfect storm where the worst of all possible worlds emerged. The results (a long reconstruction, and decades of stagnation and waste for the defeated South, a loss to the country as a whole) speak for themselves.

            As for what Lincoln would have done, I think too much of you as a student of the Civil War to take that ignorant statement of yours seriously. You know that Lincoln spoke extensively of his desire to ‘let them up easily’ to both his generals and his political lieutenants, particularly Johnson and Stanton. He might have been unsuccessful in implementing those policies, but the direction he wanted to go was unmistakable.

          • Dale Fayda

            “He might have been unsuccessful in implementing those policies, but the direction he wanted to go was unmistakable.” My point is that we’ll never know what his ACTUAL POLICIES in this regard would have been, had he lived. Words are just words, even lofty ones – see Obama, et al.

            In any event, this conversation is not about Lincoln and 600,000+ dead in less that (4) years doesn’t begin to compare to the low-intensity conflict that was the South African civil war, which was in actuality a Soviet-financed, Communist-led insurgency agains a legitimate government.

            I stand by my contention that Mandela was never “great”, just less venal and vindictive than his fellow quasi-dictators in that neck of the woods.

            Recognizing that conducting a punitive revenge campaign against the sector of the population which grows ALL of your food, conducts ALL of your foreign trade, runs ALL of your industry (including arms manufacturing), constitutes MOST of your business and professional class is asinine doesn’t stamp one with the mark of greatness.

          • f1b0nacc1

            We know what Lincolns actual policies would have been, he gave explicit orders to his generals covering their conduct (and most importantly forbidding the military trials of civil authorities in the defeated CSA) despite their deep unpopularity with his political advisers. To suggest that we will never know is simply willful ignorance, and you are better than that.

            Regarding the comparative scope of the wars involved, the US Civil War was more intense, but it was hardly less destructive, nor did fewer (in absolute numbers or as a percentage of the total population) die. The RSA civil war was far more than simply a communist uprising (though it certainly was that as well), and while I agree that the RSA regime was the legitimate government at that time, we both know all too well that (particularly with regard to revolutions) history is written by the winners. We could easily argue, for instance that the USA is the outcome of a successful revolution underwritten by enemies of the British crown, and so it is…but it is much more than that, n’est-ce pas?

            We will have to agree to disagree regarding Mandela, but I find it tragic that you cannot overcome your hatred of much of what he embraced to acknowledge the actions he took when he was in a position to do so. Nothing is so simple as it appears, you know…

            Finally, you suggest that the white part of the RSA was responsible for essentially ‘ALL’ (I am quote directly) the economic activity in the RSA….do you want to modify that comment a bit?

          • Dale Fayda

            I didn’t say “ALL economic activity”. I deliberately singled out the sectors of SA’s economy, where white dominance was unquestioned at the time.

          • Dale Fayda

            “To suggest that we will never know is simply willful ignorance, and you are better than that.” You may want to treat lightly with this one.

            Events on the ground and political expediency have a way of changing one’s mind, just like Lincoln changed his mind on what to do about slavery in the course of his career: http://www.npr.org/templates/transcript/transcript.php?storyId=130489804.

            In any event, this train of argument is not germane to my denial of “greatness” to Mandela.

  • ——————————

    SA will slowly end up like the rest of Africa.
    Africans haven’t run/done anything right for thousands of years, so how could anyone think they would after the Europeans left….

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