Saturday, February 02, 2008

On this day

In 1990 South African President F.W. de Klerk lifted a ban on the African National Congress and promised to free Nelson Mandela.

I recommend de Klerk's auto biography as a good read. Whilst it is obviously self serving he does provide some interesting insights in to what brought the end of apartheid; the main one being business leaders persuading him that sanctions were working and the country was being brought to its knees.

This is where I confess to mea culpa. Whilst I was a vehement opponent of apartheid (I had been in Zimbabwe and seen the affect of racisim) I had been against sanctions on the grounds that they were hurting the poor, especially the elderly and children, rather than the rich whites.

When discussing this position with some former senior members of the MK, the military wing of the ANC, when I worked there in 1990/200 they were aghast. Their view, and they assured me the view of the majority of blacks, was that sanctions were a small price to pay to end apartheid.

So, with these two examples in mind I found myself supporting sanctions against Iraq, despite their affect on the poos and children. At the time this set me against, yet again, the left who opposed them on the grounds that they were hurting innocent people. Interestingly the same argument that they vilified me for holding on South Africa.

Which goes to show that, as a generalisation, the left don't take their positions on basic principles and analysis of the situation, but to suit their own, general anti American/Anglo-sphere, prejudices.

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