Tuesday, March 18, 2008

On this day

in 1992, white South Africans backed a motion to end apartheid and create a multi-racial government.

I had always been against against sanctions on the basis that they punished the poor, yet the left seemed not to care and were generally unrelenting in their quests for ever tighter sanctions, no matter what the consequences.

My mind was changed when I worked there for 6 months in 1999/2000. I worked for a bunch of guys who had been very senior in the MK, the military wing of the ANC during apartheid and they had some very interesting stories to tell. Anyway, when I discussed sanctions with them and how they punished the poor and vulnerable their attitude was that it was worth it to get rid of the regime.

I was further convinced that sanctions had been right when I read FW De Klerk's autobiography. He makes that point that his mind was finally made up to end apartheid when business leaders told him that they couldn't continue to operate with the sanctions in place.

With this in mind I was pro sanctions when we were trying to contain Saddam Hussein, who lets face it, was just as evil as apartheid. What I couldn't get my head round was why the left was against sanctions; furthermore their arguments were the same as mine had been over apartheid. It couldn't be because the USA was against sanctions for SA but for them against Iraq, could it?

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