Mandela Memorial Service Live…

  • pauluk

    I find it really strange that everyone seems to think Mandela was harshly treated because he was tried, convicted and jailed for crimes that he actually did commit, yet Obama has kept people locked up for years without even a hint of a trial, and he gets to speak at Mandela’s funeral.

    Am I missing something here?

  • Greenflag

    “Am I missing something here ”

    Yes . The winners get to write the history of the moment .

    Mandela was fighting for democracy , human rights and equality between the various South African ethnic groups and his values have resonance across the entire globe . His ‘crime ‘ was the same crime as those of the Irish 1916 revolutionaries or George Washington’s 1776 revolutionaries or any other successful anti colonial revolutionaries you care to mention across the former ‘imperial ‘ world and you can stretch the ‘revolutionary struggle ‘ as far back as Wat Tyler’s in medieval England if you wish .

    Those languishing in Guanatanamo or elsewhere without trial are perceived as anti democratic fanatical islamists /taliban etc and thus evoke little sympathy from the western ‘meeja’ . Of course some are innocent and just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time . It happens in all wars .

    And yes it is morally wrong to hold people in detention detention without trial for years on end . As I understand it some of those held at Guantanamo have nowhere to go back to and those who do may face even worse treatment at home .

    As I said on earlier posts -there is no perfect justice .If there was there would be no Guantanamo , no Maze and no Robbin Island -no French or Russian or American or Irish revolutions either .

    But then some of us accept that man is not always a rational or just animal . If you doubt that I suggest you visit Wall St or the City of London and open your eyes .

  • Greenflag

    BTW lest I forget thanks v much for the SABC link up on this day of commemoration for one of world history’s truly great leaders ,

  • pauluk

    I have read Mandela’s autobiography and I really enjoyed Invictus and I think he was a good man – at least in the end, which maybe stemmed a little from his Methodist education 😉 – and his attitude after leaving prison spared SA a nightmare. De Klerk, of course, should get some credit for seizing the moment, but Mandela was key.

    I find it kind of funny though that everyone, including Obama and Cameron, is talking about how forgiving Mandela was for being jailed when he, in fact, was convicted in a fair trial. Another funny thing is, if he had been convicted in the UK or US for the same crime he would probably have been executed. The South African authorities, in reality, were quite lenient with him.

    Greenflag, I doubt there are any ‘innocent’ detainees left in Gitmo.

  • Greenflag

    “if he had been convicted in the UK or US for the same crime he would probably have been executed. ”

    So would George Washington , Eamon De Valera (his death sentence was removed due to USA intervention) , Menachim Begin , Jomo Kenyatta etc etc etc . Mandela in sense is the George Washington of South Africa minus Washington’s general ship .

    As to a fair trial ? Would a dissident in North Korea receive a fair trial in Pyongyang ? Would an Irish Republican receive a fair trial in a British court at the height of Empire ?

    Would a Chinese ‘democrat ‘ receive a fair trial in modern day Shanghai or Beijing ?

    Any detainees left at Gitmo should be given a fair trial or released . It’s not doing the USA’s claim to be a nation of laws any good .

    We are still relatively ‘lucky ‘ in the modern Anglosphere in that we still expect people to get a fair trial even if there have been specific instances where they did’nt . In other parts of the world that’s still an ideal . In apartheid era South Africa for most civil offences your chances of getting a fair trial would have been much higher than in say Zaire or Uganda .

    In relation to offences against the State some of the accused never made it even to the courtroom .This particular freedom fighter died in policy custody

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Biko