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« Mbeki's legacy and why you should vote opposition | Main | Now is the time to squeeze Iran »

October 29, 2008

Comments

Real Friend of Democracy

Funny, and perhaps telling, how the "Friends of Democracy" website quotes Mao Tse-Tung (http://www.friendsofdemocracy.co.za/thabo_mbeki_about_us.asp) - who was surely no friend of democracy or diversity.

Lawrence

Sure Steve the antipathy to democracy and transparency within ANC ranks is nothing new as you write but it didn't start with Mbeki, things weren't any much better under that sacred cow Mandela. Under Mandela's reign the ANC looted and stole whilst the poor got poorer and the ANC (including Mandela) gave its support to other terror regimes like Iran and Libya from the get-go, literally as soon as they came into power in mid-'94. In fact the ANC's tolerance for corruption and its close ties with barbaric regimes easily predates their ascendancy to the reins of government by decades. Mandela spent his years in power travelling the globe having his ego soothed by the adoring masses, pretending he was a saint and fooling most everybody, whilst exhibiting total cluelessness on all aspects of govt policy both on the international arena and domestically, always he served the interests of the white bosses in industry (as Mbeki continued to do) which is why rich whitie loves him so much, he was just an uncle Tom at the end of the day. Mandela bought into the status quo on every issue under the sun, like the fool he is he bought into the lies he was showered with, that he was wise and good, he was neither. OK he was better on Zim than Mbeki, I concede that in his favour whoopee.

Steve

Lawrence, I agree with you that the problems with the ANC predate the Mbeki presidency.

I didn't include general foreign policy as an issue because I don't think there is much disparity of views with the new ANC camp, the old camp and Lekota on foreign policy, especially relating to the Middle East. We all know where the ANC alliances are.

I agree that Mandela is fallible. I agree that he has become a sacred cow. But I disagree with the genral tone of what you say. Your excessive faulting of him matches the excessive praise of others.

I think you are too quick to discount his importance and contribution.

Mandela was better than Mbeki on a whole host of issues - not just Zim. AIDS, the appointment of constitutional court judges and the Judicial Services Commission, crime, parliamentary processes, opposition consultation, race issues jump to mind quickly.

And small point though it is, (and I accept quite insignificant) he has been unashamed of the high praise he has given both Tony Leon and Helen Suzman.


David

Dear Steve & Mike

May Isggest when referring to Lekota you use his proper first name and not his nick name. His full name is Mosiuoa Gerard Patrick "Terror" Lekota. The "Terror" part is a nicknmae from playing soccer as a youth and has nothing to do with his ANC past. I simply think it is correct and respectful.

This suggestion has nothing whatsoever to do with supporting or not supporting him.

Steve

Hi David,
Perhaps you are correct.

I must say though, I don't think it is in any way disparaging to call him "Terror". Virtually everyone is calling him Terror now that he is no longer a Minister. I've basically taken my cue from the press. Perhaps I will go for Mr Lekota.

I'm sure he is proud of his nickname. Shows what a great footballer he was.

As an aside, did you know that there is a South African footballer (plays for Bafana) named Thembinkosi Fanteni playing in Israel at the moment. His nickname is also Terror.

Mike

Lawrence, your disdain for Mandela really surprises me. I have many disagreement with his foreign and even economic policies but I have tremendous respect for his character. His charisma and forgiveness kept this country from being engulfed by civil war. That is no small achievement. Mbeki, Zuma and Lekota combined are not half the leader he was.

He was no uncle Tom. If he was an uncle Tom, he would not have spent 27 years in jail fighting again Apartheid.

Gary

I think Mr Lekota is doing a very brave thing.
We need a formation that can challenge the ANC and reduce their gargantuan majority and sickening arrogance.
The DA have through choosing to focus only on White middle class concerns and choosing white middle class leadership, at all levels, made themselves incapable of fourther growth.
The only way the DA could salavge itself would be if they made a ruling that every second (or third)candidate on their candidates lists for next years election is a person of colour, but when I suggest these things to them they say it would be 'window dressing'- as if politics is not largely about marketing).
The DA have not digested the reality about SA's demographic character.
We can always go to a poliician's past and say 'why did you do this and why did you do that?'
Funny nobody does that concerningformer Nat ministers who are now sitting comforetably in the ANC like sozzled Pik Botha and Roelf Meyer (who ditched the UDM as soon as he realized it wouldn't be a ticket to greter power and wealth for himself.)

Steve

Great comment Gary.

I also think Terror is doing a brave thing and applaud him for it. I am however put off by his support for Mbeki.

Whatever his motivations may be, the outcome of his challange is certainly positive.

I disagree with you on the DA. How do you think challenging Mbeki as vehemntly on AIDS as Leon did played to the interests of only whites? Are you suggesting that Black people aren't concerned about AIDS? Its been one of their biggest campaigns. And fighting corruption - how did that play into the hands of only whites? And isn't crime a national concern, not limited to just whites?

Are Messrs Botha and Meyer really in the ANC?

Gary

I'll get back to u on the other stuff but do a google seacrh and you'l see that PIk and Roelf are both in the SA, as was Piet Koornhof, and as are a number of ex-Nat ministers and MP.

Gary

Steve, you are proabable right on the issues concerning the DA (whose policies and principles I agree with) right on the issues. But the DA cannot expect to win Black votes if they ONLY have white representtatives.
I mean choosing a white afrikaans ex-nat as W.Cape leader instead of a coulored leade with a community base just floored me!

Steve

Definitely agree with you on that then. Its a pity that virtually all of their black and coloured MPs crossed to the ANC.

Are you a member of the IFP?

Gary

Yes, I am a member of the IFP.
And yes the floor crossing of all these MPs to the ANC was absolutely revolting- nauseating to say the list.
Oddly the UDM, in 2003 , lost all their white MPs (Roelf Meyer's cronies) to the ANC.

The floor-crossing just left me thinking you never know who to trust.

Lawrence

you can't trust any of them Gary.

Maybe I'm too hard on Mandela Mike I take your point, I just think he sold out in his years as president, which is why I call him an uncle Tom, I don't mean when he was in jail and before that, obviously not.

Gary

Lawrence, u say "you can't trust any of them"
Is that just in SA or everywhere?

Lawrence

uh everywhere I guess Gary.

changing the subject, with the American election coming up, with Obama likely to win and the whole saga at the LA Times and their suppression of a video of Obama at a pro-Palestinian event/party or somesuch toasting Rashid Kalidi (spelling?) just google all this if you don't know the latest, allegedly the video is being suppressed with good reason, ie what it tells us about Obama, including the claim from an unnamed source at the Times of Obama blathering on about Israel's genocide of Palestinians. But note this is an "unnamed source who can't go on record", yet the LA Times refuses to release the tape, why? it must be damaging that's for sure.

All I can say is this is not good, as is the fact being censored by the media that in Gaza support for Obama runs high. American Jews who are as blind as moles, are voting for this guy, their religion is the Democratic Party, they are about as Jewish as the world is flat.

Gary

It will be very strange in a few days when for the first time in Israel's history the leaders of the UK, Germany and France are more sympathetic to Israel than the Prsident of the USA is.
As for the american Jews- 70% of whom vote Obama, I just wonder if in the case of them ever coming under attack in the USA, they will expect Israel (whose destrution they have effectively voted for) to come to their aid.
It is a well know principle that G-D interacts MIDA KENEGED MIDA. As a person acts towards his fellow man, so to speak, G-D acts towards him. If the Jews in the Galut act with such indifference or, even worse, with hostility towards the dangers faced by Jews in Israel, how do they expect G-D to treat them when they will be endangered?

These diaspora Jews who say they do not care if Israel is destroyed should not be rescued by Israel if there are ever attacks on Jews in the USA or elsewhere.

Gary

By the way Obama's election will also be bad for SA and Zimbabwe.
Obama is most likely soft on Third world dictators, so the ANC and ZANU PF (and totalitarian regimes such as Iran, Libya, Syria, Cuba, North Korea, Sudan, etc) will feel far more free to do as they please.

Just to reiterate it sickens me that these comfortable and welathy American Jews are putting the interests when it comes down to voting of inner city Amaerican blacks rather than their ownm ppl in Israel.

Gary

Needless to add I do not fell much love or good wishes for American Jewry at the moment.

Daniel

Gary and Lawrence,

I have not been following the whole discussion, but just read your few latest remarks regarding Obama and the American Jewish community that supports him.

Yes, American Jews are by and large Democrats. This springs from their social awareness, their long history of fighting oppression and their sense of justice. I am no worshipper of Obama-as-savior, but with Obama comes an entire executive team, and a congress that would restrain any outlandish behavior. Fortunately, America is not a de facto one-party state like our SA.

The Democrats are pro-poor, and Gary, I find your comment particularly insulting, and chauvanistic. Having grown up in joburg and having lived in new York for a few years, American Jews are justified in caring for the good of their society. If you were to see the inequality, the lack of opportunity, and the structural violence that is inflicted upon the poor, (yes, mostly blacks, and other ethnic minorities), then perhaps you would be less averse to Obama's pro-poor policies. Why should Aerican Jews be more concerned about Israel? Are people not people? And why do you see Obama as such a threat to Israel. He has been supportive of it; he has had to be, since any America politician who wishes to succeed must be. I am not privy to his personal views, but whateever they are (and I believe that they are for the good), they will neccessarily have to be within the general framework of the American government's approach to the Israel-Palestine. So if Iran builds a bomb, I wouldn't worry that Obama won't come to the rescue. America is against this, so Obama will be. And no matter wha the president thinks, Israel will protect itself with overt and manily covert assitance from America, as it always has. A more balanced view of the Israel-Arab conflict is cettainly nothing to fear.

In sum, who are you to say that Jews whould vote for the good of Israel, and not for the good of people at large? Who are you to say that Jews who vote for Obama should not count on Israel's assistance if ever that day comes? Are you a liberal who belives in individual rights, and the right to choose, to choose values? Believe me, the Jews in America who vote for Obama are fully aware of the implications this may have for Israel. But who are you to comment on that and pass judgement!!! It's outright insulting.

Daniel

With regard to my previous post, take a look at this FOX NEWS clip. Curious that FOX NEWS would put this out there. If anything, watch the last 30 seconds.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5XPK02XMi0

Gary

Daniel

Have you seen the poverty among Jewsin Israel (where 25% of children do not have enough food to eat) due to the war forced on Israel by the PLO and Hamas and by the economic boycots by Obama's radical friends.

Lawrence

Daniel it is naive to write what you do about the US Democratic Party, they are not pro-poor, they do not care about socio-economic justice, they just pretend to. They pay lip service to caring for the plight of minorities, but serve the same corporate interests as the Republicans. In other words they just lie, as politicians are wont to do, it is the nature of the political animal, to lie so as to win support from people, to get into the cushy seat of power and then sell out your supporters the first chance you get. It's called politics, it has been fairly routine under the history of the Western and many non-Western political states say over the last hundred years alone. This is putting it mildly.

It was the Democratic Party that got America into the nightmare of Vietnam under Kennedy and then LB Johnson, billions were wasted, tens of thousands of American lives lost (and what about the Vietnamese?) whilst the ghettos in American cities got even worse, crime got out of control. Under Carter, a self-righteous and creepy fake and anti-Israel propogandist, the ghettoes in America remained ghettoes, health care increasingly became unaffordable. It makes no difference who is in the White House and who is in control of Congress, to the poor in America's inner cities, to the working poor, to the exploited Hispanics working as unskilled and semi-skilled labour in the South-West, to the poor and lower-middle classes who can't affford ever spiralling health insurance, to those living in fear in the ghettoes of America of gang violence. The overcrowded and underfunded and dangerous schools in the poor neighbourhoods of Chicago, LA, Miami, Detroit, Houston, Oakland, DC etc etc remain underfunded, overcrowded and dangerous whether a Republican or Democrat president is in the White House, that includes the last three decades of US administrations. Corruption in the US political system at federal and state level remains endemic whether under Republican or Democrat control, Wall Street stock trading remains at the mercy of short-term profiteering sharks whoever is in the White House, at the cost to the average Joe who has to pay the price in every way.

Obama exemplifies the naivite of his Obamaton supporters though, oh look a presidential candidate speaks of change, oh look he must mean it then, let's vote for him! He couldn't change things if he even wanted to, since the problems are endemic and need to be tackled at a grass-roots level where communities and individuals realise their responsibilities and do not defer their responsibilities to political parties with atrocious track records. Expecting a president of any political party to change things somehow (by waving a magic wand?) even if he is sincere, is part of the problem, it is why nothing changes. Not only in the US, but throughout the world, including SA.

Daniel, after Obama becomes president (which seems likely) let me know how things improve in any of America's ghettoes, on the ground, citing increasing budgets for poverty-related programmes is meaningless, since the money is misspent on beauracratic red tape, meaningless admin and idiotic "education" programmes that do nothing to change things on the ground. Let me know how gang-related activity declines in the US, associated violence inlc rape, muder and robbery declines, let me know if nutrition levels and high school graduation levels of America's poor in both urban and rural environs improve.

I won't be holding my breath. Daniel exemplifies the kind of naivite and lack of historical perspective that is routine on the American pro-Obama political scene. Obama has said "I will change the world". That kind of statement exemplifies unsurpassed naivite as well as a kind of messianic egomania that is disturbing and scary, he scares me as do his throngs of Obamaton supporters. I understand Daniel that to many American Jews, whose lame-brained religion is the Democratic Party, uncomfortable facts like Obama's close buddy buddy relationships with Jew-hating conspiracy theorists like Rev Wright (under the bus now), terrorists like Ayers and Palestinian terrorist supporters like Khalidi get cast aside like they never existed. But it will all come back to bite us, big time...

Jews ought to remember one of the most important of the ten commandments, thou shalt not worship false gods, and that includes the uncritical reverence for the false god of political hegamony and all the associated politically motivated competitive ruthless power-plays, and all the shenanigans and deceit that goes with that. It doesn't matter if it "leftwing" or "rightwing", it is something that inherently tends toward destructiveness and ruin.

Religious Fundamentalist 1

ok, I realise it's ironic under this pseudonym, yet I just have to:

http://andyrutledge.com/usagov-redux-fullsize.html

Who is John Galt?

Need I say more.

Lawrence, thanks for your response.

1) I know what politics is
2) I am certainly not an "Obamaton" or mindless follower of a man who I think is some sort of messiah. I prefer Obama, and the Dems, to McCain and the Republicans. I certainly don't think Obama is perfect, and resent people who see him as savior. One reason, to use your reference to the Vietnam war, is that 60,000 Americans might have died during it, but so did 6,000,000 south-east Asian civilians, a fact so few people recall. America won't do much to solve the issues I care about.
3) wihtout getting into the Hayek/Keynes debate, let's remeber that (i) the Democratic party and the Republican party are very different animals than they were 40 years ago. Texas was blue up till the 1960s. (ii) The democratic party is the party of FDR and the New Deal. Yes, they did something to get Americans out of poverty. They were pro-poor. (iii) Johnson, despite his inheritance of the Vietnam War and the Cold War in general, embarked on the Great Society and reduced American poverty to record rates, and it has remained at this low level ever since.

Presidents can't cure problems, but policy certainly helps, to look at the New Deal and the Great Society for examples. There are many problems in America, and pro-poor policies, (yes, they exist and have existed and may yet exist again - more likely under a Democratic ticket) may help to reduce poverty and inequality in America. So citizens, whether Jews or not, are perfectly justified in voting for Obama or the Democrats for reasons of justice.

What I found DISGUSTING were Gary comments that American Jews SHOULD care more about Israel than about American blacks. And moreover, that American Jews who vote for Obama should not expect to receive assitance from Israel in the eventof emergency. Who is he to judge that?

And Lawrence, American jews aren't blind as moles. In fact, they are on of the most educated and politically aware groups in the world. Perhaps you should keep that in mind. Perhaps you should know that they aren't just blind followers of a man who they think is Messiah. Most Jews in the US who will vote for Obama have reservations, as they would for any politician, but have decided according to their values. So give the 5 million well educated, well-informed of your brothers and sisters a little bit of credit and agency, and believe that they can make well-thought-out choices. Yes, they know about Wright, and Ayers, and Khalidi. But they still vote for him. It's not for nothing, and this man could not have hipnotized such a well-informed group. Perhaps speak to a few American Jews and you will see that they have well-formed and balanced opinions. Instead of insulting a whole group.

Religious Fundamentalist 1

It doesn't say much for their values if they support :
- socialism (redistribution of wealth, middle class just got dropped from 250k to 120k p.a.)
- institutionalised victimhood culture (appologise for slavery, etc)
- moral relativism (Israel, Ayers)
- racism (Jeremiah Wright)
- bald faced lies and nepotism (aunti whatever, Acorn, disabled credit card security, providing birth certificates)
- Empty Facades (we are the people we've been waiting for, what the H is that?)
- non-sequiturs (America is the greatest country on earth, now let's change it)
- Double standards (it's about identity politics, unless it's about Palin. It's about change/new faces, unless it's about Palin etc)
- And associating (or at the VERY least, not being deeply ashamed to be supported by) Hamas, Ahmadenijad et al.
- and of course murder (abortion, euthanasia etc)

But then who am I to judge, after all, let's sell Israel down the river so we don't have to be embarassed at those ever so polite New York society dinners and so that no-one should accuse us of racism for not voting in the pale-faced liberal lefty european harvard law school pansy with a black facade, black guilt and a black wife who's deeply embarassed to live in the "greatest country in the world".

Gary

"What I found DISGUSTING were Gary comments that American Jews SHOULD care more about Israel than about American blacks."

Very disgusting indeed that I should say that we should care first about our own Jewish brothers and sisters in Israel, who face an existential threat and share the same forefathers as us, many of whom perished in the Shoah.
Shocking that I should put preventing another five million Jews being massacred above the living standards of a ppl we have no links with.

Go ahead and sell Israel down the river. Without Israel you won't have to face the embarrasment with your friends on campus and work.
Israelis are not the right sort of Jews anyway , the only Jews that matter are the dodecaphonic, psychoanalytic, Bob Dylan, Woody Allen, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Philip Roth, Freud shtetl or the Marxist-Leninst academics who have never lived in the real world but live to pronoucne judegemets on other ppls fate.

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