South Africa: A Lesson in fighting for Independence

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Syrians don’t hold your breath on the prospect that some help will come for you because it may never come. If you look at the history of South Africa and African countries you will find that most of the help during struggles for independence came from the non Western countries particularly Russia, China and some Eastern European countries that were part of the Soviet Union. It is sad that 7,000 have now lost their lives but the only way to win is to get some help from some real allies.

Looking to the West in your greatest time of need may not be the best idea. Nelson Mandela spent 27 years imprisoned on Robben Island while everyone watched. However the West is now at the forefront of giving him accolades and promoting him as a peacemaker. Nelson Mandela was labelled a terrorist and until recently still appeared on the CIA’s terror watch list. Apartheid started in 1948 and ended in 1994 when South Africa gained its independence. Now they shower him with accolades such as the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize. However, it is interesting to note that many of these people who now want to use him a symbol of peace and resilience were avid supporters of the Apartheid regime.

If Syrians hold their breath and believe the West will come to their aid they may have to wait for a while. It is apparent that Syria must not have anything valuable to Western countries because when it came to Libya they were all too ready and eager to make sure Muammar Ghaddafi was out. Leaders of France, the United Kingdom and other NATO forces were already dividing the spoils as soon as the rebels invaded Gaddafi’s compound, many weeks before he was actually killed.

When it came to South Africa there some notable figures who echo the sentiments of Western thinking that explains why no one seems to care about what is happening in Syria. While running for Presidency in 1988 Pat Robertson summed up the mood of the West saying,
”I think if the Government would only realize the press reception, they play into this,” he said. ”The Communists want to incite riots and then the oppressive, truncheon-wielding police just give their enemies the fodder they need to hurt them. If they would really begin to use some moderation.”
He added: ”The media has just done an absolute hatchet job on South Africa and I think the reason, very frankly, is because the left wants to see South Africa fall. They don’t want a free Government.”
Mr. Robertson stressed the strategic importance of South Africa. ”Our long-range interests are at stake,” he said. ”We must have the minerals of southern Africa available to the West. If they fall into the hands of the Soviet Union, we will become vassals of the Soviets. It’s a very important strategic matter that apparently our people just ignore.” Asked by the interviewer what the United States wants from South Africa, he said it was hoped that there would eventually be racial equality.
”To begin gradually to bring into the political process the blacks in your country so that ultimately you have a time where there is equality before the law, equality of justice and equality of civic opportunity and that is essentially what we want,” he said. ”What I want essentially is a free South Africa. I want South Africa as a friend of the West and a bastion of capitalism. It would be tragic if South Africa was plunged into a bloodbath, if the Marxist-led members of the African National Congress could gain control.”
Mr. Robertson said those who favor sanctions and withdrawal of investment as a means of putting pressure on the South African Government to end apartheid are ”knowingly or unknowingly allies of those who favor a one-party Marxist Government in South Africa.”

Former Vice President of the United States Dick Cheney voted against imposing economic sanctions on South Africa in 1986, against Nelson Mandela being freed from prison and recognizing the ANC when he was a Congressman. Even after many years, Dick Cheney maintained, “the ANC was then viewed as a terrorist organization. . . . I don’t have any problems at all with the vote I cast 20 years ago.”

If the West has no clear plan on how they can prosper from the misery of others they will usually not intervene.

Article by Samantha Dhlamini 2012