The picture above is of Nelson Mandela and Fidel Castro, a man who is said to have been Mandela's "hero". A man who Mandela admired for decades.
In fact, Mandela had very close friendships with both dictators Fidel Castro and Muammar Gaddafi.
A few days ago, President Barack Obama eulogized Nelson Mandela as “a man who took history in his hands and bent the arc of the moral universe toward justice.”
Obama, speaking shortly after South African President Jacob Zuma announced Mandela’s death, called Mandela “one of the most influential, courageous and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with on this earth.”
He went on to say, “We will not likely see the likes of Nelson Mandela again — so it falls to us as best we can to forward the example that he set: to make decisions guided not by hate, but by love, to never discount the difference that one person can make, to strive for a future that is worthy of his sacrifice.”
While no representative from the United States was sent to the funeral of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Obama himself will drop everything here and go to South Africa for Mandela's state funeral on Tuesday.
Obama so loved Nelson Mandela that he has ordered American flags lowered to half staff through Monday in recognition that “the United States has lost a close friend, South Africa has lost an incomparable liberator, and the world has lost an inspiration for freedom, justice, and human dignity.”
Wow, imagine that! Of course, he did not bother even noting former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's close friendship to the United States - but than again, she was not liked by Democrats and the Liberal Left.
Prime Minister Thatcher did so much for America. What did Mandela do for us? Nothing!
Talking about himself, there's no surprise, Obama said, "I am one of the countless millions who drew inspirations from Nelson Mandela’s life. I cannot fully imagine my own life without the example that Nelson Mandela set. So long as I live, I will do what I can to learn from him."
So yes, I want to know exactly what Mandela do to become so famous? Why is he famous? Why is he getting so much praise?
After looking into Mandela's life, I don't see what made him so special that Obama would think we will never see another Mandela type of person again?
Could this be just another Obama hype of someone that he and the Liberal Left, yes the Democrats, admire? A Communist.
How about we look at the truth about Nelson Mandela, the man, the myth, and South Africa as it is.
First let's talk about why he was in prison?
Under the terms of South Africa’s Suppression of Communism Act, and as a result of the conviction at the Rivonia Trial, Nelson Mandela was found guilty of sabotage, and the ANC (African National Congress) was branded a terrorist organization.
Here are the charges Nelson Mandela faced:
One count under the South African Suppression of Communism Act No. 44 (1950), charging that the accused committed acts calculated to further the achievement of the objective of Communism;
One count of contravening the South African Criminal Law Act (1953), which prohibits any person from soliciting or receiving any money or articles for the purpose of achieving organized defiance of laws and country; and
Two counts of sabotage, committing or aiding or procuring the commission of the following acts:
1. The further recruitment of persons for instruction and training, both within and outside the Republic of South Africa, in the preparation, manufacture and use of explosives - for the purpose of committing acts of violence and destruction in the aforesaid Republic, (the preparation and manufacture of explosives, according to evidence submitted, included 210,000 hand grenades, 48,000 anti-personnel mines, 1,500 time devices, 144 tons of ammonium nitrate, 21.6 tons of aluminum powder and a ton of black powder); and the art of warfare, including guerrilla warfare, and military training generally for the purpose in the aforesaid Republic;
2. Further acts of violence and destruction (these include 193 counts of terrorism committed between 1961 and 1963);
3. Acts of guerrilla warfare in the aforesaid Republic;
4. Acts of assistance to military units of foreign countries when involving the aforesaid Republic;
5. Acts of participation in a violent revolution in the aforesaid Republic, whereby the accused, injured, damaged, destroyed, rendered useless or unserviceable, put out of action, obstructed with or endangered: the health or safety of the public; the maintenance of law and order; the supply and distribution of light, power or fuel; postal, telephone or telegraph installations; the free movement of traffic on land; and the property, movable or immovable, of other persons or of the state.
So no, unlike what the Liberal Left wants us to believe, Mandela was no Gandhi!
In fact, even up to the point when Nelson Mandela was President of South Africa, his name remained on the US terrorism list for years. In fact, it was only eighteen years after his release from prison, on July 1st, 2008, that NBC reported:
"This morning, President Bush signed into law a bill granting Secretary Rice the authority to waive travel restrictions on President Mandela and other members of the African National Congress (ANC). The bill was sponsored by Democratic Sens. John Kerry and Sheldon Whitehouse, along with Republican Sen. Bob Corker.
The senators say Mandela and ANC members remained on the list 'for activities they conducted against South Africa’s apartheid regime decades ago.' They also said in their written statement that the removal 'end[s] an embarrassing impediment to improving US–South Africa relations."
As for Mandela being elected President?
The world is full of examples of despots like Castro, who started out as some sort of revolutionary fighting against oppressors - but in fact became oppressors themselves.
While Obama wants to heap Sainthood on Nelson Mandela now that Mandela is dead, he should be honest with himself as to what Mandela actually do.
While Mandela was president of South Africa, with a population of 40 million, around 23 million lacked electricity or adequate sanitation, 12 million lacked clean water supplies, with 2 million children not in school and a third of the population illiterate.
There was 33% unemployment, and just under half of the population lived below the poverty line.
Being a Communist, Mandela sought to nationalize industry, but the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) was scaled back with none of the proposed nationalisation or supposed job creation taking place all because of lack of funds to make the take over take place.
Instead, the government adopted liberal economic policies designed to promote foreign investment. With that, under Mandela's presidency, welfare spending increased while he was president.
As for further domestic problems under President Mandela?
Well, Mandela's government was accused of doing little to stem the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the country; by 1999, 10% of South Africa's population were HIV positive.
Mandela later admitted that he had "personally neglected" the issue. But besides neglecting the AIDS pandemic in Africa, Mandela failed to combat crime - subsequently South Africa had one of the world's highest crime rates.
This more than any other reason is said to be the key reason cited by the 750,000 whites who emigrated in the late 1990s.
Of course, their is the other problem of Mandela's administration being mired in corruption scandals with Mandela being perceived as "soft" on corruption and greed.
All in all, as president, Nelson Mandela was more concerned about Foreign Affairs than he was with things going on in South Africa. He himself said he left the business of his nation to others.
Fact is, Mandela is celebrated for what he has done for South Africa yet when he was president of that nation, during the same time he also served as President of the African National Congress (ANC) from 1991 to 1997, and on an Internationally level Mandela was Secretary General of the Non-Aligned Movement from 1998 to 1999.
So yes, I can see why his critics say he was not an effective leader when he was president. It seems that like Barack Obama, Nelson Mandela seemed to care only for his own legacy.
So why the praise from the Liberal Left?
Other than being a Leftist Communist revolutionary who once tried buying arms from Communist China, being convicted of terrorist acts including the death of the innocent during his acts of sabotage, being in prison, and then getting out and resuming his political ambitions which resulted in him becoming South Africa's first black president, what is Nelson Mandela famous for?
If that's it, than why are the folks on the Liberal Left so enamoured by him?
Being honest, that doesn't seem like much considering its Africa and they have had many revolutionaries who have also been terrorist, have tried buying arms from other Communist countries, have been in prison and have risen to power after being set free. In fact, some Marxist Communist dictators like Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe are still in power.
Was he in power as South Africa's President for very long? Not really, only from 1994 to 1999.
Granted, that once in power, unlike other Leftist Communists around the world, he didn’t keep a secret police watching his political enemies, and didn’t stop political dissidents from leaving the country.
Heck, even President Barack Obama has admitted to having an "Enemies List" containing his political foes on the Conservative Right.
Mandela did in fact, unlike Communist leaders such as Castro and Stalin and Mao, hold free elections with multiple parties. And yes, it is also true that he did not have the wives of jailed prisoners beaten or threatened.
In fact, even Obama has used the power of the government such as the NSA, the EPA, and the IRS to keep track of and threaten his political opponents. Yes, Obama has authorized the persecution of some.
Obama has used the New Black Panther Party to intimidate white voters back East as they arrived at their polling places.
The Liberal Left always seems to excuse those sort of action from those they side with. Whether it's murderous Communist tyrants and dictators, or the Democrat Party, but why won't they at least acknowledge that Mandela himself didn’t need to do such criminal acts?
Unlike Barack Obama, Mandela never used government agencies and the tax system against his political enemies, he never summarily suspended laws whenever he felt like it, and surprisingly Mandela didn’t use the government to suppress his political enemies like Obama has.
And yes, I do find it strange that Nelson Mandela’s South Africa required Voter IDs, and no it was not called "racist."
In South Africa, Mandela made it so that a citizen voted using their South African, green, bar-coded ID or a valid Temporary Identity Certificate (TIC).
All you had to do was apply for a green, bar-coded ID or a valid TIC from the Department of Home Affairs to vote. Anything remotely similar is fought against with both tooth and nail by Liberal Leftists here.
Was that for all South African residents? Yes, everyone. Under Mandela, it was such that only South African citizens with a green, bar-coded ID book can vote in elections.
So what is Nelson Mandela famous for?
Well, he won the Nobel Prize and the Order of Lenin awarded by the former Communist run Soviet Union.
He was an admitted Communist, and his allies were peoples and nations unfriendly to the United States and our allies.
To write this piece, I researched "what is Nelson Mandela famous for?"
And no, I could not find one thing that he ever did in a positive way for the world or for his nation of South Africa that would be considered great. It seems all the work was done by other and he simply reaped the rewards of their work.
What am I talking about? The myth!
The Myth - It's all just a lie!
The myth behind Nelson Mandela is that he is responsible for ending South Africa's apartheid system of government.
According to the left Mandela is "the father of modern South Africa," but that simply is not true.
The man who should have that honor bestowed upon him is former South Africa president F.W. de Klerk who really was the man who ended apartheid.
Obama addressed part of his remarks to the people of South Africa, praising them for being an example to the world of “renewal and reconciliation and resilience.”
This is a great rewrite of history. But friends, that is not true.
Apartheid was being dismantled long before Nelson Mandela ever got out of prison. That's just a fact. He was still Prisoner 46664 when apartheid was all but completely dismantled.
Early in 1989, South Africa President Botha suffered a stroke and was succeeded as president soon after by F.W. de Klerk.
Despite de Klerk's initial reputation as a hardliner, he was just the opposite.
He recognized the International pressure, including the economic problems which there was all associated with keeping apartheid - subsequently it was de Klerk, yes he was the man, who moved decisively towards negotiations to end the system of apartheid in that country.
In de Klerk's opening address to the South Africa parliament on February 2nd, 1990, de Klerk announced that he would repeal discriminatory laws and lift the 30-year ban on leading anti-apartheid groups such as the African National Congress, the Pan Africanist Congress, the South African Communist Party (SACP) and the United Democratic Front.
De Klerk brought The Land Act to an end. He also made his first public commitment to release political prisoners, to return to press freedom, and to suspend the death penalty.
Under de Klerk, media restrictions were also lifted and political prisoners not guilty of common-law crimes were released.
Later on February 11th, 1990, de Klerk had Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners released from Victor Verster Prison.
As for Mandela, it was de Klerk who ended his more than 27 years of confinement.
So in reality, de Klerk ended apartheid before he released Mandela from prison.
So why is Nelson Mandela famous? Why the praise from the Liberal Left?
It seems to me that there was nothing really special about Nelson Mandela, except for one thing:
When he became President of South Africa, though he was an avowed Communist, he didn't follow the same abusive policies as other Communist leaders such as Castro who controlled his people with an iron fist.
In fact, Nelson Mandela is the only Communist leader that I've ever heard of who really wasn't a human rights violator to the extent that other Communist leaders had been while they were in power.
But honestly, I really don't think that that's why the Liberal Left thinks he's so great. After all, the Left likes their Communist leaders more like Obama and Castro and Mao - tyrannical and iron fisted!
Story by Tom Correa