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The Tower of Babble

Rain fell on today's lefty reunion.

By 12.10.13

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Cant about Mandela’s legacy as a world without human rights abuses is hard to take seriously from leaders who routinely commit them. An assortment of human rights abusers turned up at his rainy memorial in South Africa, with some of them, like the mass murderer Raul Castro, given the most prominent places on the dais.

The media, of course, is treating reaction to Mandela’s death as a test of one’s civilized bona fides. Unless a public figure heaps indiscriminate praise upon Mandela, he is simply not a good person, maybe even a secret racist. In this climate, Republican pols, desperate for a pat on the head from the mainstream media, are making inane remarks about Mandela as the George Washington of South Africa. He was more like the John Brown of South Africa. His cause, ending apartheid, was admirable, but his means to that end, conducting a terror campaign for the ANC, were immoral and criminal. That is why even liberals at Amnesty International wouldn’t touch Mandela in the 1960s.

A more realistic assessment of Mandela’s legacy comes from the author David Horowitz

Mandela began as a terrorist and never turned his back on monsters like Arafat and Castro, whom he considered brothers in arms. When he was released from prison by deKlerk, he showed unexpected statesmanship, counseling reconciliation rather than revenge, no small achievement in a country in which the “liberation” movement (led by Mandela’s wife and party) placed oil filled inner tubes around the necks of former comrades and set them on fire.

But if a leader should be judged by his works, the country Mandela left behind is an indictment of his political career, not an achievement worthy of praise — let alone the unhinged adoration he is currently receiving across the political spectrum.

South Africa today is the murder capital of the world, a nation where a woman is raped every 30 seconds, often by AIDs carriers who go unpunished, and where whites are anything but the citizens of a democratic country which honors the principles of equality and freedom.

Liberated South Africa is one of those epic messes the Left created and promptly forgot about.

Mandela was always treated by the fawning Western press as a font of endless wisdom. But in fact many of his comments were appalling and silly. He had drunk deeply from the well of left-wing revolutionary theory and it never left his system. Even late in life, during his supposedly mellow period, he often spoke as an embittered Communist, saying of America, for example: “If there is a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities in the world, it is the United States of America.”

This is why Raul Castro had a place of honor at his memorial. Mandela was one of his brother Fidel’s biggest fans, calling his murderous revolution “a source of inspiration to all freedom-loving people” and praising his anti-Americanism: “We admire the sacrifices of the Cuban people in maintaining their independence and sovereignty in the face of a vicious, imperialist-orchestrated campaign.” A lot of Mandela’s cronies were just thugs , like Gaddafi, who had opposed apartheid for cynical reasons having nothing to do with racism.

Mandela’s supposedly delicate moral conscience didn’t extend to the victims of these thugs or the victims of his own Oprah-style Brave New World morality, which inspired him to pass one of the most liberal abortion laws in African history, under which hundreds of thousands of South African babies have died.

Almost all of the leaders, starting with Barack Obama, who trotted up to the podium on Tuesday to portray Mandela as a moral colossus subscribe to his selective understanding of human rights, under which “progress” is measured not by the elimination of human rights abuses but by the replacement of one abuse with another.

When Obama shook hands with Raul Castro at the memorial, defensive reporters, scrambling to put the best possible spin on it, purred about Mandela’s powers of reconciliation and healing even in death. A better explanation for the handshake is that Mandela’s legacy of ends-justify-the-means leftism was bound to bring liberal revolutionaries together.

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About the Author
George Neumayr, a contributing editor to The American Spectator, is co-author of No Higher Power: Obama's War on Religious Freedom.