Mad about Mandela
[September 2, 2002]
By Nicholas Provenzo
According to a Reuters
report filed by Brendan Boyle, South African statesman Nelson Mandela
condemned President Bush's policy on Iraq on Monday, saying he was
"appalled" by U.S. threats of military action. According to the report:
"What they are introducing is chaos in international
affairs and we condemn that in the strongest terms," Mandela told
reporters outside his Johannesburg home.
"We are really appalled by any country whether it is a
superpower or a poor country that goes outside the United Nations and
attacks independent countries," Mandela said.
So Mandela is appalled, not by the fact that Iraq lives
under a brutal dictatorship, that it refuses to comply with the Gulf War
cease fire agreement and allow inspection of its weapons production
facilities, or that it may very well be aiding terrorists in their war
against the US, but by the fact that the US will not likely seek the
world's permission via the United Nations if it chooses to attack Iraq.
Yet again this speaks to the fundamental problem behind
the United Nations concept: that a free nation needs the permission of the
world to defend the rights of its citizens. Iraq has proven for many years
to be a substantial threat to the interest of the US. The threat that this
rouge nation may be building weapons of mass destruction is sufficient
reason alone for the US to once and for all topple this dictatorship. The
US does not need to ask the permission of any other state before it acts.
If the US believes that rights of its citizens are threatened, that is
sufficient reason alone for it to take action.
So what then if France, Germany, Libya, Zimbabwe, South
Africa, or any other nation has a problem with the US demolishing the
Iraqi dictatorship? No other nation has the right to veto US foreign or
military policy. If anything, the free, peace-loving world should be glad
that the US is finally showing resolve against Saddam Hussein after too
many years of pussy-footing around the problem.
Having lived under an authoritarian regime himself, it
would have been refreshing to see Mandela support US action toward
Iraq. I've always found Mandela to be a troubling character to evaluate,
often representing both the very best and very worst in a leader, but for
to take the side of a dictatorship over the rightful interests of the US,
Mandela has forfeited any of the moral credit I once gave him.
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