Archive for the Nelson Mandela Category

Anti-Empire Report #127: “Barack Obama – Indoctrinating a new generation with Washington’s lies” [Williamblum.org]

Posted in DU Depleted Uranium weapons, Genocide, George W. Bush, Historical myths of the US, Iraq, Kosovo, NATO, Nelson Mandela, Obama, Pentagon, Psychological warfare, Russia, Serbia, South Africa, State Department, Ukraine, UNSC, US foreign occupation, US Government Cover-up, US imperialism, USA, War crimes, Yugoslavia - former FRY on April 21, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

‘Indoctrinating a new generation’

by William Blum

April 7, 2014

Is there anyone out there who still believes that Barack Obama, when he’s speaking about American foreign policy, is capable of being anything like an honest man? In a March 26 talk in Belgium to “European youth”, the president fed his audience one falsehood, half-truth, blatant omission, or hypocrisy after another. If George W. Bush had made some of these statements, Obama supporters would not hesitate to shake their head, roll their eyes, or smirk. Here’s a sample:

– “In defending its actions, Russian leaders have further claimed Kosovo as a precedent – an example they say of the West interfering in the affairs of a smaller country, just as they’re doing now. But NATO only intervened after the people of Kosovo were systematically brutalized and killed for years.”

Most people who follow such things are convinced that the 1999 US/NATO bombing of the Serbian province of Kosovo took place only after the Serbian-forced deportation of ethnic Albanians from Kosovo was well underway; which is to say that the bombing was launched to stop this “ethnic cleansing”. In actuality, the systematic deportations of large numbers of people did not begin until a few days after the bombing began, and was clearly a reaction to it, born of Serbia’s extreme anger and powerlessness over the bombing. This is easily verified by looking at a daily newspaper for the few days before the bombing began the night of March 23/24, 1999, and the few days following. Or simply look at the New York Times of March 26, page 1, which reads:

… with the NATO bombing already begun, a deepening sense of fear took hold in Pristina [the main city of Kosovo] that the Serbs would NOW vent their rage against ethnic Albanian civilians in retaliation. [emphasis added]

On March 27, we find the first reference to a “forced march” or anything of that nature.

But the propaganda version is already set in marble.

– “And Kosovo only left Serbia after a referendum was organized, not outside the boundaries of international law, but in careful cooperation with the United Nations and with Kosovo’s neighbors. one of that even came close to happening in Crimea.”

None of that even came close to happening in Kosovo either. The story is false. The referendum the president speaks of never happened. Did the mainstream media pick up on this or on the previous example? If any reader comes across such I’d appreciate being informed.

Crimea, by the way, did have a referendum. A real one.

– “Workers and engineers gave life to the Marshall Plan … As the Iron Curtain fell here in Europe, the iron fist of apartheid was unclenched, and Nelson Mandela emerged upright, proud, from prison to lead a multiracial democracy. Latin American nations rejected dictatorship and built new democracies … “

The president might have mentioned that the main beneficiary of the Marshall Plan was US corporations 1, that the United States played an indispensable role in Mandela being caught and imprisoned, and that virtually all the Latin American dictatorships owed their very existence to Washington. Instead, the European youth were fed the same party line that their parents were fed, as were all Americans.

– “Yes, we believe in democracy – with elections that are free and fair.”

In this talk, the main purpose of which was to lambaste the Russians for their actions concerning Ukraine, there was no mention that the government overthrown in that country with the clear support of the United States had been democratically elected.

– “Moreover, Russia has pointed to America’s decision to go into Iraq as an example of Western hypocrisy. … But even in Iraq, America sought to work within the international system. We did not claim or annex Iraq’s territory. We did not grab its resources for our own gain. Instead, we ended our war and left Iraq to its people and a fully sovereign Iraqi state that could make decisions about its own future.”

The US did not get UN Security Council approval for its invasion, the only approval that could legitimize the action. It occupied Iraq from one end of the country to the other for 8 years, forcing the government to privatize the oil industry and accept multinational – largely U.S.-based, oil companies’ – ownership. This endeavor was less than successful because of the violence unleashed by the invasion. The US military finally was forced to leave because the Iraqi government refused to give immunity to American soldiers for their many crimes.

Here is a brief summary of what Barack Obama is attempting to present as America’s moral superiority to the Russians:

The modern, educated, advanced nation of Iraq was reduced to a quasi failed state … the Americans, beginning in 1991, bombed for 12 years, with one dubious excuse or another; then invaded, then occupied, overthrew the government, tortured without inhibition, killed wantonly … the people of that unhappy land lost everything – their homes, their schools, their electricity, their clean water, their environment, their neighborhoods, their mosques, their archaeology, their jobs, their careers, their professionals, their state-run enterprises, their physical health, their mental health, their health care, their welfare state, their women’s rights, their religious tolerance, their safety, their security, their children, their parents, their past, their present, their future, their lives … More than half the population either dead, wounded, traumatized, in prison, internally displaced, or in foreign exile … The air, soil, water, blood, and genes drenched with depleted uranium … the most awful birth defects … unexploded cluster bombs lying in wait for children to pick them up … a river of blood running alongside the Euphrates and Tigris … through a country that may never be put back together again. … “It is a common refrain among war-weary Iraqis that things were better before the U.S.-led invasion in 2003,” reported the Washington Post. (May 5, 2007)

How can all these mistakes, such arrogance, hypocrisy and absurdity find their way into a single international speech by the president of the United States? Is the White House budget not sufficient to hire a decent fact checker? Someone with an intellect and a social conscience? Or does the desire to score propaganda points trump everything else? Is this another symptom of the Banana-Republicization of America?..

Full text of Anti-Empire Report #127, with notes: http://williamblum.org/aer/read/127

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The Media’s Hypocritical Oath – Mandela And Economic Apartheid [MediaLens]

Posted in BBC bias, distortions and lies, Corporate Media Critique, Iraq, Libya, Nelson Mandela, South Africa on December 28, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

December 13, 2013

by David Edwards

What does it mean when a notoriously profit-driven, warmongering…media system mourns, with one impassioned voice, the death of a principled freedom fighter like Nelson Mandela?

Does it mean that the corporate system has a heart, that it cares? Or does it mean that Mandela’s politics, and the mythology surrounding them, are somehow serviceable to power?

Consider, first, that this is what is supposed to be true of professional journalism:

‘Gavin Hewitt, John Simpson, Andrew Marr and the rest are employed to be studiously neutral, expressing little emotion and certainly no opinion; millions of people would say that news is the conveying of fact, and nothing more.’ (Andrew Marr, My Trade – A Short History of British Journalism, Macmillan, 2004, p.279)

Thus, Andrew Marr, then BBC political editor, offering professional journalism’s version of the medical maxim, ‘First, do no harm’. First, do no bias.

The reality is indicated by Peter Oborne’s comment in the Telegraph:

‘There are very few human beings who can be compared to Jesus Christ. Nelson Mandela is one… It is hard to envisage a wiser ruler.’

Responding to 850 viewers who had complained that the BBC ‘had devoted too much airtime’ to Mandela’s death, James Harding, the BBC’s director of news, also expressed little emotion and certainly no opinion when he declared Mandela ‘the most significant statesman of the last 100 years, a man who defined freedom, justice, reconciliation, forgiveness’.

In other words, the corporate media had once again abandoned its famed Hypocritical Oath in affirming a trans-spectrum consensus. As ever, a proposition is advanced as indisputably true, the evidence so overwhelming that journalists simply have to ditch ‘balance’ to declare the obvious.

The motive is always said to be some pressing moral cause: national solidarity and security at home, opposition to tyranny and genocide abroad. In these moments, the state-corporate system persuades the public of its fundamental humanity, rationality and compassion. But in fact this ‘compassion’ is always driven by realpolitik and groupthink.

– ‘Emotionally Potent Over-Simplifications’ –

Because it is an integral part of a system whose actual goals and methods would not be acceptable to the public, the corporate media cannot make sense of the world; it must deal in what US foreign affairs advisor Reinhold Niebuhr called ’emotionally potent over-simplifications’.

Thus we find the endlessly recurring theme of the archetypal Bad Guy. When bin Laden is murdered, Saddam Hussein lynched and Gaddafi bombed, beaten and shot, it is the same Enemy regenerating year after year, Doctor Who-like, to be ‘taken down’ by the same Good Guy archetype. This is the benevolent father figure who forever sets corporate hearts aflutter with hope and devotion…

Full article link: http://medialens.org/index.php/alerts/alert-archive/alerts-2013/750-the-media-s-hypocritical-oath-mandela-and-economic-apartheid.html

CIA and Mandela: Can the Story Be Told Now? [FAIR Media Advisory]

Posted in CIA, Corporate Media Critique, Media cover-up, Nelson Mandela, South Africa, US Government Cover-up, US imperialism, USA on December 13, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Agency’s role in Mandela capture still mostly not news

Dec 10, 2013

Back in 1990, FAIR (Extra!, 3/90) noted that the media coverage of Nelson Mandela’s release from prison failed to mention there was strong evidence that the CIA had tipped off South African authorities to Mandela’s location in 1962, resulting in his arrest.

So with coverage of Mandela’s death dominating the media now, can the story of the CIA’s role in Mandela’s capture be told?

Mostly not.

The link between the CIA and Mandela’s capture–reported by CBS Evening News (8/5/86) and in a New York Times column by Andrew Cockburn (10/13/86)–was almost entirely unmentioned in media discussions of his death.

There were a few exceptions. MSNBC host Chris Hayes mentioned it on December 5 (“We know there’s reporting that indicates the CIA actually helped the South African police nab Mandela the first time he was captured”). On Melissa Harris-Perry’s MSNBC show (12/7/13), Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman brought it up:

The US devoted more resources to finding Mandela to hand over to the apartheid forces than the apartheid forces themselves. It was the CIA that actually located Mandela, and he was driving dressed up as a chauffeur when he was stopped, and he was arrested and ultimately serves 27 years in prison.

And on CNN’s Outfront (12/6/13), Cornel West told guest host Jake Tapper, “Keep in mind, though, Brother Jake, the CIA colluded with the apartheid regime to find Nelson Mandela when he was disguised as a chauffeur in 1961.”

So the lesson might be that the kinds of guests rarely included in corporate media are the ones more likely to bring up this history.

In the New York Times’ long obituary (12/6/13), Bill Keller presented it as a story that is yet to be confirmed: “There have been allegations, neither substantiated nor dispelled, that a CIA agent had tipped the police officers who arrested Mr. Mandela.” He reiterated that on NPR’s Morning Edition (12/6/13): “I have not seen utterly convincing confirmation or refutation of it.”

Keller — who was convinced about Iraq’s WMDs — has presumably read the accounts of CIA involvement in Mandela’s capture, including a Cox News Service report (6/10/90) of a retired CIA official admitting that a CIA operative told him of the operation (“We have turned Mandela over to the South African security branch”) the day it happened.

So with Mandela’s death making headlines everywhere, there is still very little coverage of this part of the Mandela story. One place you can find it, though — the New York Times letters to the editor section today (12/10/13), where this appears under the headline “CIA and Mandela’s Arrest”:

To the Editor:

Nelson Mandela’s membership in the South African Communist Party in the early 1960s was acknowledged by the Communist Party itself last week, confirming the findings of my own historical research, reported by Bill Keller (“Nelson Mandela, Communist,” column, Dec. 8).

Perhaps the United States government will now confirm the role of the Central Intelligence Agency in Mr. Mandela’s arrest in August 1962, which is also indicated by my research. It was the height of the Cold War, and it was all a long time ago, but the truth still counts.

STEPHEN ELLIS

Amsterdam, December 9, 2013

“The truth still counts” shouldn’t just guide government decisions about what it chooses to reveal about its own history. It’s something journalists should consider too. Much of the coverage of Mandela is focused on his remarkable ability to forgive his opponents. It would be especially useful for US media to spell out which US government actions might have to be forgiven.

Article link: http://fair.org/take-action/media-advisories/cia-and-mandela-can-the-story-be-told-now/

Statement of the South African Communist Party on Nelson Mandela [Workers World]

Posted in CIA, Corporate Media Critique, Nelson Mandela, South Africa on December 12, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

December 6, 2013

“The true revolutionary is guided by great feelings of love.”

Last night, the millions of the people of South Africa, majority of whom the working class and poor, and the billions of the rest of the people the world over, lost a true revolutionary, President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, Tata Madiba.

The South African Communist Party joins the people of South Africa and the world in expressing its most sincere condolences to Ms. Graca Machel and the entire Mandela family on the loss of what President Zuma correctly described as South Africa’s greatest son, Comrade Mandela.

We also wish to use this opportunity to express our solidarity with the African National Congress, an organisation that produced him and that he also served with distinction, as well as all his colleagues and comrades in our broader liberation movement. As Tata Madiba said, “It is not the kings and generals that make history but the masses of the people, the workers, the peasants. …”

The passing away of Comrade Mandela marks an end to the life of one of the greatest revolutionaries of the 20th century, who fought for freedom and against all forms of oppression in both their countries and globally. As part of the masses that make history, Comrade Mandela’s contribution in the struggle for freedom was located and steeled in the collective membership and leadership of our revolutionary national liberation movement as led by the ANC — for he was not an island. In Comrade Mandela we had a brave and courageous soldier, patriot and internationalist who, to borrow from Che Guevara, was a true revolutionary guided by great feelings of love for his people, an outstanding feature of all genuine people’s revolutionaries.

At his arrest in August 1962, Nelson Mandela was not only a member of the then underground South African Communist Party, but was also a member of our Party’s Central Committee. To us as South African communists, Comrade Mandela shall forever symbolise the monumental contribution of the SACP in our liberation struggle. The contribution of communists in the struggle to achieve the South African freedom has very few parallels in the history of our country. After his release from prison in 1990, Comrade Madiba became a great and close friend of the communists till his last days.

The one major lesson we need to learn from Mandela and his generation of leaders was their commitment to principled unity within each of our Alliance formations as well as the unity of our Alliance as a whole and that of the entire mass democratic movement. Their generation struggled to build and cement the unity of our Alliance, and we therefore owe it to the memory of Comrade Madiba to preserve the unity of our Alliance. Let those who do not understand the extent to which blood was spilt in pursuance of Alliance unity be reminded not to throw mud at the legacy and memory of the likes of Madiba by being reckless and gambling with the unity of our Alliance.

The SACP supported Madiba’s championing of national reconciliation. But national reconciliation for him never meant avoiding tackling the class and other social inequalities in our society, as some would like to make us believe today. For Madiba, national reconciliation was a platform to pursue the objective of building a more egalitarian South African society free of the scourge of racism, patriarchy and gross inequalities. And true national reconciliation shall never be achieved in a society still characterized by the yawning gap of inequalities and capitalist exploitation.

In honour of this gallant fighter, the SACP will intensify the struggle against all forms of inequality, including intensifying the struggle for socialism, as the only political and economic solution to the problems facing humanity.

For the SACP, the passing away of Madiba must give all those South Africans who had not fully embraced a democratic South Africa, and who still in one way or the other hanker to the era of white domination, a second chance to come to terms with a democratic South Africa founded on the principle of majority rule.

We call upon all South Africans to emulate his example of selflessness, sacrifice, commitment and service to his people.

The SACP says, “Hamba kahle Mkhonto!” [“Go well, brave warrior!”]

Article link: http://www.workers.org/articles/2013/12/06/statement-south-african-communist-party-nelson-mandela/

Articles copyright 1995-2013 Workers World. Verbatim copying and distribution is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.

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Selection of Left perspectives on Mandela’s passing:

“Mandela and the South African Communist Party” by Bill Van Auken [World Socialist Website]

“In the wall-to-wall, week-long coverage of the death of Nelson Mandela, the corporate-controlled media has passed over in near universal silence the one piece of news that emerged with the demise of the former South African president…” Full article link: http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/12/12/sacp-d12.html [This article is something of a Trotskyist retort to the SACP statement above. – Zuo Shou]

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“NYT Takes Mandela’s Death as a Chance to Mock His Fight to Free His Country” by Jim Naureckas [FAIR]

“Former New York Times executive editor Bill Keller wrote his paper’s obituary for Nelson Mandela (12/6/13). As you might have guessed, it glosses over the CIA’s role in helping the apartheid government catch Mandela…” Full article link: http://www.fair.org/blog/2013/12/06/nyt-takes-mandelas-death-as-a-chance-to-mock-his-fight-to-free-his-country/

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“Chart of the Week: How South Africa changed, and didn’t, over Mandela’s lifetime” by Drew Desilver [Pewresearch.org – Fact-tank]

An essential and stunning (some would say damning) pair of charts documenting South African income disparity and population trends over Mandela’s lifetime, unfortunately not reproduceable here. Article link: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2013/12/06/chart-of-the-week-how-south-africa-changed-and-didnt-over-mandelas-lifetime/

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“The Legacy of Nelson Mandela: A Dissenting Opinion” by Jonathan Cook [Globalresearch.ca]

“…Mandela was rehabilitated into an “elder statesman” in return for South Africa being rapidly transformed into an outpost of neoliberalism, prioritising the kind of economic apartheid most of us in the west are getting a strong dose of now. In my view, Mandela suffered a double tragedy in his post-prison years. First, he was reinvented as a bloodless icon, one that other leaders could appropriate to legitimise their own claims, as the figureheads of the “democratic west”, to integrity and moral superiority. After finally being allowed to join the western “club”, he could be regularly paraded as proof of the club’s democratic credentials and its ethical sensibility.

Second, and even more tragically, this very status as icon became a trap in which he was required to act the “responsible” elder statesman, careful in what he said and which causes he was seen to espouse. He was forced to become a kind of Princess Diana, someone we could be allowed to love because he rarely said anything too threatening to the interests of the corporate elite who run the planet. It is an indication of what Mandela was up against that the man who fought so hard and long against a brutal apartheid regime was so completely defeated when he took power in South Africa…

Full article link: http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-legacy-of-nelson-mandela-a-dissenting-opinion/5360467

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“Why imperialism mourns Mandela” [World Socialist Website]

“The death of Nelson Mandela at the age of 95 has touched off a worldwide exercise in official mourning that is virtually without precedent.

No doubt working people in South Africa and internationally pay tribute to the courage and sacrifice demonstrated by the African National Congress leader—as well as thousands of others who lost their lives and freedom—during his long years of illegality, persecution and imprisonment under the hated Apartheid regime.

Capitalist governments and the corporate-controlled media the world over, however, have rushed to offer condolences for their own reasons. These include heads of states that supported South Africa’s apartheid rule and aided in the capture and imprisonment of Mandela as a “terrorist” half a century ago…”

Full article link: http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/12/07/pers-d07.html

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“Mandela’s Dream of Black Power Became a ‘Neoliberal Nightmare'” by James Winter [Globalresearch.ca]

“[After Mandela’s release from prison,]…South Africa took the route [previously] characterized by Mandela as ‘inconceivable.’ Political successes, but economic ruin. South Africa is now among the most unequal societies in the world….”

Full article link: http://www.globalresearch.ca/mandelas-dream-of-black-power-became-a-neoliberal-nightmare/5360825

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“Margaret Thatcher and misapplied death etiquette” by Glenn Greenwald – Vicious UK press propagandizes Thatcher at death, censures her critics [Guardian]

Posted in Black propaganda, Cameron, Capitalist media double standard, Chile, Corporate Media Critique, Hugo Chavez, Indonesia, Iraq, Nelson Mandela, Pinochet, South Africa, U.K., U.K. War Crimes, Venezuela on April 9, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

8 April 2013

News of Margaret Thatcher’s death this morning instantly and predictably gave rise to righteous sermons on the evils of speaking ill of her…

…This demand for respectful silence in the wake of a public figure’s death is not just misguided but dangerous…

…the key point is this: those who admire the deceased public figure (and their politics) aren’t silent at all. They are aggressively exploiting the emotions generated by the person’s death to create hagiography. Typifying these highly dubious claims about Thatcher was this (appropriately diplomatic) statement from President Obama: “The world has lost one of the great champions of freedom and liberty, and America has lost a true friend.” Those gushing depictions can be quite consequential, as it was for the week-long tidal wave of unbroken reverence that was heaped on Ronald Reagan upon his death, an episode that to this day shapes how Americans view him and the political ideas he symbolized. Demanding that no criticisms be voiced to counter that hagiography is to enable false history and a propagandistic whitewashing of bad acts, distortions that become quickly ossified and then endure by virtue of no opposition and the powerful emotions created by death. When a political leader dies, it is irresponsible in the extreme to demand that only praise be permitted but not criticisms.

Whatever else may be true of her, Thatcher engaged in incredibly consequential acts that affected millions of people around the world. She played a key role not only in bringing about the first Gulf War but also using her influence to publicly advocate for the 2003 attack on Iraq. She denounced Nelson Mandela and his ANC as “terrorists”, something even David Cameron ultimately admitted was wrong. She was a steadfast friend to brutal tyrants such as Augusto Pinochet, Saddam Hussein and Indonesian dictator General Suharto (“One of our very best and most valuable friends”). And as my Guardian colleague Seumas Milne detailed last year, “across Britain Thatcher is still hated for the damage she inflicted – and for her political legacy of rampant inequality and greed, privatisation and social breakdown.”

To demand that all of that be ignored in the face of one-sided requiems to her nobility and greatness is a bit bullying and tyrannical, not to mention warped. As David Wearing put it this morning in satirizing these speak-no-ill-of-the-deceased moralists: “People praising Thatcher’s legacy should show some respect for her victims. Tasteless.” Tellingly, few people have trouble understanding the need for balanced commentary when the political leaders disliked by the west pass away. Here, for instance, was what the Guardian reported upon the death last month of Hugo Chavez:

To the millions who detested him as a thug and charlatan, it will be occasion to bid, vocally or discreetly, good riddance.”

Nobody, at least that I know of, objected to that observation on the ground that it was disrespectful to the ability of the Chavez family to mourn in peace…

Exactly the same is true of Thatcher. There’s something distinctively creepy – in a Roman sort of way – about this mandated ritual that our political leaders must be heralded and consecrated as saints upon death. This is accomplished by this baseless moral precept that it is gauche or worse to balance the gushing praise for them upon death with valid criticisms. There is absolutely nothing wrong with loathing Margaret Thatcher or any other person with political influence and power based upon perceived bad acts, and that doesn’t change simply because they die. If anything, it becomes more compelling to commemorate those bad acts upon death as the only antidote against a society erecting a false and jingoistically self-serving history.

[Edited]

Full article link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/apr/08/margaret-thatcher-death-etiquette

‘Tramp the dirt down’ – Margaret Thatcher’s death triggers fury at her right-wing legacy [Globe and Mail]

Posted in Chile, Nelson Mandela, Pinochet, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Tony Blair, U.K., U.K. War Crimes on April 8, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

by “Daily Mail Reporter” [sic]

8 April 2013

…Only a few minutes after the death of the 87-year-old [Thatcher] was announced the Respect MP for Bradford West took to his Twitter writing ‘Tramp the dirt down…’

…When one user wrote that the MP was ‘unbecoming’ in his choice of phrase, the 59-year-old fired back ‘You’re obviously a teenage scribbler then? Or one with no memory.’

It is thought the MP was referring to an Elvis Costello 1989 song in which the singer vows to dance on Thatcher’s grave.

In a further message on the social networking site, Mr Galloway said: ‘Thatcher described Nelson Mandela as a ‘terrorist’. I was there. I saw her lips move. May she burn in the hellfires.’

Although the internet was flooded with tributes to the Iron Lady, it also showcased venom for Britain’s first and only female political leader.

A Facebook campaign has been launched to take [the] Judy Garland song ‘Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead’ to number one following Margaret Thatcher’s death.

A series of pages urge people to buy MP3 downloads of the song, which features in 1939 musical The Wizard of Oz.

One, called Make ‘Ding dong the witch is dead’ number 1 the week Thatcher dies, already had 590 members by 1.30pm with numbers rapidly rising…

…Less than an hour after her death was made public, a book entitled Thatcher Tributes with a witch on the front was on sale.

The publishers said the book will be released by erbacce-press as a paperback and will be available at bookshops and via their websites.

They said ‘It is an expression of the feelings of ordinary people who will greet the death of Mrs Thatcher with very little regret.’

A website set up three years ago asking ‘Is Margaret Thatcher Dead Yet?’ was today updated for the first time – with the word ‘YES’.

The website currently has more than 130,000 ‘likes’ on Facebook and thousands of people have written about it on Twitter.

‘Likes’ on their Facebook page were rocketing at a rate of 2,500 a minute.

Throughout the former prime minister’s deteriorating health the site, isthatcherdeadyet.co.uk, had simply stated ‘NOT YET’ in large capital letters.

But following news at 12pm of the 87 year old’s death the wording was changed to ‘YES’.

A smaller message underneath adds: ‘Margaret Thatcher is dead. This lady’s not returning.’

Another message on the site asks the readers: ‘How are you celebrating?’ and encourages users to use the #nowthatchersdead hashtag on Twitter…

…The site was created by professional musician Antonio Lulic, from Chester-le-Street, County Durham.

The 30-year-old today said: ‘It was inevitable, she has been unwell for a long time.

‘Judging by the reaction of the people that follow the website on Facebook and Twitter, they seem very pleased about it – I am quietly relieved.

‘Thousands of people have already commented and we’ve seen thousands of extra ‘likes’ on our Facebook in the last 10 minutes, and that’s only going to get higher.’

…Today unions and campaign groups were critical of the policies she followed while Prime Minister.

Paul Kenny, general secretary of the GMB union, said: ‘Mrs Thatcher was a powerful politician who will be remembered by many for the destructive and divisive policies she reigned over which in the end, even in the Tory party, proved to be her downfall.

‘Her legacy involves the destruction of communities, the elevation of personal greed over social values and legitimising the exploitation of the weak by the strong.’

Lindsey German, convenor of the Stop The War Coalition, said: ‘Margaret Thatcher laid the basis for policies which wrecked the lives of millions in Britain. But she should also be remembered as a warmonger.

‘She led alongside Ronald Reagan the escalation of the Cold War. She introduced cruise missiles to Britain and fought the Falklands war. Her arms deals with Saudi Arabia were notorious. Her legacy was Tony Blair who built enthusiastically on her record.’

The death of Baroness Thatcher was a ‘great day’ for coal miners, David Hopper, general secretary of the Durham Miners’ Association said today.

The ex-miner, who turned 70 today, spent all of his working life at Wearmouth Colliery.

He said: ‘It looks like one of the best birthdays I have ever had.

‘There’s no sympathy from me for what she did to our community. She destroyed our community, our villages and our people.

‘For the union this could not come soon enough and I’m pleased that I have outlived her.

‘It’s a great day for all the miners, I imagine we will have a counter demonstration when they have her funeral.

‘Our children have got no jobs and the community is full of problems. There’s no work and no money and it’s very sad the legacy she has left behind.

‘She absolutely hated working people and I have got very bitter memories of what she did. She turned all the nation against us and the violence that was meted out on us was terrible.

‘I would say to those people who want to mourn her that they’re lucky she did not treat them like she treated us.’

Baroness Thatcher’s policies were ‘fundamentally wrong’, former London mayor Ken Livingstone said today.

He told Sky News the former Conservative prime minister was responsible for ‘every real problem’ faced in the UK today, as he claimed she had led millions of people out of work.

Mr Livingstone said: ‘Of course she was popular, she was offering people their homes at a cut price. But she didn’t build any houses.’

‘She created today’s housing crisis, she produced the banking crisis, she created the benefits crisis. It was her government that started putting people on incapacity benefits rather than register them as unemployed because the Britain she inherited was broadly at full employment.

‘She decided when she wrote off our manufacturing industry that she could live with two or three million unemployed and the legacy of that, the benefits bill that we are still struggling with today.

‘In actual fact, every real problem we face today is the legacy of the fact she was fundamentally wrong.’

He also said that it was to Tony Blair’s ‘shame’ that he ‘broadly carried on’ most of her policies.

Mr Livingstone added: ‘She once claimed New Labour was her greatest legacy and I am not saying she was joking.

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams reacted to the announcement of Baroness Thatcher’s death with a scathing assessment of her political legacy in Ireland and elsewhere.

‘Margaret Thatcher did great hurt to the Irish and British people during her time as British prime minister,’ claimed Mr Adams.

‘Working class communities were devastated in Britain because of her policies.

‘Her role in international affairs was equally belligerent whether in support of the Chilean dictator Pinochet, her opposition to sanctions against Apartheid South Africa; and her support for the Khmer Rouge.

‘Here in Ireland her espousal of old draconian militaristic policies prolonged the war and caused great suffering.’

Full article link: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2305760/Margaret-Thatcher-dead-George-Galloway-leads-chorus-celebration-left.html

Edited by Zuo Shou

“Apartheid never died in South Africa. It inspired a world order upheld by force and illusion” by John Pilger [JohnPilger.com]

Posted in Bourgeois parliamentary democracy, China, IMF - International Monetary Fund, Iran, Nelson Mandela, Obama, South Africa, U.K., US imperialism, USA, Yugoslavia - former FRY on October 1, 2012 by Zuo Shou / 左手

19 September 2012

The murder of 34 miners by the South African police, most of them shot in the back, puts paid to the illusion of post-apartheid democracy and illuminates the new worldwide apartheid of which South Africa is both an historic and contemporary model.

In 1894, long before the infamous Afrikaans word foretold “separate development” for the majority people of South Africa, an Englishman, Cecil John Rhodes, oversaw the Glen Grey Act in what was then the Cape Colony. This was designed to force blacks from agriculture into an army of cheap labour, principally for the mining of newly discovered gold and other precious minerals. As a result of this social Darwinism, Rhodes’ own De Beers company quickly developed into a world monopoly, making him fabulously rich. In keeping with liberalism in Britain and the United States, he was celebrated as a philanthropist supporting high-minded causes.

Today, the Rhodes scholarship at Oxford University is prized among liberal elites. Successful Rhodes scholars must demonstrate “moral force of character” and “sympathy for and protection of the weak, and unselfishness, kindliness and fellowship”. The former president Bill Clinton is one, General Wesley Clark, who led the NATO attack on Yugoslavia, is another. The wall known as apartheid was built for the benefit of the few, not least the most ambitious of the bourgeoisie.

This was something of a taboo during the years of racial apartheid. South Africans of British descent could indulge an apparent opposition to the Boers’ obsession with race, and their contempt for the Boers themselves, while providing the facades behind which an inhumane system guaranteed privileges based on race and, more importantly, on class.

The new black elite in South Africa, whose numbers and influence had been growing steadily during the latter racial apartheid years, understood the part they would play following “liberation”. Their “historic mission”, wrote Frantz Fanon in his prescient classic The Wretched of the Earth, “has nothing to do with transforming the nation: it consists, prosaically, of being the transmission line between the nation and a capitalism rampant though camouflaged”.

This applied to leading figures in the African National Congress, such as Cyril Ramaphosa, head of the National Union of Mineworkers, now a corporate multi-millionaire, who negotiated a power-sharing “deal” with the regime of de F.W. Klerk, and Nelson Mandela himself, whose devotion to an “historic compromise” meant that freedom for the majority from poverty and inequity was a freedom too far. This became clear as early as 1985 when a group of South African industrialists led by Gavin Reilly, chairman of the Anglo-American mining company, met prominent ANC officials in Zambia and both sides agreed, in effect, that racial apartheid would be replaced by economic apartheid, known as the “free market”.

Secret meetings subsequently took place in a stately home in England, Mells Park House, at which a future president of liberated South Africa, Tabo Mbeki, supped malt whisky with the heads of corporations that had shored up racial apartheid. The British giant Consolidated Goldfields supplied the venue and the whisky. The aim was to divide the “moderates” – the likes of Mbeki and Mandela – from an increasingly revolutionary multitude in the townships who evoked memories of uprisings following the Sharpeville Massacre in 1960 and at Soweto in 1976 – without ANC help.

Once Mandela was released from prison in 1990, the ANC’s “unbreakable promise” to take over monopoly capital was seldom heard again. On his triumphant tour of the US, Mandela said in New York: “The ANC will re-introduce the market to South Africa.” When I interviewed Mandela in 1997 – he was then president – and reminded him of the unbreakable promise, I was told in no uncertain terms that “the policy of the ANC is privatisation”.

Enveloped in the hot air of corporate-speak, the Mandela and Mbeki governments took their cues from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. While the gap between the majority living beneath tin roofs without running water and the newly wealthy black elite in their gated estates became a chasm, finance minister Trevor Manuel was lauded in Washington for his “macro-economic achievements”. South Africa, noted George Soros in 2001, had been delivered into “the hands of international capital”.

Shortly before the massacre of miners employed for a pittance in a dangerous, British-registered platinum mine, the erosion of South Africa’s economic independence was demonstrated when the ANC government of Jacob Zuma stopped importing 42 per cent of its oil from Iran under intense pressure from Washington. The price of petrol has already risen sharply, further impoverishing people.

This economic apartheid is now replicated across the world as poor countries comply with the demands of western “interests” as opposed to their own. The arrival of China as a contender for the resources of Africa, though without the economic and military threats of America, has provided further excuse for American military expansion, and the possibility of world war, as demonstrated by President Barack Obama’s recent arms and military budget of $737.5 billion, the biggest ever. The first African-American president of the land of slavery presides over a perpetual war economy, mass unemployment and abandoned civil liberties: a system that has no objection to black or brown people as long as they serve the right class. Those who do not comply are likely to be incarcerated.

This is the South African and American way, of which Obama, son of Africa, is the embodiment. Liberal hysteria that the Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is more extreme than Obama is no more than a familiar promotion of “lesser evilism” and changes nothing. Ironically, the election of Romney to the White House is likely to reawaken mass dissent in the US, whose demise is Obama’s singular achievement.

Although Mandela and Obama cannot be compared – one is a figure of personal strength and courage, the other a pseudo political creation — the illusion that both beckoned a new world of social justice is similar. It belongs to a grand illusion that relegates all human endeavour to a material value, and confuses media with information and military conquest with humanitarian purpose. Only when we surrender these fantasies shall we begin to end apartheid across the world.

Article link: http://johnpilger.com/articles/apartheid-never-died-in-south-africa-it-inspired-a-world-order-upheld-by-force-and-illusion