Our forefather's cause was not representative or comparable of the issues in South Africa. It would be more comparable to our native indains being 80% of the population, and performing sabatoge, blowing up buildings, and relying on other countries to back them in a rebellion against the europeon settlements/government.
Mandela was intially involved in a violent rebellion, and later forgave his fellow white South Africans for fighting that rebellion. They were the same people that incarcerated him.
Mandela was smart enough to know that had he tried retrobution, a bloody racial war would have taken over his country. He saved countless lives, but really, did he have choice? The white police force/army would have laid the smack down.
Now, their economy is in a tail spin. Ready to crash and burn.
SNIDELY54 wrote: "One man's terrorist, another man's freedom fighter. I'm thankful for all terrorists that fought to make America free."
The American "Revolution" (revolution is somewhat of a misnomer), except for some formal, pitched battles, was more of a guerrilla action against the British Army.
The American Army fought in mostly non-linear tactics, keeping British lines of communication and supply disrupted. The Americans also had a superb espionage and intelligence gathering operation, which kept American forces out of harm's way a good deal of the time.
American militia and regular army troops can't, in anyway, be described as terrorists. While irregular in their tactics, they didn't conduct war against the civilian population, a fact the British can't deny; since they incited and paid Indians to wage war on frontier settlers. It wasn't until the Continental Congress had finally had enough, that they warranted George Washington to conduct a campaign against the Indians. And yes, there were instances of violence against loyalists by irregular troops, but it was not the policy of the Continental Congress and Colonial Army to wage such a war.
Leaders such as Vladimir Lenin, Josef Stalin, Hitler, Mao Tse Tung, Ho Chi Minh, Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, and other communists and socialists can correctly be called terrorists.
Revolution, by its definition, calls for the destruction of one type of government, in favor of another. The American colonies had over 150 years of government and societal development before shedding the government of the British Empire; so the transition from a British democracy to a federated republic could hardly be called revolutionary.
Nelson Mandela was a communist/socialist. During his twenty-seven year imprisonment, he had numerous opportunities to renounce terrorism against the British and South African people. He declined. The roster on the dais today looked more like a meeting of some world communist society, than a memorial service.
South Africans, for all of Mandela's actions, are worse off today than they were when he became president. And like it or not, colonials under the British empire enjoyed far more economic success and standard of living, than any African country since the beginning of post-British colonialism.
Setterman makes the correct comparison.
I participated in the terrorist war in Rhodesia. We were trying to prevent the catastrophe which has occurred. Notably, many black Rhodesian citizens fought with us because they understood what would happen if a goon like Robert Mugabe got control of that once great nation.
While I was there, I often told my friends that their problem stemmed from the very simple fact that their ancestors had been too kind to the native population.
If the European settlers who trekked across southern Africa had wiped out the natives( back when nobody cared or would have tried to prevent it)...conducted a war of "ethnic cleansing" so to speak..the way settlers in North America had....I told them..."we wouldn't be here now fighting for our lives".
I guess it's true...No good deed goes unpunished.
In spite of the millions of dollars (and other currencies) spent in Africa by well-meaning people (mostly white) from around tghe world, Africa remains a basket case in terms of poverty, sickness and political development. Like the "War on Pobverty" in the US, these efforts have not had any positive effect other than to enrich the financial hustlers mascerading as social workers and benefactors of the poor.