Tag Archive for South Africa

Eroding Principles of Human Rights

President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush (with First Lady Michelle Obama and former First Lady Laura Bush) walk to a White House event on May 31, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

After World War II, there was hope that core principles of international law and human rights would become universal, but increasingly these standards have suffered from selective application and propagandistic manipulation, causing a loss of credibility in these key precepts, as Lawrence Davidson notes.

How Mandela and S. Africa Were Freed

South Africa's former President Nelson Mandela.

History often recounts events through the tales of “great men,” but that is rarely the complete story. South Africa’s overturning of white supremacy is a case in point, not just the personal triumph of Nelson Mandela but the victory of a global movement, as Danny Schechter recalls.

South Africa’s Murder Trial Distraction

ParaOlympics runner Oscar Pistorius. (Photo credit: Parasport Images via OscarPistorius.com)

Despite South Africa’s transition into a multiracial democracy, profound economic inequality remains, a backdrop to both the high-profile murder trial of athlete Oscar Pistorius and the splintering of Nelson Mandela’s ANC, as Danny Schechter notes.

Israel’s War Against ‘BDS’ Movement

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at AIPAC conference in Washington, D.C., on March 4, 2014.

The boycott aimed at Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands emerged as a peaceful way to challenge Israel’s abuse of Palestinians, replacing violent acts that killed civilians. But Israel’s lobby has now made the so-called BDS movement a target of its political muscle, as Marjorie Cohn explains.

Making Nelson Mandela ‘Safe’

White South African leader Frederik deKlerk shaking hands with Nelson Mandela in 1992. (Copyright photo by World Economic Forum -- www.weforum.org)

The great tragedy of Nelson Mandela’s life was that his revolution only passed political power to South Africa’s black majority, not economic power, which remained in the hands of the old white ruling classes, both domestic and global. That is a reality now lost, writes Gary G. Kohls.

What Mandela Did and Didn’t Do

President Obama Speaks at a Memorial Service for Nelson Mandela on Dec. 10, 2013. (White House photo)

While an inspiring tale of resilience and reconciliation, Nelson Mandela’s saga also marked a failure of black South Africans to transform their hard-won political power into economic equality, as domestic and foreign whites retained the reins of money, as Danny Schechter writes.

Honoring Mandela, Not Reagan

South Africa's former President Nelson Mandela.

Exclusive: The U.S. government’s relationship with Nelson Mandela was often strained, from the CIA’s hand in his imprisonment to Ronald Reagan’s veto of a sanctions bill aimed at getting him freed, lost history that must now be reconciled, writes Robert Parry.

Sanitizing Nelson Mandela

When Nelson Mandela was a dedicated freedom-fighter against white-ruled South Africa, he was almost as much a “non-person” in the U.S. media as he was in South Africa’s press. Only after Mandela pulled back from demands about redistributing wealth was he embraced as a mass media icon, Danny Schechter reports.

Should Israel Be Boycotted?

When Apartheid South Africa faced boycotts in the 1980s, it often argued that some black African governments treated their black citizens worse. Now Israel is making the same case regarding its oppression of Palestinians, that Arabs are worse off in, say, Syria, an argument that Lawrence Davidson assesses.

Hypocrisy Over Iran’s Nuclear Program

In recent decades, the U.S. government and news media have treated international law as a matter of convenience and hypocrisy, applying rules self-righteously when they’re useful and ignoring them when a hindrance. The dispute over Iran’s nuclear program is a case in point, as Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett explain.