Posted by: Gregoryno6 | December 6, 2013

If you feel that the world’s too eager to polish the Mandela halo…

This link to Tim Blair’s blog should provide a welcome balance.

My pick of the comments comes from Robert Blair.

Mandela deserves respect for responding to F. W. de Klerk’s outreach in the positive way that he did.

As noted, it was his atypical response that made him the great man that he became.

But it was de Klerk who reached out first, it was de Klerk who released Mandela, it was de Klerk who led the government into a peaceful solution.

Without de Klerk, Mandela would have died as a failed, forgotten terrorist.

The campaign to have Mandela freed from prison began in earnest around 1984 or ’85. There was nothing said about his days as the leader of a terrorist movement; and certainly nothing about the bombings he organised. The theme of the campaign was, this good man has been imprisoned by a bad government. Tip of the hat to Ike Jakson, whose comment last month sparked my curiosity about Mandela.

A man can change his life. That is the root belief of the Christianity that permeates our civilisation, after all. And Mandela came out of prison with a different view of the world than the one he took in. But there’s such a determination to whitewash unpleasant facts.

Nelson Mandela was and will remain one of the most ambiguous figures of recent history. I wonder how long it will be before someone does for Mandela what Christopher Hitchens did for (did to?) Mother Teresa.

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