Many around the globe are morning the passing of South Africa's Nelson Mandela who suffered 27 years in prison because of his struggle to end Apartheid and then went on to be South Africa's first black president, preaching a message of forgiveness as he tried to move his country forward. But not all hold Mandela or his memory in high regard. Take Dick Cheney - a man guilty of war crimes under the Geneva Conventions and usually referred to as Emperor Palpatine on this blog - who didn't regret his 1986 vote against freeing Mandela from prison. Cheney, the war criminal in all but formal charges, maintained that Mandela was a terrorist and deserved to remain in prison. Sadly, I suspect that many in the increasingly white supremacist dominated Republican Party share Cheney's revolting views. Here are highlights from Huffington Post:
In 1986, Nelson Mandela -- the former president of South Africa who died Thursday at the age of 95 -- was serving the 23rd year of what would ultimately be a 27-year prison sentence. The Western world was finally acknowledging the true horrors of Apartheid, a system of racial segregation that denied basic rights to blacks -- including citizenship and the right to vote -- and brutally oppressed a generation of South Africans fighting for equality.
In the U.S. Congress, lawmakers were ready to show their opposition to the South African regime with the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act, a bill that called for tough sanctions and travel restrictions on the nation and its leaders, and for the repeal of apartheid laws and release of political prisoners like Mandela, then leader of the African National Congress (ANC).
The measure passed with bipartisan support, despite strong and largely Republican opposition. President Ronald Reagan was among those most opposed to the bill, and when he finally vetoed the measure over its support of the ANC, which he maintained was a "terrorist organization," it took another vote by Congress to override it. Among the Republicans who repeatedly voted against the measure was future Vice President Dick Cheney, then a Republican congressman from Wyoming.
[T]he Wyoming Republican has never said he regretted voting the way he did. In fact, in 2000, he maintained that he'd made the right decision. “The ANC was then viewed as a terrorist organization," Cheney said on ABC's "This Week." "I don't have any problems at all with the vote I cast 20 years ago.''
Try as I might, I cannot avoid the conclusion that Cheney is a despicable human being. As are many of his racist cohorts in today's GOP. R.I.P. Nelson Mandela..