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President Obama visits Mandela's Robben Island cell

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by gworld, Jul 1, 2013.

  1. #1
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-23121200

    While I think Mandela is a great person who fought for his people, if we look at the history then we notice that he was actually convicted by a government court and his sentence and imprisonment was legal according to that time laws.
    On the other hand USA is defending its actions to put people without any trial or conviction in secret prisons which makes you wonder if Obama was visiting a historical place or just shopping for a new location for a secret prison. :rolleyes:

    hy·poc·ri·sy (h[​IMG]-p[​IMG]k[​IMG]r[​IMG]-s[​IMG])
    n. pl. hy·poc·ri·sies
    1. The practice of professing beliefs, feelings, or virtues that one does not hold or possess; falseness.
    2. An act or instance of such falseness.
    gworld, Jul 1, 2013 IP
  2. earlpearl

    earlpearl Well-Known Member

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    #2
    GWorld: Nelson Mandela might be the leading light of human freedom in the world. He is near death. His life has been extraordinary.

    He was imprisoned by South Africa for a total of 27 years, 18 of which were at the prison Obama visited. He was imprisoned because he fought against apartheid. You seem to make light of that issue.

    Maybe you missed its significance. In a nation that is vastly majority Black, a White minority ruled officially in that nation since the early 1900's, officially established apartheid in 1948 which lasted till 1994, and frankly a White majority ruled in that territory from the early days of European colonialization, dating probably to the 17th century. South Africa was a sort of renegade nation for decades simply installing a system where one minority race ruled a majority race and severely limited human freedoms.

    Mandela was finally freed from prison because of world wide outrage adding to the calls for his freedom from inside South Africa. In 1994 he became President of South Africa through 1999.

    South Africa went through an extraordinary change, and did so with relatively minimal violence. Mandela was president during many of those years of change. He is a truly significant human being. One should compare the change in that nation to much of the violent change that has occurred around the world before and after Mandela was released from prison and spent time as South Africa's president.

    It is an appropriate move to visit that prison where Mandela was locked away for 18 of the 27 years to honor that man.

    That in its own right is an entirely appropriate action.

    Meanwhile Obama ended many of actions of the Bush administration which did over several years when first confronting Al Queda, have people imprisoned in far off lands, in secret places, had people tortured, and set up a seemingly never ending imprisonment system for members and associates of Al Queda.

    Obama has made efforts to close Quantanamo and still says he would like to do so. When those efforts first became public by his administration they were quashed and battered by Americans of opposing views. Right now the US has detainees in Quantanamo in Cuba wherein there is no reasonable end game in sight. It is not an example of best practices by a nation that works to promote human freedoms and establish a rule of law, wherein criminals ultimately face the justice system in court.

    Is the US sending hordes of people to far off anonymous foreign prisons now??? The answer appears to be no.

    Our justice system, and our system of protecting human freedoms of Americans has clearly been compromised by the attacks of 9/11/2001 and the fact that those who would continue to attack the US and cause damage are not part of a specific nation. They are part of an amorphous movement. It is a wierdly different world and one with differing responses.

    Frankly honoring Mandela is one of more appropriate actions this president or any individual could do. Mandela is that incredibly rare person in history who led a movement to dramatically enhance freedoms while simultaneously, dramatically changing an entire nation, and did so without the kind of overwhelming violence that often accompanies these changes and the change of a ruling family, junta, political party, etc. Think Syria now, or Libya just a short while ago, or the Balkan states in the 1990's. Leaders don't go quietly.
    earlpearl, Jul 1, 2013 IP
  3. gworld

    gworld Notable Member

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    #3

    I don´t dispute that Mandela is an extraordinary person, I am talking about Obama hypocrisy. Lets look at the facts:

    1) Mandela was in leadership of ANC and he was a supporter of arm struggle, what then and even today USA calls terrorists.

    Part of the reason that he was in prison for so long was because he refused to denounce arm struggle as long as he was in prison.
    2) Mandela was arrested by the government of South Africa which was supported by USA and was convicted in a court of law according to those times law. This is something that many people around the world who are kept in secret prisons denied today.
    Obama has not closed Quantanamo and he didn´t end the surveillance of Americans which was accelerated under Bush Administration. When it comes to end of secret prisons and torture, we have only his word that he is trying to end it and without the openness and public oversight, we will not really know what he is doing until another whistle blower come forward and risk his life and liberty in the interest of justice.
    It is in light of these facts that his words: "The world is grateful for the heroes of Robben Island, who remind us that no shackles or cells can match the strength of the human spirit." are so hypocritical because in reality his actions are saying that shackles and cells can break the human spirit.
    gworld, Jul 1, 2013 IP
  4. earlpearl

    earlpearl Well-Known Member

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    #4
    I think your history of US relations with South Africa is a bit one sided and twisted. The relationship was not singular. By the 1960's the US began to separate from South Africa racial actions as did many UN member nations. Simultaneously the US maintained healthy trade and investment with South Africa while also removing other official connections.

    Over a long period generally Republican administrations under first Nixon and later Reagan seemed to and acted favorably to the White Apartheid government, Reagan even going so far as to one time calling the ANC terrorists (I believe). Democratic administrations tended to negative to the Apartheid government.

    It is a mixed history, one that didn't call out for the end to apartheid but didn't embrace it either.

    there are no angels out there. It is an oversimplification and a mistake to take Reagan's comments that branded the ANC as a terrorist group as the only characterization of US reactions to South Africa.

    It is naive to think that serious levels of enhanced surveillance or spying just don't exist. They went into place in 2001 with the patriot act. By 2002 several govt officials lost positions and spoke out against it.

    Over the years officials have testified and underplayed its existence within the US. Meanwhile during the earlier part of the 2000's there were examples of different European internal security forces and US such groups working together to uncover people they considered dangerous and representing factions that supported Al Queda and similar groups or wanted to harm Western nations.

    We live with surveillance. It is absurd to think otherwise. At the same time in the US the Islamic population has enormous freedoms even as they are probably under more scrutiny than folks who aren't Islamic. It would be absurd to think otherwise.

    Unless we see hard evidence of secret prisons established by Obama I believe you are letting your imagination and idealism get the best of you. Meanwhile even as most assuredly Americans who are lslamic and those who live in the States, aren't citizens but are Muslims could be under greater levels of surveillance there are also elected officials in the US in various states, and one US member of Congress who is Islamic.

    Right now I'd rather be experiencing US "freedoms" far more than freedoms in Russia, China, Egypt, Syria, and endless nations. Having said that we are far from perfect but then again we never were and never will be.
    earlpearl, Jul 1, 2013 IP
  5. r3dt@rget

    r3dt@rget Well-Known Member

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    #5
    I think you pretty much forfeit your right to the traditional justice system when you scream jihad and join a terrorist group that actively plans and promotes attacks targeting America. People like this that America captures and puts in Gitmo don't have US rights to begin with, and they are also classified as enemy combatants which further strips them of basic human rights. While at places like Gitmo they are drained of valuable intelligence that helps US forces in the war on terror. Information like this led to Usama Bin Laden's capture. Not taking an active approach like what we do now leads to events like 9/11. The NSA surveillance program is another aid the US uses to help foil potential attacks and also track down suspects within the US.

    Obama won't close Gitmo for the same reasons he continued the drone strike program and the NSA programs. They produce results that are invaluable to the war on terror. While he might of campaigned against it, once he took office he realized the reality.
    r3dt@rget, Jul 1, 2013 IP
  6. earlpearl

    earlpearl Well-Known Member

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    #6
    I don't agree with you on that last paragraph as I think the GOP made it politically impossible to shut down. Other than that I suppose I agree w/ you RedTarget. It might be that our justice system as set up for civilians doesn't work well in the context of something that is like war, if not with an actual enemy country. I think it would be better to shut down gitmo & try those in it but its not the biggest problem to me.
    earlpearl, Jul 1, 2013 IP
  7. gworld

    gworld Notable Member

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    #7

    The above statement clearly shows the stupidity of average American who believes any BS that the government feeds them. This is a clear proof of a person´s ignorance that claims the government somehow has the right to strip anyone from their basic human rights by calling them a name such as enemy combatants. What is the difference between Obama, Hitler, Saddam or Stalin. If US government can strip people of their basic human rights, what was so wrong with Hitler doing the same thing by calling them Jews, Homosexuals or communists? There are different international treaties and norms that forbids denying people basic human rights because we were hoping that we have become more civilized and learned from past experiences during world wars when we convicted people for war crimes. To go back to the dark ages and denying people of their basic human rights is definitely not the way forward and a civilized society. The sad thing is that the average American can not differentiate between right and wrong anymore and don´t know enough about their own history that their ancestors actually fought for these rights and wrote a document called the US constitution to guarantee such rights for future generations.


    First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out--
    Because I was not a Socialist.
    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out--
    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out--
    Because I was not a Jew.
    Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me.
    Martin Niemöller


    May be it is good for you and earlpearl remember what Benjamin Franklin said.

    It is said that, at the close of the Constitutional Convention, a woman approached Benjamin Franklin and asked him what type of government had been decided upon by the delegates. Franklin stated: "We have given you a Republic, if you can keep it."
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2013
    gworld, Jul 2, 2013 IP
  8. r3dt@rget

    r3dt@rget Well-Known Member

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    #8
    Remember, this is not the US taking it's own citizens and locking them up without charges. That would be a different situation, and one that would not be tolerated. US citizens enjoy the right to a speedy trial. Foreign enemy soldiers do not. What we are talking about is an active war between extreme islamic terror groups and the US. Whether it is technically a war or not doesn't really matter. Holding these prisoners is legal and is covered under the Geneva Convention. Specifically GCIII Part I Article 4.

    • Article 4 defines prisoners of war to include:
      • 4.1.1 Members of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict and members of militias of such armed forces
      • 4.1.2 Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements, provided that they fulfill all of the following conditions:
        • that of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates;
        • that of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance (there are limited exceptions to this among countries who observe the 1977 Protocol I);
        • that of carrying arms openly;
        • that of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.
      • 4.1.3 Members of regular armed forces who profess allegiance to a government or an authority not recognized by the Detaining Power.
      • 4.1.4 Civilians who have non-combat support roles with the military and who carry a valid identity card issued by the military they support.
      • 4.1.5 Merchant marine and the crews of civil aircraft of the Parties to the conflict, who do not benefit by more favourable treatment under any other provisions of international law.
      • 4.1.6 Inhabitants of a non-occupied territory, who on the approach of the enemy spontaneously take up arms to resist the invading forces, without having had time to form themselves into regular armed units, provided they carry arms openly and respect the laws and customs of war.
      • 4.3 makes explicit that Article 33 takes precedence for the treatment of medical personnel of the enemy and chaplains of the enemy.
    Since they are now prisoners of war, and they don't enjoy the privileges of being a US citizen, the US can hold them as long as they like, and interrogate them. What the US does with its enemies is not even close to what Hilter did with the Jews or any of your other examples. We are talking about two forces at war, where one side captures the enemy and holds them for interrogation and possibly prosecution.
    r3dt@rget, Jul 2, 2013 IP
  9. gworld

    gworld Notable Member

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    #9


    LOL. But you are digging your own grave. We don´t need to talk about US is taking its own citizens and locking them up because the government has gone one step further and as it has admitted, it is engaged in extrajudicial execution of American citizens. The other part that you quoting about prisoners of wars shows that you are even ignorant about the position of your government because POW have certain rights which US government has totally ignored including not being tortured by claiming that they are " enemy combatant" and should not be treated as POW. It may be sound strange to you but outside of USA there is a big world with laws and conventions and just because someone is not from USA, it doesn´t mean that they can be held without charges or be tortured. In fact many ideas that are formulated in US constitution have their origins in 1215 document called the Magna Carta. Surprising to you but there was a world before the discovery of America.:rolleyes:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta

    It seems to me that American have accepted that US Constitution and the Republic is dead and US citizens should chant from now on, Long Live King Bush, Long Live King Obama, Long Live King ????:rolleyes:
    gworld, Jul 2, 2013 IP
  10. r3dt@rget

    r3dt@rget Well-Known Member

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    #10
    I've explained to you in the drone threads as well that the US has a legal route to kill citizens who have fled, joined enemy organizations, and who's capture is not feasible. I've also explained to you the difference between an enemy combatants rights vs a regular US citizen. Either you are not competent enough to get it, or just too damn stubborn to accept reality.

    The best part about this situation is how a liberal in the oval office is pissing off the same liberals that voted him in. This is one policy where the GOP can basically high-five Obama and say good job, keep up the good work. As hard as it may be for you to accept, the US can pretty much do whatever it wants. Some would call them a bully, I call it taking control when all the other nations are incompetent. Just look at the EU. Would you really want the geniuses that thought of that system taking a lead role in the war on terror in the world? I guess we could trust Russia and China could be trusted to extract valuable info from terrorists. After all, Russia values human rights. They proved that by supporting Assad as he murders 100,000 of his own citizens. There is a good reason why people don't care if we torture terrorists. Their lives are insignificant in my opinion, and the information they hold about their terrorist buddies is the only thing that matters. Otherwise they would just be killed. Does it violate some conventions and agreements? Ya, but the US is the one that can do the dirty work while everyone else looks away. The dirty work benefits everyone else and they don't have any dirt on their hands. It's been said by many high ranking officials that water boarding and other torture led to the killing of bin laden.

    You're never going to convince the majority that we should be defending terrorists' rights instead of ensuring our own security. As I have said in other threads there is a balance between privacy and security. You cannot live in this modern world with complete privacy and expect the US to do a good job foiling attacks. At the same time, we don't want federal agents screening our cell phone calls and reading our emails. All the proof that has come out has passed the legal hurdle, and most of the things the US is accused of falls under the patriot act. I thought the administrations answer to the question about the US spying on its allies very funny. They basically said, "Ya we spy on them. Thats the entire point of an intelligence agency, to get information that is not available through mainstream official sources..."
    r3dt@rget, Jul 2, 2013 IP
  11. gworld

    gworld Notable Member

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    #11

    Being a moron and blindly accepting whatever BS government spoon feeds you doesn´t qualify as being competent. You sound like a very scared little boy who is so afraid of the Muslim bogeyman under his bed that he is ready to sell his soul so the mommy government can protect him. Have you ever been to Syria or anywhere else outside of your state? Do you even know who are the people that the USA is supplying weapon too? The friends of the USA are the same barbaric religious fanatics that make you pee your pants.


    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...eheaded-jihadist-fighters-cheering-crowd.html

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-23139784
    gworld, Jul 2, 2013 IP
  12. r3dt@rget

    r3dt@rget Well-Known Member

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    #12
    You really haven't produced any argument or facts to show that the people targeted in drone strikes, or the people detained at Gitmo deserve more rights than they get.

    As for Obama's policy on Syria, I can agree with you that arming the opposition is a bad idea. It's too late for that. We don't belong there anyway. Let the middle east take care of itself. Let the UN handle Assad killing his own people. Of course as corrupt the UN is they won't do anything about it with Russia and China resisting any actions.
    r3dt@rget, Jul 2, 2013 IP
  13. gworld

    gworld Notable Member

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    #13

    All the arguments and facts needed is in the US Constitution. I know Bush and probably Obama thinks that it is a useless piece of paper but as long as it is not legally declared worthless, it forbids extrajudicial execution of American citizens. In regard to treatment of other people, there is a body if international laws and treaties that the USA has signed on and protects their rights. Just you keep repeating that we have guns, we are the bully and do as we please, does not qualify as legal or logical argument.
    The mess in Syria is the making of the USA, the same as the mess in Libya. The only difference was that Russia and China learned from what happened in Libya and supported Assad to stop take over of Syria by Islamists. Even Taliban ( the same people who stone women to death) are friends of the USA now and got their embassy in UAE so they can have meeting with Americans and people in the Afghan government are so worried that their American friends are going to hang them out to dry.


    http://theweek.com/article/index/246363/the-syrian-wars-economic-toll-by-the-numbers


    http://www.globalresearch.ca/former...attack-on-syria-before-crisis-started/5341296
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2013
    gworld, Jul 2, 2013 IP