Fahamu (Oxford)

South Africa: Deception and Double Standards At Mandela Funeral

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analysis

They portrayed him as a disciple of pacifism, an embodiment of Mother Teresa and devotee of neo-liberal legality, obscuring the fact that after the Sharpeville massacre in the sixties, the African National Congress (ANC) adopted a strategy of armed struggle. The gap between rhetoric and reality was demonstrably clear.

Among the "mourners" was US President Obama who brought along his four predecessors. He "led the world" in paying homage to his "personal hero" while back home the United States flags were flown at half mast.

In showering tributes to Mandela, Obama was a masterpiece of self-glorification: "While I will always fall short of Madiba's example, he makes me want to be better. He speaks to what is best inside us . . . we can change. We can choose to live in a world defined not by our differences, but by our common hopes ... a world defined not by conflict, but by peace and justice".

He then went on with false piety: "I studied his words and his writings ... as long as I live I will do what I can to learn from him ... It falls to us to forward the example that he set to make decisions guided not by hate, but by love".

Yet the previous day, missiles fired from a U.S. drone had killed at least three people in Yemen. Two days later, seventeen people in a convoy heading for a joyous wedding party were killed. This was the eighth Yemeni wedding party to be decimated into charred remains. Two days later six people travelling in a boat in Afghanistan were killed by a drone attack.

It is said Obama personally issues weekly decrees for these summary assassinations.

He then travels to Mandela's funeral in the tightly fortified Air Force One, arriving at the memorial stadium in the great armoured, reinforced limousine, flanked by a massive motorcade, all flown in from the US.

This is the ultimate protection for a president who claims to be the disciple of Mandela, while he has no compunction in deciding, from thousands of miles away, who dies by the unmanned drone, whether they are in a wedding or funeral parties, or women collecting firewood, whether infants or elderly. Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan and Afghanistan's mutilated. Drone victims are a result of Obama's roll call of terror.

So much for Obama's disingenuous call for "peace and justice' and the "oneness to humanity."

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