Monday, February 02, 2004

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

Down with whitey!

On a related note, I saw a great documentary film this weekend called Amandla!: Revolution in four part harmony. The movie tells the history of the anti-apartheid movement through the music spawned by resistance. The music is amazing, as is the primary source archival footage. However neophyte South Africanists might benefit from some more historical context.

It was a little over four years prior to this that President Reagan vetoed the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act (which Congress passed over his veto). South Africa was seen as a Cold War ally key to keeping the dominoes from falling in Africa. South Africa was fighting a war against a nationalist independence movement in what is now Namibia (then Southwest Africa). I use the term war loosely here--South African friends of mine have likened the campaign to South Africa's Vietnam--indiscriminate killings to intimidate black Africans from opposing white rule. it also helped that major US-based multinational corporations and financial institutions were profitting tremendously from the Apartheid regime.

As part of Reagan's effort to support the Apartheid regime in its war, the United States provided South Africa with the technology to build a nuclear weapon (clandestinely via Israel). Incidentally, this is the man who, at the time, was a member of President Reagan's General Advisory Committee on Arms Control. And he's still doing a bang up job.



Other politicians, before and after these Reagan-era clowns, had much, much better solutions to the injustice of Apartheid.

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