The future president of South Africa once considered guerilla warfare and terrorism to overturn Apartheid. Imprisoned for so long, his anger mellowed.
In Nelson Mandela’s autobiography he tells a story about a sparrow. This was in the early 1960s when the late South African leader was hiding out on a farm near Johannesburg with members of the Communist Party and the African National Congress and some of their families. They were plotting what was called “armed struggle” against the Apartheid regime. (Many others would call it terrorism.) But at the time Mandela’s only gun was an old air rifle he used for target practice and dove hunting.
Pakistan and Afghanistan have released waves of Taliban prisoners in a goodwill gesture—but instead of returning home as promised, the radicals are flocking to rejoin the fight against the West.
Abdullah never gives up. The senior Taliban commander, who goes by one name, lost a leg in the fighting in late 2001 just as Mullah Mohammad Omar’s forces were collapsing. He was captured and sent to the U.S. lockup at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Released from the Cuban prison in late 2005, he was immediately rearrested when he arrived in Pakistan and spent the next five years in a Pakistani jail run by the powerful Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency.
He will be forever linked with the abolition of apartheid, but he was also a friend of Gaddafi and Castro, and we must accept his shortcomings to truly fathom his accomplishments.
We will hear much in the coming days about Nelson Mandela’s surplus of saintly qualities, of which there were indeed many. And we will be treated to the interminable and drippy encomiums of pundits and celebrities who couldn’t differentiate the ANC from the BBC, wouldn’t know Joe Slovo from Slobodan Milosevic. We can be snide about it, but they’ll all start with the correct premise: Mandela was a man of unique bravery who designed the dismantling of a political system of unique evil.
If we turn the late South African leader into a nonthreatening moral icon, we’ll forget a key lesson from his life: America isn’t always a force for freedom.
Now that he’s dead, and can cause no more trouble, Nelson Mandela is being mourned across the ideological spectrum as a saint. But not long ago, in Washington’s highest circles, he was considered an enemy of the United States. Unless we remember why, we won’t truly honor his legacy.In the 1980s, Ronald Reagan placed Mandela’s African National Congress on America’s official list of “terrorist” groups. In 1985, then-Congressman Dick Cheney voted against a resolution urging that he be released from jail.
As the world mourns Mandela’s passing, The Daily Beast remembers six pivotal moments from the extraordinary life of the icon of peace and equality.
Taking his place alongside India's Mahatma Gandhi and Tibet's Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela was one of the 20th century’s most revered activists and a triumphant icon in the struggle for racial equality. The Daily Beast looks back at the defining moments that made the former political prisoner turned South African president a legend.First InterviewIn 1961, Mandela was a wanted man for his leadership in the African National Congress, which was turning to increasingly violent methods in its fight for equality.
The world mourns the death of the South African leader, who symbolized an era of great hope, when equality and justice seemed possible.
Nelson Mandela is dead.We will all grieve; many of us will weep as if we have lost a father, or a savior, or a protector, even if we have never actually laid eyes on him.Much of this grief is nostalgic; a sadness about the passing of an era of great hope and stirring sentiment, an era when equality and justice seemed possible. Mandela has come to symbolize the Last Good Man, representing the kind of benevolent paternity that we so often hope for from our leaders even if we claim to be democrats and republicans; his life presents a redemptive narrative that embodies goodness in a way not found outside of myth, legend, and theology.
The extraordinary life of the man who liberated South Africa—and then kept the country from falling apart.
Nelson Mandela, who died December 5, refused to be thought of as a saint. “I never was one,” he insisted—“even on the basis of an earthly definition of a saint as a sinner who keeps trying.” He wasn’t just being modest. He had a weakness for fine clothes and good-looking women, and he certainly was no pacifist. But a halo was the last thing Mandela needed. He spent half a century wrestling South Africa’s white-minority rulers to the negotiating table, and when he finally got them there, he had to be a hard bargainer, not a holy man.
After a month of revelations at the phone hacking trial, a clear picture of the sex-obsessed, cut-throat world of Rupert Murdoch’s tabloid journalists has been presented.
The first month of the phone hacking trial at the Old Bailey in Central London has heard an extraordinary account of alleged malpractice, duplicity and illegality at the heart of Rupert Murdoch’s biggest selling newspaper, the now defunct News of the World tabloid. The prosecution case against Rebekah Brooks, Andy Coulson and six others, all of whom deny the charges, resumes on Thursday. Here is everything we have learnt so far.The Devil is in the MetadataIn British trials, there are usually a number of admissions or ‘agreed facts’, uncontested by either side.
Jennifer Grout, a 23-year-old singer from Boston, speaks no Arabic—and yet she’s become a phenomenon across the Middle East for her flawless renditions of classic songs on the spinoff series ‘Arabs Got Talent’.
Susan and Daryl Grout were in the car on a Sunday afternoon last month when their daughter, Jennifer, 5,000 miles away, emailed a link to a YouTube clip showing her flawless rendition of Um Kalthoum’s “Ba’eed ‘annuk” — “Far From You,” aptly—in perfect Arabic.The performance floored the judges on Arabs Got Talent, which the 23-year-old Grout is now a favorite to win despite not speaking Arabic. “She’s a born performer,” Daryl Grout says of his daughter.
Texas native Ronnie Smith, described by his students as an inspiring motivator and a beloved “best friend,” was shot by gunmen while jogging in a residential district in Benghazi.
Militants in the Libyan city of Benghazi claimed another American life today when gunmen shot dead a chemistry teacher while he was out jogging in an upscale residential district not far from where U.S. ambassador Christopher Stevens died last year.Thirty-three year-old Ronnie Smith was one of just a handful of Americans who have braved the risks to continue living in Benghazi following the assault last year on the U.S. consulate and a CIA annex that left Stevens dead along with three other Americans.
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THANK GOD FOR MADIBA
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In the aftermath of Nelson Mandela's death, Daily Beast Editor-in-Chief Tina Brown describes the 'tragic dynamic' between Madiba and Winnie Mandela.
She is a true inspiration. Teenage activist Malala Yousafzai has released a video statement for the first time since being shot by the Taliban last October. 'God has given me this new life,' Malala says, and in return, she is launching the Malala Fund, created to help educate children all over the world.