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View Diary: Donna Brazille hits it OUT OF THE PARK (222 comments)

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  •  Huh? (none)
    I agree that is one angle that can be pushed, but what you are saying is that my original point (using his lax standard of "terrorist" against him) is not a valid one, but you also "agree" with me (but perhaps that's just the part about the American Revolution).

    I'm a bit confused as to what you agree with.  I think the ANC issue is an opening to question his judgment in the holy war on terror.  You seem to disagree but I'm not totally sure about that.

    I also agree with your point, but think that its beside the point -- the ANC issue is not valuable (IMHO) in another context right now.

    •  Clarification (none)
      I'm saying that I think the ANC did what they had to do so I agree they were more freedom fighter (in the tradition of the American Revolution) than terrorist.  But I'm also saying that attacking Cheney for calling the ANC a terrorist organization is politically risky because they can refute that by pointing to several ANC attacks that killed a number of civilians.  So my point is to avoid the nuanced debate about whether the ANC was justified in their reactions to apartheid and focus on Cheney's support for the apartheid state, specifically his refusal to levy sanctions when it had massive bipartisan support.  
      •  It's my understanding... (none)
        that the ANC's actions were almost entirely sabotage against government property, and rarely if ever were people targeted. What people were killed, I believe, were soldiers/police. And again, I think those were extremely rare occurrences.

        Whereas the South African government killed and tortured civilians on a regular basis.

        •  I'm pretty sure they killed civilians (none)
          http://www.sacp.org.za/people/slovo/military.html

          This is a BBC report describing an escalation between the police and the ANC and it appears the latter was responsible for the deaths of a number of civilians and targeted a bus.  

        •  ANC (4.00)
          As an erstwhile ANC member let me take this one.  The military wing of the ANC - Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation) or MK for short - engaged in a number of military operations that led to civilian casualties.  From 1961 on, when MK was formed, attacks were primarily sabotage in form, directed mainly at power lines and that sort of thing.  However, in the 1970s, after 1976 when a generation of young black students went into exile, the number and intensity of attacks increased.  During the 1980s, MK targeted military installations primarily, but these was extended to civilian areas where military personnel frequented, thus causing a number of collateral civilian casualties.  There were also a number of incidents when poorly conceived attacks were carried out on primarily civilian establishments (e.g. Wimpy restaurants).  Whether you call this terrorism or not is something that I don't care about too much.  However, I am 100% sure that the armed struggle, in essence, was completely justified.  Had there not been an armed struggle led by a bona fide political organisation like the ANC, the country would have been 10 times more violent both then and now.  There were no MK attacks after the ANC was unbanned in Feb 1990, and later that year the armed struggle was suspended for good.
          But back to the topic at hand.  Nothing is to be gained from noting that Cheney called the ANC a terrorist organisation as they were on the State Dept terrorism list all through the Reagan years.  (This sometimes makes me curious whether I will ever be asked about my membership when entering the US)  So Cheney can easily point to that as cover.  If Reagan said it, so can Cheney.  However, Cheney did oppose a resolution calling for the release of Mandela.  This is a much more serious issue.  It is the reason Mandela is so happy to call him a dinosaur today (and if there is one person in the world whose bad side you don't want to get on, it's the old man).  Incidentally, Mandela was the prime mover behind MK in the early 60s, and was its first commander in chief, before being arrested in 1962 (if I am not mistaken) and then sentenced to life at the Rivonia trial in 1964.
          •  Big Fncking Deal! (none)
            /they [the ANC] were on the State Dept terrorism list all through the Reagan years.  (This sometimes makes me curious whether I will ever be asked about my membership when entering the US)  So Cheney can easily point to that as cover. /

            As I note below, the point it to use Mandella's name.  The Sheeple won't care about the nuances.

            As for being on Reagan's list, who the fuck cafes!  That bastard would have played Sun City fifty times over!  He also waged illegal wars in Central America, traded arms for hostages and lied about it, etc. etc. etc.  The only thing risky about this is getting to "Reagan" which will require nuance on our part.

            Cheney was "anti-Mandella."  I love us liberals appreciation of nuance, but its out the fnkcing door with it when we are talking "talking points"  and talking about "scoring points."

            Nice post otherwise, though.  Much appreciated.

            •  Mandela (4.00)
              One "l"

              I think you are missing the point of the post.  You are not going to score points off Cheney by referring to the "ANC is terrorist organisation" thing.  You are going to score points by noting he opposed Mandela's release, opposed sanctions, and was a steadfast supporter of the apartheid regime (no matter what he may or may not have said about change - which all the fuckers in the regime talked about too).

              And we are talking about scoring political points here, not about  whether this or that really was justified.  Because then it's a whole different ballgame.

              •  important clarification (none)
                thanks for making it; twice.

                cheney opposed freeing mandela and he opposed sanctions against the South African Government.

                The latter is the most important one to hit, it seems to me.

                "Consult the genius of the place in all things" - Alexander Pope

                by a gilas girl on Thu Aug 05, 2004 at 02:07:03 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Mandela / ANC (none)
                  Minor disagreement on the emphasis.  I prefer focusing on Mandela (or Madiba as we call him).  Opposing sanctions had at least some argument in favour of it, despite the fact that they were crucial in bringing down apartheid.

                  The point is to get a criticism that they can say absolutely nothing credible in response to.  Mandela is the ticket for that.  This should be kept in reserve until they start making a go for the African American vote.  Then ask, how can we support a VP who not only wants to see Mandela still in jail, but who Mandela regards as a dinosaur?

              •  ANC was not universally viewed as ``terrorists,'' (none)
                Just like IRAQ was not universally viewed as a "must invade" becuase they are a threat
                As far as the ANC, what about DICK's support of a regime that for decades, did far worse, killing and maiming everyone from political activists to infants. To me this that is far worse.

                "If at first you don't succeed, keep on sucking until you suck seed."--Curly Howard

                by JackAshe on Thu Aug 05, 2004 at 09:47:29 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  ANC / Cheney (none)
                  No, of course it wasn't universally regarded as a terrorist organisation.  Otherwise I would have much greater difficulty joining.

                  But the question is not about whether the ANC really was this or that.  The question is about what kinds of points can create political damage for Cheney.  Opposing Mandela's release, opposing sanctions (to a lesser extent), and supporting the regime (in general) are far more effective.  

              •  Focus on Mandela, not the ANC (none)
                Hyping that Cheney accused Nelson Mandela of being part of a terrorist group is a winner.

                No need to use the ANC unless someone wants to delve into it, then you connect the dots and bring in the points you mention.

                cheers,

                Mitch Gore

                No one will change America for you. You must work to make it happen.

                by Lestatdelc on Thu Aug 05, 2004 at 09:15:53 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  asdffdjftjrtujr (none)
            Great points, I had forgotten that Cheney opposed Mandela's release.  So that's the theme, he supported a segregationist, racist regime and opposed the release of a Stateman like Mandela, the same man who brought the country of South Africa together peacefully upon his release.  
            •  Nice theme . . (none)
              Sure, that's a nice theme, but no one is going to listen to it this election cycle.

              In case you hadn't noticed, "war" "strength" and "terrorism" is on the menu.  Stance on segregationist regimes is not.

              •  7680678 (none)
                Let me tell you, the stronger the black turnout the better, we should hit this big time.  
                •  My last try (none)
                  1.  Yes, high Black voter turnout would be good.
                  2.  Talking about Mandella out of the blue and saying that Cheney said bad things about him would just confuse the fnck out of the media.
                  They would say:  WTF are you talking about Mandella for?  That shit happened years and years ago.

                  OTOH, Iraq and terrorism has some currency.  You see my point?

                  •  mandela (none)
                    First, you are focusing on Mandela, my theme's focus is on Cheney supporting a segregationist regime (we should characterize apartheid in such a way to make it more relatable).  Mandela is part of this, but secondary, we should think this Cheney vote up with the idea of two Americas and our desire to lead the country into unity.  And, off course taking a vote from the mid 80s and demagoging it relentlessly is a little out of the blue and irrelevant, but also completely effective if you have watched the REpublicans do this shit time and again.

                    Look how much hay the republicans made out of a Kerry vote from 13 years ago that corrected an overpayment to the intelligence services.  Somehow they turned that into, Kerry has always voted to slash the funding for Intelligence and even wanted to abolish the CIA.  

                    Cheney can't defend his vote supporting apartheid, anything he says will sound weak. And that's the focus, they are dividers not unitors, Bush is a man who chose a guy who voted to support a segregationist regime and made him the most powerful VP in history.  If the repubs can turn a Kerry's 1991 technocratic vote into an ad for pansy liberal pacificsm, we can take Cheney's extraordinary offensive votes from the 1980s and ask the question which ticket is more concerned with bringing ALL Americans together.  

              •  how about a two step (none)
                Edwards: Dick Cheney opposed the release of Nelson Mandela, and call the ANC a "terrorist organization"

                Cheney: They were on the state department terrorist watch list

                Edwards: So Nelson Mandela is a terrorist?

                (fair? no, but who gives a shit)

                •  BINGO! (none)
                  That is it.

                  That is why this meme could and should work and be used.

                  The "terrorism" assertions is the lure. There is enough to tar the shit out of Cheney on his record on all the attendant "nuanced" issues surrounding this, but the meat and the sound-bite is just as you outline it.

                  cheers,

                  Mitch Gore

                  No one will change America for you. You must work to make it happen.

                  by Lestatdelc on Thu Aug 05, 2004 at 09:18:16 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  OK (none)
        politically risky because they can refute that by pointing to several ANC attacks that killed a number of civilians.  So my point is to avoid the nuanced debate about whether the ANC was justified in their reactions to apartheid

        We are pussies (excuse my french) if we can't both anticipate and clobber this argument that the ANC is a terrorist organization.

        •  asdf (none)
          There is nothing pussy in framing the debate the way we want to, this is how the republicans have operated for years and it was Clinton's main strength.  But you have to anticipate and choose your battles.  To me, Cheney's record on South Africa should be simplified to one theme, he supported an apartheid regime, he stood in the way of an ultimately successful campaign to topple a racist and despicable government.  Why get bogged down in what he said about the ANC which did its share of (highly justifiable) dirty work that can be thrown back at us to redefine the debate.
          •  Straw Man (none)
            Why get bogged down in what he said about the ANC which did its share of (highly justifiable) dirty work that can be thrown back at us to redefine the debate.

            I'm not getting bogged down in it, you are.  My point was that this was a good vehicle to discredit Cheney in the "war on terrorism." You disagree.

            To me, if you say "Nelson Mandella" the Sheeple think "good."  To say "against Mandella" they think "bad."

            You chose to make this nuanced counterargument that I believe to be a straw man who's ass we should be ashamed of ourselves if we can't kick.

            Sounds like its on this last point that we part company.

            •  1234 (none)
              If I can get you bogged down into it, how can the republicans not?  You will talk about Mandela, and they will say that Cheney never called Mandela a terrorist, he called the ANC a terrorist organization and here is what the ANC was doing in the 1980s when Mandela had been in prison for 20 years and no longer controlled the group.  Do you really want to frame the debate in such a way that you have to defend the bombings of civilians by the ANC in the 1980s?  
              •  And . . (none)
                If you think that Chris Matthews et al. would ever let the discussion devolve that far into facts you haven't watched cable news lately, which is exactly where this sort of sound byting ought to take place.

                By the way, when you say "if I can get bogged down in it how can the republicans not" you sell yourself waaaaaaay short.  These are republicans we are talking about.  History and facts aren't their forte.

                •  final thoughts (none)
                  Well I appreciate the compliment.  Thanks, by the way, for the spirited debate.  At the end of the day we see eye to eye on the big picture I think, but I appreciate the opportunity to be challenged in a mature and civil fashion.  But the dems have to get their act together and fight fire with fire, I want to see every democratic sympathesizer, strategist and surrogate end in any discussion about any Bush policy or election issue with these words, "Americans want and need one, united America and I don't think (re)electing a vice president who defended a segregationist regime furthers that goal"
          •  Cheney (none)
            Right.  Cheney was an obstacle to the peaceful resolution of the apartheid travesty.  (As was Reagan, Thatcher and god knows who else ...)
      •  Do you hate the NYC cops for innocently killing (none)
        Amadou Diallo?

        "If at first you don't succeed, keep on sucking until you suck seed."--Curly Howard

        by JackAshe on Wed Aug 04, 2004 at 10:27:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Huh? (none)
          How is that relevant to this thread...?

          cheers,

          Mitch Gore

          No one will change America for you. You must work to make it happen.

          by Lestatdelc on Wed Aug 04, 2004 at 10:37:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Be careful with the ANC relation (none)
            because they were alleged to bomb!
            I mean we are talking about apartheid! standng up against a long tradition of racism and how much killing and suffereing did Aprtheid do?
            So to me it seems like the argument of claiming the ANC as bad becuase it bombed outweighs the eivls of apartheid is a weak one.
            So do we take the NYC cops riddling the body of an innocent man and associate such bad conotations on a universal scale like that? No.
            No one ever called Tim McVeigh and the freaky militia groups terrorists did they?
            Black Panthers were. Green Peace were. Teachers union were. You pick and chose always, but to me I think the fact that DICK called the ANC terrorists is stupid and should be pointed out, especially if he supported the regime that held onto apartheid.

            "If at first you don't succeed, keep on sucking until you suck seed."--Curly Howard

            by JackAshe on Thu Aug 05, 2004 at 09:32:37 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  a (none)
              McVeigh sure was called a terrorist by everyone.  Sometimes they would qualify his act as "domestic" terrorism, but yes everyone used that label in '95 and '96.  
              •  McVeigh was but were the militias? (none)

                "If at first you don't succeed, keep on sucking until you suck seed."--Curly Howard

                by JackAshe on Thu Aug 05, 2004 at 11:47:28 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I disagree (none)
                  The militias did take quite a beating in the press for their loose association with McVeigh, I believe he attended a few meetings and was kicked out when they realized he was even crazier than they were but the press equated McVeigh with them for awhile.  I hate to be in the position of defending Militias but considering they never really attacked anyone and almost all of them just settled for playing GI Joe in their racist, paranoid camping troups, they caught their fair share of terrorist comparisons.  Is it worse that Green Peace gets that treatment, I think so but I am much more likely to sympathize with Green Peace so there is a bias there.  
                  •  Aside from most are anti-US Government (none)
                    to begin with, having arms/guns associated with anti US government sentiment is enough for me.

                    According to the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, in 2000 there were 194 active "Patriot" groups in 2000. Of these groups, 72 were militias,3 were "common-law courts," and the rest fit into a variety of categories such as publishers,
                    ministries, and citizen's groups. The Internet and other technologies have strengthened the
                    movement, the goals of hardliners in all these groups are converging, and many have gone
                    underground. The "Patriot" groups increasingly overlap with the 602 active hate groups also
                    identified in 2000.

                    There are secret militias, there are public militias, there are right-wing militias, and there are left-wing militias. There are so many militia-inspired movements going on across the country.  There are dangerous, unpredictable consequences that can result from individuals taking the law into their own hands.

                    Their extreme anti-government ideology, along with their elaborate conspiracy theories and fascination with weaponry and paramilitary organization, lead many members of militia groups to act out in ways that justify the concerns expressed about them by public officials, law enforcement and the general public.
                    What turned the concept into reality in the early 1990s was a series of catalysts that angered people on the extreme right sufficiently to start a new movement. Although some militia movement pioneers had been active in other anti-government or hate groups earlier, most militia leaders were in fact new leaders, people who only recently had been so motivated that they were willing to take action. The events that angered them ranged from the election of Bill Clinton to the Rodney King riots to the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement. More than any other issue, though, the deadly standoffs at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, in 1992 and Waco, Texas, in 1993 ignited widespread passion. To most Americans, these events were tragedies, but to the extreme right, they were examples of a government willing to stop at nothing to stamp out people who refused to conform.
                    I think the republican/conservative right had a lot to do with fueling a lot of this.

                    "If at first you don't succeed, keep on sucking until you suck seed."--Curly Howard

                    by JackAshe on Fri Aug 06, 2004 at 10:50:42 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  well (none)
                      The Republicans fueled it sure, it was a subcategory of their Clinton-hate strategy.  Look, it is definitely a problem of great concern that there are hundreds of groups out there with thousands of members who convince themselves of the most hateful and paranoid conspiracy theories and also have themselves huge arsenals.  But, on the other hand, this phenomonen has been around for over 10 years now and there hasn't really been a whole lot of voilence associated with it.  

                      Members here and there act out and the militias are a contributing factor, but the organizations themselves aren't launching premeditated, coordinated attacks like a true terrorist group would, like the KKK used to.  The biggest act of violence associated with them is Oklahoma City and that was the responsibility of two guys who had been kicked out of one or more militias, so there is a bit of self-screening going on here.  

                      Most of these guys are just losers who like to feel they are in the know and are prepared to be the next George Washington when the U.N. paratroopers drop into Lansing.  Look how Moore depicts them in Bowling for Columbine, I think it's pretty accurate.  

                      •  News to keep us Pacified yet Scared (none)
                        Three people -- William Krar, a small-time arms dealer with connections to white supremacists; Krar's common-law wife, Judith L. Bruey; and Edward S. Feltus, the man who was supposed to have received the forged documents -- pleaded guilty in the case in November.

                        At most, the critics say, increased attention to this case could have brought more answers.

                        Arms cache in Texas leads to convictions but few answers
                        Critics fault focus on foreign threats

                        At the least, they say, if the defendants in this case had been people with foreign backgrounds or Muslims, U.S. Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft himself would have announced the arrests and the guilty pleas.

                        Instead, details of the case were revealed in a half-page press release sent to local media.

                        Officials say the case was at one point included in President Bush's daily security briefings, but it remains virtually unknown outside East Texas -- even though, critics point out, it represents an instance in which federal authorities discovered a weapon of mass destruction.
                        It's because we have people like ASScroft and others who have a warped sense of reality. I wonder if puppets like Rice and Powell sleep well at nite knowing they work with these people.

                        "If at first you don't succeed, keep on sucking until you suck seed."--Curly Howard

                        by JackAshe on Mon Aug 09, 2004 at 10:13:37 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

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