|Nelson Mandela (1918-2013)|
There will be more eloquent speeches and elegies sung elsewhere by more capable people than I. What I wish to highlight is Mr. Mandela's transformation from a typical 1960's violent type into a man of peace, forgiveness, and reconciliation. For it was he, as a man of peace, who won freedom and equality for his people in a new multiracial country.
He was wrong, though, in pushing for normalization of same-sex marriage and in this, South Africa's general culture wisely resists him. His criticism of the U.S. and the U.K. at the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom sounded to me unfounded at the time, for Mandela accused them of undermining the U.N. when in my view back then it was precisely the opposite, that not enforcing all those sanctions against Iraq made the U.N. collective security arrangement as a caricature. The latter mishandling of the war and the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq do not change my initial assessment of that conflict.
Nevertheless, even icons are entitled to human limitations and foibles and our Lord knows I have my own.
Let me finish by stating Nelson Mandela was a peacemaker and as such, an inheritor of the earth.
Nelson Mandela: gone to his eternal reward. He was 95.