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----- Original Message ----- From: "Africa Action" <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: <email@example.com> Sent: Friday, February 07, 2003 4:03 AM Subject: Africa: Mandela & Africa on Iraq > AFRICA ACTION > Africa Policy E-Journal > February 6, 2003 (030206) > > Africa: Mandela & Africa on Iraq > (Reposted from sources cited below) > > This posting contains last week's statement by Nelson Mandela > on the threat of war in Iraq, and excerpts from two related > articles, one a commentary from Nigeria and the other an article on > the anti-war initiatives by South Africa's Ambassador at the United > Nations, Dumisani Kumalo. As the article notes, Ambassador Kumalo > was a key figure in the grassroots divestment campaign against > apartheid while based at the ACOA/Africa Fund in New York in the > 1980s, two of the predecessor organizations of Africa Action.] > Notably, the U.S. anti-war movement today includes a similar > strategy, as over 60 U.S. cities - including San Francisco, > Chicago, and Baltimore - have adopted anti-war resolutions. Africa > Action is proud of the role being played today by Ambassador > Kumalo. > > The exceptionally strong statement by the former South African > president came as the U.S. push towards war continued to > accelerate, and reflected widely held views in Africa, around the > world, and among large numbers of Americans. Former U.S. President > Jimmy Carter, while finding his fellow Nobel Prize winner's remarks > "excessive," stressed that they reflected views that should lead > U.S. leaders to reflect on the "doubt and consternation" caused by > U.S. policies. > > The African Union, meeting in Addis Ababa on February 3, also made > a statement on Iraq, reiterating the need go give diplomatic > efforts more time to work. > > U.S. groups involved in planning anti-war actions on February 15 > include United for Peace and Justice > (http://www.unitedforpeace.org) and Black Voices for Peace > (http://www.bvfp.org). Black Voices for Peace is headed by Damu > Smith, who served as executive director of the Washington Office on > Africa and the Washington Office on Africa Educational Fund (WOAEF) > in the late 1980s. WOAEF became the Africa Policy Information > Center, and is now also part of Africa Action. > > [Meanwhile, new details are emerging as journalists and activists > examine President Bush's budget commitments on HIV/AIDS. The Boston > Globe reported on February 5 that for 2004 the administration is > offsetting part of the new AIDS commitment with proposed cuts of > $191 million in other international health accounts. According to > the Global AIDS Alliance, the White House is also now pressuring > U.S. Senators to reduce total AIDS authorization for 2004 from $2.5 > billion to $2 billion, and to keep support for the Global Fund at > current low levels of $200 million a year. For an earlier Africa > Action statement on the President's announcement, see > http://www.africaaction.org/desk/index.htm] > > +++++++++++++++++end summary/introduction+++++++++++++++++++++++ > > Mandela Blasts U.S. Policy Toward Iraq > http://allAfrica.com > January 30, 2003 > > By Nelson Mandela > > Sandton, South Africa > > Former South African President Nelson Mandela strongly criticised > U.S. policy toward Iraq in a speech delivered Thursday to the > International Women's Forum meeting in Sandton, South Africa. The > speech, on the theme of Courageous Leadership for Global > Transformation, was recorded by SABC. What follows are excerpts > from that speech. > > It's a tragedy what is happening, what Bush is doing. All Bush > wants is Iraqi oil. There is no doubt that the U.S. is behaving > badly. Why are they not seeking to confiscate weapons of mass > destruction from their ally Israel? This is just an excuse to get > Iraq's oil. > > We have not had world wars in 57 years, and it is because of the > United Nations. We should condemn both [British Prime Minister > Tony] Blair and Bush and let them know in no uncertain terms that > what they are doing is wrong. Other international countries like > France and Russia must influence the United Nations to condemn what > he [Bush] is doing. > > Bush is now undermining the United Nations. He is acting outside > it, not withstanding the fact that the United Nations was the idea > of President Roosevelt and Winston Churchill. Both Bush, as well as > Tony Blair, are undermining an idea which was sponsored by their > predecessors. They do not care. Is it because the secretary-general > of the United Nations [Ghanaian Kofi Annan] is now a black man? > [APPLAUSE] They never did that when secretary-generals were white. > > What is the lesson of them acting outside the United Nations? Are > they saying any country which believes that they will not be able > to get the support of the countries with a veto [in the United > Nations] are entitled to go outside the United Nations and to > ignore it? Or are they saying we, the United States, are the only > superpower in the world now, [so] we can act as we like? Are they > saying this is a lesson we should follow or are they saying 'we are > special, what we do should not be done by anybody [else]?' > > If there is a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities in > the world, it is the United States of America. [APPLAUSE] They > don't care for human beings. Fifty-seven years ago, when Japan was > retreating on all fronts, they decided to drop the atom bomb in > Hiroshima and Nagasaki; killed a lot of innocent people, who are > still suffering the effects of those bombs. > > Those bombs were not aimed against the Japanese, they were aimed > against the Soviet Union to say, 'look, this is the power that we > have. If you dare oppose what we do, this is what is going to > happen to you'. Because they are so arrogant, they decided to kill > innocent people in Japan, who are still suffering from that. > > Who are they, now, to pretend that they are the policemen of the > world? [APPLAUSE] To want to decide for the people in Iraq what > they should do with their government and with their leadership? > > If this is done by the United Nations, if the United Nations says > that 'Saddam Hussein is not carrying out the resolutions of the > United Nations, therefore we the United Nations are going to take > action,' I will support that without reservation. [APPLAUSE] > > What I am condemning is that one power, with a president who has no > foresight, who cannot think properly, [LAUGHTER] is now wanting to > plunge the world into a holocaust. I am happy that the people of > the world - especially those of the United States of America - are > standing up and opposing their own president. > > I hope that that opposition will one day make him understand that > he has made the greatest mistake of his life in trying to bring > about carnage and to police the world, without any authority of the > international body. It is something we have to condemn without > reservation. > > I only hope that the people of the United States will make Bush > aware that he has made a big mistake to want to surpass the global > body, the United Nations, whose ideals are to bring peace and > eradicate wars. > > The people of the U.S. should use their democracy to get rid of > him. It is best for the U.S. to use the ballot box and > demonstrations to draw attention to the issue. [LOUD AND SUSTAINED > APPLAUSE] > > And the women at this forum are there to look into these things, to > be bold with their leadership and to condemn what is wrong. > > And finally, we have of course the question of globalisation in > this country. As [the former South African High Commissioner to the > United Kingdom and current CEO of South African Tourism (SATOUR)] > Cheryl Carolus has said, somebody who is saying he or she is not > going to accept globalisation, is like saying I do not recognise > winter, I am not going to put on clothing for winter! > > She has put it very well, because what happens today in northern > Europe has got an effect on our region the same day. Globalisation > is already there, whether we like it or not. > > And of course globalisation at the present moment favours the rich > and the mighty. We have to fight that. It must favour all human > beings, whether in Europe or in Africa. And I'm sure this is the > task of this forum to make sure that such irregularities are > rectified. > > Thank you very much. > > ************************************************************* > > Bush And Mandela's Moral Challenge > Daily Trust (Abuja) > February 3, 2003 > > By Issa Aremu > > [excerpts: full text at > http://allafrica.com/stories/200302030025.html] > > US President, George W. Bush "has no foresight" and "cannot think > properly." And that is official and authoritative. The > authoritative verdict is that of Nobel Peace laureate and former > South African President, Nelson Mandela. Perhaps there can be no > such authority on foresight than Mandela himself who as far back as > 1961 when others were blind to see it all declared; "No power on > earth can stop an oppressed people determined to win their > freedom." His foresight and deep-seated resolve together with > that of millions of other compatriots saw South African black > people through the tyranny of apartheid, notwithstanding his > exceptional singular sacrifice of 27 years in prison. Bush can > certainly ignore rhetoric from Iraq and North Korea to his own > chosen war-path but he can only ignore this exceptional moral > challenge from Mandela at his own moral peril and consequent > political decline. > > It is not just that the message comes from Madiba but precisely > because true to most of his worthy interventions since retirement > (without being tired) the latest from Mandela carries similar words > of wisdom meant to rescue humanity form those bent on destroying > it. > > Take for instance Mandela's charge that Bush lacks foresight. > Nothing could be more charitable because yours sincerely thinks > that together with lack of foresight the President of the most > powerful (not necessarily the most moral) country on earth also > lacks benefit of hindsight. When Bush declared that regardless of > UN and increasing anti-war global coalition, America would 'go it > alone', it was clear that memory is in short memory in Washington. > America and indeed any nation cannot go it alone in our ever > interdependent world. It is not just about some brute force or > brutal power but about a painful reality that we all need each > other after all. > > In late August 2001, Bush and his arrogant and ignorant team > ignored the world opinion and boycotted Durbar UN conference on > Racism and Xenophobia on the account and assumption that America > could go it alone and disregard resolutions that were not > favourable to its positions with regards to Israel and Palestine. > It was a great paradox that a month after, in the wake of > September 11 terror attacks, America actually needed the world than > the world needed it! All of a sudden, American unilateralism gave > way to world multilateralism as the world rose in solidarity to > condemn terrorism and join US in solidarity and support with > Africa inclusive. > > ... > > ************************************************************* > > Sunday Times - South Africa > http://www.sundaytimes.co.za > Feb. 2, 2003 > > [excerpts: for full text visit Sunday Times website] > > Our man shakes up the UN > > South Africa's ambassador has led a spirited campaign against the > US going to war, writes Justice Malala > > It is an icy Wednesday morning in New York and Dumisani Shadrack > Kumalo, South Africa's ambassador to the United Nations, is running > again. > > He has just been told that an important vote is about to take place > in the UN General Assembly, and he rushes out of his office, jumps > into a car and gets dropped off at the UN headquarters. ... > > Kumalo has become one of the most important and powerful > politicians in the UN. Although acknowledged across the spectrum as > popular and hardworking since his appointment in April 1999, > respect for him has grown with the crisis surrounding Iraq. > > Kumalo, representing South Africa as leader of the Non-Aligned > Movement and the African Union, essentially opposed the US by > requesting that debates on Iraq take place not behind the closed > doors of the 15-member UN Security Council but in the General > Assembly, where all countries could take part. > > He made it possible for the world to express its views on the US's > intention to attack Iraq. Until Kumalo's intervention in October, > the debate had been limited to the ambassadors of the US, Russia, > China, Britain and France. No longer. > > "We cannot dictate to the Security Council. But we, as UN member > states, do have the right to have our views expressed before them, > so they know how we feel about this particular issue," Kumalo said > at the time. > > The debate led to so many countries expressing outrage at the > prospect of war that UN weapons inspectors were dispatched to Iraq > with the world assured, at least for the time being, that they > would be allowed to do their work. > > The debate also gave notice to the US that the world disapproved of > its belligerence. > > Last week, when UN inspection leaders Hans Blix and Mohammed El > Baradei reported back to the UN, Kumalo had managed to ensure that > their report was available to all members of the UN, not just the > Security Council. > > His interventions have led to acknowledgement that the debate on > the "war on terror" has many sides, and that developing countries > can raise a voice against wars that have the potential to devastate > them. "All we have done as South Africa is prove that you do not > need to be in the Security Council to contribute to international > peace and security. We have forced the only public debate on Iraq, > where more than 100 countries spoke," Kumalo says. > > Organisations like the UN were founded to preserve peace, not > support wars, he says, lamenting the fact that the organisation's > work is largely bureaucratic. The UN needs to focus more on > "helping poor people", he says. > > "That is why it would be a shame if there is a war. Think of our > neighbours in Africa. If this war goes on it means the price of oil > goes through the roof. It is not the petrol that people think > about. It is the poor people who rely on paraffin who will suffer. > It will be the farmers who rely on diesel," he says. > > "If paraffin goes up 50 cents a litre, then it will wipe out a lot > of people because we are going into winter in our part of the > world. War for us is a non-starter." > > But tackling the US does not mean Kumalo is unaware of what the US > and Britain, supported by other countries, might decide to do. He > acknowledges that war may indeed be imminent. > > After US President George W Bush's speech this week indicating that > war may come soon, Kumalo said: "I am a perpetual optimist. I think > that war can be avoided. You can't work in the UN and be about war. > > "The US may still end up going to war, but I hope we allow the > international ways of dealing with issues to prevail. The truth is > we are talking about the world's only superpower and if they decide > to attack Iraq then they certainly can do so. Nobody can stop them. > We just wish and hope that they will consider that other people > around the world think otherwise." > > Throughout Kumalo's interventions in the UN, he has kept up his wit > and charm, and he gives the impression that he is always having > fun. His style is a mixture of the Left-leaning intellectual and > the street-smart township boy, essentially a diplomat who knows how > to fight - and how far he can take a fight. > > His large frame and booming voice make his presence felt at > gatherings, and his laugh is a fixture in the corridors of the UN. > His colleagues at the world organisation say the friendly exterior > hides a man whose commitment to President Thabo Mbeki's vision of > a united and prosperous developing world is unshakeable. > > His toughness was apparent in his life before the UN. After working > as a journalist for the Sunday Times, Drum and The World, Kumalo > fled into exile in the US in 1977. He dedicated his life to > campaigning against apartheid. > > While in New York, he was attached to the ANC's UN mission, > interacting with the Special Committee Against Apartheid. Kumalo > also served as projects director of the Africa Fund, a US > non-governmental organisation that spurred more than 30 states, 400 > universities and scores of cities to remove their pension funds > from US banks and companies that were doing business with the > apartheid regime. > > During that time, Kumalo and others picketed the South African > mission to the UN so regularly and ferociously that it moved to a > residential area (where US law prohibits demonstrations) just to > avoid him. Today, he sits in the office where, in the 1980s, a > letter was written to him saying he was not welcome back home in > South Africa because of his picketing. > > Kumalo returned to South Africa to vote in the first democratic > election, and in the UN there is a postcard showing him leading > Soweto residents to vote on April 27 1994. > > In 1997, he returned to South Africa more permanently to head the > Department of Foreign Affairs' US desk. In April 1999 he accepted > the job of ambassador to the UN. > > Kumalo believes the UN is one of the most difficult diplomatic > postings because one deals with a plethora of issues, not just one > country and its laws. > > On Wednesday morning he dealt with issues and delegates from > Rwanda, Britain, the Palestinian Authority and the US - and that > doesn't count those who stopped him in the corridors of the UN. > > His deep opposition to the proposed war on Iraq may give the > impression that he is against the US, but Kumalo says he is > sympathetic to Americans' feelings, particularly about the > September 11 terrorist attacks. For years he worked across the > street from the World Trade Center at the American Committee on > Africa and spent a lot of time in the twin towers. > > On September 11 he had intended to go to the World Trade Center to > buy a pair of shoes (he buys all his shoes at the same shop because > his feet are wide and most shoes are narrow), but his wife's flight > from South Africa was delayed so he did not go. > > Waiting at the office, he saw fire coming out of the first tower > and saw the second aircraft hit. "To me the events of that day had > a personal effect. I personally knew many people who worked in > there, who died there. > > "I used to do everything at the World Trade Center. It was a > personal shock, and a shock for everyone else. > > "So the US was woken up to the fact that terrorism touches > everyone. The challenge for them is how to respond. The > disadvantage that the US faces is that it is a major power. It is > like an elephant: when it reacts the people on the receiving end > experience it as an avalanche. > > "The US has the right to defend itself. The only thing we are > saying is that in defending itself we must not break the norms and > rules that the international community has agreed to," he says. > > Asked if the onus is not on the Iraqis to produce the weapons they > are allegedly hoarding, Kumalo says: "Maybe there is nothing there. > It is also good to know that there is nothing, because that means > we must leave the sanctions and allow the people of Iraq to rebuild > their country. > > "That is precisely the point: for the inspectors to go and find > whatever there is and destroy it. The state we are all shooting for > is a state of nothing, no weapons of mass destruction." > > The Iraq debate has put a spotlight on the effectiveness of the UN > as an institution and many commentators have asked what the future > holds for it if the US decides, unilaterally, to go to war. For > Kumalo, who is one of the facilitators of a committee to revitalise > the UN, the challenge is to make its General Assembly more > powerful. > > "This whole Iraq issue is being handled only in the Security > Council, but it is really an issue which should be in the General > Assembly and be dealt with by the 191 members. Unfortunately for > us, the assembly is not at the strength where it can deal with such > issues," he says. > > "If the UN were really about doing its work, then it would be > dealing with issues of poverty and underdevelopment. Those are the > issues the UN should be about. War only adds to misery." > > Kumalo's efforts at the UN mean he is always in demand, always on > the move between meetings and speeches and functions. > > But these days everyone at the UN knows that when the man who is > always running stops to talk about Iraq, a lot of important people > stop to reflect. And that includes the leaders of the world's most > powerful country, the United States of America. > > +++++++++++++++++++++Document Profile+++++++++++++++++++++ > > Date distributed (ymd): 030206 > Region: Continent-Wide > Issue Areas: +security/peace+ +US policy focus+ > > ************************************************************ > The Africa Action E-Journal is a free information service > provided by Africa Action, including both original > commentary and reposted documents. 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