Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Nelson Mandela: Not A Terrorist

This is the kind of country I live in, now. Nelson Mandela, a man whose decades-long struggle against apartheid was praised by people and politicians on every point of the political spectrum, has been listed as a terrorist by the United States government. Being on the list means you cannot enter, or travel within, the United States.

It was his activities as a member of the African National Congress many years ago (activities that landed him in an apartheid-era prison) that landed him on the terrorist list. These are the same activities that made him a hero.

My country, however, led by a bunch of corporate apologists for the last 28 years, is more interested in passing along security contracts to their buddies than in the integrity of my nation's policies. Since the Bush Administration is spending billions on pretending to protect the United States, who from that Administration is paying attention to the terrorist watch list?

Why did it take an act of congress sponsored by John Kerry, Bob Corker, and Sheldon Whitehouse, to make this happen. Wasn't anyone in the Bush Administration, since they are so concerned about terrorists, terrorism, terrorist imprisonment, and terrorist watch lists, able to look at this list and think: "Hey, maybe the former President of South Africa, a hero or global proportions, doesn't belong on our list?"

Apparently not.

But, such is the nation I live in. We can't clothe our naked, or educate our young, or house or homeless, or heal our sick; why, in God's name, would I think we could maintain an accurate list of international terrorists? Especially now that we spend billions pretending to track them.

We can't pass laws that feed the hungry, because we are too busy passing laws that prevent freedom of movement for citizens and visitors alike.

You can't get a passport to leave the country without waiting months for processing, and if the Bush Administration's corporate lackeys don't like you, you can't get in.

From UPI: Mandela removed from U.S. terrorism list

Is this really still the land of the free and the home of the brave?

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