Mandela On US War Plans

D OC donaloc at
Wed Sep 11 03:41:20 MDT 2002

NEWSWEEK: Why are you speaking out on Iraq? Do you want to mediate, as you
tried to on the Mideast a couple of years ago? It seems you are reentering
the fray now.

Nelson Mandela: If I am asked, by credible organizations, to mediate, I will
consider that very seriously. But a situation of this nature does not need
an individual, it needs an organization like the United Nations to mediate.
We must understand the seriousness of this situation. The United States has
made serious mistakes in the conduct of its foreign affairs, which have had
unfortunate repercussions long after the decisions were taken. Unqualified
support of the Shah of Iran led directly to the Islamic revolution of 1979.
Then the United States chose to arm and finance the [Islamic] mujahedin in
Afghanistan instead of supporting and encouraging the moderate wing of the
government of Afghanistan. That is what led to the Taliban in Afghanistan.
But the most catastrophic action of the United States was to sabotage the
decision that was painstakingly stitched together by the United Nations
regarding the withdrawal of the Soviet Union from Afghanistan. If you look
at those matters, you will come to the conclusion that the attitude of the
United States of America is a threat to world peace. Because what [America]
is saying is that if you are afraid of a veto in the Security Council, you
can go outside and take action and violate the sovereignty of other
countries. That is the message they are sending to the world. That must be
condemned in the strongest terms. And you will notice that France, Germany
Russia, China are against this decision. It is clearly a decision that is
motivated by George W. Bush’s desire to please the arms and oil industries
in the United States of America. If you look at those factors, you’ll see
that an individual like myself, a man who has lost power and influence, can
never be a suitable mediator.


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