Read this news story from 1986 and imagine if South Africa was a different country, with a different relationship to the U.S. From the New York Times. Pay attention to all the moral stances adopted by senators, and remember that apartheid did not fall for another four years.
The Senate voted today [78-21] to override President Reagan’s veto of legislation imposing stiff economic sanctions on South Africa. In doing so it rejected his pleas for support as he prepares to meet Mikhail S. Gorbachev, the Soviet leader, in Iceland..
Senator Richard G. Lugar, the Indiana Republican who heads the Foreign Relations Committee and was the chief sponsor of the measure, appealed in emotional terms to Pretoria to heed the action taken by Congress.
”As a friend of that Government we are saying wake up!” he said.
After the vote, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, said: ”The Senate’s action today expressed the best ideals of the American people. The message to countries all over the world is, the United States will lead, and we’re proud to lead.”
The sanctions, indeed, go further than those enacted Sept. 16 by the European Community. Those ban new investment and imports of gold coins, iron and steel from South Afric…
Senator Alan Cranston, a California Democrat, summed up this symbolism when he said, ”The Senate must decide whether we stand with the oppressed or with the oppressors.”
Oh and look at this. Shades of the war on terror, and radical Islam, the clash of civilizations:
Mr. Reagan’s supporters … predicted that by undermining the Pretoria Government, Congress would hasten the triumph of Communist-inspired forces in South Africa.
”The thrust of this legislation,” said Senator Jesse Helms, a North Carolina Republican, ”is to bring about violent, revolutionary change, and after that, tyranny.”
Thanks to Scott Roth, who has been on this story for several months now.
When Nelson Mandela does die, Obama will speak all sorts of stuff about apartheid, all the while ignoring it in Israel/Palestine.
— Scott Roth (@scottroth76) June 24, 2013