Mandela honored now, hated then

Nelson Mandela is being rightfully lionized in death for his heroic toppling of apartheid in South Africa

Americans today are being quite eloquent in honoring Mandela’s legacy.

That is now. But there used to be a then.

Not so long ago the highest circles in Washington considered Mandela to be an enemy of the United States, a terrorist who considered himself an opponent, not an ally, of American power.

In the 1980s, Ronald Reagan placed Mandela’s African National Congress on America’s official list of terrorist groups.

In 1985, then-Congressman Dick Cheney voted against a resolution urging that Mandela be released from jail.

In the harsh light of historical perspective, how is that for irony thick enough to cut with a chainsaw?

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