By the time you read this sentence, George W. Bush will probably have shoved his foot into his mouth again. But at least Nelson Mandela will still be off the Terrorist Watch List. The White House finally removed Mandela from the Bush Administration’s list of the world’s evil-doers–and only a week after Bush trimmed North Korea and Kim Jong Il from the ranks of the “axis of evil.”
The Nobel Peace Prize winner was placed on Bush’s terrorist watch list because of his affiliation with the anti-Apartheid African National Congress, a group that fought — and won, in 1994 — to end white minority rule of the National Party, which was responsible for legalized racial segregation.
Mandela was persecuted for his fight against the government that led Aparthied throughout Southern Africa between 1948 and 1994. He was imprisoned for 27 years before becoming South Africa’s first democratically elected president.
But under the Bush Administration, Nelson Mandela couldn’t visit the United States without special U.S. clearance. On Tuesday, Bush signed a bill that would give Homeland Security and the State Department the authority to waive restrictions against ANC members. Bush Administration provisions to the Immigration and Nationality Act (1956) made Mandela a “deportable alien” and defined him as being associated with terrorist activity.
Meanwhile, last week, Bush removed North Korea, which tested nuclear devices two years ago, from his famous “axis of evil” global terrorist list. That means there’s an opening in the jigsaw puzzle of wrong-doers for someone to fill. Could it be….an even more “evil” and terrorist-ready Iraq?