What if President Obama had presided over a scandal half as scandalous as Iran-Contra?
As with Saddam Hussein, Noriega enjoyed American support until he turned into a wayward ally who had to be overthrown. Noriega made himself valuable to the US during the Contra wars when he allowed the US to set up listening posts in Panama and by helping the US campaign against the leftist Sandinista regime in Nicaragua. Noriega allowed Panama to be used as a conduit for US money and weapons for the Contras as then US president Ronald Reagan sought to undermine the Sandinistas.
Noriega Bush cocaine kingpin
- In 1989, Guillermo Endara was elected Panama’s president, but current leader Manuel Noriega refused to acknowledge Endara’s victory or relinquish power. In addition to this dictatorial behavior, Noriega had been accused of spying on the U.S., as well as using Panama to traffic drugs into the U.S.
Only the small army of federal agents watching them knew that it was all a lie.
How many so-called ‘tribal wars’ wars have been fought with USA weapons, over resources that end up in the USA?
On January 29, 2003, prior to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Mandela said,
“It’s a tragedy what is happening, what Bush is doing. All Bush wants is Iraqi oil. There is no doubt that the US is behaving badly. Why are they not seeking to confiscate weapons of mass destruction from their ally,
“It’s a tragedy what is happening, what Bush is doing. All Bush wants is Iraqi oil. There is no doubt that the US is behaving badly. Why are they not seeking to confiscate weapons of mass destruction from their ally, Israel? This is just an excuse to get Iraq’s oil.”
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In an interview with Newsweek in 2002, in the run-up to the Iraq war, Mandela also singled out Israel and the hypocrisy surrounding the west’s stance on the Jewish state and its nuclear weapons stockpile: “Neither Bush nor Tony Blair has provided any evidence that such weapons exist [in Iraq]. But what we know is that Israel has weapons of mass destruction. Nobody talks about that. Why should there be one standard for one country, especially because it is black, and another one for another country, Israel, that is white.”
Speaking at the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People event in Pretoria in 1997, Mandela declaimed: “We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.. Yes, all of us need to do more in supporting the struggle of the people of Palestine for self-determination.”
Let’s be clear: Mandela was far from perfect in his foreign policy stances. He lauded Colonel Gaddafi as “Brother Leader” and a “friend” and admired the late despot so much that he named his grandson ‘Gaddafi’; he lavished praise on Fidel Castro and called Cuba “a source of inspiration to all freedom-loving people”. (Then again, to be fair to Madiba, Gaddafi-led Libya and Castro-led Cuba backed the ANC’s struggle against apartheid in the 1980s while the US and UK governments, under Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, dismissed the ANC as “terrorists” and Israel, as Chris McGreal has revealed, “provided expertise and technology that was central to [apartheid] South Africa’s development of its nuclear bombs”.)