We Cold Warriors Were Wrong About Mandela

Roundup: Talking About History
tags: Cold War, conservatism, Nelson Mandela

Deroy Murdock is a contributing editor to National Review.

My friend James Deciuttis once asked me very directly, “Are you ever wrong?” It was not asked with bile, but very straightforwardly, as if asking if I ever had visited Spain.

I told James that if he referred to my writing, speaking, and political activism, I have made many bad calls and misjudgments. I can look forward to a brand-new year of them in just 28 days. In one particular case, however, I really blew one thing very, very, very badly. But I was not alone.

Like many other anti-Communists and Cold Warriors, I feared that releasing Nelson Mandela from jail, especially amid the collapse of South Africa’s apartheid government, would create a Cuba on the Cape of Good Hope at best and an African Cambodia at worst....

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