In the 1980s, President Reagan of the US and Prime Minister Thatcher of the UK committed their governments to the South African apartheid regime, an action which was later entitled “constructive engagement“. This engagement meant that the US and the UK would veto all impositions of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) against the South African regime. Their populist justification for this action was constructed based upon their belief in free trade and the anti-Marxist nature of the apartheid government.
Thatcher, one of the most hated Prime Ministers of all time for whom British politicians held a state funeral in 2013, declared the African National Congress (ANC) a terrorist organisation. Her spokesperson said once that anyone thinking that the ANC would ever form a government in South Africa was “living in a cloud cuckoo land“.
By the 1990s, everything changed. The under-pressure politicians, although not happy with it, decided to support the public consensus over the issue and imposed sanctions on the apartheid government of South Africa. Britain’s extensive investments in South Africa meant that any sanctions against the regime would result in considerable impacts on the economy. And that was the reason why the apartheid regime of South Africa failed, and fell eventually.
Unfortunately, however, the nature of politics never changed in Britain or the United States. David Cameron and George Osborne (UK chancellor of exchequer) both cried during Thatcher funeral. This meant only one thing to me: ‘they would have done the same’.
And indeed, they are doing the same; in Gaza.
But unlike them, I have learnt my history and hence am confident that they will fail just as well. As they did in South Africa, in Vietnam, in India, and so on and so forth. Colonialism will no longer work. Oppression will no longer work. People who couldn’t see then, can see now. After all, we live in the era of telecommunications. Politicians may never learn; nonetheless, the history won’t hesitate to repeat itself.
You can wake someone who is sleep, but you can never wake someone who pretends to be sleep.