Gingrich: Reagan was 'Absolutely Committed' to Ending Apartheid

Image: Gingrich: Reagan was 'Absolutely Committed' to Ending Apartheid

Wednesday, 11 Dec 2013 10:36 AM

By Lisa Barron

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
    A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
In the wake of Nelson Mandela's death, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is striking out at critics of Ronald Reagan's policy on South Africa, defending the former president against charges that he embraced apartheid.

"Many of the Mandela remembrances have noted Reagan's veto of economic sanctions against South Africa as well as the State Department's addition of the African National Congress to the terrorist list — saying this proves Reagan supported apartheid," Gingrich, a 2012 presidential candidate and now the co-host of CNN's "Crossfire," wrote in an editorial Tuesday.

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama's Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll

"As someone who at the time was immersed in the debate over South Africa as a member of Congress, I can attest that this is a slanderous mischaracterization of the Reagan policy."

In his commentary, he recalled that Reagan vetoed a House bill passing sanctions, only to have Congress override the veto. But Gingrich said, "Reagan's critics are wrong to say his opposition to economic sanctions made him pro-apartheid. He disagreed with our group of activist Republicans in Congress over tactics, not over the aim of ending the institution. The President was absolutely committed to that goal, even if some of our other conservative colleagues were not."

Gingrich continued, "Reagan 'detested' apartheid, as he wrote in his diary and said publicly, but thought sanctions would be counterproductive to ending it. In particular, he believed punishing South Africa economically would only have 'hurt the very blacks we're trying to help.' This was a position Reagan shared with Gatsha Buthelezi, the head of the Zulus, among other black South Africans."

Gingrich also pointed out that Reagan issued an executive order restricting military and official relations between Washington and Pretoria, and that he sent close aide William Clark to South Africa to express opposition to its system of racial segregation.

"There, as four Reagan biographers wrote recently in The Washington Post, 'an unsmiling Clark told Prime Minister Pieter W. Botha to his face that the new president and administration abhorred apartheid,' and ended up walking out on him," Gingrich said.

Reagan later appointed Edward Perkins as the first black American ambassador to South Africa, Gingrich noted, saying that the "only modern equivalent might be appointing a woman ambassador to Saudi Arabia."

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama's Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll

"Reagan was not silent about the imprisonment of Mandela, either," Gingrich wrote. "He argued in a 1986 speech that 'Nelson Mandela should be released to participate in the country's political process' and counted this step as a 'necessary component of progress toward political peace.'"

"This is not the record left-wing pundits looking to smear Reagan have been presenting," he added.

Related stories:

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

North Korea Denounces Obama for Shutting Down Its Internet

Friday, 26 Dec 2014 23:49 PM

North Korea called President Barack Obama a monkey and blamed the U.S. on Saturday for shutting down its Internet amid . . .

Obama Contradicts Polls, Says Racial Divisions Reduced

Friday, 26 Dec 2014 19:37 PM

The nation is less racially divided today than it was six years ago, President Barack Obama says. In an excerpt from a 4 . . .

Foundation's Scott Neil: Injured Green Berets Need Your Help

Friday, 26 Dec 2014 16:42 PM

A group of dedicated military veterans is asking for help in their quest to provide financial assistance to Green Berets . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved