© Barry Chin/ Boston Globe
The crowd of people, estimated at 250,000, at the Hatch Shell sang the national anthem of the African National Congress, the leading antiapartheid group in South Africa.
In the summer of 1990, four months after being released from prison, Nelson Mandela went on a triumphant tour of the United States. I remember his visit to Boston where he spoke before a crowd of 250,000 gathered on the Esplanade. It was a festive atmosphere with lots of bands playing music from different parts of the world, families with children, ordinary people, and activists, young and old. The sense of hope was palpable. In South Africa, the people had won! There was even hope that Boston's troubled racial history of the 1970s and 1980s could be overcome. The mayor at the time, Ray Flynn, recalled the event:
"It was the first time that I recall standing and looking out at a massive audience and seeing white and black, young and old, people from the neighborhoods, people from the suburbs," Flynn said. "It was almost like a Celtics celebration, only this had a greater significance than even that."
Just a few months earlier, the Berlin Wall had fallen in November 1989. People were crossing boundaries and breaking bonds that had held them back. Not all the uprisings were successful, the Tiananmen Square uprising in China in June 1989 was brutally suppressed, but overall you could feel the sense of hope for a better world.

There was only one problem. In the United States, the Bush family was in power. If there was one thing the Bushes could not abide, it is ordinary people rising up against their oppressors. That sort of thing goes against their whole business model. So the sense of hope had to be crushed, and sure enough, just several weeks after Mandela's tour, the world was plunged into what felt like something from the 1930s when Iraq invaded Kuwait. There were news reports of forces massing on the border with Saudi Arabia. An old-style war between invading nation states? Could this really be happening?

© Barry Chin/Boston Globe
June 23, 1990: Dancing to the finale music after his speech at the Hatch Shell on Boston's Esplanade, Nelson Mandela was flanked by Senator Edward Kennedy and Mayor Raymond Flynn.

The fall of the Berlin Wall, November 1989
We learned later that the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq was set up by the Bush regime. Saddam Hussein fell right into George H.W. Bush's trap. The United States ambassador to Iraq at the time, April Glaspie, had met with Saddam Hussein and Iraqi foreign minister Tariq Aziz on July 25, 1990.

U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie, shaking hands with Saddam Hussein
Glaspie's cable back to Washington with her summary of the meeting stated that she told them, "We have no opinion on your Arab-Arab conflicts, such as your dispute with Kuwait. Secretary Baker has directed me to emphasize the instruction, first given to Iraq in the 1960s, that the Kuwait issue is not associated with America."

In diplomatic-speak this is as good as saying, "Go ahead, invade. We're not interested and won't interfere". So of course Saddam Hussein thought he had a green light, backed by his allies in Washington. Big mistake. The Bush administration had set up the Iraqis, and given the hope that the world was feeling in those heady days, the timing couldn't have been better for the pathocratic regime in Washington.

As an added bonus, many billions, perhaps even trillions, of dollars have been made by the Masters of War in the decades since. Two generations of soldiers on both sides have been poisoned with depleted uranium and a whole smorgasbord of lethal chemicals, leading to a weakened population and even more profits for the medical-industrial complex.

The First Gulf War
So as we remember the exemplary life and very real successes of Nelson Mandela, we must keep in mind that, until the human race wakes up to the reality that we are ruled by predatory psychopaths, victories and hope will only prove temporary. It seems that whenever the world begins to move in a good direction, the pathocrats pull something out of their bag of tricks to put a stop to it. The assassination of the Kennedys and MLK, 9/11... the list goes on and on.