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Cablegate: Ambassador's Speech On Us Foreign Policy Towards

P 161349Z MAR 90
FM AMCONSUL CAPE TOWN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5796
INFO USIA WASHDC PRIORITY 0629
AMEMBASSY PRETORIA
AMCONSUL DURBAN
AMCONSUL JOHANNESBURG

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 CAPE TOWN 00623

DEPT FOR AF, AF/S, AND AF/P

USIA FOR VOA AND WIRELESS FILE

FROM EMBASSY CAPE TOWN

E.O. 12356: N/A
TAGS: OPRC SF
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR'S SPEECH ON US FOREIGN POLICY TOWARDS
SOUTH AFRICA

1. FOLLOWING IS THE TEXT OF A SPEECH WHICH THE
AMBASSADOR DELIVERED TO THE "PERSPECTIVES FORUM" IN
DURBAN ON MARCH 14, 1990:

QUOTE:

THIS IS A PARTICULARLY APPROPRIATE MOMENT TO DISCUSS
UNITED STATES POLICY TOWARDS SOUTH AFRICA AS EVENTS IN
SOUTH AFRICA ARE MOVING SWIFTLY. PARTICIPANTS AND
OBSERVERS ALIKE ARE HARD PRESSED TO KEEP PACE AS SOUTH
AFRICA SUDDENLY FINDS ITSELF SPOTLIGHTED IN
INTERNATIONAL NEWSMAGAZINES ALONGSIDE COUNTRIES SUCH AS
EAST GERMANY AND ROMANIA, WHERE THE WINDS OF CHANGE ARE
NOT BLOWING BUT HOWLING.

FOR MANY SOUTH AFRICANS, IT IS DOUBTLESS INVIGORATING TO
BE ON THE CUTTING EDGE OF HISTORY -- AS IT MUST BE FOR
EASTERN EUROPEANS. BUT ANALOGIES ARE SUPERFICIAL AND
SOMETIMES MISLEADING. SOUTH AFRICA IS NOT EASTERN
EUROPE. SOUTH AFRICA'S PROBLEMS ARE UNIQUE. SO TOO ARE
THE SOLUTIONS WHICH SOUTH AFRICANS THEMSELVES MUST BRING
TO THOSE PROBLEMS. IT IS SOUTH AFRICA'S UNIQUENESS THAT
POSES A PARTICULAR CHALLENGE TO AMERICANS AND OTHERS
TRYING TO FORMULATE A COHERENT FOREIGN POLICY TOWARDS
THIS COUNTRY.

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THERE ARE CONSTANT ELEMENTS IN U.S. POLICY TOWARDS SOUTH
AFRICA WHICH SPAN THE YEARS. I'D LIKE TO HIGHLIGHT
THESE. IN ADDITION, THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION DEVELOPED
ITS OWN APPROACH WHEN IT TOOK OFFICE IN EARLY 1989, AN
APPROACH WHICH HAS SOMETIMES BEEN MISUNDERSTOOD OR
MISINTERPRETED IN THIS COUNTRY. I WOULD LIKE TO CORRECT
THE RECORD. FINALLY, I'D LIKE TO DESCRIBE WHERE I
BELIEVE U.S. POLICY STANDS TODAY, IN LIGHT OF
ACCELERATING HISTORICAL TRENDS IN SOUTH AFRICA


I. UNDERLYING PRINCIPLES

FOR YEARS THERE HAS BEEN ONE CONSTANT IN THE AMERICAN
APPROACH TO SOUTH AFRICA, ONE UNASSAILABLE PRINCIPLE
UPON WHICH VIRTUALLY ALL AMERICANS AGREE: NORMAL
RELATIONS BETWEEN OUR TWO COUNTRIES ARE IMPOSSIBLE AS
LONG AS APARTHEID EXISTS AND A WHITE MINORITY HOLDS
POWER BY DENYING POLITICAL FREEDOM TO EVERYONE ELSE.
VIRTUALLY EVERY OTHER ASPECT OF OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH
SOUTH AFRICA IS SECONDARY TO THIS CONSIDERATION. IT IS,
WE BELIEVE, A STANCE WHICH A MAJORITY OF SOUTH AFRICANS
EXPECT FROM THE UNITED STATES. THE ROAD OF APARTHEID IS
A DEAD END.

OPPOSITION TO VIOLENCE HAS BEEN ANOTHER CONSTANT FEATURE
OF U.S. POLICY TOWARDS SOUTH AFRICA. THIS IS NOT ONLY A
MORAL POSITION, BUT A PRACTICAL ONE AS WELL. VIOLENCE
SIMPLY HASN'T WORKED. OFFICIAL VIOLENCE HASN'T DEFEATED
BLACK PROTEST; IT HAS DRIVEN THAT PROTEST UNDERGROUND
AND INTENSIFIED IT. THERE IS A HIGH PRICE TAG ATTACHED
TO VIOLENT REPRESSION. GOVERNMENT NEGOTIATORS, SADDLED
WITH A LEGACY OF BLACK DISTRUST AND SUSPICION, MAY SOON
BE IN A GOOD POSITION TO ASSESS THAT COST.

ANTI-APARTHEID VIOLENCE HAS ACCOMPLISHED LITTLE EXCEPT
TO RATIONALIZE, FALSELY, IN THE MINDS OF SOME THE
GOVERNMENT'S REPRESSIVE POLICIES. THE ANC'S UNBANNING
AND DE FACTO SUSPENSION OF VIOLENCE HAS ALREADY LED MANY
SOUTH AFRICANS, FOR THE FIRST TIME, TO VIEW THE ANC AS A
LEGITIMATE COMPETITOR FOR POLITICAL POWER.

THE LONG-TERM, STRATEGIC IMPORTANCE FOR THE
ANTI-APARTHEID MOVEMENT OF THIS SHIFT IN WHITE
PERCEPTIONS SHOULD NOT BE UNDERESTIMATED. THE ROAD OF
VIOLENCE, LIKE THE ROAD OF APARTHEID, IS A CUL-DE-SAC.

THERE IS, FINALLY, A THIRD LONGSTANDING COMPONENT TO
U.S. POLICY TOWARDS SOUTH AFRICA. IT IS OUR SUPPORT FOR
NEGOTIATED SOLUTIONS. SOME YEARS BACK, IT MIGHT HAVE
BEEN POSSIBLE TO ENVISION A REFORM PROCESS CONCEIVED AND
UNILATERALLY IMPLEMENTED BY THE GOVERNMENT. MOST SOUTH
AFRICANS WOULD AGREE THAT THAT IS NO LONGER A REALISTIC
POSSIBILITY. INDEED, IT IS DIFFICULT TO SEE HOW A
PEACEFUL TRANSITION TO A NON-RACIAL DEMOCRACY CAN OCCUR
WITHOUT NEGOTIATIONS. THERE ARE SIMPLY NO ALTERNATIVES,
PARTICULARLY IF THIS TRANSITION IS EXPECTED WITHIN THE
NEXT FEW YEARS. BOTH THE ROAD OF APARTHEID AND THE ROAD
OF VIOLENCE HAVE LED NOWHERE. THE ONLY ROAD OPEN TO
SOUTH AFRICA, THEREFORE, IS THE ROAD OF NEGOTIATIONS.


II. THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION'S APPROACH

SOUTH AFRICA PRESENTED THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION WITH ONE
OF ITS FIRST FOREIGN POLICY CHALLENGES. THE NEW
ADMINISTRATION'S RESPONSE WAS TO ADJUST U.S. POLICY IN
SEVERAL IMPORTANT RESPECTS.

FIRST, THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION EXPRESSED THE BELIEF THAT
SANCTIONS HAD CONTRIBUTED TO A NEW SENSE OF REALISM ON
THE PART OF THE WHITE LEADERSHIP. THE BUSH
ADMINISTRATION RECOGNIZED, HOWEVER, THAT SANCTIONS WERE
ONLY ONE AMONG MANY ELEMENTS, WITH THE INTERNAL AND
EXTERNAL OPPOSITION TO APARTHEID BEING THE PRIMARY FORCE
FOR CHANGE.

SECOND, ADDITIONAL SANCTIONS AGAINST SOUTH AFRICA WERE
RULED OUT IN LIGHT OF THE GOVERNMENT'S PROGRAM TO
ABOLISH APARTHEID. THOSE ALREADY IN PLACE HAD
ACCOMPLISHED THEIR PURPOSE OF EXERTING PSYCHOLOGICAL
PRESSURE AND IMPOSING OPPORTUNITY COSTS ON THE
MAINTENANCE OF APARTHEID. BUT IT WAS ALSO DETERMINED
THAT NEW SANCTIONS COULD BRING US TO A POINT OF
DIMINISHING RETURNS AT A TIME WHEN ALL SIDES ARE
COMMITTING THEMSELVES TO A PROCESS OF NEGOTIATIONS
LEADING TO FUNDAMENTAL CHANGE AND A NEW CONSTITUTION AND
POLITICAL ORDER.

THIRD, THE PRESIDENT MOVED QUICKLY TO MEET WITH KEY
SOUTH AFRICAN REPRESENTATIVES OF THE ANTI-APARTHEID
MOVEMENT AND TO ASSURE THEM OF OUR CONTINUING, STRONG
SUPPORT. PART OF THAT SUPPORT COMES FROM OUR UNUSUAL,
ALBEIT MODEST, AID PROGRAM IN SOUTH AFRICA, WHICH AIMS
TO ASSIST THE VICTIMS OF APARTHEID AND TO PROVIDE BLACK
SOUTH AFRICANS WITH THE EDUCATION AND MANAGERIAL,
ORGANIZATIONAL AND ENTREPRENEURIAL SKILLS NEEDED TO
ASSUME NEW LEADERSHIP RESPONSIBILITIES IN A NON-RACIAL
DEMOCRACY. THERE IS STRONG BIPARTISAN SUPPORT IN
WASHINGTON FOR ENLARGING OUR ASSISTANCE WHEN FUNDS ARE
AVAILABLE.

CLOSER COORDINATION WITH THE CONGRESS WAS ANOTHER VITAL
OBJECTIVE OF THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION. WITHOUT
BIPARTISAN AND BICAMERAL CONSENSUS, NO COHERENT U.S.
POLICY TOWARDS SOUTH AFRICA WAS CONSIDERED POSSIBLE.
SOME IN THIS COUNTRY HAVE INTERPRETED THIS SENSITIVITY
TO CONGRESSIONAL CONCERNS AS RELUCTANT PRESIDENTIAL
LEADERSHIP. IN FACT, IT IS PRAGMATIC LEADERSHIP AND IT
IS PRODUCING RESULTS BENEFICIAL TO BOTH THE U.S. AND
SOUTH AFRICA.

A CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION RECENTLY IN SOUTH AFRICA
NOTED THAT CONGESS AND THE ADMINISTRATION, FOR THE FIRST
TIME IN MEMORY, WERE SPEAKING TO SOUTH AFRICA WITH ONE
VOICE. WHAT AMERICANS ARE SAYING IS THEY RECOGNIZE THAT
CHANGE IS AT LAST TAKING PLACE AND THAT THE PROPER ROLE
OF THE UNITED STATES IS TO ENCOURAGE THE PROMISING
TRENDS SOUTH AFRICANS THEMSELVES HAVE SET IN MOTION.
THE ADMINISTRATION'S STRATEGY OF CONSULTING CLOSELY WITH
CONGRESSIONAL LEADERSHIP HELPED MAKE THIS CONSENSUS
POSSIBLE.

THE BUSH CONSENSUS STRATEGY IS A MARKED IMPROVEMENT OVER
THE TIME WHEN CONFLICTING SIGNALS FROM WASHINGTON WERE A
SOURCE OF FRUSTRATION TO ALL SIDES IN SOUTH AFRICA.
REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THEY AGREE WITH US, SOUTH AFRICANS
ARE BETTER OFF KNOWING WHERE THE UNITED STATES STANDS.

THESE BASIC ELEMENTS CONSTITUTE THE BUSH
ADMINISTRATION'S APPROACH TO SOUTH AFRICA: A FIRM
STANCE ON SANCTIONS; STRONG SUPPORT FOR PEACEFUL
RESISTANCE TO APARTHEID; OUR INVESTMENT THROUGH OUR AID
PROGRAM IN SOUTH AFRICA'S HUMAN POTENTIAL; AND CLOSE
COORDINATION WITH CONGRESS.


III. ADAPTING TO NEW REALITIES

MANY BELIEVE THAT THE TIME HAS COME FOR FURTHER
ADJUSTMENTS IN OUR APPROACH TO SOUTH AFRICA. A
CONSENSUS HAS DEVELOPED IN THE U.S. THAT A
TRANSFORMATION IS UNDERWAY IN SOUTH AFRICA AND THAT
THERE CAN BE NO GOING BACK TO THE STATUS QUO OF THE
PRE-DE KLERK PERIOD. PRESIDENT DE KLERK HAS GONE BEYOND
WORDS TO COMMENDABLE DEEDS. HIS SINCERITY IS NOT IN
QUESTION.

IN RESPONSE, THE UNITED STATES IS LENDING DIPLOMATIC AND
POLITICAL SUPPORT TO PRESIDENT DE KLERK'S POSITIVE
STEPS. HIS ACTIONS DESERVE ENDORSEMENT, A POINT WE ARE
MAKING IN FOREIGN CAPITALS. LAST MONTH, THE SOVIET
UNION JOINED US IN ISSUING A STATEMENT APPLAUDING THE
LIBERALIZATION IN SOUTH AFRICA AND UNDERSCORING OUR
COMMON BELIEF THAT NEGOTIATIONS, RATHER THAN CONTINUED
CONFRONTATION, WERE THE ONLY WAY FORWARD. PRESIDENT
BUSH HAS INVITED BOTH PRESIDENT DE KLERK AND MR. NELSON
MANDELA TO WASHINGTON. WE ANTICIPATE MORE HIGH-LEVEL
EXCHANGES BETWEEN OUR GOVERNMENTS IN THE WEEKS AHEAD.

U.S. SANCTIONS REMAIN A CONTROVERSIAL SUBJECT WITHIN
SOUTH AFRICA. PRESIDENT BUSH HAS MADE IT CLEAR THAT HE
INTENDS TO ADHERE CLOSELY TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE
COMPREHENSIVE ANTI-APARTHEID ACT. HE WILL CONSULT
CLOSELY WITH CONGRESS BEFORE SUSPENDING ANY SANCTIONS.
CERTAIN PRECONDITIONS MUST BE MET BEFORE THE PRESIDENT
CAN EXERCISE EVEN THAT OPTION. SOME OF THOSE
PRECONDITIONS HAVE ALREADY BEEN MET, SUCH AS A
COMMITMENT BY THE SOUTH AFRICAN GOVERNMENT TO ENTER INTO
GOOD FAITH NEGOTIATIONS. FULFILLMENT OF CERTAIN OTHER
PRECONDITIONS, SUCH AS ENDING THE STATE OF EMERGENCY AND
RELEASING ALL PERSONS WHO HAVE BEEN DETAINED FOR THEIR
POLITICAL BELIEFS, ARE WITHIN REACH. IF AND WHEN THESE
PRECONDITIONS ARE MET, MODIFICATION OF OUR SANCTIONS
LEGISLATION IS POSSIBLE.

MY OWN VIEW IS THAT ALTOGETHER TOO MUCH EMPHASIS HAS
BEEN LAID ON SANCTIONS. THE CONTINUATION OR, FOR THAT
MATTER, THE SUSPENSION OF SANCTIONS SHOULD NOT BECOME
THE LITMUS TEST OF U.S. INVOLVEMENT IN SOUTH AFRICA.
RATHER, DECISIONS ABOUT SANCTIONS SHOULD BE WEIGHED IN
THE BALANCE OF NEGOTIATIONS -- THAT IS, WILL RETENTION
OR SUSPENSION OF A SANCTION ADVANCE OR RETARD THE
NEGOTIATIONS PROCESS? IN ANY EVENT, THE KEY QUESTION IS
THE ROLE THE U.S. PLAYS IN FOSTERING DIALOGUE AND
NEGOTIATION.

THERE ARE AT LEAST TWO WAYS IN WHICH THE U.S. CAN MAKE A
MODEST CONTRIBUTION TO THE PROCESS. ONE IS TO MAKE OUR
OWN VIEWS ON SOUTH AFRICA AS CLEAR AS POSSIBLE.
OBVIOUSLY, IT IS FOR SOUTH AFRICANS THEMSELVES TO DECIDE
HOW MUCH IMPORTANCE SHOULD BE ATTACHED TO OUR VIEWS OR
TO THOSE OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY.

THE SECOND CONTRIBUTION WE CAN MAKE IS TO OFFER SOUND
COUNSEL. OUR RECENT EXPERIENCE IN MEDIATING THE
ANGOLA/NAMIBIA SETTLEMENT SUGGESTS THAT OBSERVERS CAN
HELP TO IDENTIFY COMPROMISES AND TRADEOFFS WHICH ARE
SOMETIMES NOT READILY APPARENT TO THE NEGOTIATING
PARTIES THEMSELVES.

IN THAT VEIN, I'D LIKE TO OFFER A FEW OBSERVATIONS AND
PRACTICAL SUGGESTIONS.

WE BELIEVE THAT A NEGOTIATED TRANSITION TO DEMOCRACY IS
IMPERATIVE. THERE IS NO WAY AROUND THIS REQUIREMENT.
THE UNITED STATES WILL NOT BE ABLE TO SUPPORT A SOLUTION
IMPOSED BY ONE SIDE ON THE OTHER. NOR CAN WE BE HELPFUL
IF NEGOTIATIONS ARE USED BY THE PARTIES AS A PRETEXT FOR
GAINING UNILATERAL ADVANTAGE. BY DEFINITION, ANY
POLITICAL SETTLEMENT WHICH IS UNACCEPTABLE TO ANY OF THE
MAIN PLAYERS WILL BE FRAGILE AND PROBABLY SHORT-LIVED.

WE ALSO BELIEVE THAT ALL SOUTH AFRICANS SHOULD AIM AT A
SETTLEMENT WHICH TAKES INTO ACCOUNT GLOBAL TRENDS AND
DRAWS UPON INTERNATIONAL EXAMPLES. APARTHEID HAS
ISOLATED SOUTH AFRICA FROM ITS NEIGHBORS AND THE REST OF
THE WORLD. A POLITICAL SOLUTION WHICH IS NOT TRULY
DEMOCRATIC WILL ONCE AGAIN LEAVE SOUTH AFRICA ISOLATED
AND ALONE. A SETTLEMENT WHICH PERPETUATES OR EXTENDS
CENTRALIZED STATE INTERFERENCE IN THE ECONOMY WILL HAVE
THE SAME TRAGIC EFFECT. IT IS IN NO ONE'S INTEREST THAT
SOUTH AFRICANS WIN THEIR FREEDOM, BURY APARTHEID AND
THEN PROCEED TO REPEAT THE MISTAKES WHICH MANY OTHER
DEVELOPING COUNTRIES ARE NOW TRYING DESPERATELY TO
RECTIFY.

FINALLY, WE BELIEVE THAT A NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT MUST
TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE REALITY OF SOUTH AFRICA'S GREAT
DIVERSITY. UNLESS THIS REALITY IS ACCOMMODATED, SOUTH
AFRICAN WILL REMAIN HAUNTED BY THE DANGER OF
INTER-COMMUNAL STRIFE. NATIONALISTIC UPHEAVALS ACROSS
THE GLOBE ARE A STARK WARNING TO SOUTH AFRICA. TO
EMPHASIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF GROUPS, ON THE OTHER HAND,
IS TO PERPETUATE THE ERRORS OF APARTHEID. A COMPROMISE
MUST BE FOUND.

IN CONCLUSION, I AM OPTIMISTIC ABOUT SOUTH AFRICA AND
ABOUT ITS FUTURE RELATIONS WITH THE UNITED STATES. THE
BITTER POLARIZATION OF THE PAST IS BEING REPLACED BY A
BROAD CONVERGENCE OF VIEW AT THE CENTER OF THE POLITICAL
SPECTRUM. COMPARE THE ANC'S HARARE DECLARATION WITH THE
STATEMENTS OF PRESIDENT DE KLERK. IT IS ENCOURAGING TO
ENUMERATE THE AREAS OF AGREEMENT. WHAT IS TO PREVENT
THE CREATION OF GUIDELINES AROUND WHICH A NEW
CONSTITUTION CAN BE NEGOTIATED? AGREEMENT NOW ON A
CONSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK OF UNIVERSALLY-RECOGNIZED
DEMOCRATIC PRINCIPLES WOULD BUILD MUTUAL TRUST, INSTILL
CONFIDENCE IN THE NEGOTIATING PROCESS AND CREATE A SENSE
OF MOMENTUM.

THERE ARE OTHER WAYS IN WHICH LOCATING COMMON OBJECTIVES
CAN BUILD CONFIDENCE AND TRUST. ALL SOUTH AFRICANS ARE
VICTIMS WHEN BLACKS ARE DENIED JOBS, A GOOD EDUCATION,
ADEQUATE MEDICAL CARE, AND DECENT HOUSING. THESE SOCIAL
ILLS WILL OUTLAST APARTHEID TO BECOME THE CRUCIAL TEST
OF SOUTH AFRICA'S LONG-TERM PROSPECTS FOR RACIAL
RECONCILIATION AND A DEMOCRATIC FORM OF GOVERNMENT. THE
SOONER THE GOVERNMENT AND THE BLACK OPPOSITION COME
TOGETHER TO DISCUSS AND TO ATTACK JOINTLY THESE
PROBLEMS, THE SOONER SOUTH AFRICANS WILL HAVE A SENSE OF
COMMON PURPOSE AND SHARED NATIONHOOD.

THE YEAR 1989 WAS HISTORIC FOR SOUTH AFRICA AND THE
WORLD. THE YEAR 1990 PROMISES TO BE EVEN BETTER FOR
SOUTH AFRICA -- A GOAL TO WHICH THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AND
GOVERNMENT ARE COMMITTED.

UNQUOTE.


SWING

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