It’s too late now to seek absolution at the bier of Nelson Mandela, who is dead and can’t speak for himself. Back in the era in which you all opposed him, all you chickenhawk bastards, keeping your campus sandwich joints safe from the Sandinistas, you did so because your politics and your world view were formed in an abattoir, built on the bones of butchered civilians in El Mozote an a hundred other places, steeped in the blood of people like Sister Jean Donovan. You opposed Mandela when it really counted for the same reason you cheered on murderers in this hemisphere. Ronald Reagan was a dim hack who did horrible damage to almost everything he touched. You can own him and be welcome to him, but you don’t get Nelson Mandela.