Saturday, 16 August 2003

Death of a Monster

His Excellency President for Life Field Marshal Al Hadji Dr. Idi Amin, VC, DSO, MC, Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Sea and Conqueror of the British Empire in Africa in General and Uganda in Particular, has snuffed it.

From the Sydney Morning Herald
US President Jimmy Carter said events in Uganda during Amin's rule "disgusted the entire civilised world."

Ugandans initially welcomed Amin's rise to power, and his frequent taunting of Britain, former colonial ruler of much of Africa, often played well on the continent.

But his penchant for the cruel and extravagant became evident in 1972, when he expelled tens of thousands of Asians who had controlled the country's economy.

Suddenly deprived of its business class, the East African nation plummeted into economic chaos.

Amin declared himself president-for-life of his landlocked country of 24 million, awarded himself an array of medals and ran the country with an iron fist, killing real and imagined enemies.

Human rights groups say from 100,000 to 500,000 people were killed during his 8-year rule.

Bodies were dumped into the Nile River because graves couldn't be dug fast enough.
Hmmm.. what's the population of Zimbabwe? 12.5 million according to that invaluable resource, the CIA Factbook. Well Mugabe may have (has) gotten rid of the wealthy elite, and wrecked the economy. But his killings are in the dozens, hundreds at most. There are no TV pictures of rafts of corpses floating down the Zambesi, as there were from the Nile when Idi was in power. Robert Mugabe's cronies and relatives have "swallowed up" lots of the confiscated lands, but haven't actually eaten the erstwhile owners. At least, not yet.

So maybe the world is getting better. Actually, with the death of this man in the manner pretty much exactly as I wished for, it's definitely better.

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