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August 18, 2003

Idi Amin: Finally Dead

Typically, I find it best to say nothing too terribly harsh of the dead. It doesn't pay to be snarky about the deceased, not for any karmic reason, but simply because it doesn't fit into my world view of trying to stay a bare bit above the typical cheap shot.

Let us, rejoice, though, at the passing of Idi Amin.

The Guardian has what are, to my mind, the absolute best obituaries in the world. In fact, their obits are the best part of the paper.

Idi's is a gem that tells the story of Amin unflinchingly.

Amin was neither well educated nor particularly intelligent. But he had a peasant cunning which often outflanked cleverer opponents, including Uganda's civilian president Milton Obote, who was displaced in the 1971 coup.

He also possessed a kind of animal magnetism; a quality he used with sadistic skill in his dealings with people he wished to dominate. In his relations with women it brought him a succession of casual mistresses, longer-serving concubines, and six wives. Turned against men, this magnetism was used as by a snake on a rabbit; Amin soon learned how to exploit it to frighten, dominate and command. It explains the otherwise bizarre decision by his last British colonial regimental commander to select Amin as one of the first two black Ugandans to be promoted to commissioned rank, when his educational background was virtually nil.

Do yourself a favor and read the rest. You'll be entertained, I suppose. You'll certainly find out something you hadn't known before. Mostly, though, you'll find a reason to celebrate the passing of one of the world's most brutal men.

Read the obit.

Posted by zombyboy at August 18, 2003 06:07 PM

I'm with you on the no gloating thing.

Loved the Guardian obit.

Posted by: IB Bill at August 19, 2003 03:40 AM

Any chance of getting one on Mugambe soon?

Posted by: nathan at August 19, 2003 08:26 PM

Heh. Only if we are remarkably lucky.

Posted by: zombyboy at August 19, 2003 08:52 PM

Or a bullet is remarkably accurate....?

Posted by: nathan at August 19, 2003 11:02 PM
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