Biographical Focus: Idi Amin

Sundays on this blog will be for focusing on one person, ideally someone connected to current events but who has slipped from notice.  Today’s focus is Idi Amin.


Idi Amin might seem like an odd choice because he has not been in the news for more than a decade and in fact many Westerners have the impression that he is dead.


Amin earns his place in this blog today because of the fact that the whole crop of modern Islamic rulers are merely following the trail blazed by Idi Amin. Amin, who ruled Uganda in the 1970s, took on the challenging project of creating a true Islamic nation out of a country that was only about 6 percent Muslims at the time. Amin, accused of murdering hundreds of thousands of Christians, did not get too much good press in the West (like Saddam) but he was a hero to Arabs and Muslims worldwide (like Saddam). Like Saddam, Idi Amin was the victim of a long-distance Israeli air raid (Entebbe 1976).  Like Saddam, Idi Amin was overthrown by a foreign military (in Amin’s case it was the war that he started against neighboring Tanzania that ultimately brought Tanzanian troops back to Kampala, the capital of Uganda).


Idi Amin made and kept friends throughout the Middle East.  For example, Yasser Arafat was Best Man at Amin’s 5th wedding.  After Idi Amin was overthrown he was set up by the Saudis in a magnificent seaside villa in the Red Sea port of Jiddah (i.e., when we fill up our SUVs part of the money goes to pay for Amin’s wives, cars, servants, etc.).


Idi Amin turned 78 years old on January 1 and currently lives in Mecca.

12 Comments

  1. Chris

    April 14, 2003 @ 1:16 am

    1

    Ah yes…gotta love the amazingly fun, back stabbing Saudi’s

  2. abc

    April 14, 2003 @ 2:21 am

    2

    why backstabbing

  3. Hanan Cohen

    April 14, 2003 @ 2:24 am

    3

    Some more fun facts about Idi Amin.

    In the 60′s, Israel tought African countries the ways of modern agriculture and military. I remember photos of Idi Amin training as a paratrooper in Israel.

    Later, in 1976, he hosted the kidnappers of an Air France flight in the airport of Entebbe.

  4. Mike Golby

    April 14, 2003 @ 3:17 am

    4

    Hmm… Idi as another protege of Western largesse. Pause for thought. One thing I remember chuckling over was the paratroopers’ school in Uganda. Candidates were taught to jump and land. Lacking the basic facilities (harnesses, planes), they soared to a glorious height of six feet before demonstrating their landing prowess and receiving their ‘wings’.

    Idi, much like another great son of Africa, Mad Bob Mugabe, was best known down south for his humiliation of British diplomats (whom he hated) and his ‘ethnic cleansing’ of the entire ‘Asian’ population of Uganda.

    Uganda survived him, has implemented the most resourceful, low-cost and effective AIDS campaign in Africa (having suffered an horrific loss of life), fights the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), rebels who specialise in hacking people’s feet off, and continues to battle Tanzania. The most recent Ugandan incursions into Tanzania took place some two weeks ago, ostensibly in pursuit of cattle thieves. At a meeting in Cape Town last week, South Africa’s Thabo Mbeki and several other African Union (AU) heads of state were given assurances by Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni that he would unconditionally withdraw his troops from the DRC. Ugandan troops are said, by the UN, to have taken part in the slaughter of more than 1,000 people in three hours just over a week ago.

    There’s a special place in Hell reserved for Idi. Unfortunately, I’ve a feeling it looks much like the country he tried to shape. The murderous Clown of Kampala will likely feel as much at home there as anywhere else.

  5. no

    April 14, 2003 @ 3:05 pm

    5

    How can you say that “he was a hero to Arabs and Muslims worldwide (like Saddam).”, and then talk about liberating Iraq… If they love saddam your’re attacking the people…

    You can’t have both. Saying that saddam is an oppressor to it’s people and, at the same time, say tath he is loved by everybody.

    People don’t love saddam. People hate the USA.

  6. Chris

    April 14, 2003 @ 9:51 pm

    6

    No: Actually, alot of people in various Arab countries didn’t hate Saddam. There’s a reason why he got support and alot of that is because he stood up against the United States. Kinda like much of the world always payed lip service to the U.S. They don’t really like us but oh damn, will they suck up the second we talk about economic aid!

  7. Lawrence Krubner

    April 15, 2003 @ 12:20 am

    7

    “why backstabbing?”

    15 hijackers. And money to terrorists.

  8. Michael A. Emanuele

    April 16, 2003 @ 7:36 am

    8

    Another similarity; it begins to look very much like Saddam Hussein is in Mecca now. (Salon premium; you have to watch the ad to read this.)

  9. Bill Humphries

    April 16, 2003 @ 9:15 pm

    9

    First Syria, then Mecca? Hope Saddam has a good frequent flyer plan. I bet he’s planning to hit TorCon to pick up some art for his swinging loft in exile.

  10. Sam

    July 10, 2003 @ 10:41 pm

    10

    Idi Amin was a model? I guess I missed the interesting idea, and am destined to wait another 3 months as we while away the posts every day?

    I think people with technical background should stick to explaining the internals of AOLServer and integration techniques of ArseDigita.

    Leave political commentary to people who know what the flirt is going on…

  11. Ed

    December 15, 2006 @ 9:38 am

    11

    Amin was an evil, murderous, bloodthirsty racist monster. This was a man perverse enough to venerate Hitler !

    Amongst the thousands of people he had killed were my girlfriend’s grandfather, a one-time personal friend.

    It is a great pity that Amin was able to evade being brought to justice.

    Anyone who supported or admires this brutal dictator, either is ignorant of his crimes against humanity (reputedly including cannibalism), or else is a very depraved individual.

  12. me

    February 20, 2007 @ 7:12 pm

    12

    Idi was a great leader and i say that as a Ugandan. The only black person who stood up against white racists, mass murderers, blood suckers and instigators of african sufferings till now. Come on, there are plenty of dictators who are directly being sponsored by your governments and they are killing or have killed hundreds of times more than whatever your estimates about Amin’s. Is it because he made you whites carry him like a king or was it because he made whites kneel in front of him, that your politicians hated and still hate him so much ?
    Look at yourself before you criticise someone else.
    I am proud of Amin and if you don’t like it, come down here in Uganda and you will find that many people love him despite your fictional crap regarding his life. He is our hero.
    Finally, i would like to ask you all. If he killed half a million people or more, how come the mass graves have never been documented ? How come many ugandans like me still love him ?

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