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Mugabe a spiritual descendant of Idi Amin- Wikileaks

President Robert Mugabe has been described as a spiritual descendant of former Ugandan dictator Idi Amin whose reign of terror is reported to have entrenched the cult of African strongmen “who plunder their countries’ natural wealth for their personal gratification, all the while repressing their own people with sadistic, almost bestial glee….”.

According to one of the latest cables to be released by Wikileaks, Mugabe was lumped together with former Liberian leader Charles Taylor by a Canadian newspaper, the Ottawa Citizen in 2003 because of his persecution of white farmers.

“Today, Robert Mugabe continues to confiscate white-owned farms and distribute them to his cronies, just as Mr. Amin confiscated property belonging to non-black Ugandans,” the cable dispatched from Ottawa says.

“Mr. Mugabe is condemning Zimbabwe to poverty, just as Mr. Amin did Uganda. There is a lesson here, and some hope. Mr. Amin’s long exile was morally unsatisfying, but the best thing for Ugandans. And last week, Liberian dictator Charles Taylor surrendered power and went into exile in Nigeria.

“Even Mr. Mugabe is losing control, as his African neighbours begin to lose patience with him. The developed world has done much, and could always do more, to help Africa, but ultimately it is up to Africans themselves to stop producing military strongmen who plunder rather than govern,” the cable says

Below is the full cable:

 

Viewing cable 03OTTAWA2388, MEDIA REACTION: IRAQ; AFRICA

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

03OTTAWA2388

2003-08-21 19:07

2011-04-28 00:12

UNCLASSIFIED

Embassy Ottawa

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 OTTAWA 002388

 

SIPDIS

 

STATE FOR WHA/CAN, WHA/PDA

WHITE HOUSE PASS NSC/WEUROPE, NSC/WHA

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: KPAO KMDR OIIP OPRC CA

SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: IRAQ; AFRICA

 

 

IRAQ

¶1.   “Rebuilding Iraq remains crucial”

The leading Globe and Mail opined (8/21): “Horrific as

Tuesday’s bomb attack was on Iraq’s United Nations

headquarters, no one who has followed events in

that country can be surprised that matters have taken a

turn for the worse. From the moment the United States

attacked Saddam Hussein, it was clear that

handling the instability caused by his departure might

be as difficult as dealing with Iraq while he was in

power, if not more so. The question is what Washington

and the international community should do about it….

The bombing of the UN clearly marks an escalation of

anti-American and anti-Western tendencies in Iraq….

This too should come as little surprise. It was all but

inevitable that a host of anti-U.S. forces both inside

and outside Iraq would seize on any opportunity to

imperil the reconstruction effort, in order to make the

West look as bad as possible and to drive disaffected

Iraqis into the arms of the militant Islamist movement.

There are any number of countries nearby with

extremists to spare, including Syria, Iran and Saudi

Arabia. That is precisely why the United States and

others involved in the effort to rebuild Iraq should

stay the course, if not redouble their efforts to bring

about stability as quickly as possible. Any sign of

weakness – any sign, for example, that President George

¶W. Bush is wavering as a result of simplistic

criticisms that his country is in for ‘another

Vietnam’…will only encourage anti-U.S. forces in Iraq

and elsewhere…. Rather than pull staff or troops out,

the United States needs to provide more of both, and

other countries need to help as part of a broad UN

effort…. Rebuilding countries – or, rather, helping a

beaten and starving populace to rebuild them – is not

easy. It took years in Japan and even longer in

Germany, and cost billions of dollars to finance. The

reconstruction is likely to take just as long in both

Iraq and Afghanistan.

American and international forces don’t want to take

too much on themselves for fear of being seen as

occupiers. Yet if they don’t do enough, quickly enough,

they will be seen as uncaring. More than anything, they

cannot give up.”

 

¶2.   “Sometimes it is ‘us’ and ‘them'”

Columnist Marcus Gee observed in the leading Globe and

Mail (8/21): “If Tuesday’s bombings in Jerusalem and

Baghdad did anything, they served to remind us what we

are up against. Any act of terrorism is savage,

senseless, cowardly – the past couple of years have

exhausted our language of condemnation. But these were

acts of particular barbarism…. The United Nations

says it will stay, despite Tuesday’s attack, and that

is good. However, Washington has had trouble persuading

other countries to join a multinational force that

would help relieve U.S. troops. Those countries should

step up to help. The United States, in return, should

be more willing to share interim control of Iraq with

the UN and other international

partners. In the Holy Land, confronting terrorism means

taking a still harder line with countries in the region

that support violence, such as Syria, Iran and Sudan.

It means supporting Israel when it acts in its own

defence to combat terrorist organizations. It means

pressing the Palestinian leadership to crack down on

terrorist groups. It means encouraging both

sides to move toward a negotiated settlement that would

help undermine support for terrorism. Just as

important, confronting terrorists requires clear

thinking about us and about them. And, yes, sometimes,

there is an ‘us’ and a ‘them.’ This is one of those

times. The fight we are waging is nothing less than the

fight between civilization and barbarism. If Tuesday’s

murderous bombings did not prove that, then they proved

nothing.”

 

¶3.   “A truckful of evil”

The conservative National Post editorialized (8/21):

“The ongoing guerrilla war against U.S. troops in Iraq

provides ample proof that, contrary to the Polyannish

predictions offered by some American officials, a

substantial number of Iraqis are bristling at the

presence of foreign troops in their land. But Tuesday’s

truck bombing of the United Nations Iraqi headquarters

in Baghdad…shows that the United States is dealing

with something far more pathological than militant

nationalism. The function of United Nations

personnel in Iraq is to provide aid and alleviate

hardship. Yet the terrorists who struck on Tuesday were

willing to slaughter these good Samaritans merely so

they could discredit the United States and its ability

to maintain order…. Those who delight in skewering

the U.S. war effort have pointed out that Iraq is home

to more terrorists now, in the wake of

its liberation, than when it suffered under Saddam

Hussein’s jackboot. That’s true – but it misses the

point. The perceived threat from Iraq, as we

have noted often in this space, was not merely garden-

variety terrorism – it was the intersection of

terrorism, rogue power and weapons of mass

destruction…. Iraq is now a magnet for Arab and

Muslim terrorists worldwide…. Washington should warn

Tehran, Riyadh and Damascus that if they wage war

against the United States through terrorist proxies,

they will be treated accordingly. Another crucial

ingredient in any terrorist struggle is the support of

the local civilian population. Despite the terrorists’

best efforts, the United States must win over as many

Iraqis as possible by providing them with a better life

– which means food, clean water, dependable electric

power and as much security as circumstances permit. A

homegrown army and police force should also be trained

and deployed as soon as possible. In blowing up foreign

soldiers and aid workers, terrorists can hide behind

the conceit that they are martyrs and patriots. Once

they are forced to confront Iraqis in uniform, it will

become apparent to all that

they are merely murderous thugs bent on denying the

country a better future.”

 

¶4.   “Attack in Iraq must be answered by greater

international effort”

The left-of-center Vancouver Sun commented (8/20): “It

is a struggle to imagine what was going through the

minds of the terrorists who engineered the massive

truck bomb attack on the United Nations compound in

Baghdad on Tuesday afternoon. What did they imagine

they would accomplish by killing and wounding dozens of

civilians whose only purpose was to help to rebuild

an Iraq stricken by war and decades of brutal

dictatorship? The question may contain the seeds of the

answer. The purpose was perhaps a coldly conceived,

brutal act of terror against a soft target and aimed

with malign forethought at the vanguard of civilian

reconstructors. The message to the UN and to

countries contemplating involvement in the rebuilding

of Iraq is that they take their lives in their hands

undertaking such work…. Iraq needs a functional, not

necessarily perfect, level of security behind which the

work of reconstruction can go on. And essential to that

task must be a recognition by Washington that, like it

or not, it is in the business of nation-building in

Iraq. So far Washington has envisaged only a highly

restricted role for the UN in the work of

reconstruction. The attack on the UN in Baghdad should

give Washington stark forewarning of the quagmire that

awaits it if the terrorists succeed in isolating the

coalition from the international community. Equally,

the international community – Canada included – must

recognize this attack on it cannot be allowed to serve

the bombers’ purpose.”

 

¶5.   “The tragedy of denial”

Under the sub-heading, “A truck bomb forces the United

Nations to confront terrorism,” the nationalist Ottawa

Citizen observed (8/20): “In the weeks after the Sept.

11, 2001 attacks on the United States, the United

Nations Security Council passed various resolutions

calling on its members to cut off funding and support

for terrorist groups. Nevertheless, the 15-member

council could not bring itself to define terrorism. Now

that the UN itself has been attacked by terrorists,

perhaps it can…. The attack, like the one that

followed a few hours later in Israel, is to be

condemned, and, no doubt, there will be Security

Council resolutions to that effect. But will the UN

grasp its deeper significance and its lesson? It’s a

sad irony that the UN has long been criticized as the

patron of illiberal Arab-Muslim regimes…. Why would

terrorists attack an institution that has been such a

self-abasing apologist for Arab dictatorships? It is

not hard to discern the ‘mind’ and the motive behind

the Baghdad bombing. On one level, this attack, like

the recent acts of sabotage on oil and water pipelines,

is intended to undermine the efforts of the U.S. and

its partners to foster a stable and democratic society

in Iraq. The terrorists want to show that the U.S.

cannot provide the security Iraqis need to feel before

they actively turn away from

Saddam’s lingering hold on the country. But there is

also a deeper significance to this attack. Even though

the UN has become an instrument of Third World

appeasement, it is also regarded by Muslim extremists

to embody western ideas of pluralism, human rights and

cosmopolitanism…. The Islamists may have no rational

political program beyond nihilism, but blowing up the

UN headquarters, and killing a man like Mr. de Mello,

who was once the UN’s human rights commissioner,

suggests a hatred for modernity, tolerance and

globalism. How should the UN respond to this

‘rejection’? It can start by having the courage to

define terrorism…. The UN, for so many years, ignored

or minimized the crimes of states known to sponsor

terror. Perhaps the UN wanted simply to be an honest

broker. Instead, it became weak and ineffective, and

all the while still despised by the very people it

hoped to appease.

 

AFRICA

¶6.   “No tears for a brute”

Under the sub-heading, “Idi Amin’s legacy was to

entrench the cult of African strongmen,” the

nationalist Ottawa Citizen opined (8/21): “…Uganda

was in bad shape when Mr. Amin took control, but he

took his country to new depths. In the process, he

entrenched a tradition that haunts the entire continent

to this day, the cult of African strongmen – strongmen

who plunder their countries’ natural wealth for their

personal gratification, all the while repressing their

own people with sadistic, almost bestial glee…. Other

African strongmen such as Charles Taylor and Robert

Mugabe are spiritual descendants of Mr. Amin. Mr.

Mugabe in particular, through his persecution of

Zimbabwe’s white farmers, has carried on Mr. Amin’s

legacy of Afro-centric racism…. Today, Robert Mugabe

continues to confiscate white-owned farms and

distribute them to his cronies, just as Mr. Amin

confiscated property belonging to non-black Ugandans.

Mr. Mugabe is

condemning Zimbabwe to poverty, just as Mr. Amin did

Uganda. There is a lesson here, and some hope. Mr.

Amin’s long exile was morally unsatisfying,

but the best thing for Ugandans. And last week,

Liberian dictator Charles Taylor surrendered power and

went into exile in Nigeria. Even Mr. Mugabe is losing

control, as his African neighbours begin to lose

patience with him. The developed world has done much,

and could always do more, to help Africa, but

ultimately it is up to Africans themselves to stop

producing military strongmen who plunder rather than

govern.”

 

CELLUCCI

(17 VIEWS)

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