<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d5529474\x26blogName\x3dDimmy+Karras\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dSILVER\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttp://dimmykarras.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den_US\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://dimmykarras.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d2234159095245132931', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>

Saturday, August 16, 2003

Idi Amin Obituary

Not having lived through the 1970s, I am learning a lot about Idi Amin from his obituaries running in the newspapers today. Aside from being an awful guy, which I already knew, he was quite eccentric and had a very interesting life. For example, this NYT obit includes the following:

"As an awareness of spreading horror and suffering filtered out of Uganda, Mr. Amin began to address the criticism, choosing words that intentionally added insult to injury. Wearing the Israeli paratrooper wings he had gained on a military training course in Tel Aviv, he declared that Hitler had been right to kill six million Jews. Having already called Julius Nyerere, the president of Tanzania, a coward, an old woman and a prostitute, he announced that he loved Mr. Nyerere and 'would have married him if he had been a woman.' He called President Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia an 'imperialist puppet and bootlicker,' termed former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, 'a murderer and a spy,' and said he expected Queen Elizabeth II to send him 'her 25-year-old knickers' in celebration of the silver anniversary of her coronnation.

"...[Amin] joined the King's African Rifles in 1946 as an assistant cook. Later, after he had given himself the rank of field marshall and covered his masive chest with medals, he would claim that he fought with the unit in Burma, but there is no record of such combat. Still, the 6-foot, 4-inch, powerfully built Mr. Amin, did quickly attract the attention of British commanders as an impressive physical type who could pass on and impose the orders of others, an ideal sort of a colonial sergeant major.

"He boxed and for nine years was for a time the heavyweight champion of Uganda. He was the only African on an English rugby team and old teammates unconsciously painted a poignant portrait of the time as they described passing Cokes to him after a game as he stood on the verandah of a Nairobi bar open only to whites."

Some people also say his crazed behavior may have been partly the result of untreated syphilis. There's lots more in the full (and lengthy) obituary.