Uganda's President on the Gadhafi he knows
Gadhafi and Museveni
March 28th, 2011
11:23 AM ET

Uganda's President on the Gadhafi he knows

Editor’s Note: Yoweri Museveni has served as the President of Uganda for the past 25 years, during which time he has interacted repeatedly with Col. Moammar Gadhafi. For a profile of Museveni, click here. The unedited article below solely expresses the views of President Museveni.

By Yoweri Museveni, President of Uganda

By the time Col. Muammar al-Gadhafi came to power in 1969, I was a third-year university student at Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania. We welcomed his rise because he was a leader in the tradition of Col. Gamal Abdul Nasser of Egypt who had a nationalist and pan-Arabist position.

Soon, however, problems cropped up with Gadhafi as far as Uganda and black Africa were concerned:

Backing Idi Amin: Idi Amin came to power in 1971 with the support of Britain and Israel because they thought he was uneducated enough to be used by them. Amin, however, turned against his sponsors when they refused to sell him guns to fight Tanzania. Unfortunately, Gadhafi, without first getting enough information about Uganda, jumped in to support Idi Amin. He did this because Amin was a "Muslim" and Uganda was a "Muslim country," where Muslims were being "oppressed" by Christians. Amin killed a lot of people extrajudicially, and Gadhafi was identified with these mistakes.

In 1972 and 1979, Gadhafi sent Libyan troops to defend Amin when we [the Uganda National Liberation Front] attacked him. I remember a Libyan Tupolev Tu-22 bomber trying to bomb us in Mbarara in 1979. The bomb ended up in Nyarubanga, Burundi, because the pilots were scared. They could not come close to bombing their intended target properly. We had already shot-down many of Amin's MIGs using surface-to-air missiles. Our Tanzanian brothers and sisters were doing much of this fighting. Many Libyan militias were captured and repatriated to Libya by Tanzania. This was a big mistake by Gadhafi and a direct aggression against the people of Uganda and East Africa.

Pushing for a United States of Africa: The second big mistake by Gadhafi was his position vis-à-vis the African Union (AU), where he called for a continental government "now." Since 1999, he has been pushing this position. Black people are always polite. They, normally, do not want to offend other people. This is called obufura in the Runyankore language, or mwolo in Luo - handling, especially strangers, with care and respect. It seems some of the non-African cultures do not haveobufura. You can witness a person talking to a mature person as if he or she is talking to a kindergarten child. "You should do this; you should do that; etc." We tried to politely point out to Gadhafi that continental governance was difficult in the short and medium term. We should, instead, aim at the Economic Community of Africa and, where possible, also aim at Regional Federations.

But Gadhafi would not relent. He would not respect the rules of the AU. Topics or discussions that had been covered by previous meetings would be resurrected by Gadhafi. He would "overrule" a decision taken by all other African heads of state. Some of us were forced to come out and oppose his wrong position and, working with others, we repeatedly defeated his illogical position.

Proclaiming himself king of kings: The third mistake has been the tendency by Gadhafi to interfere in the internal affairs of many African countries, using the little money Libya has compared to those countries. One blatant example was his involvement with cultural leaders of black Africa - kings, chiefs, etc. Since the political leaders of Africa had refused to back his project of an African government, Gadhafi, incredibly, thought that he could bypass them and work with these kings to implement his wishes. I warned Gadhafi in Addis Ababa that action would be taken against any Ugandan king who involved himself in politics, because it was against our Constitution. I moved a motion in Addis Ababa to expunge from the records of the AU all references to kings (cultural leaders) who had made speeches in our forum, because they had been invited there illegally by Colonel Gadhafi.

Ignoring the plight of Southern Sudan: The fourth big mistake was made by most of the Arab leaders, including Gadhafi to some extent. This was in connection with the long suffering people of southern Sudan. Many of the Arab leaders either supported or ignored the suffering of the black people in that country. This unfairness always created tension and friction between us and the Arabs. However, I must salute Gadhafi and President Hosni Mubarak for travelling to Khartoum just before the referendum in Sudan, during which time they advised President Omar al-Bashir to respect the results of that exercise.

Terrorism: Sometimes Gadhafi and other Middle Eastern radicals do not distance themselves sufficiently from terrorism, even when they are fighting for a just cause. Terrorism is the use of indiscriminate violence - not distinguishing between military and nonmilitary targets. The Middle Eastern radicals, quite different from the revolutionaries of black Africa, seem to say that any means is acceptable as long as you are fighting the enemy. That is why they hijack planes, use assassinations, plant bombs in bars, etc. Why bomb bars? People who go to bars are normally merrymakers, not politically minded people.

We were together with the Arabs in the anticolonial struggle. The black African liberation movements, however, developed differently from the Arab ones. Where we used arms, we fought soldiers or sabotaged infrastructure but never targeted noncombatants. These indiscriminate methods tend to isolate the struggles of the Middle East and the Arab world. It would be good if the radicals in these areas could streamline their work methods in this area of using violence indiscriminately.

These are some of the negative points in connection to Gadhafi as far as Uganda's patriots have been concerned over the years. Each of these positions taken by Gadhafi have been unfortunate and unnecessary.

Nevertheless, Gadhafi has also had many positive points, objectively speaking. These positive points have been for the good of Africa, Libya, and the Third World.

I will deal with them point by point:

Gadhafi is a nationalist: Gadhafi has conducted an independent foreign policy and, of course, also independent internal policies. I am not able to understand the position of Western countries, which appear to resent independent-minded leaders and seem to prefer puppets. Puppets are not good for any country. Most of the countries that have transitioned from Third World to First World status since 1945 have had independent-minded leaders: South Korea (Park Chung-hee), Singapore (Lee Kuan Yew), China People's Republic (Mao Tse Tung, Chou Enlai, Deng Xiaoping, Marshal Yang Shangkun, Li Peng, Jiang Zemin, Hu Jintao), Malaysia (Dr. Mahthir Mohamad), Brazil (Luis Inacio Lula da Silva), Iran (the Ayatollahs Khomeini and Khamenei), etc. Between World War I and World War II, the Soviet Union transitioned into an industrial country, propelled by the dictatorial but independent-minded Joseph Stalin. In Africa, we have also benefited from a number of independent-minded leaders: Colonel Nasser of Egypt, Mwalimu Nyerere of Tanzania, Samora Machel of Mozambique, and others. That is how southern Africa was liberated. That is how we got rid of Idi Amin. The stopping of genocide in Rwanda and the overthrow of Mobutu Sese-Seko in the Democratic Republic of the Congo were as a result of efforts of independent-minded African leaders.

Gadhafi, whatever his faults, is a true nationalist. I prefer nationalists to puppets of foreign interests. Where have the puppets caused the transformation of countries? I need some assistance with information on this from those who are familiar with puppetry.

By contrast, the independent-minded Gadhafi had some positive contributions to Libya, I believe, as well as Africa and the Third World. Take just one example: At the time we were fighting the criminal dictatorships here in Uganda, we had a problem arising of a complication caused by our failure to capture enough guns at Kabamba on Feb. 6, 1981. Gadhafi gave us a small consignment of 96 rifles, 100 anti-tank mines, etc., that was very useful. He did not consult Washington or Moscow before he did this. This was good for Libya, for Africa, and for the Middle East. We should also remember as part of that independent-mindedness the fact that he expelled British and American military bases from Libya.

He raised the price of oil: Before Gadhafi came to power in 1969, a barrel of oil was 40 American cents. He launched a campaign to withhold Arab oil unless the West paid more for it. I think the price went up to $20 per barrel. When the Arab-Israel war of 1973 broke out, the barrel of oil went up to $40. I am, therefore, surprised to hear that many oil producers in the world, including the Gulf countries, do not appreciate the historical role played by Gadhafi on this issue. The huge wealth many of these oil producers are enjoying was, at least in part, due to Gadhafi's efforts. The Western countries have continued to develop in spite of paying more for oil. It therefore means that the pre-Gadhafi oil situation was characterized by super exploitation of oil producing countries by the Western countries.

Gadhafi built Libya: I have never taken the time to investigate socio-economic conditions within Libya. When I was last there, I could see good roads, even from the air. From the TV pictures, you can even see the rebels zooming up and down in pick-up trucks on very good roads accompanied by Western journalists. Who built these good roads? Who built the oil refineries in Brega and those other places where the fighting has been taking place recently? Were these facilities built during the time of the king and his American and British allies, or were they built by Gadhafi?

In Tunisia and Egypt, some youths immolated themselves because they failed to get jobs. Are the Libyans without jobs also? If so, why are there hundreds of thousands of foreign workers? Is Libya's policy of providing so many jobs to Third World workers bad? Are all the children going to school in Libya? Was that the case in the past - before Gadhafi? Is the conflict in Libya economic or purely political? Possibly Libya could have transitioned more if they encouraged the private sector further. However, this is something the Libyans are better placed to judge. As it is, Libya is a middle income country with a GDP of $62 billion.

He's a moderate: Gadhafi is one of the few secular leaders in the Arab world. He does not believe in Islamic fundamentalism, which is why Libyan women have been able to go to school, to join the army, and so forth. This is a positive point on Gadhafi's side.

Coming to the present crisis, therefore, I need to point out some issues:

First, we must distinguish between demonstrations and insurrections. Peaceful demonstrations should not be fired upon with live bullets. Of course, even peaceful demonstrations should coordinate with the police to ensure that they do not interfere with the rights of other citizens. However, when rioters are attacking police stations and army barracks with the aim of taking power, then they are no longer demonstrators; they are insurrectionists. They will have to be treated as such. A responsible government would have to use reasonable force to neutralize them. Of course, the ideal responsible government should also be one that is elected by the people at periodic intervals. If there is a doubt about the legitimacy of a government, and the people decide to launch an insurrection, that should be the decision of the internal forces. It should not be for external forces to arrogate themselves that role; often, they do not have enough knowledge to decide rightly.

Excessive external involvement always brings terrible distortions. Why should external forces involve themselves? That is a vote of no confidence in the people themselves. A legitimate internal insurrection, if that is the strategy chosen by the leaders of that effort, can succeed. The Shah of Iran was defeated by an internal insurrection; the Russian Revolution in 1917 was an internal insurrection; the Revolution in Zanzibar in 1964 was an internal insurrection; the changes in Ukraine, Georgia, and so forth - all were internal insurrections. It should be for the leaders of the resistance in a given country to decide their strategy, not for foreigners to sponsor insurrection groups in sovereign countries.

I am totally allergic to foreign, political, and military involvement in sovereign countries, especially the African countries. If foreign intervention is good, then, African countries should be the most prosperous countries in the world, because we have had the greatest dosages of that: the slave trade, colonialism, neo-colonialism, imperialism, etc. But all those foreign-imposed phenomena have been disastrous. It is only recently that Africa is beginning to come up, partly because we are rejecting external meddling. External meddling and the acquiescence by Africans into that meddling have been responsible for the stagnation on our continent. The wrong definition of priorities in many African countries is, in many cases, imposed by external groups. Failure to prioritize infrastructure, for instance, especially energy, is, in part, due to some of these pressures. Instead, consumption is promoted. I have witnessed this wrong definition of priorities even here in Uganda. External interests linked up, for instance, with bogus internal groups to oppose energy projects for false reasons. How will an economy develop without energy? Quislings and their external backers do not care about all this.

Second, if you promote foreign backed insurrections in small countries like Libya, what will you do with the big ones like China, a country with a system different from the Western system? Are you going to impose a no-fly zone over China in case of some internal insurrections, as happened in Tiananmen Square, in Tibet, or in Urumqi?

Third, Western countries always use double standards. In Libya, they are very eager to impose a no-fly zone. In Bahrain and other areas where there are pro-Western regimes, they turn a blind eye to the very same or even worse conditions. We have been appealing to the United Nations to impose a no-fly zone over Somalia - so as to impede the free movement of terrorists linked to al Qaeda, which killed Americans on September 11th, killed Ugandans last July, and have caused so much damage to the Somalis - without success. Why? Are there no human beings in Somalia, as there are in Benghazi? Or is it because Somalia does not have oil that is not fully controlled by the Western oil companies, as in Libya on account of Gadhafi's nationalist posture?

Fourth, the Western countries are always very prompt in commenting on every problem in the Third World - Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, etc. Yet, some of these very countries were the ones impeding growth in those countries. There was a military coup d'état that slowly became a revolution in backward Egypt in 1952. The new leader, Nasser, had ambitions to oversee the transformation of Egypt. He wanted to build a dam not only to generate electricity but also to help with the ancient irrigation system of Egypt. He was denied money by the West because they did not believe that Egyptians needed electricity. Nasser decided to raise that money by nationalizing the Suez Canal. He was attacked by Israel, France, and Britain. To be fair to the United States, President Eisenhower opposed that aggression that time. Of course, there was also the firm stance of the Soviet Union at that time. How much electricity was this dam supposed to produce? Just 2000 megawatts - for a country like Egypt!! What moral right, then, do such people have to comment on the affairs of these countries?

Fifth, the by-now-entrenched habit of the Western countries over-using their technological superiority to impose war on less developed societies, without impeachable logic, will ignite an arms race in the world. The actions of the Western countries in Iraq and now Libya are emphasizing that might is "right." I am quite sure that many countries that are able to will scale up their military research, and in a few decades, we may have a more armed world. Weapons science is not magic. A small country like Israel is now a superpower in terms of military technology. Yet 60 years ago, Israel had to buy second-hand Fouga Magister planes from France. There are many countries that can become small Israels if this trend of Western countries overusing military means continues.

Sixth, all this notwithstanding, Col. Gadhafi should be ready to sit down with the opposition, under the mediation of the AU, with the opposition cluster of groups which now includes individuals well known to us. I know Gadhafi has his system of elected committees that convene to form a National People's Conference. Actually, Gadhafi thinks this is superior to our multi-party systems. Of course, I have never had time to study how truly competitive this system is. Anyway, even if it is competitive, there is now, apparently, a significant number of Libyans who think that there is a problem in their country's governance. Since there has not been internationally observed elections in Libya, not even by the AU, we cannot know what is correct and what is false. Therefore, a dialogue is the correct way forward.

Seventh, the AU mission was unable to enter Libya because the Western countries started bombing the day before they were supposed to arrive. However, the mission will continue. My opinion is that, in addition to what the AU mission is doing, it may be important to call an extraordinary summit of the AU in Addis Ababa to discuss this grave situation.

Eighth, regarding the Libyan opposition, I would feel embarrassed to be backed by Western war planes. Quislings of foreign interests have never helped Africa. We have had a copious supply of them in the last 50 years - Mobutu Sese-Seko, Houphouet Boigny, Kamuzu Banda, etc. The West has made a lot of mistakes in Africa and in the Middle East in the past. Apart from the slave trade and colonialism, they participated in the killing of Patrice Lumumba, until recently the only elected leader of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the poisoning of Cameroonian political leader Felix Moummie, and the assassination of Prime Minister Bartholomew Boganda of the Central African Republic. The West supported UNITA in Angola, Idi Amin - at the beginning of his regime - in Uganda, and the counter-revolutionaries in Iran in 1953. Recently, there has been some improvement in the arrogant attitudes of some of these Western countries. Certainly, with black Africa and, particularly, Uganda, the relations are good following the fair stand the West has taken on the fate of the black people of southern Sudan. With the democratization of South Africa and the freedom of the black people in southern Sudan, the difference between the patriots of Uganda and the Western governments had disappeared. Unfortunately, these rash actions on Libya are beginning to raise new problems. They should be resolved quickly.

Ninth, if the Libyan opposition groups are patriots, they should fight their war by themselves and conduct their affairs by themselves. After all, they easily captured so much equipment from the Libyan Army, why do they need foreign military support? I only had 27 rifles. To be puppets is not good.

Tenth, as to the international community, the African members of the Security Council voted for this resolution on Libya. This was contrary to what the Africa Peace and Security Council had decided in Addis Ababa recently. This is something that only the extraordinary AU summit can resolve. It was good that certain big countries in the Security Council - Russia, China, Brazil, and India - abstained on this resolution. This shows that there are balanced forces in the world that will, with more consultations, evolve more correct positions.

Eleventh, and finally, being members of the United Nations, we are bound by the resolution that was passed, however rushed the process. Nevertheless, there is a mechanism for review. The Western countries, which are most active in these rushed actions, should consider that route. It may be one way of extricating all of us from possible nasty complications. What if the Libyans loyal to Gadhafi decide to fight on? Using tanks and planes that are easily targeted by French President Nicolas Sarkozy's planes is not the only way of fighting. Who will be responsible for such a protracted war? It is high time we did more careful thinking.

soundoff (226 Responses)
  1. Amon

    Thx for publishing M7s article. Get the truth: He has stayed in power for over 25 years by simply exterminating any one who criticizes his regime, and this is public knowledge in Uganda. He has made sure there is no gov't institution that functions independent of him. He is an enlightened con-man in an evil way. He knows how to intimidate and manipulate the few newspapers in Uganda to his advantage, lest he closes them down, and he often does if they write something he is not happy about.

    Truth is, Gadaffi was his closest friend, and criticizing him in this article is a fake facade; this article is written with anger in defence of Gadaffi, in defence of his own school of thought. M7 has k'illed tens of thousands of Ugandans, only that he knows how to disguise the crime and label them as rebels. Ask any Ugandan tou know. He has lots of safe houses where he tortures the opposition members or anyone who speaks up against the criminal things he is doing. Most times he makes sure the opposition members disappear forever without a trace. What saddens me most, is that he still uses the Church pulpits to prove he is a righteous man of God. Unbeknown to them, he usually pays millions of dollars to famous TV preachers from US to fly to Uganda to preach, praise him and lobby for him (Google the obscene $$ amounts he pays them; it is very scarely). The best thing out of this artcle, is that his mindset has now been exposed for all to digest his mindset and true identity. He is morally bankrupt and dangerous, and History is not on his side. Stop feeding this beast.

    March 28, 2011 at 10:23 pm | Reply
  2. Matt

    I just have one comment..............with 16 parts

    March 28, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Reply
  3. 4sanity

    President Yoweri Museveni reasoning is astoundingly naive for someone who is the leader of a nation. If this is the caliber of the people in power, African countries will continue to lag politically and economically behind the rest of the world. But the number of factual errors, over interpretation and twisted logic seems very appropriate for someone who has to justify to himself his own position and prepare his political scapegoats for the future. I would think that many Ugandans might start to think quite hard why it's necessary for ANYONE to remain in power for 25 yrs and more.

    And as for his distorted views on "neo-colonialism", I'll argue that he has it categorically wrong. Political entities in the West do exhibit altruistic intentions and offer many African countries assistance in legitimate "nation building" and their struggle to improve the lives of ordinary people. In contrast, corporations and authoritarian regimes have very different goals: profits and exploitation. Consequently, reliance on such outside investors and "friends", invariably leads down the path to graft, corruption, oppression and ultimately violence. Gaddafi is no-one that needs to be idolized for reasons to numerous to be listed here. And the Libyan people, as well as many in other Arab countries and the West, are more than happy to show him the Exit Door. In a 21st century world, dominated by a free flow of information and modern transportation, we are all intimately connected. So it is every person's right to take up an interest and act in our common human goals globally. Consequently, despots, dictators, strong men, juntas, theocracies and authoritarian regimes will find their concept of sovereignty challenged not just internally and by outside groups too. In short we've had enough of ALL of you and want you gone !

    March 28, 2011 at 11:29 pm | Reply
  4. mike

    Hey Museveni

    Go F Yourself, your country is the most backwards, homophobic savage place on earth. You and your shytty country personify every racist stereotype and twisted cliche there is about Africa, you prove the point that Africans are savages. When you develop the civility to join the modern world maybe someone will listen to your opinions, until then, learn to eveolve.

    March 28, 2011 at 11:45 pm | Reply
    • Ha

      Does anyone else find this rant ironic?

      March 29, 2011 at 12:48 am | Reply
  5. Kendall
    I agree with many of his points, but this guy is a piece of garbage.

    March 28, 2011 at 11:50 pm | Reply
  6. gebre

    Dear President: I am perplexed by your decision to come out in public and use CNN to lecture the world about a man (your topic says that) who for three weeks in a row now is out there massacring his own people. While you gave the benefit of the doubt to your good old friend Gadhafi, and you have all the right to do so, your characterization of the demonstrators is WRONG. You ask if the peaceful demonstrators are legitimate. What proof of evidence you need other than that they are paying the ultimate price for the purpose they stand for. Let me ask you this in turn: Who are you in the first place to ask that question. Is the US, NATO, France and Great Britain are asking that question? NO. The Libyan people aspirations can’t be squashed by a tyrant whose only goal is to stay in power and to add more suffering to his own people no matter what. The Libyans and the international community are determined the tyrant faces the ultimate defeat.
    Apparently, MR. President, you are clever enough to see above the horizon and see the fire is heading south. Is it making you a little nervous? I hope you are the legitimate leader of Uganda. If you are not, your days are also counted. Time is up for leaders who have chocked the people of Africa from the God giving right of leaving in harmony and peace. I hope you are NOT among them!

    March 29, 2011 at 12:29 am | Reply
    • paul t b

      Sir Mr gebre, i do understand your stand and need for peace to return to our brethren in Libya but what you have to know is by the NATO, US,France and all those countries attacking Libya in disguise of protecting civilians is a sham, if you are a keen follower of what is happening around the world then you would see the double standards of these countries and know that they are only trying to implement there policies in the strategic areas that will benefit them! if at all they had Libyans at heart why did they not send in UN peace keepers first?how many people have so far died in the coalition bombings?or how much infrastructure has been destroyed in the air strikes? or is it because Gadhffi was not a puppet and now they have got a reason to root him out? you have your right to criticize the president but don't be so on the blind side! thank you.

      March 29, 2011 at 8:59 am | Reply
  7. Dr Perry Fisher

    You are the root and cause of suffering in your country ............its like the pot calling the kettle black...pardon the pun

    March 29, 2011 at 12:40 am | Reply
    • paul t b

      Mr Fisher, i don't know which country you hail form but if you are not Ugandan you should probably first research before your accusations to our dear president and what the president is saying is right because if you look at all examples given, you will find that its the bare truth and double standards of the western world that cause most of the problems where they see fit for there hidden agendas, where were these people when Kony was killing every living thing in the north? what did they do, issuing an ICC arrest warrant? better still who pushed the Rwandan genocide of 1994? when President Kagame named the countries that we all know had a hand in arming the killers he was threatened with sanctions, for all i know all the super powers want is continued neocolonialism a thing we need to get rid of forever in our beloved Africa.

      March 29, 2011 at 8:43 am | Reply
      • Dr Perry Fisher

        This is a forum for opinions not an insult corner,my opinion is just as valuable as anyone else..............thats called free speech.

        March 29, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
      • Dr Perry Fisher

        This is a forum for opinions not your private corner,my opinion is just as valuable as anyone else..............I expected a rude comment on my opinion from an African ,like yourself, thats the way you people behave.Small wonder that Africa has seventy percent of the worlds natural resources and one hundred percent of the worlds poverty.The root cause of this is the African brain(it doesnt function very well) , therefore, you as an African delivered just what I expected.....negativity,,,,,,,,heres to your monkey face ,you baboon,,,,,,,, Yuck....Flush,Flush

        March 29, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
  8. Monyenye E.Robbyns

    Thie is the reasoning behind the next crop of the so called African Nationalists to go.They always feel betrayed by people who resist their so called 'Pan-Africanism' and try to offer alternative thinking.
    Mr.President,your country needs RIGHT-THINKING Leader not your 'written-to-suit-thyself' sentiments.
    Look at your neighbour Kenya and see where they are,Silly.

    March 29, 2011 at 1:04 am | Reply
  9. Miyaka from Cameroon

    It is pathetic that these oil mongers are invading Libya in the name of humanitarian reasons. There are problems in Ivory Coast, a stalement that still has people dying day in day out. theare problems in Bahrain, syria, Jordan and other places with a lot of people dying. there is Mugabe in Zimbabwe, Paul Biya in Cameroon and a lot of other dictators who are silently massacreing their people, and the west is not voicing a word. What is so special about Libya that you guys could not see in the Sudan? Oil ofcourse! we know that. May God dame USA and its allies

    March 29, 2011 at 1:33 am | Reply
  10. Somalia

    If west have any moral values, they would'have save millions Ruwandese masacred in a week or 20 year civil war in Somalia. it those countries are not wothy fot your interference becouse they are black how about Bhrain,Syria,Yemen and Jordan

    Western can in declining moral stage.

    For dictators like Qadafi, Musaveni, Melaz,Mugabu, Middle easter evel royal families pupets and idiots,your time is up when masters look control, the whole ship will sink and that will benifit poor people like me

    March 29, 2011 at 3:37 am | Reply
  11. david

    regarding issue number 9. if it werent for France i dont believe United states would have ever existed. So he is crazy when he says the rebels shoudl do it by themselves.

    March 29, 2011 at 5:20 am | Reply
  12. steve40

    Each western country is acting for it;s country,s interest. Again counrty interest not their personal interest. They were elected democraticaly. Museveni is an big hypocrite. The good thing about this article is that he can read about we all think about him. A rat who killed innocent Congolese for gold and diamond.

    March 29, 2011 at 5:48 am | Reply
    • Carlos TN

      steve40, for the sake of being objective, why dont you talk about the Big Rats, (Belgians and their cousins in the West) who have plundered the Congo of resources since the times of the 'scramble for Africa'?

      April 29, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Reply
  13. thebigtizzle

    The problem here is that this letter and other arguments are written to an american public that has absolutely NO moral authority or obligation. As an African American I can tell you that we are mostly educated by television clips, soundbites, and talk radio. You're talking to a country of people who threw quality out of the window, which killed american steel, american auto, and american manufacturing, in favor of cheap, dangerous, chinese products. everyone of these people commenting fail to understand that they are killing america with every cheap japanese car, every cheap Walmart product. now, we owe trillions to the chinese just so we can eat. being educated is now uppity and elitist here, we have strong, brave, americans who we are afraid to tell that there are NO MORE BLUE COLLAR JOBS IN THE WORLD. whatever you do, don't listen to the united states or the west. our presidents go to saudi arabia and beg them to produce more oil, we asked india and south korea to fake business with us to give us some work to feed our children. we just did the same thing in brazil. we can't beat iraq or afghanistan, why do we keep pretending to go and bomb people? the first plane actually crashed and fell and our troops were saved by libyans. let these guys solve their problems and we solve ours. i respect the president of uganda and kadafi. we need to force our citizens to go get technical, scientific, and mathematical education and learn languages because allowing choice is making our people fat and lazy and nearly crippled in their 30s. we're not winning guys. we're in no position to intervene or judge. we have officer involved killings everyday here to restore safety and order. if some fools want to take over the country of libya, let them take the shots. BO would bust our ass too. any president would. Peace. Thanks for your letter.

    March 29, 2011 at 7:10 am | Reply
  14. Sally Li

    Factual error in the article: Khadafy came to power in 1969, not 1971. Other than that, there are many good points raised.

    March 29, 2011 at 7:25 am | Reply
    • Sally Li

      Yipes! My mistake. He was talking about Idi Amin. Well, everything Musuveni said was right,then.

      March 29, 2011 at 7:27 am | Reply
  15. Guest

    Fella seems fairly pro China.. knows a lot of their leaders names by heart.... Chinese puppet? Seems fairly well read.

    March 29, 2011 at 9:01 am | Reply
  16. forkE

    After reading this, I believe that Uganda would be better off with ABDULLAH THE BUTCHER as their leader. If I was a teacher, and president museveni turned this in as an assignemnt, I would demand to know which one of his parents wrote it for him.

    March 29, 2011 at 9:44 am | Reply
  17. abbybutch

    What a heart warming title. It sounds like a jr. high essay. one savage dicatator standing up for another.

    March 29, 2011 at 9:45 am | Reply
  18. libfreak48

    BTW, this is the same "enlightened" leader who not only wants to criminalize homosexuality, but to execute homosexuals.

    March 29, 2011 at 10:22 am | Reply
    • azwar

      Well it is not only him any sane person will not Tolerate this Gayness at all as this unnatural and against the very wishes of God.
      Keep doing it and people shall see what happened to the people of Lot will happen again if this deviation is tolerated to spread. Please have Mercy on yourself selves and Stop this Gayness.

      March 30, 2011 at 3:34 am | Reply
      • We Have Assuned Control

        @ Azwar

        God created Gay people.
        You just insulted God.

        March 31, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
  19. widsomania

    it is soooo sad to see some of the ignorant idiotic comments made by some of the westerners here.........I don't agree on all of the issues this guy said, but he definitely has very interesting facts and points that he not saying he's a saint, but just for the future when one of us (westerners) reads something like this, don't just try to point out things that we don't agree on and with a blind eye ignore the rest and be critical of everything that's said, instead read it with an open mind, take it with a grain of salt, and learn from beneficial facts and point that are made....if we don't agree with him on certain things, that doesn't mean that some of the points he makes aren't rationaly and logically is always about the $$....about 85% of lybia's oil is exported to europe and France who were hit hard by this...thats y they wanted to act so fast..and of course the u.s follows...why not if they can get a piece of the pie....the Man is simply try to say that the west does no sh*t for free....every intervention or every thing they do the, the "helped" country is going to have to pay later on which in the long run will be bad for the country...just look at the recent "help" and "back up" the U.S. gave to South Korea,...somehow magically and with "willingness" right after they signed a treaty with the U.S. that opens South Korea's markets to imported U.S. cars.....well...I guess in this case the u.s. was just also trying to help...

    March 29, 2011 at 10:31 am | Reply
    • 4sanity

      Sorry, but there is almost nothing in his article that is factually accurate. It's a really lame attempt at obfuscation to try and legitimize his own position of power.

      March 29, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Reply
      • widsomania

        with all do not sure what article you are reading...but this article does have MANY facts....Qadafi's nationalization of oil, raising of oil prices...improvment of the country's condition in comparison to the ones who preceded him...the west's double standard forign policies....the somalia case.....suez canal.....and I could go on and on, but again I would be just repeating what's said in the article.....

        March 29, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
      • LE

        he is very afraid. that's why he asked his people to write this for him

        March 29, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • kanyoka

      @widsomania.. Libya is very big country with low population, rich in Oil. Without Gaddafi Libya would be like European standard, Tunisia, Egypt, etc. Museveni saying that Libya developed by Gaddafi is untrue, not fact at all, yet you think this is fact, how?.... How do you measure these as facts or not. Another error is, Gaddaffi raise the price of Oil? How,... does Gaddafi knows economics, why he raised the oil for $20 bucks a barrel, why not $25, why not $15.. not facts my friends, is all bullishit

      March 30, 2011 at 8:15 am | Reply
  20. mickey

    lol this guy has been president for 25 years? oh yeah, that's democracy.

    March 29, 2011 at 10:39 am | Reply
  21. LeeCMH

    All this from a "kill the gays" Ugandan? They differ only by those they hate.

    March 29, 2011 at 11:04 am | Reply
    • azwar

      well i will not go that far and say Kill the Gays, but i will support like all the sane people are doing we can not allow this gayness to spread, it is unnatural and against the very teachings God. Please stop this Gayness do not kill but atleast let them know that they are not liked.

      March 30, 2011 at 3:37 am | Reply
    • Alex beiber

      So if they do not believe in gays they are wrong – dude u must be crazy, as a leader he wishes not to have gays and thats his stand on it, why do u want gays??? huh

      April 2, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Reply
    • Carlos TN

      Lee, you need to be informed that it is actually President Museveni who is responsible for delaying passing of the Gay Bill in parliament.

      April 29, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Reply
  22. suncolor

    democracy begins in childhood and with children. their attitude to children make all african rulers despot.

    March 29, 2011 at 11:25 am | Reply
  23. greg

    europe did not want tens of thousands of refugees flooding into tunisia, egypt, and italy. unfortunately, this type of crises is not isolated–they way Gadahfi conducted his war engendered refugees, making his problem a regional one. It is because he made libya into a regional problem that europe and the US felt compelled to intervene since europe is part of that region (and for the US, it's about supporting allies who we have asked to support us time and again).

    March 29, 2011 at 11:32 am | Reply
  24. Andrew

    With deference to the President's other points, Hitler built good roads, developed tremendous infrastructure for his country and was an outspoken world leader as well. Should he have been left in power if he didn't invade other countries and just repressed the Jews in Germany?

    March 29, 2011 at 11:49 am | Reply
    • Stephen

      Hitler also was responsible for the trains to run on time. I doubt if any Western country would have enforced a "no-fly zone" over Germany, because they were abusing the Jewish people. Those who don't learn from history are condemmed to repeat it. Never again. Not on our President's watch.

      March 29, 2011 at 9:30 pm | Reply
  25. Sammy

    Its true, everyone has right to his own opinions and so does Mr Musaveni. Gadhafi cannot respect anyone one in Africa, not even tha AU. I feel there is a big problem with our leaders, why should one man want to rule a country for life? The truth is, they commit atrocities and they want to cover up it for as long as possible. Mr Musaveni should not compare uganda revolution to that of Libya, the Col. will have no pity for anybody. If not for the intervention thousands would have died by now and no one will bring justice -they will cover it up.

    March 29, 2011 at 12:00 pm | Reply
  26. Alex

    It is interesting to read a piece that sees things from a totally different prism from myself and many Westerners. But ultimately I think this prism is overly simplistic, particularly on any matter to do with the West. In Museveni's mind, everything done by the West is designed to screw Africa. They put Amin in power because they thought he was stupid. They denied Nasser the money for Aswan because they didn't want Egyptians to have power. They exploited the Middle East by not paying enough for oil. His anecdotal observations on Libya's economy are amusing, but ultimately I think I'll rely on actual data, which I would have hoped the leader of a country of 30 million people would too. He attributes success to the most unlikely characters: equating China's current rise to Mao Tse Tung is about as logical to me as thanking Hitler for the strength of the modern German economy, only less because the German economy was strong under Hitler while Mao left China's in shambles, and Hitler killed less people than Mao. All of Museveni's statements like this are so oversimplified as to be stupid, but never mind.

    What really annoys me about this piece is that he ignores the real reasons Gadhafi's getting bombed by the West and the Bahrain isn't. He didn't just not "act like a puppet", he was an active enemy to the West. He murdered our citizens in cold blood. Maybe Gadhafi isn't suppressing his people any worse than other rulers in his desperate continent, and maybe killing dozens of innocent Americans, Scots Germans and so on seems like just a drop in the bucket there, but he made it personal with the West, and in my view he's had this coming for a long time.

    Museveni seems like he's doing his best to turn his country around. He's hardly free of criticisms, but I accept that in a place in the middle of somewhere as screwed up as Africa, he's about as good as could be expected. But his writing here makes it clear what an uphill battle Africa faces. Its leaders are still embittered about the past, glorifying strong men and those that thumb their nose at the West. He still sees the West as enemies and probably always will, ignoring the fact that the alternative development partners for Africa (China and India) are there only to secure resources, and have no interest in pushing forward liberal democratic ideals as the West does. America and Britain don't do business with Sudan because they continue to murder countless "black Africans" as Museveni says. China and India do, more eager to extract oil than promote decency.

    March 29, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Reply
    • tharr

      Thanks president Museveni! Atlist you are not a puppet or you are now learning not to be a puppet. Get our boys out of Somalia and get our boys out of Iraq.If Americans,french and british want to be the world police let Uganda not be the African Police.

      For God and My Country!!!

      April 1, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Reply
    • Jesus

      Grt article. I am truely impressed by the African leader and courage. With respect to Mao of China, Mao did his contribution although he made some mistakes (Chinese gives him 70% good and 30% bad), which is why he is still "worshipped" there in China. Who do we judge? Do Germany still worship Hitler? Will you still worship your leaders if they kill millions of you?
      Dont believe all the propanda u heard in the west. I recently visited Russia again (3times this year). Did u know that he was voted one of the most loved leaders of all times after 3 years of survey recently? Not even Peter the grt is among the list. Gorbachve is bottom of the pack. Why? Shallnt be the inside people to judge or redneck people of outside to judge?

      April 2, 2011 at 9:36 pm | Reply
      • Alex

        Mao didn't "make some mistakes", he instituted a ridiculously stupid policy he called The Great Leap Forward that led to the deaths of 30 to 45 million people through starvation and violence. He is still revered in China (officially) because, unlike Hitler, Mao didn't lose his war on his own people and have the truth taught to future generations by the victors. Chinese education on this subject is an exercise in dogma and propaganda, so yes, I trust those outside of China to provide a more accurate story.
        I assume you're talking about Stalin when you rabbit on about Russia. There are few people in the 20th century that caused as much human suffering as that man. I don't know if you're accurate that Russians rank him as a great leader, but if they do they have tragically short memories and a brutally twisted idea of how governments should operate.
        Please, look into some history books before you go writing off the awful deeds of these tyrants as Western propaganda.

        April 4, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
  27. realist

    Very good writer. eloquent wording, and possibly some opinions worth reviewing. But bottom line, anyone in power for decades means no opposition, no true equality of the people, and... You know what, lets skip the bull. These guys want to keep their power/ego, molest the resources for their own pleasure. They like their wealth. Anything else, especially the common person, well good luck schmo! I wish guys like him found hobbies like golf. Take your already too much money then you need to enjoy life, and move on. Let newer minds seek the future. And for goodness sake, if you haven't developed a decent standard of living in over 2 decades.. Write a letter to yourself.

    March 29, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Reply
  28. Geoff

    While M7 (as he is referred to in Uganda) has some interesting points to make, the sad reality is that he and Gaddafi are cut from the same cloth. Uganda has accepted financial help from Libya, allowed Gaddafi to build a mosque and generally deferred to him or at least to his money. There is even a street named for him in the Mengo district of Kampala. The street is full of pot holes , much like Gadaffis and Musevinis legacy. It was hoped that Musevini would be the one to break the mold of the despotic "winner take all" African strongman. Sadly, When the time came for term limits to make way for a new leader and new faces in government his true character was revealed and it was shown to be less of George Washington or Nelson Mandela and more of Mugabe or Mobutu. Two peas in a pod these chaps..

    March 29, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Reply
  29. holly

    The president of Uganda has exceptional grammatical skills and an amazing grasp of world history - he makes his country look highly educated and intelligent. I am quite impressed!

    March 29, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Reply
    • Alex

      Are you being sarcastic? I'm sorry I can't tell. To me, this article was almost TLDR. He is about as far from concise as you can get. He says a lot without saying very much at all. And he's the ruler of 30 million people, do you not think this was probably grammar checked by some underlings? Oh, and he likely received all of his education in English, and English is the official language of his country, of which he has been one of the elite most, if not all, of his life. His "exceptional grammar skills" don't look much beyond the abilities of an American 12th grader (at least a college bound one).

      As for his grasp of history, as many have pointed out above, this is suspect at best. He has perhaps a good understanding of inter-African politics, but his views on OPEC, the Middle East, China, Korea, the West and so on are not, they are either outdated or too simplistic. In my view, he picks the parts of history he thinks supports his position and warps them to make them fit better. South Korea is lauded as a strong independent state, for example, though I'm sure it would be an American puppet if it served his version of history better. Mao brought China out of the dark ages. The Suez crisis was a simple black and white exercise of Egypt taking back what was theirs. All revolutions brought about by outside forces fail. All revolutions that rise from within succeed.

      Anyway, in short, if you're not just trolling for responses, I strongly disagree. This article does not demonstrate extraordinary writing skills or historical understanding, particularly not for a supposed world leader.

      March 29, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Reply
  30. QS

    "It is high time we did more careful thinking." Museveni says at the end of this article.

    Careful thinking? Really...careful thinking?

    "In response to these latest attempts to ram through the "Kill the Gays" bill, Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni has publicly signaled that he wants the measure shelved. Appearing on Ugandan television last week, Information Minister Masiko Kabakumba announced that the Museveni administration has determined that the Anti-Homosexuality Bill is redundant, citing existing national laws that already make being gay a crime punishable by life imprisonment."

    Why do Uganda and certain other countries even belong to the U.N. again, when they refuse to acknowledge their blatant disregard for human rights? Or worse, acknowledge it but dismiss it as not being wrong in any way.

    This man believes being gay should be a crime, punishable by at least life imprisonment. Why are any other world leaders putting any faith in anything he has to say about a man who could virtually be his mirror image?

    March 29, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Reply
    • tharr

      Dear QS,

      I am a Ugandan and i support gay rights.Get yo facts right about the homosexaulity bill.Don't blame it on Museveni but blame it on the american evangelists who funded it and fueled it up. And if you have ever been in Uganda,then you should know better.We Ugandans blame Museveni for other problems in our country but not for homosexaulity bill as it came through the so called mom teresa.

      April 1, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Reply
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