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February 26, 1977 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1977-02-26

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Eighty-Seven Years of Editorial Freedom
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109

IdiAmin: Study of a buffoon

Saturday, February 26, 1977

News Phone: 764-0552

Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan
s "
Stop police violence against
students and

IF ANN ARBOR Police want to as-
sure that wavering students are
driven into the union camp, then they
should continue the violent overreac-
tion that characterized their conduct
at the East Quad loading dock Thurs-
day afternoon.
Clearly stepping beyond the force
necessary to do the job, various of-
ficers jabbed and clubbed student
picketers with their night sticks while
clearing the way for' a University
garbage truck. Two patrolmen threw
one woman over a concrete wall.
There was no report that student.
strike supporters were using violence
against anyone, or that they, had
stopped moving - which would have
violated state law on picketing. Po-
lice apparently gave no warning of
their intention to attack the crowd.
Admittedly, police are obligated to
assure the right of University vehi-
cles to use dorm loading docks. When
they use unnecessary force, however,
they are responsible for turning a
peaceful, orderly work stoppage into
an angry, violent one.
Although the individual officers

on the scene bear responsibility for
their actions, City Hall and the Uni-
versity Administration are equally
guilty for Thursday's police outburst.
CITY COUNCIL'S inaction illustrates
that body's powerlessness and its
political deadlock more than anything
else. Albert Wheeler seems to be well-
intentioned, but under the City's weak
mayor government, he can only ad-
vise the police, not order them.-
The University administration, on
the other hand, called in police in
the first 'place, and has the power
to control police use of force against
employes and students.
Unfortunately, President Fleming
has indicated no intention to bring
law enforcement officers on campus
under tighter control. If any further
injuries at the hands of police oc-
cur, the blood is on his hands as
well. Even' more, the worst thing
Fleming can do for the University's
stand in public\ opinion would be to
permit more such incidents to con-

HE WOULD BE a comic
figure by most meas-
ures, the hulking dictator
who plunges into hotel
swimming pools in his pa-
jamas and likes to be re-
ferred to as "Big Daddy."
He is, by even the most
generous measures, a buf-
foon, declaring on Uganda
radio after his successful
coup in 1971 that "a few
minutes previously" the
armed forces had handed
him the power. He is Field
Marshal Doctor President
Idi Amin Dada El Hadji,
self-proclaimed saviour of
the free world. And the buf-
foon is as dangerous as the
comedy of his reign is
Since his reign of terror
began, Ugandans have been
disappearing into the night,
only to be found brutally
slain, if they are ever heard
from again. Amin's army
massacred more than a
hundred students at Make-
rere University for vocally
opposing "Big Daddy." The
elderly Dora Bloch, re-
leased hijack victim during
the Entebbe Airport inci-
dent of last July, has nev-
er been heard from since
she was admitted to a
Uganda hospital. And in
the latest of Amin's brutali-
ties, Archbishop Janani iLu-
wuw and two others were
allegedly killed when they
tried , to overpower the
guard driving them for in-,
terrogations. The guard
miraculously escaped while
the archbishop and his "co-
conspirators against Amin"
were killed. Amin was re-
ported as "shocked and
stunned" at the incident
while Ugandan officials in-
sist that "there was no foul
play whatsoever. It was just .
one of those terribly sad
And now the world is
echoing its cries for inves-
tigations into Ugandan vio-
lations of human rights.
And Anin continues to be
the most controversial of
world leaders, rivaling Hit-

ler and Attilla the Hun for
their places in world his-
Doctor President was born
of a Muslim Kakwa family
in 1925 in the extreme
Northwest corner of Ugan-
da. And "Big Daddy's" lim-
ited primary school educa-
tion shows clearly in some
of his more verbose quota-
tions ("I have favor of dis-
crimination against black
people"). At the age of
twenty-one, the future
"saviour of the world" join-
ed the 4th (Ugandan) di-
vision of the King's African
Rifles (KAR).
Idi Amin made his mark
in the army; Ugandan hea-
vyweight boxing champion
from 1951 to 1960, crushing
the Buganda rebellion in
1966, promoted to Major-
General, 1968. Still, the
President of the newly in-
dependent state of Uganda,
Milton Obote, did not trust
Amin. When Obote left for
the Commonwealth Confer-
ence in Singapore in Janu-
ary of 1971, Amin learned
that Obote's troops had or-
ders to arrest him. "Big
Daddy's' loyalists, by a
fluke even they never an-
ticipated, defeated Obote's
army and Idi Amin found
himself in the position of
President of Uganda.
Since his unlikely coup
in 1971, Idi Amin has made
himself a caustic if not col-
orful figure in newspaper
headlines, often by his ill-
timed and unsolicited
comments on international
affairs. A sample of Amin's
"wit and wisdom" includes
the following.
"I love Jimmy Carter and
I can cooperate with him.
But if the American people
want me to be their presi-
dent or their king, I will.
If the American people
want Carter, I will accept
Carter. If they want me, I
will come,"
"I wish him a speedy re-

covery from the Watergate
She should "pack up her
knickers and minis."
"Many of the Scottish
people already consider me
the King of the Scotts. I was
the first person to ask the
British government to end
their oppression of Scot-
land. If the Scots want me
to be their king, I will
"If I went to England I
would have more success
than Queen Elizabeth."
The generous Amin also
offered a "free crate of ba-
nanas to the British people"
in 1973, if the government
would just send a plane to
pick them up. He also es-
tablished a "Save Britain
Fund" in Uganda.
Idi Amin has also expres-
sed his admiration of Adolf
Hitler, and had once prom-
ised to erect a statue of
the Fuhrer in Uganda. Now
the Field Marshal Doctor
President says "I personal-
ly don't want Hitler any
And as Amin's comic op-
era continues, Uganda is
collapsing around the cen-
ter stage clown. Once a
chief exporter of sugar, the
country now - under "Big
Daddy" - has to import
sugar from Kenya. This is
the direct result of one of
Amin's first official acts-
the expulsion of all Asians
from Uganda, which virtu-
ally left the sugar industry
without the machinery or
the qualified persons to run
it. Tourism too is practical-
ly nill, with the wave of
"disappearances" casting a
nightmarish shadow over
Amin's Uganda. Amin him-
self claims innocence, blam-
ing the disappearances on
"Obote and his guerrilla
supporters" now living in
Tanzania. "Big Daddy" has
vowed to- get to the bottom
of it.
The world's eyes are on
Uganda. And with the lat-
est outrage against Arch-

It's time to stop laughing
at Idi Big Daddy' Amin

bishop Luwuw, the Catholic
church is up in arms
against Amin. And the
reign of darkness still en-
velopes central Africa.
Amin likes to be called

the "bulldozer of Africa." It
appears that the bulldozer
is plowing the continent
over with fear and humilia-
tion, while trying to cover
his atrocities with fertilizer.

What does Carter plan to do about
the situation? White House press sec-
retary Jody Powell offered no com-
ment. Perhaps a more distressing
question is what can they do with-
out provoking a major international
The man has to be stopped. But
how? The United States or the Unit-
ed Nations can's just send in the
paratroopers or the marines and
forcibly remove him from his throne.
Violence to suppress violence isn't
an acceptable' answer.
But unfortunately there seems to
be no acceptable solution. All we can
do is hope.

(a play in one act)
Dramatis Personae
Indira Gandhi Richard Nixon
Niccolo Machiavelli Arthur Sulzberger
The editors and staffwriters of The New York Times
Setting: New York City, the city room office on the eighth floor
of the Times building.
Scene: Indira Gandhi and Richard Nixon have recently pur-
chased The New York Times and are taking over as co-editors-in-
chief. They have called together the staff of the paper to explain
new policy. Indira Gandhi is seated on top of a desk near a window
overlooking Seventh Avenue. Richard Nixon is standing next to a
drinking fountain directly across from Gandhi. Seated on the floor
below Gandhi's feet is Niccolo Machiavelli, new managing editor
of the Times. At the other end of the room, Arthur Sulzberger sits
at his old desk, tapping his pencil to the rhythmic humming of the
AP wire. Gandhi addresses the assemblage.
Gandhi: "Greetings (with a namaste). As you are all well aware,
Mr. Nixon and I have recently invested in this newspaper. You
may well ask how we 'could afford the $26 million price tag Mr.
Sulzberger placed upon it. Since what i-s said here tonight will not
leave this room, I have no qualms about being frank with you.
For the fiscal year 1984, there will be a $16 million deficit in the
Indian treasury. The additional ten million came partly from
CREEP funds and from donations gathered by Rabbi Korff. Mr.
Nixon will now discuss changes in editorial policy. (From the back
of the room Arthur Sulzberger rises from his chair). "Please re-
main seated Mr. Sulzberger, I believe that you will find this dis-
cussion most enlightening." (He sits down.)
(Nixon clears his throat-at which point two armed guards
silently enter the room and assume at-ease positions at the dor.)
Nixon: "Before I begin, I want to make one thing crystally
clear-I, we are the editors. We will always be the editors. The
press -has, in recent years, exceeded all bounds of responsible re-
porting. They have turned a deaf ear to the reasonable reproaches
of responsible officials, such as the public lambasting given my
vice-president for his remarks about fifth estate abuses. My col-
league Mrs. Gandhi has had the situation admirably under control
in her country until recenly.
"Seeing as her approach would not be feasible-at this time-
in the United States, we have deemed it sagacious to institute an
internal overhauling of the American press-beginning with this
Machiavelli: "The prince must first secure his internal domain
before expanding his borders."
Nixon: "Quite so, Niccolo. However, I find it advisable that
you refrain from injecting your comments unless you are called
upon to do so."
(Nixon nods at Gandhi, whereupon she delivers a kick to the ;
back of Machiavelli's head. Machiavelli does not move; his facial
expression remains unchanged.)
Nixon: "As I was saying-sweeping changes are needed at this
paper. The weeds of liberalism that have infested editorial policy
here must be uprooted and defoliated. 'It is time for you to gather
some idea of what power is. The object of power is ...'"
Sulzberger: " ' .. . is power. No one ever seizes power with
the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an
Nixon: "I see that you are also familiar with Orwell. I have
so far consented to your remaining on staff as a consulting editor,
but seeing as I have not consulted you, I advise that you remain
Gandhi: "We are getting nowhere. Simply stated the fact is
this. As of tomorrow the following policies will be in effect. The
editorial director will continue, as per custom, to write the editor-
ials. However, there will no longer be staff meetings to decide po-
sition. Hereafter, all editorial positions will be formulated by the
consensus of the editors-in-chief.
Machiavelli: "This is as it should be. He who causes another
to become powerful ruins himself, for he brings such a power into
being either by design or force, and both of these elements are
suspect to the one whom he has made powerful."
Nixon: "That is the second unca led for outburst you have
made, Niccolo. Three strikes and you're out." (Mahiavelli re-
ceives another kick.)
Nixon: "The next point is that of Times style. From this day
on Times style is my style, and of course, Mr. President's also.
Thererfore, all story deadlines will be moved up two hours so that
we may re-write them. We will now entertain comments from the
staff . . . none; good. Then let us continue."
Nixon: "This is not to say that a total autocracy will be es-
tablished here. Lay-out editors will continue to have total freedom,
subject to occasional heart-felt advice from the editors-in-chief.
Sports and features will remain functionally autonomous. However,
the UPI and AP basketball and football polls will no longer be
printed, as I will be picking my own top twenties for the paper.
Furthermore, under no circumstances will a Redskins loss be
written up by our sports staff. But aside from these trivialities,
all will remain the same in these areas."
Gandhi: "Turning now to the news, we feel that objectivity is

no longer desirable except under certain innocuous circumstances.
But for the majority of the stories we feel that a certain pro-
government slant is necessary to promote and maintain stability.
As a logical corollary to this, we have decided that such items as
veto overrides, protest demonstrations and coup d'etats will not be
printed, along with anything having to deal with national securiy.
The reasons for this policy should by now be self-evident."
(Sulzberger suddenly rises and begins to walk towards Gandhi.
Nixon beckons with his hands, the guards envelop him.)
Nixon: "I did not give you permission to rise. If you wish
to remain on this staff you will have to learn to control your indi-
vidualistic urges."
Sulzberger: "Can't any of you people ┬žee what is going on.
Can't you see your freedoms eroding away. Why won't you do
something? The rights of the press are being abrogated. My god,
Wicker, Scotty, Fox, Baker, all of you, open your eyes. Please
open your eyes."
(There is total silence in the room. Nobody looks at Sulzberger.)
Nixon: "That was foolish Arthur. Now you've gone and spoiled
Machiavelli: "While it is better for a ruler to be loved than
hated, to be respected rather than feared, it is first expedient to
rent nwtand rnh 1iant ' notentiallv disrunive influences."


THERE INEVITABLY comes a point
where laughter causes a sore
fester upon the body politic. Such a
point has been reached in the case
of Idi Amin, President of Uganda.
Up until now, Amin's actions have
been laughed off as the ravings of
a self - destructive, but externally
harmles lunatic. After all, who could
help but chuckle when the man
claims that he is the ruler of Scot-
land, or snicker when he offers to
coronate himself King of the United
The time has come to bring a
halt to the hilarity - Idi Amin isn't
funny any more. He is a very potent
and serious threat to world peace.
Yesterday, in his latest "harm-
less" eccentricity, Amin ordered all
American citizens residing in Uganda
to report to him on Monday - or
else. He has also ruled that they
are not allowed to leave the coun-
try before the meeting.
At the same time, Amin sent a
message to President Carter accus-
ing the CIA of attempting, and fail-
ing, to overthrow his government.
Amin says that the meeting is
designed for him to ask the Ameri-
cans whether they wish to remain in
Uganda or return to the United
Intelligence reports show there are
roughly 200 Americans living in Ugan-
da at present. These are mostly mis-
sionaries, with a few businesspersons.
Since America has closed down its
Ugandan Embassy, there are no dip-
locatic personnel in the country.
A MIN SAID that all Americans who

Editorial positions represent a
consensus of The Daily Editorial staff.
Editorial Staff




KEN PARSIGIAN .............Editorial Director
LOISJOSIMOVICH............Arts Editor
JAY LEVIN.................. Managing Editor
GEORGE LOBSENZ............Managing Editor
MIKE NORTON.............. Managing Editor
MARGARET YAO............Managing Editor
Magazine Editors
asrAlFF WRITERS: Owen Barr, Susan Barry,
Brian Banchard, Michael Beckman, Phillip
Bokovoy, Linda Brenners, Lori Carruthers, Ken
Chotiner, Eileen Daley Ron DeKett, Lisa Fish-
er, David Goodman, Marnie Heyn, Robb Haim-
es, Michael Jones, Loni Jordan, Janet Klein,
G:egg Kruppa, Steve Kursman, Dobilas Matu-
*Donis, Stu McConnell, Tom Meyer, Jenny Mil-
ler, Patti Montemurri, Tom O'Connell, Jon
Parisius, Karen Paul, Stephen Pickover, Kim
Potter, Martha Retalick, Keith Richburg, Bob
Rosenbaum, Denais Sabo, Annmarie Sobiavi,
Elizabeth Slowik, Tom Stevens, Jim Stimpson,
!iLike Taylor, Pauline Toole, Mark wagner, Sue
Warner, Shelley woison, Mike Yellin, Laurie
Young and Barb Zahs.
Sports Staff
TOM CAMERON......... Executive Sports Editor
SCOTT LEWIS ... ...... Managing Sports Editor
DON MacLACHLAN ..... Associate Sports Editor
Contributing Editors
NIGHT EDITORS: Ernie Dunbar, Henry Engel-
hardt, Rick Maddock, Bob Miller, Patrick Rode,
Cub Schwartz.
ASST. NIGHT EDITORS: Jeff Frank, Cindy Gat-
ziolis, Mike Halpin, Brian Martin, Brian Miller,
Dave Renbarger, Errol Shifman and Jamie Tur-

A J-M i?%Otac.teot

Business Staff

Letters to The Daily


.Business Manager
Ass't. Adv. Coordinator
.Finance Manager

Ta~ The T flhr

nearing in the Nile two days

boat diplomacy. Let a United

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