Monday, February 13, 2006

Dictatorship

I hereby predict political repression in Uganda. Why? Security reasons. The President has been attacked by unidentified gunmen, which will just happen to be linked to some political opponent of the president. I wish that dictators would be a little more creative in their moves. First, you modify the Constitution to let you serve multiple terms (already done). You build a large military to protect against some threat or other, much of which should be under your person control (already done). You adjust the electoral rules in the name of "unity" to keep most of your opponents from running (already done). Then, you miraculously survive an assaut by the remaining, and heretofore peaceful, opponents (just happened). Now, you jail all opposition, which gives something serious to complain about, so you shut down the remaining free media. "Shutting down" is not necessarily literal, since, if you compare the coverage of the insurgency in the main government publication, the New Vision, you'll find upbeat, militarist reporting. If you compare it to the main private publication, the Monitor, you'll find a large number of human-interest type stories, but very little coverage of the actual conduct of the war. Why? Take three guesses, and the first two don't count. (If it rhymes with "attesting the creditors," you're right.) I don't know how much time to give it before Museveni becomes "president for life", but it's coming.

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