Monday February 20 2017
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni is recommending a “Trump therapy” for liberals in the West who he argues are bent on forcing their ideology on other parts of the world.
In a long commentary published over the weekend on his website, the Ugandan president chided what he called “liberals” and “leftists” in the West for their lack of “gratitude” and being a “danger” to global peace by forcing their ideologies on (other) people.
In the article, full of historical anecdotes, Mr Museveni says other parts of the world like Africa, China and Russia have made more sacrifices than the West has done to contribute to global development.
“The freedom fighters from Africa, who have been fighting colonialism, neo-colonialism, slave trade and marginalisation for the last 500 years, would have counted the Western liberals and leftists among our automatic allies because these should be people that should be fighting for freedom and justice for all peoples, including the formerly colonised peoples.
“Instead, we notice confusion, ingratitude and, therefore, danger from these liberals and leftists,” he says.
APPEARS TO SUPPORT TRUMP
The Ugandan leader, who has been in power since 1986, appeared to support the ideologies of US President Donald Trump in spite of controversies surrounding his election in 2016.
Trump was accused of groping women, got rejected by many leaders within his own Republican Party and there were allegations that he had links with Russian hackers, which he denies.
But Mr Museveni says the image of Trump portrayed by the so-called liberals who are hardliners on political, economic and social issues is warped, rather than progressive.
Often known for composing long lectures on political ideology, development, and revolutions, President Museveni’s arguments in his blog titled “The confusion, ingratitude as well as the danger of the Western liberals and the Trump therapy”, includes his own experience of working with the West, something he admits was mostly irritating.
“We would spend endless hours arguing with the Western liberals on matters on which we cannot have convergence, bearing in mind that our societies were still pre-capitalist and traditional while theirs have been industrial for centuries now.
“These are issues to do with family, forms of democracy, homosexuals, central planning versus economic liberalisation. One had to control irritation to politely get through these meetings.”
To him, the West had better work with the rest of the world on common issues he called “convergence.”
Citing Trump’s campaign for convergence rather than divergence, he says the West can work together on issues the world agrees on.
“There are so many issues on which all of us (Africa, the West, Russia, China, India, Brazil, etc.) agree: universal education; improved health; industrialisation; freedom of Peoples; the emancipation of women; anti-terrorism; etc.
“Why not take advantage of these convergences? We who were colonised and brutalised by the Western countries forgot and forgave those mistakes.
“Why can’t these countries of the West have a just and balanced attitude to the countries of the East that are growing in capability and getting millions of peoples out of poverty?”
Delving into history, President Museveni reminded the world of the African sacrifices for liberation, the communist contribution to world order and how the West’s “greed” put us in a bad situation without them admitting it.
He calls these the “three pillars that have influenced our ability to regain freedom”.
“These groups were against the Soviet Union after the October Revolution in 1917, throughout the inter-war period (1918-1939), during the Cold War and even after the Cold War. It is unfair, it is wrong and it is dangerous for world peace,” he says.
“It is this Soviet Union, that did not only support the freedom of us, the colonised peoples of the world, but saved the whole of humanity by defeating (German dictator Adolf) Hitler, that is ever the target of the ungrateful, confused and, therefore, dangerous groups in the West.
Mr Museveni was referring to the formation of the Soviet state in 1917 when the revolutionary Bolsheviks ousted the Czar to replace the empire with a socialist state.
The Soviet Union would be formed in 1922 under Vladimir Lenin to be a “true democracy.”
However, the Union was under only the Communist Party which demanded loyalty from every citizen.
Mr Museveni says the West should thank the Soviet Union under dictator Josef Stalin for ending Adolf Hitler’s brutality during the World War II, a war in which most of the West had refused to side with the Soviets.
While President Museveni says the Soviets helped Africa’s rise against colonialism by emphasising on freedom, Stalin himself rose to be an expansionist dictator in contrast with the supposed freedoms of the colonised people.
PROTESTS AGAINST SOVIETS
In fact, at some point, there were protests against the Soviets in Africa after they, in 1968, invaded Czechoslovakia (which later dissolved into the Czech Republic (Czechia) and Slovak Republic (Slovakia)).
The Ugandan leader says he took part in those protests in Dar es Salaam (when he was a student there), but he believes the Soviets were the lesser evils.
“True, the Soviets made their own mistakes. Why did they occupy Western Europe after the defeat of Hitler? Would the mighty Red Army not have earned more admiration from the peoples of the world if they had withdrawn from Eastern Europe in 1946 and left those people’s to shape their own destinies?” he asked.
“However, to me, who is not biased, those mistakes neither compare with the mistakes of the West, past and present, nor do they deem the great historic contributions of both the USSR and China to the cause of humanity in general and the African peoples in particular,” Mr Museveni says.