This is really a joke, a pastime actually as dictator and intelligent are oxymoron. Sort of an idiot Savant, a fine mess, a little pregnant, accurate rumors. An Amhara Weyane and abundant poverty. Of late some quarters have insisted on calling the tyrant in Addis Abeba intelligent at a time when he is blatantly rigging an election while at the same time insisting on calling Robert Mugabe a blundering fool. When Idi Amin of Uganda was engineered by Britain and Israel to stage his coup against “Socialist” Milton Obote the British media was quick to mention and even praise his “native” intelligence. Native was the code word used for covering up “almost illiterate brute soldier of British colonialism”. Toe the line and you will be called intelligent.
The whole charade stems from two sources or motivations: the fist one being that notorious racist prejudice which makes a coherent black person intelligent, surprise, surprises the Kaffir boy knows how to talk at least. Or as the surprised Italian fascist officer said in a famous Ethiopian poem: “I saw the blacks eating like human beings” sort of surprise. In my own experience I have met this monster many times, with my listeners being surprised that I could explain the situation in my country and Africa as a whole and even debate with them. Without being cruel I have to state it is like the monkey doing new tricks very well, the ape speaks English and he can hold his own in a debate, hallelujah! And thus every street smart smooth talker becomes an intelligent person, with qualifications of course. As Santiago Carrillo, the late leader of the Spanish CP said it, “to ask for Western type democracy in countries like Ethiopia and Vietnam is to bray at the moon”. He was arguing that Ethiopians have to make do with a brutal colonel called Mengistu and his fake democracy as Carrillo, a pro Soviet to boot, was supporting the tyrant backed by Moscow. Thus, intelligent is by our own reduced standard, no one is comparing Meles with even any joke of a western miserable leader, mind you. The tyrants have used this prejudice to their own advantage as expected, they wear their Yes Bwana smile as a permanent fixture, they do the slave dance to perfection ( as Meles did sometime ago backing Sarkozy and Obama and betraying Africa in Copenhagen), repeat the buzz words that please the ears of the donors and, presto or voila, whichever you prefer, they or he appear as intelligent. When they say Meles is intelligent they do not mean he is crafty, devious, sneaky, able to hide his ignorance, intriguer, cruel, and a docile puppet, no. Meles said give me an opposition lest I become corrupt with absolute power and they clapped (intelligent was the cry). The dictator of Turkmenistan was one step ahead as he said: there are no oppoition parties so how can I give them freedom? An intelligent chap!
The second reason for some calling these depots intelligent is because they are their puppets, instruments of neo colonial domination, and their mercenaries. Albert Camus called an intellectual an unsuccessful idiot and the late Walter Rodney defined the dictator as follows:
“A dictator is defined as one who elevates himself above all other citizens and often makes claims to be closer to God than mere mortals. Emperors, kings and nobles of the feudal period easily became dictators because they could justify despotic acts on the grounds that royal power and authority were of sacred origin. In more modern versions of dictatorship, the absolute ruler has to fabricate an elaborate cult of the personality to prove that he is more intelligent, more potent and generally superior to any other human being. Idi Amin fancied himself not only a physical giant but also as an intellectual giant. Besides, he boasted of a direct line to Allah. Eric Gairy, our Caribbean ex-dictator, dabbled in obeah and convinced himself that he was better than the world’s leading scientists and would personally solve the problem of unidentified flying objects. This is the stuff of which dictators are made”. Not intelligence at all unless one mistakes vulgar notions and instinct for intelligence.
Back in 2008 TV personality Barbara Walters went to Damascus and called dictator Bashr Al Assad an intelligent and charming man. The friend of many African dictators, peanut farmer Jimmy carter, went to Korea and declared “I find Kim Il Sung to be vigorous and intelligent”. Castro came to Addis. talked to the killer who declared: I hate hurting even a fly” and publicly declared “Mengistu is an honest revolutionary!” America’s admired and “intelligent” allies ranged from El Salvador’s General Maximiliano Hernandez (the very man of the occult who said “it is a great crime to kill a fly than a man because men are resurrected while flies die forever”) to Ian Smith, apartheid Botha, Mobutu and Samuel Doe, Franco and Videla, Pinochet and Papadopoulos, Suharto and Nguema ( the latter who said “I am in permanent direct contact with God and the only man who can kill and will never go to hell” and then went ahead to slaughter thousands in Equatorial Guinea), So long as the dictators are theirs they are called intelligent. Washington, London, Berlin and the EU as a whole bankroll the dictator in Ethiopia. One western diplomat in Addis Abeba has gone on record admiring Meles Zenawi’s capability to lie outright and in more than four directions. He is so intelligent he can rig elections, slaughter hundreds and stay in power! The man who makes a fine mess, intelligent!
The admired native intelligence of Idi Amin (His Excellency, President for Life, Field Marshal Al Hadji Doctor Idi Amin Dada, VC, DSO, MC, Conqueror of the British Empire [CBE] in Africa in General and Uganda in Particular and King Of Scotland)
fast evaporated when he started to step on British and Western interests. He quickly became a monster, a fool, a cannibal, a savage, anything but intelligent. The “demonization” of all those who refuse to toe the line of the West is swift, cruel and relentless–just ask Gadafi, Mugabe, Sadam and others. The very people who praise Baathist and dictator par excellence Basher as intelligent would not be caught dead uttering one word of consideration as regards Sadam for example though he was a close ally of America at one time. Mengistu became crude and cruel because he was pro Soviet and not because he killed Ethiopians en masse which the new darling of Washington, a.k.a Meles, has been doing in earnest. The political alliance and consideration dictates the qualification. In actual fact, where there is intelligence there is knowledge and this does not mean vulgar and pedestrian groping to get one’s way by all means necessary, selling the country and the people wholesale if need be as Meles and others have done without qualms. It does not also mean power or authority but rather on how one obtains power and how he or she uses it. The West back then in the mid forties considered Mussolini civilized and mocked at Ethiopians trying to defend their country. The fascist was intelligent as was Hitler with whom many American companies such as General Motors, DuPont, Standard Oil of New Jersey, Davis Oil co., Ford, ITT, Chase National Bank, etc did brisk business, forget Nazism please, be intelligent. “Henry Ford was a good friend of Hitler and his book The International Jew inspired Hitler’s Mein Kampf and the Fuehrer kept Ford’s picture in his office and Ford was one of the four foreigners to receive the German’s highest civilian award”, wrote one fact finder. Intelligent people all around–they pay the piper and even the song is theirs. The intelligent West also did business with and backed the intelligent regime of apartheid in South Africa.
Of course, we may be crying foul because we have failed to understand the very meaning of being intelligent. If being intelligent means being a tyrant, a cruel murderer. a corrupt embezzler, a liar, an election rigger, a Western puppet, a traitor to one’s own people and nation, a complete idiot with the right buzz words, then Meles and other tyrants and their thieving wives are indeed intelligent. If we take intelligence as cleverly disguised stupidity then intelligent people are ruling us and making our lives so miserable that we want to intelligently but definitively remove them from power and the face of the earth. In the end all this can be taken just as an important trivia.