Defeating Dictators: Fighting Tyranny in Africa and Around the World
George B.N. Ayittey
The recent turmoil in North Africa and the Middle East disproves the idea that dictatorships are acceptable to the people of these nations. From the uprising in Tunisia to the overthrow of Egypt's Hosni Mubarak and rebellion across the region, the tide is turning against oppressive regimes. In this timely and urgent narrative, White House advisor on Africa George Ayittey takes a hard look at the fight against dictatorships around the world, from Eastern Europe in the twentieth century to the present turmoil in the Middle East. He describes the historic circumstances that led to the rise of brutal dictators and explains how, despite the best intentions and billions of dollars in aid, Western governments have been complicit in helping dictators consolidate power. He not only shows how the popular uprisings underway can best bring about democracy, but warns how democratic movements can inadvertently pave the way for more dictators. Ayittey examines strategies that have worked in the struggle to establish democracy through revolution, and suggests that by harnessing the power of democratic institutions and grassroots efforts, Africans can bring stability and security to the continent.
The Clinton administration epitomized this approach in Africa and elsewhere when it sought partnership with an “Abraham Lincoln,” who would take charge of his own backyard, and it invested heavily in the rhetoric and personalities of such a “partner.” During his March 1998 trip to Africa, President Clinton hailed Presidents Laurent Kabila of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia, and Isaiah Afwerki of Eritrea as the “new
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-11958945. 45. Washington Post, October 27, 2010. 46. Washington Times, August 28, 2003. 47. The Economist, August 30, 2003, 32. 48. Associated Press, December 20, 2010, and Der Spiegel, http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,735633,00.html. 49. Benjamin Bidder, “Europe’s Last Dictatorship Shows Violent Side,” Der Spiegel, http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,735633,00.html. 50. Washington Times, June 9, 2002. 51. The Economist,
16, 1787, http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/amendI_speechs8.html. 14. Jean-François Bayart, L’État en Afrique: la politique du ventre (Paris: Fayard, 1989), 58. 15. Bohannan, Africa and Africans, 195. 16. Pao Saykao, “Hmong Leadership: The Traditional Model,” 1997, http://www.hmongnet.org/hmong-au/leader.htm. 17. Michael van Notten, The Law of the Somalis: A Stable Foundation for Economic Development in the Horn of Africa, ed. Spencer Heath MacCallum (Trenton, NJ: Red Sea
appoint their own electoral commissioners, empanel a gang of lackeys to write the constitution, inflate the voters’ register, manipulate the electoral rules, and hold coconut elections to return themselves to power. Even African children could see through this chicanery and fraud. Said Adam Maiga from Mali: “We must put an end to this demagoguery. You have parliaments, but they are used as democratic decoration.”52 Reform becomes a charade. The reform process has stalled through vexatious
the strong sense of community is the almost universal set of beliefs and practices centering upon ancestors, the original founders of the community and settlement. The peasant believes he owes his existence to his ancestors and therefore owes them a duty to carry out their commands and uphold their name and dignity. Although they are dead physically, they are spiritually ever present, influencing the course of daily life and mediating between the earthly and the supernatural. Whereas in the West