We are quick to condemn dictators without understanding how they really got there. Most dictators begin as liberators and revolutionaries.
What happens to them as soon as they take power? Why do they undergo this sudden shift from freedom fighters to oppressors?
These people have deep-seated emotional and psychological issues. Yoweri Museveni’s first Girlfriend dumped him and married Besigye. Do we blame him for being ruthless on Besigye?
His guardian kicked him out of his home – forcing him to fend for himself at a young age. The first thing he did when he got to power was to grab the old man’s ranch. Do we blame him for that?
Robert Mugabe was born in ridiculous poverty. His father left them when he was just a boy -forcing him to take up the responsibility of looking after the family.
Growing up, his mother always told him that he was a special child. So Mugabe -even as an adult- knew that he posssed Messiahnic qualities and that no one else could lead Zimbabwe. The tragedies of his childhood turned him into a dictator. Do we blame him for that?
What of Joseph Stalin? His father was a cobbler who worked extremely hard with very little pay. The owner of the factory his father worked for, however, was a rich man. Every evening, while playing with the factory owner’s kids, they would taunt him that his family was poor.
When Stalin joined school, he embraced the literature of Vladimir Lenin, developed a deep hatred for capitalism, and absorbed himself into Marxism. Do we blame him for butchering Russian Tsars and oligarchs when he violently took power.
Idi Amin was an illiterate man who was constantly on the receiving end of insults from his British commanders in the Ugandan Army. He was the one who did the petty jobs -dug trenches, served as a porter for his bosses, polished their shoes, etc. What does that do to a man?
He finally wages war against Obote, grabs power, and embarks on a ruthless hunt against Ugandan intellectuals. Do we blame him for that?
I can go on and on -tell you about Yahya Jahmeh and Chairman Mao. But I feel that we should be more empathetic towards dictators. We should understand them, because only then can we find a cure for their emotional and psychological traumas.
These are men who, for the first time in their lives, are important people. After living entire lifetimes of wretchedness, suddenly they can command respect. You think they can sit back and watch anyone take away the only thing in their lives that has given them dignity as humans?