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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05LILONGWE279
2005-03-24 09:41:00
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Lilongwe
Cable title:  

MEDIA REACTION - IRAQ, LILONGWE

Tags:   PTER  ASEC  KMDR  KPAO  MI 
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						UNCLAS LILONGWE 000279 

SIPDIS

FOR AF/PD, AF/S, AF/RA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PTER ASEC KMDR KPAO MI
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION - IRAQ, LILONGWE

UNCLAS LILONGWE 000279

SIPDIS

FOR AF/PD, AF/S, AF/RA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PTER ASEC KMDR KPAO MI
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION - IRAQ, LILONGWE


1. "Short memories, rude awakenings"


2. The independent daily, "The Daily Times" of
March 9, 2005, carried an opinion piece by one
of Malawi's prominent writers, Jika Nkolokosa,
on his regular "Take it or Leave it" Nkolokosa
argues that people in Malawi don't get the truth
from politicians. He makes a summation of world
events and relates them to Malawi's political
scenario. Excerpts follow.


3. It is amazing how short our memories are. I
don't mean just Malawians, but we the people of
the world. Pardon me if I bring back painful
memories to some of you. Soon after 9/11, US
President George W. Bush was foaming and
frothing about terrorism and, I guess, rightly
so. Actually, from time to time, he still does.
He promised to take the war to the aggressors,
the main one of whom was identified as Osama bin
Laden.

.Mr. Bush and company made a silent retreat from
the mountains of Afghanistan and took the war to
Iraq and Saddam Hussein on grounds that he was
an international terrorist as bad as bin Laden.

.The humiliation the former Iraqi dictator went
through must surely pass for one of the most
blatantly violations of human rights. Never
mind that he was a mere shadow of his former
self, he was the war's biggest trophy. I wonder
if those who lost their loved ones in the twin
towers of the World Trade Centre in New York on
that morning of September 11, 2001, thanked Mr.
Bush for Saddam's capture. Many people have
actually forgotten all about Osama bin Laden.
They only remember him when he makes his
audacious appearances on al Jazeera. Fewer
people still remember there once lived a
Slobodan Milosevic.

.When American troops opened fire on a freed
Italian hostage and her rescuer, secret agent
Nicola Calipari, the Italians dropped their
cappuccinos and recalled that these people had
been caught in a war they had never supported.
Perhaps for an hour or two they will remember
that they sacrificed their hero to a cause they
did not share.

.When Frederick Chiluba harassed and abused his
predecessor Kenneth Kaunda, it never occurred to
him that he might one day find himself in
Kaunda's shoes.

.Zimbabwe's Jonathan Moyo thought he would be
immune to his draconian media laws which muzzled
dissent with a rude finality.

.Take it or leave it, those who only tell us
about a future of playing diamond studded lutes
under a golden staircase fail to tell us the
truth. We want the whole truth, the harsh
truth. Even a people with short memories need
this rude awakening.

Gilmour