Thomas Patrick Melady is not, in the general run of things, a man given to hyperbole. Today, he is one of the senior diplomats working for the United States, and a respected authority on African and European affairs. Among his greatest accomplishments was influencing the Vatican (during his term as Ambassador to the Holy See, from 1989 – 1993) to recognise the nation of Israel. He’s a serious man, is what I’m saying.
His first ambassadorial role was as US Ambassador to Burundi from 1969 – 1972. He then had the misfortune to become the new Ambassador to Uganda in 1972, a post he left the followiung year. In this role, he watched the early days of Idi Amin’s rule with mounting horror, describing the man in a telegram he sent to Washington on January 2, 1973, as “racist, erratic and unpredictable, brutal, inept, bellicose, irrational, ridiculous, and militaristic”. The United States closed its embassy in Uganda 38 days later, and did not reopen it until 1979.
|Idi Amin — Down I Go|