Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Gambian president claims cure for AIDS and asthma

It is a sad and terrifying thing when a head of state, drunk on power, starts to take complete leave of his senses. This is what seems to have happened last Wednesday with the president of Gambia, Yahya Jammeh. Speaking at State House before the Taiwanese and Cuban ambassadors and other dignitaries, Jammeh proclaimed himself as the possessor of mystical powers, capable of curing people of AIDS and asthma.

You heard right: AIDS and asthma. And he can cure people of AIDS in one day, as long as the day is Thursday, and on that day only ten cases please, five males and five females. Should you decide to go to Gambia to get the special presidential AIDS treatment, remember that while you may eat before getting cured, don't eat anything oily. For those who question his credentials as healer, Jammeh ended his rambling speech with these words of wisdom:

I am not a witch doctor and in fact you cannot have a witch doctor. You are either a witch or a doctor.

Jammeh does not consider a third possibility, i.e. that is he not a witch, or a doctor, but a dangerous liability. Dangerous, because of the message about AIDS he is sending to his people; a liability, because as commentators from Gambia politely put it, a man prepared to attribute mystical healing powers to himself is in no position to run a country in the modern world.
(Hat tip to Marin Gillis)


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