Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Meet the new boss..........Same as the old boss

Years ago I saw The Who in concert with my friend Stephanie at RFJ Stadium in Washington DC. Given how much politics dominates life in Washington DC when Roger Daltry sang "Won't Get Fooled Again" the lyrics had special meaning for me.

Granted I complain daily (okay, hourly) about all levels of government in my home country -- the USA -- but yes sometimes I have to pause to count my blessings that I do not live in a truly repressive nation-state (for many of my libertarians friends the very term, "nation-state" is repressive) such as the recent list of countries, "The World's 10 Worst Dictators", compiled by David Wallechinsky, Contributing Editor at http://www.parade.com (January 22, 2006):


1.) Omar al-Bashir of Sudan
2.) Kim Jong-Il of North Korea
3.) Than Shwe of Burma
4.) Robert Mugagbe of Zimbabwe
5.) Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan
6.) Hu Jintao of China
7.) King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia
8.) Saparmurat Niyazov of Turkmenistan
9.) Seyed Ali Khamane'i of Iran
10.) Teodoro Obiang Nguema of Equatorial Guinea

Mr. Wallechinsky went on to list the next ten "contenders" for the top 10 list so a quick tally count of these men (NOTE -- there are only men on this list, NO female "worst dictators" in the world today) organized by region of the world yields the following results:

Africa -- 7
Asia -- 6
Eurasia - 3
Middle East - 3
Latin America - 1

Several observations come to mind when I review this tally list such as:

  • The G-8, OECD, Nordic countries, Bono, etc. (the largest foreign aid advocates/donors) need to completely re-think foreign aid to African countries (7 nations listed in this top 20 list) . Why send funds and materials as foreign aid to keep dictators in power versus having the repressed masses throw off the yoke of dictatorship? Better to aid such revolutionaries (and entrepreneurs) versus central governments who perpetuate one-party rule. Resource -- http://www.africanexecutive.com
  • Adding the Eurasian and Middle East dictators together (6 total) should concern US policy makers given our reliance on oil from these nations/regions. Coupled with this is the Asia region (with 6 nations in the top 20 list of worst dictators) since this represents the "demand side" of oil -- these dictators need the same oil the USA needs so that is the real economic and political threat not inexpensive tennis shoes from China.
  • Cuba (Fidel Castro) is the only dictator listed in the top 20 list which leads me to believe several things 1.) Mr. Wallechinsky overlooked President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, 2.) the "Monroe Doctrine" in USA foreign policy helped the Latin American region not withstanding the American para-imperialism it also created, and 3.) The USA should lift the trade embargo that exists against Cuba so we drive Castro out of power using market forces and consumer buying power -- much like I predict will happen in China once consumers start demanding more personal liberties once they have all the flat screen TVs that could possibly want to purchase :)

Perhaps for 2007 Mr. Wallechinsky or another author can produce a ranking of the "The World's 10 Best Heads of State/Government".

Ballots not bullets,



Anonymous said...

Right .. same chit different guy


Nomad said...

I agree with lifting the Cuban embargo for the reasons you've sited, but only AFTER I have selfishly experienced the thrill of traveling there "illegally"!

jdsqrd said...

People tend to learn from example. According to most authoritative texts, God's command over heaven and earth does not follow democratic doctrins.