Monday, November 03, 2003

Dictators beware!

Since we have found no WMDs in Iraq, no Al-Quada links or ties to 9-11 and no imminent threat to our national security, Republican rationale for starting the war has turned toward humanitarian goals. Now, we are told that the fact that Hussein tortured his political enemies is reason enough for our invasion. That freeing the Iraqi people from oppression and rebuilding schools is the worthy goal for which more than 200 of our U.S. soldiers have given their lives.

If that is truly the case, then we really do have a long hard slog in front of us as there are a lot of countries out there with people suffering under oppresive dictatorships.

In February of 2003, Parade Magazine consulted independent human-rights organizations such as Freedom House, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch to come up with its list of the "Worst Dictators on the Planet."

1. Kim Jong-il (North Korea)
2. King Fahd and Prince Abdullah (Saudi Arabia)
3. Saddam Hussein (Iraq)
4. Charles Taylor (Liberia)
5. Than Shwe (former Burma, now Myanmar)
6. Teodoro Obiang Nguema (Equatorial Guinea)
7. Saparmurat Niyazov (Turkmenistan)
8. Muammar Gaddafi (Libya)
9. Fidel Castro (Cuba)
10. Alexander Lukashenko (Belarus)

"Dishonorable Mentions" were also given to Omar al-Bashir of Sudan, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Bashar al-Assad of Syria and the leaders of the People's Revolutionary Party of Laos.

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