December 30, 2006

Four Dead Dictators

2006 was not a good year for dictators.

General Augusto Pinochet, died of a heart attack at the ripe old age of 91. His government murdered and tortured thousands of Chileans during his 17 year rule. He died before the many court cases meant to bring him down could be completed, cheating his people of justice.

Saparmurat Niyazov was the self proclaimed president of Turkmenistan. According to his Wikipedia article, foreign media considered Niyazov to be one of the world's most authoritarian and oppressive dictators in the world. He was a kook like most dictators and as proof of his kookiness instituted such kooky policies as requiring licensed drivers to pass a morality test and requiring doctors to swear an oath to him as president instead of the much loved and recognized Hippocratic Oath.

Another one who died before his people could receive justice for his crimes against humanity was the world famous, incredibly cruel and evil Slobodan Milosevic, former President of Yugoslavia and Serbia. The truly cruelest dictators usually have resumes that include genocide of their own people and Milosevic is no exception. He died while on trial at the Hague.

The frothy icing on the cake made from the metaphorically groundup bodies of dead dictators would have to be the hanging of Saddam Hussein. Now I know the war in Iraq is incredibly controversial and highly unpopular among most of my friends and a lot of people who come to this blog. But even if you don't agree with the ubiquitous presence of the US military in the hot bed of civil unrest known as Iraq, I'm sure most of you would agree that Saddam Hussein was no saint and that his death was welcome relief to many people who suffered injustice at the hands of that mad man.

He really was a despot that bullied and tormented and killed and frightened his citizens for years and years and years. And he was bat shit insane to boot.

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