Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Dirty Dozen Despots

I have compiled my list of the top twelve world tyrants who should be thrown out of power...and it seems increasingly the masses of their constituents are in agreement. I call it my "Dirty Dozen Despots". There are probably 25+ other tyrants and demagogues close behind them on the world stage, but for starters the world has a much better chance for peace and prosperity if we get these first 12 out of the way.

The top twelve in this collage from the top, left to right are:

President Ali Abdul - Yemen
President Evo Morales - Bolivia
Ramon and Fidel Castro - Cuba
President Al Baraka - Bahrain
President Zine E l Abidine Ben Ali - Tunisia (GONE)
President Mubarak - Egypt (GONE)
President Bashar Al Assad - Syria
President Ahmadinejad - Iran
President Hugo Chavez - Venezuela
Moamer Gadhafi - Libya
Kim Jong Il - North Korea
President Abdela - Algeria

There are a number of other African and Asian leaders who need to be replaced...but this "dirty dozen" seem the most ready to topple, implode or who affect regional stability in the Middle East and elsewhere.

As they say, pictures are better than a thousand words. As you start reviewing photos of these despots, you start seeing common traits. The most telling sign of a dictator is their shaking of the index finger when talking. I could have delivered a photo of each one of these guys in a strikingly similar pointing pose, but I didn't want to send the message that they were all just alike. Some are more imposing and insane than others. The continual use of the forefinger strongly indicates their belief in authoritarianism and pointing their fingers at others to blame for their perceived need for "dictating" to their countrymen.

You also will see many of them often dressed in military uniforms. This sends another strong message of identifying with their military and their willingness to use them in defense of their hold on power. Whenever their own people rise up against them, they are always pointing the finger at "foreign powers" or "political enemies" for their leadership failures which somehow justifies their use of armed forces against their own people.

I have been very disappointed with my own government which has often times funded such regimes, including the former despots such as Noriega in Panama and Saddam Hussein in Iraq. The latest tally of the cost of the USA to take out Hussein's government in Iraq...a former over $775 BILLION! And he built those golden laden palaces and bought heavy munitions with OUR tax payer money that was supposedly sent to support democracy and humanitarian needs of the Iraqi people. What a TRAVESTY! We Americans really have to ask ourselves if these wars "for democracy and freedom" in Iraq and Afghanistan have been worth the $1.1 Trillion price tag which has significantly helped bankrupt our country. What would our border security, health and education systems look like with an effective infusion of that kind of money? Better yet, what would our country's balance sheet look like in support of the dollar and competitive economics if that money had been invested more effectively?

To that end, I see these popular uprisings of "the people" as doing us a big favor. At our rate of "non-peace" building as a nation, we will or would be at war with these people before long in this cause and effect world. Sure, we don't know who is going to take over for our "friend" Mubarak and other of these leaders as they get overthrown...yet I would hope we are happy to start fresh with some new, truly representative governments "of the people". I am quite sure they won't all go towards a system of "capitalism" or pure democracy. Many will lean very socialistic...and yes, Islamic. After all...that has been their culture and understanding for millenniums. Yet, I am quite confidant that if "the people" who are educated and true leaders in those countries have a new chance to govern, lead and do economic "deals" in the global marketplace, our world stands a lot better chance for peaceful co-existence than we have had during these times of extremist rulers and reactionary governance.

I will share in closing my BIGGEST concern. My biggest concern is that the leaders of the three biggest world powers...China, USA and Russia...will be quickly starting to compete for influencing and buying the new leaderships of these smaller countries. And not only that, I am quite sure they all are taking notes on how quickly popular revolutions can turn the tables on "established governance" if the masses start realizing how controlled and victimized they may be by their own leaders and military. We have too few fingers holding the capability of pushing the military...or worse yet...nuclear...power option. While I concur that we cannot let any of these despots gain nuclear military capability...the "superpowers" that already have them (including Pakistan, India, and Israel) should all find ways to turn those nuclear "swords" into "Plowshares" as quickly as possible. The only way I see that happening is to have the world so economically linked and interdependent that there is no need for such weapons and capability.

Will my country be one of the first "peacemakers" to that end? Only time will tell...and it is up to "the people" to demand that pursuit by our leaders. Demagogues and nuclear buttons are an unfortunate reality of what our world has become. May "the people" continue their pursuit of demanding global harmony, peace and a fair shot at prosperity without filling the pockets of these global despots.

By the way, does anyone know where Mubarak is hiding with his ill gotten BILLIONS? The world is shrinking and these people can no longer hide unless "our leaders" allow them to.

1 comment:

Bonnie said...

The most clearly expressed of any of your blogs that I've read. Very direct and to the point. I don't know who all you send your blogs to, Ed. I'm happy to be on the list as I often find them informative and/or entertaining. I'm glad that you express your thoughts, but I do have to wonder how much good it does for you to tell me (in particular) about them. I am absolutely powerless to do one thing to alleviate the problems you've described. I am better educated by knowing the things you tell me, but that's where the benefit stops. You are a strong person and you are influential with the people you know. Have you ever thought about running for political office or in any other way being directly involved in the running of any country you've chosen to live in ? I'm sure it's difficult to do that since you are an ex-pat, but it seems a shame that your insights stop with family and friends. I would like to see that your thoughts and ideas are impressed upon those in power. I do know that you get your letters to the editor published occasionally and I'd guess that you write to your representatives in government. I used to be more politically active and more informed, but I guess I've just kind of reached a point of feeling powerless to change anything so I just concentrate on my own little life now. Thanks for sharing your insights and keep it up. Love you, B