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Annual List Of...The World's 10 Worst Dictators
parade.com ^ | 21 January 2006 | David Wallechinsky

Posted on 01/21/2006 7:10:22 AM PST by vikingd00d

A "dictator" is a head of state who exercises arbitrary authority over the lives of his citizens and who cannot be removed from power through legal means. The worst commit terrible human-rights abuses. This present list draws in part on reports by global human-rights organizations, including Human Rights Watch, Freedom House, Reporters Without Borders and Amnesty International. While the three worst from 2005 have retained their places, two on last year's list (Muammar al-Qaddafi of Libya and Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan) have slipped out of the Top 10-not because their conduct has improved but because other dictators have gotten worse.

1) Omar al-Bashir, Sudan. Age 62. In power since 1989. Last year's rank: 1

Since February 2003, Bashir's campaign of ethnic and religious persecution has killed at least 180,000 civilians in Darfur in western Sudan and driven 2 million people from their homes. The good news is that Bashir's army and the Janjaweed militia that he supports have all but stopped burning down villages in Darfur. The bad news is why they've stopped: There are few villages left to burn. The attacks now are aimed at refugee camps. While the media have called these actions "a humanitarian tragedy," Bashir himself has escaped major condemnation. In 2005, Bashir signed a peace agreement with the largest rebel group in non-Islamic southern Sudan and allowed its leader, John Garang, to become the nation's vice president. But Garang died in July in a helicopter crash, and Bashir's troops still occupy the south.

2) Kim Jong-il, North Korea. Age 63. In power since 1994. Last year's rank: 2

While the outside world focuses on Kim Jong-il's nuclear weapons program, domestically he runs the world's most tightly controlled society. North Korea continues to rank last in the index of press freedom compiled by Reporters Without Borders, and for the 34th straight year it earned the worst possible score on political rights and civil liberties from Freedom House. An estimated 250,000 people are confined in "reeducation camps." Malnourishment is widespread: According to the United Nations World Food Program, the average 7-year-old boy in North Korea is almost 8 inches shorter than a South Korean boy the same age and more than 20 pounds lighter.

3) Than Shwe, Burma (Myanmar). Age 72. In power since 1992. Last year's rank: 3

In November 2005, without warning, Than Shwe moved his entire government from Rangoon (Yangon), the capital for the last 120 years, to Pyinmana, a remote area 245 miles away. Civil servants were given two days' notice and are forbidden from resigning. Burma leads the world in the use of children as soldiers, and the regime is notorious for using forced labor on construction projects and as porters for the army in war zones. The long-standing house arrest of Aung San Suu Kyi, winner of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize and Than Shwe's most feared opponent, recently was extended for six months. Just to drive near her heavily guarded home is to risk arrest.

4) Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe. Age 81. In power since 1980. Last year's rank: 9

Life in Zimbabwe has gone from bad to worse: It has the world's highest inflation rate, 80% unemployment and an HIV/AIDS rate of more than 20%. Life expectancy has declined since 1988 from 62 to 38 years. Farming has collapsed since 2000, when Mugabe began seizing white-owned farms, giving most of them to political allies with no background in agriculture. In 2005, Mugabe launched Operation Murambatsvina (Clean the Filth), the forcible eviction of some 700,000 people from their homes or businesses-"to restore order and sanity," says the government. But locals say the reason was to forestall demonstrations as the economy deteriorates.

5) Islam Karimov, Uzbekistan. Age 67. In power since 1990. Last year's rank: 15

Until 2005, the worst excesses of Karimov's regime had taken place in the torture rooms of his prisons. But on May 13, he ordered a mass killing that could not be concealed. In the city of Andijan, 23 businessmen, held in prison and awaiting a verdict, were freed by their supporters, who then held an open meeting in the town square. An estimated 10,000 people gathered, expecting government officials to come and listen to their grievances. Instead, Karimov sent the army, which massacred hundreds of men, women and children. A 2003 law made Karimov and all members of his family immune from prosecution forever.

6) Hu Jintao, China. Age 63. In power since 2002. Last year's rank: 4

Although some Chinese have taken advantage of economic liberalization to become rich, up to 150 million Chinese live on $1 a day or less in this nation with no minimum wage. Between 250,000 and 300,000 political dissidents are held in "reeducation-through-labor" camps without trial. Less than 5% of criminal trials include witnesses, and the conviction rate is 99.7%. There are no privately owned TV or radio stations. The government opens and censors mail and monitors phone calls, faxes, e-mails and text messages. In preparation for the 2008 Olympics, at least 400,000 residents of Beijing have been forcibly evicted from their homes.

7) King Abdullah, Saudi Arabia. Age 82. In power since 1995. Last year's rank: 5

Although Abdullah did not become king until 2005, he has ruled Saudi Arabia since his half-brother, Fahd, suffered a stroke 10 years earlier. In Saudi Arabia, phone calls are recorded and mobile phones with cameras are banned. It is illegal for public employees "to engage in dialogue with local and foreign media." By law, all Saudi citizens must be Muslims. According to Amnesty International, police in Saudi Arabia routinely use torture to extract "confessions." Saudi women may not appear in public with a man who isn't a relative, must cover their bodies and faces in public and may not drive. The strict suppression of women is not voluntary, and Saudi women who would like to live a freer life are not allowed to do so.

8) Saparmurat Niyazov, Turkmenistan. Age 65. In power since 1990. Last year's rank: 8

Niyazov has created the world's most pervasive personality cult, and criticism of any of his policies is considered treason. The latest examples of his government-by-whim include bans on car radios, lip-synching and playing recorded music on TV or at weddings. Niyazov also has closed all national parks and shut down rural libraries. He launched an attack on his nation's health-care system, firing 15,000 health-care workers and replacing most of them with untrained military conscripts. He announced the closing of all hospitals outside the capital and ordered Turkmenistan's physicians to give up the Hippocratic Oath and to swear allegiance to him instead.

9) Seyed Ali Khamane'i, Iran. Age 66. In power since 1989. Last year's rank: 18

Over the past four years, the rulers of Iran have undone the reforms that were emerging in the nation. The hardliners completed this reversal by winning the parliamentary elections in 2004 -after disqualifying 44% of the candidates-and with the presidential election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in June 2005. Ultimately, however, the country is run by the 12-man Guardian Council, overseen by the Ayatollah Khamane'i, which has the right to veto any law that the elected government passes. Khamane'i has shut down the free press, tortured journalists and ordered the execution of homosexual males.

10) Teodoro Obiang Nguema, Equatorial Guinea. Age 63. In power since 1979. Last year's rank: 10

Obiang took power in this tiny West African nation by overthrowing his uncle more than 25 years ago. According to a United Nations inspector, torture "is the normal means of investigation" in Equatorial Guinea. There is no freedom of speech, and there are no bookstores or newsstands. The one private radio station is owned by Obiang's son. Since major oil reserves were discovered in Equatorial Guinea in 1995, Obiang has deposited more than $700 million into special accounts in U.S. banks. Meanwhile, most of his people live on less than $1 a day.

Contributing Editor David Wallechinsky has reported on world figures for PARADE, including an interview with Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. For more on the worst dictators, visit parade.com on the Web.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: africa; burma; china; dictators; equatorialguinea; hujintao; iran; islamkarimov; karimov; khamanei; kimjongil; kingabdullah; mugabe; myanmar; niyazov; northkorea; obiang; omaralbashir; saudiarabia; sudan; thanshwe; topten; turkmenistan; uzbekistan; zimbabwe
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1 posted on 01/21/2006 7:10:24 AM PST by vikingd00d
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To: vikingd00d

Obviously a Democrat didn't compile this list... /humor


2 posted on 01/21/2006 7:14:57 AM PST by coconutt2000 (NO MORE PEACE FOR OIL!!! DOWN WITH TYRANTS, TERRORISTS, AND TIMIDCRATS!!!! (3-T's For World Peace))
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To: vikingd00d

As evil as the dictators are, it makes me wonder if they have a sense of pride for being on this list.


3 posted on 01/21/2006 7:15:02 AM PST by Kimmers
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To: vikingd00d

Whoever did this missed Castro.


4 posted on 01/21/2006 7:15:55 AM PST by Salo (He hath touched me with his noodly appendage. Ramen.)
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To: vikingd00d
>>>>>>Saudi women may not appear in public with a man who isn't a relative, must cover their bodies and faces in public and may not drive. <<<<<<

Think Hillary.....since Bill is never around..........um...........we need to adopt this right now!

5 posted on 01/21/2006 7:16:33 AM PST by irish guard
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To: vikingd00d
7) King Abdullah, Saudi Arabia. Age 82. In power since 1995. Last year's rank: 5

Harhar, if you knew how their system really worked, you wouldn't have him on your list.
The King has very little to say in anything, except perhaps, who he might want as a one-nighter.
Everything in his life is prescribed by Sunni law, Arab tradition and money (coming in, that is). If he strays from said path of dictatorial Sunni law, Arab tradition and money coming his, he is dead meat.
No Saudi has to be the hired assassin, the king's own family does the deed.

The dictatorship shouldn't be the individual himself, or even the kingship....it should be the Saudi system of government, power, tradition and money in.

6 posted on 01/21/2006 7:17:36 AM PST by starfish923 (Socrates: It's never right to do wrong.)
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To: vikingd00d


These guys are all Communists! Obviously a University guy didn't make this list.


7 posted on 01/21/2006 7:18:44 AM PST by Tzimisce
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To: Salo
Whoever did this missed Castro.

You are right.
Since he's been dictator for 45 years and counting, it's a big miss.

8 posted on 01/21/2006 7:20:47 AM PST by starfish923 (Socrates: It's never right to do wrong.)
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To: Tzimisce
These guys are all Communists! Obviously a University guy didn't make this list.

Whoever made this list forgot the longest-dictating commie dictator, only 90 miles from Florida.....Fidel Castro.

"They broke Elian's bed....."

9 posted on 01/21/2006 7:23:08 AM PST by starfish923 (Socrates: It's never right to do wrong.)
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To: vikingd00d

Wallechinsky was born a Wallace, but went back to the original form of the family name before they came to America. His father is or was a well-known Wallace--I forget if he is the Mike Wallace of "Sixty Minutes" or someone else.


10 posted on 01/21/2006 7:23:12 AM PST by Verginius Rufus
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To: vikingd00d

What, Bush isn't on it?

Seriously, it is good to see some attention getting paid to REAL tyrants who seriously oppress their people. People have gotten so irrational I bet a lot of leftists WOULD put Bush on it. They have no concept of what true evil is.


11 posted on 01/21/2006 7:23:41 AM PST by I still care (You don't demonstrate tolerance for minorities by apologising for your own heritage- John Howard)
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To: Salo; coconutt2000

Perhaps a Democrat did compile this list (-:

12 posted on 01/21/2006 7:24:05 AM PST by StACase
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To: vikingd00d
They left out:

SCOTUS


13 posted on 01/21/2006 7:24:13 AM PST by ikka
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To: vikingd00d

I see that they (purposely) missed Castro.

The humor of it all is that Saddam Hussein is not on the list.


14 posted on 01/21/2006 7:25:57 AM PST by AlGone2001 (He's not a baby anymore...)
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To: Salo

Castro's pretty much done all the damage he's going to do. I can see him getting dropped a notch or two due to inactivity.


15 posted on 01/21/2006 7:27:26 AM PST by vikingd00d
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To: vikingd00d

Anyone notice the percentage of the list filled by adherents of the "religion of peace?"


16 posted on 01/21/2006 7:27:46 AM PST by Lucky Dog
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To: coconutt2000

Yeah, No Bush. Media bias alert!


17 posted on 01/21/2006 7:29:34 AM PST by null and void ("Never place a period where God has placed a coma" --Gracie Allen)
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To: Salo
Whoever did this missed Castro.

As bad as Castro is he hardly ranks top 10.

18 posted on 01/21/2006 7:32:33 AM PST by Squawk 8888 (Proudly Christian since 2005)
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To: AlGone2001
Most likely because he's been deposed and is standing trial for war crimes. Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini and Franco are also missing from the list.

My parents used to comment that FDR was the closest this country every came to a dictator. Oddly enough, he was a Democrat {/sarcasm}
19 posted on 01/21/2006 7:33:31 AM PST by stm
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To: I still care

The silver lining in that list is the age of the dictators. Won't be long until they find out how mortal they are.


20 posted on 01/21/2006 7:33:39 AM PST by WVNan
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To: Salo
Whoever did this missed Castro.

The guy who put this together probably sports a Castro T-shirt and beard.
21 posted on 01/21/2006 7:33:41 AM PST by ARCADIA (Abuse of power comes as no surprise)
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To: vikingd00d
Kim Jong-il should be # 1 since he has the big red NUKE button he is building

Image hosting by TinyPic

22 posted on 01/21/2006 7:36:14 AM PST by Popman ("What I was doing wasn't living, it was dying. I really think God had better plans for me.")
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To: stm

This list is only for dictators that are in power right now.


23 posted on 01/21/2006 7:36:19 AM PST by Flavius Josephus (If I want your opinion I'll give it to you.)
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To: vikingd00d
Castro's pretty much done all the damage he's going to do.

Not at all. Just recently he has created his little protige Hugo Chavez, who has in turn given us a drug lord as Bolivia's new President. Castro is still a very dangerous snake who has neither mellowed nor repented.
24 posted on 01/21/2006 7:38:05 AM PST by ARCADIA (Abuse of power comes as no surprise)
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To: AlGone2001
Saddam ain't in power, anymore.

(Yup, it still feels good to say it!)

25 posted on 01/21/2006 7:38:22 AM PST by Teacher317
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To: Lucky Dog
Anyone notice the percentage of the list filled by adherents of the "religion of peace?"

30%, what's your point? There's more Chicoms and their allies than there are al-Qaeda sympathizers.
26 posted on 01/21/2006 7:38:24 AM PST by Lejes Rimul (I was right about Iraq all along. Told you so.)
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To: null and void

Must be they didn't poll Harry Belafonte.


27 posted on 01/21/2006 7:38:52 AM PST by Past Your Eyes (You knew the job was dangerous when you took it.)
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To: stm
Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini and Franco are also missing from the list.

I think this is a list of dictators who are still in power.I,for one,would love to see a poll done over at DUmmie Land naming the three most dangerous/murderous dictators of the 20th Century.

Mine would be Mao,Stalin,Hitler (in that order).I'm sure DUmmie Land would say Hitler,Hitler,Hitler,Hitler,Hitler....

28 posted on 01/21/2006 7:38:55 AM PST by Gay State Conservative
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To: Gay State Conservative

That was my point. These are sitting dictators


29 posted on 01/21/2006 7:42:45 AM PST by stm
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To: Gay State Conservative

Naaaaah. Hitler, Bushie, Raygun...


30 posted on 01/21/2006 7:43:03 AM PST by null and void ("Never place a period where God has placed a coma" --Gracie Allen)
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To: Past Your Eyes

I wonder why? He's such an authority...


31 posted on 01/21/2006 7:43:36 AM PST by null and void ("Never place a period where God has placed a coma" --Gracie Allen)
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To: Lejes Rimul
>>>>Anyone notice the percentage of the list filled by adherents of the "religion of peace?"
>>30%, what's your point? There's more Chicoms and their allies than there are al-Qaeda sympathizers.

I counted 60% Muslims in the list. Not that there's that much difference in outlook between Muslims and Communists....

32 posted on 01/21/2006 7:45:40 AM PST by vikingd00d
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To: vikingd00d
11) Sen. Edward "Splash" Kennedy -- Massachusetts.

Under the lifetime regime of "Ted" Kennedy, citizens of his state have routinely been denied their rights to self-defense and have been robbed of their income to fund public works projects of questionable worth. A mass exodus of residents has resulted, pushing the tax burden on remaining citizens even higher. Kennedy's reign has also created a milieu in which corruption flourishes, and encouraged other mediocre candidates to seek office in the Senate. Kennedy is described by his contemporaries as "a drunken bagpipe full of fish guts." In 1969, after a boozy orgy at his palatial estate near Martha's Vineyard, he drove his car off a bridge, drowning a young lady who was his passenger. He was never prosecuted for the death.

Kennedy is the youngest son of a dynastic family, all of whose sons have met with early, violent deaths. By bribing and pressuring officials, the family has managed to cover up repeated indiscretions by its members, but none so egregious as those committed by Edward.

33 posted on 01/21/2006 7:47:49 AM PST by IronJack
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To: vikingd00d

30% are true believers. The other 3 - despite one having the name Islam lol - and are about as Muslim as Hitler was Catholic. They're closer to China than they are to Saudi Arabia or Iran.


34 posted on 01/21/2006 7:49:22 AM PST by Lejes Rimul (I was right about Iraq all along. Told you so.)
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To: stm
*** My parents used to comment that FDR was the closest this country every came to a dictator. ***

Dictator might be taking it a tad far, but not by much. He was however, undoubtedly the biggest criminal to ever occupy the WH.

In comparison, FDR's criminal acts make Clinton's look like cheating at marbles.

35 posted on 01/21/2006 7:49:57 AM PST by Condor51 (Better to fight for something than live for nothing - Gen. George S. Patton)
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To: starfish923
Whoever made this list forgot the longest-dictating commie dictator, only 90 miles from Florida.....Fidel Castro.

David Wallechinsky

36 posted on 01/21/2006 7:50:32 AM PST by apackof2 (You can stand me up at the gates of hell, I'll stand my ground and I won’t back down)
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To: Verginius Rufus
His father was Irving Wallace.
37 posted on 01/21/2006 7:51:48 AM PST by TruthShallSetYouFree (Abortion is to family planning what bankruptcy is to financial planning.)
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To: Gay State Conservative
nah, like any dimwit, they would change the reality of the poll to include the 21st century so they could put GWB at the top of the list.
38 posted on 01/21/2006 7:59:32 AM PST by stm
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To: vikingd00d

This is bogus! This is not a list of the world's worst dictators, it's the list of all those heads of states that Kerry said supported him being elected in 2004. But at that time he said he was sworn to secrecy and could not tell us the names.


39 posted on 01/21/2006 8:03:25 AM PST by AlphaOneAlpha
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To: AlphaOneAlpha

Good pernt A1A.
BTW, I used to answer to Brave Two Yankee on the net call.


40 posted on 01/21/2006 8:09:21 AM PST by Past Your Eyes (You knew the job was dangerous when you took it.)
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To: Lejes Rimul
30%, what's your point? There's more Chicoms and their allies than there are al-Qaeda sympathizers.

I see only one "Chicom." Those you class as "alies" are subject to debate.

My point is simple: The geographic areas of the world under the influence of "religion of peace" along with Communism appear to tolerate "dictators" of various stripes far more than anywhere else. Draw your own conclusions.
41 posted on 01/21/2006 8:11:35 AM PST by Lucky Dog
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To: IronJack
he drove his car off a bridge, drowning a young lady who was his passenger. He was never prosecuted for the death.

You are wrong here,my friend.The senior Senator from Chappaquiddick *was* prosecuted *and* punished.

His driver's license was revoked for a few months (6,I think) but according to long time Boston newspaper columnist and Kennedy watcher,Howie Carr,he was caught driving at least once during the suspension period.

42 posted on 01/21/2006 8:12:01 AM PST by Gay State Conservative
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To: Gay State Conservative

Actually, Kennedy's license had expired on Feb. 22, almost five months before the accident. That fact was "fixed" by Registrar Richard McLaughlin of the Registry of Motor Vehicles before the "trial" started. If it had not been, it could have been introduced as evidence to support a charge of vehicular manslaughter.


43 posted on 01/21/2006 8:21:56 AM PST by IronJack
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To: IronJack

What happened to Syria and Iran's 2 nutjob presidents?


44 posted on 01/21/2006 8:24:48 AM PST by princess leah
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To: Lucky Dog
Lol are you saying that North Korea, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, et al. AREN'T allies - note the second "l", btw - of China? Get your head out of the sand.
45 posted on 01/21/2006 8:32:06 AM PST by Lejes Rimul (I was right about Iraq all along. Told you so.)
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To: princess leah
What happened to Syria and Iran's 2 nutjob presidents?

Too much material, too few slots ...

46 posted on 01/21/2006 8:33:36 AM PST by IronJack
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To: vikingd00d

Do any of these guys ever show up for the awards ceremonies?


47 posted on 01/21/2006 8:38:30 AM PST by InvisibleChurch (The search for someone to blame is always successful. - Robert Half)
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To: I still care
What, Bush isn't on it?

Seriously, it is good to see some attention getting paid to REAL tyrants who seriously oppress their people. People have gotten so irrational I bet a lot of leftists WOULD put Bush on it. They have no concept of what true evil is.

Beat me to the punch. IMO, the most egregious form of hypocrisy is seen in the Left's deafening silence over woman's rights in Islamic dictatorships. Isn't PC, ya know.

48 posted on 01/21/2006 8:41:59 AM PST by 101st-Eagle
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To: Salo

The list of parade.com goes from one to twenty. They put Castro at number 15.


49 posted on 01/21/2006 8:52:48 AM PST by EKrusling
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To: Squawk 8888

I don't like Castro, but it's been a long time since he's done anything like the mass murders or starvation committed by the people on this list.

He's evil for suppressing the instincts of his people to do more and better, but he's not stained with the rivers of blood that follow Kim Jong Il and friends.

I'd certainly much rather be in Cuba than any of the countries on that list.

D


50 posted on 01/21/2006 9:13:06 AM PST by daviddennis
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