Monday, April 24, 2006

Welcome, Comrades!

Welcome, comrades, to the Dictators of the World - a blog devoted to news, history, and images of the world's most infamous tyrants, both present and former.

Currently, the world is awash in dictators, yet for some reason, we have stopped identifying them as such. Some people have noted the curious tendency to abandon the word "dictator" in favor of the more diplomatic word "leader".

For example, a Google search reveals that most western press outlets prefer referring to Saddam Hussein - one of the 20th century's most notorious dictators - as the "former Iraqi leader" (255,000 hits) instead of the "former Iraqi dictator" (152,000 hits). Granted, in his capacity as head of state, Saddam Hussein certainly was the "leader" of Iraq. However, the Prime Minister of Canada is also the "leader" of Canada. The usage of such a neutral term flattens any distinction between Steven Harper and Saddam Hussein, and frankly, we're no better off for being less candid.

This blog will celebrate the world's nastiest autocrats. It will take time to profile up and comers like Venezuela's populist despot-in-training Hugo Chávez, seasoned veterans like Cuba's completely intractable caudillo Fidel Castro, while taking a look back at the late greats, like Mao Zedong, Josef Stalin and Generalissimo Francsico Franco.

From Belarus to Zimbabwe - no corner of the earth governed by autocratic despots should be beneath our notice. I only hope our interest coincides with the unhealthy curiousities of readers.

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