Monday, July 23, 2007

Dictator's WMD stockpile destroyed

At long last, a stockpile of weapons of mass destruction assembled by one of the world's most notorious tyrants has been destroyed.

No, not that tyrant. We're talking about the late dictator of Albania, the paranoid Stalinist Enver Hoxha, who in the 1970s had assembled a stockpile of over 18 tons of mustard gas to protect his isolated communist paradise from his myriad (mostly imaginary) enemies. With the destruction of the stockpile, Albania has become the first nation to certifiably eliminate its entire stockpile of chemical weapons.

After Hoxha's death in 1985, the Albanian government appears to have forgotten about the deadly cache resting in a massive arms bunker outside the capital of Tirana. The post-communist government's attempts to get rid of the stockpile were derailed in the 1990s, when the country collapsed into chaos following a massive Ponzi scheme that nearly bankrupted the entire nation.

Fortunately (or unfortunately - depending on your outlook), most of the elaborate public monuments dedicated to Enver Hoxha have long since been torn down by his ungrateful nation. However, a tourist with a taste for a dictator's legacy can still travel to Albania and see Hoxha's most notorious gift to his country: hundreds of thousands of concrete bunkers meant to defend Albania from foreign aggression.

The only thing missing from the equation? Actual enemies who wanted to invade Albania.

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