Promoting Freedom or Fueling Conflict?
U.S. Military Aid and Arms Transfers Since September 11--from the World Policy Institute,
a report on whether we put our money where our mouth is. Statements like "Freedom will be the future of every nation and every people on Earth"
might sound nice and even inspiring, but why is our own government funding overwhelmingly anti-democratic and abusive governments?
... When countries designated by the State Department’s Human Rights Report to have poor human rights records or serious patterns of abuse are factored in, 20 of the top 25 U.S. arms clients in the developing world in 2003 -- a full 80% -- were either undemocratic regimes or governments with records of major human rights abuses. ...
posted by amberglow
on May 24, 2005 -
Mysterious Mr. Moto.
Severo Moto Nsa, Equatorial Guinea's exiled opposition leader reappeared in Madrid yesterday, after a strange episode in which he first was presumed abducted
(or worse), and then, from an undisclosed location in Croatia, had accused the Spanish government of trying to kill him
. He already made international headlines last year, with the most bizarre, incompetent coup attempt
in a while.
Not that the dictator
he's trying to topple is a nice character (even if his predecessor and uncle, Francisco Macías Nguema
, was even worse).
And, of course, there's oil
involved. Lots of it.
posted by Skeptic
on May 1, 2005 -
. Even in this age of crate-digger archaeology, especially when it comes to the roots of punk rock, this band of Bronx miscreants is little known except to cognoscenti. The stream of punk most identified with The Ramones (unapologetically crude three-minute pop singles, pop culture obsessed, based around fun, what Tom Carson called "deadly serious kidding") began with these guys first three albums
and lives on in the work of The Muffs, Nashville Pussy, The Supersuckers and countless others. A rock and roll treasure often overlooked.
posted by jonmc
on Jan 25, 2005 -
The world's ten worst dictators
-- this year anyway. Saddam, who was No. 3 Worst last year, has dropped off the list. Charles Taylor of Liberia (No. 4), also out of power and gone. Moammar Gadhafi (previously No. 8) and Belarus' Alexander Lukashenko (No. 10) also miss the new A list not because, according to the compilers, "they have improved but because other dictators have gotten worse."
posted by jfuller
on Sep 1, 2004 -
More or Less
is an interesting mini-encyclopedia of several of the great heroes & great villains of the 20th Century, with background information on each individual, the situation they were in, the scope of their impact on humanity, etc. It makes an interesting contrast, as well as a good thinking point on what one human life can achieve, for better or worse.
posted by jonson
on Aug 24, 2003 -
The Dictators Contest
"Back by popular demand is the Original Dictators Contest
. 16 of the last century's most fearsome autocrats have been selected and pitted randomly against one another to compete for the title Dictator of Dictators
". If you don't see your favorite Dictator, try The Second Dictators Contest.
Agree with their results? Did they forget anyone?
posted by Mack Twain
on Apr 11, 2003 -
How did they die, and why is it important? The Death of the Father
is an exhibit tracing the deaths of some modern political villains [Stalin, Ceausescu, Tito, etc.] and exploring the political importance of death-as-closure in the ending of tyrannical regimes. A bit pomo at times, but you get to see Hitler's teeth! Just one of the many fascinating sites from the Cornell Institute for Digital Collections
posted by jessamyn
on Dec 11, 2002 -
From Domitian of Rome (51-96) "the Emperor who tortured flies" to Maria I of Portugal (1734-1816) "the Queen who thought she was already in hell", from Erzsébet of Transylvania (±1561-1614) "the countess who bit her servants" to "Mad" Ibrahim I of Turkey (1615-1648) " the Sultan who drowned his entire harem." Here's to a saner future for up-and-comers King Zahir Shah
in Afghanistan and King Simeon
in Bulgaria, and all other reigning monarchs.
posted by Voyageman
on Dec 10, 2001 -