ROGUE'S GALLERY - POLITICAL DICTATORSHIPS WORLDWIDE


What we want you to do
1. Through reading the news, develop a feel for the vicissitudes of the struggle of democracy against dictatorship: e.g., how the largest remaining block of dictatorship is in East Asia, anchored by China, and is a reflection of its Confucian tradition, which justifies all manner of authoritarian social structures; how the mass murder in Tiananmen Square on June 4th, 1989, set back the democratic movement in China, likely for many decades, and also in Tibet and Burma; how the vast majority of the nations of the Islamic world are dictatorial; how dictatorship in sub-Saharan Africa is a modern-day extension of historical tribal enmities, in many cases fueled by colonial powers favoring, and arming, one tribe over another; and finally how, while a number of former dictatorships are now newly democratic (e.g., many - but not all - of the states of the former Soviet Union), the war for equality and freedom world-wide is by no means won, and, with many international banks and corporations now openly supporting dictators, including the worst, starting with China and Burma, it could still easily be lost.

2. Pick one of the dictatorships listed on the link below and get involved. Become a democracy activist. Research the situation, including through the links in the Activist Exchange, and either join a group or find some way to contribute to the struggle on your own.

What we intend to do
This campaign’s objective is to oppose the remaining political dictatorships in the world. We seek an end to the tactics of tyrants. Our intention is to track and count down such dictatorships, using the following organization, until none are left: until all the nations of the world have established functioning and enduring democracies.

The world's remaining political dictatorships

Dictators who have been expelled but not punished
- Burkina Faso: Blaise Compaore
- Gambia: Yahya Jammeh
- Ghana: Jerry Rawlings
- Kenya: Danial Arap Moi
- Kyrgystan: Askar Akayev
- Kyrgystan: Kurmanbek Bakiyev
- Malaysia: Mohammed Mahathir
- Nicaragua - Antonio Somoza
- Pakistan - Pervez Musharraf
- Peru: Alberto Fujimori
- Rwanda: Jean Kambanda
- Tunisia: Abidine Ben Ali
- Thailand: Thaksin Shinawatra
- Yemen: Ali Abdullah Saleh

Dictators who have been incarcerated
- Argentina: Reynaldo Bignone
- Chad: Hissene Habre
- DR Congo: Jean-Pierre Bamba
- Egypt: Hosni Mubarak
- Guatemala: Efrain Rios Montt
- Liberia: Charles Taylor
- Panama: Manuel Noriega

Dead dictators
- Argentina: Leopoldo Galtieri
- Argentine: Jorge Rafael Videl
- Burma: Ne Win
- Cambodia: Pol Pot
- Central African Republic: Jean-Bedel Bokassa
- Chile: Augusto Pinochet
- China: Mao Zedong
- China: Deng Xiaoping
- Cuba: Fidel Castro
- Equatorial Guinea: Francisco Nquema
- Gabon: Omar Bongo
- Guinea-Bissau: Lansana Conte
- Haiti: Jean Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier
- Indonesia: Suharto
- Iran: the Shah
- Iran: Ayatollah Khomeini
- Iraq: Saddam Hussein
- Libya: Muammar Gaddafi
- Nigeria: Sani Abacha
- North Korea: Kim Jong-Il
- Pakistan: General Zia ul-Haq
- Paraguay: Alfredo Stroessner
- Philippines: Ferdinand Marcos
- Romania: Nicolae Ceausescu
- Serbia: Slobodan Milosevic
- Sierra Leone: Foday Sankoh
- Syria: Hafez al-Assad
- Togo: Gnassingbe Eyadema
- Turkmenistan: Saparmurat Niyazov
- Uganda: Idi Amin
- Uruguay: Juan Maria Bordaberry
- USSR: Leonid Brezhnev
- Uzbekistan: Islam Karimov
- Venezuela: Hugo Chavez
- Zaire: Mobutu

Authoritarian subsystems in democracies
- The military and the police

Support of democracy for dictatorship
- Through arms sales and also trade agreements which do not include a linkage to human rights and labor and environmental safeguards

Dictator Watch will also track and support efforts to bring ex-dictators to justice, including through local imprisonment, the confiscation of assets, and via trial in such forums as international tribunals and the nascent International Criminal Court. For the last, we will push for the extension of culpability for crimes against humanity committed by the dictators to the executives of the corporations and banks which support them.

As part of this, we intend to track the efforts of new democracies to reclaim and redistribute the wealth of their former dictators, including that which was stolen by their families, cronies and multinational corporate and financial partners.

This is a huge information gathering task, and Dictator Watch needs your help. We would like to compile brief dossiers (see below), and prepare “chaos analyses” (see the outline “chaos analysis questionnaire,” which also follows below, and our first such analysis, in its most recent version, Burma and Chaos - Updated). Please contribute all information which you have available on any of the remaining dictators around the world (and the other categories above), particularly on their misdeeds, partners, corruption, and accumulated ill-gotten wealth.

Regarding contributed information, including to our other campaigns as well, Dictator Watch will conduct its own due diligence concerning such submissions, and to the best of our ability ensure that all information presented is accurate. We also will, to the best of our ability, seek to ensure that the identities of our contributors are kept secret. Anonymous submissions are welcome. We of course also will accept submissions from contributors who are willing to be identified. If this is the case, please clearly state so when you contact us.

Outline Dossier
- The names of the key individuals in the dictatorship, including generals, advisors, media propaganda specialists and their conduits (websites, newspapers, etc.), investment liaisons and money launderers, etc.
- Documentation of any crimes, starting with crimes against humanity, for which they are responsible.
- The important family members and cronies of such dictators.
- The leading foreign investors in the country and the form/value/business sector of their investments, and the names and responsibilities of in-country staff.
- Evidence of corruption involving any of the above.

Chaos Analysis Questionnaire
(Note: the following analysis can be applied to any form and specific example of dictatorship.)

1. System
- What are the boundaries and general characteristics of the system which is subject to the dictatorship? What system requires global system change?
- Is there a larger system of which the dictatorial system forms a part, for which the defeat of the dictatorship is dependent on change in it?
- Are there any other global systems which influence the dictatorship, which through their actions increase or reduce its stability?

2. Equilibrium
- How strong is the dictatorship; what is the stability of its system equilibrium?
- What specific forces - power structures - maintain the equilibrium and give it its strength, both within the dictatorial system itself and within such other global systems? What attributes, policies, practices and conditions contribute to its stability?

3. Change
- If change requires a period of chaos and a phase transition, what are the different types of energy additions through which such chaos can be generated, and how much energy (how much chaos) is needed?
- What are the sources of such energy: the different groups, both internal and external, which are in opposition to the system’s own power structures?
- What specific steps or triggers could exert pressure on the system’s supporting power structures such that they break, and such that the overall system fails and chaos ensues?
- If chaos is created, what is required to ensure that a phase transition to democracy occurs, rather that a reversion to another form of dictatorship?

4. Prognosis
- What is the likelihood that such steps will be taken?
- What is the likelihood that the dictatorship will be defeated?
- What are the other possible outcomes, including a probability assessment for each?

 

© Roland O. Watson 2001-3