No More Dictatorships by 2025
by Alan Caruba
24 March 2004
We live in a world where just forty-five men rule the lives of more than two billion people.
In late February, Parade
magazine’s cover article was about the “The World’s Worst Dictator.” We have
reached this new century after one wracked with wars begun by its dictators,
the long “Cold War” sustained against the dictators of the former Soviet
Russia, and the creation of the United Nations, intended to end such wars.
We live in a world where just forty-five men rule the lives of more than two billion people. In his book, Breaking the Real Axis of Evil: How to Oust the World’s Last Dictatorships by 2025,
($27.95, Rowman and Littlefield) former Ambassador Mark Palmer lays out the
plan by which the entire population of the world could begin to live in democratic
nations. The dictators include Hu Jintao of Communist China, Kim Jong II
of North Korea, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Fidel Castro of Cuba, Omar Al-Bashir
of Sudan, Ayatollah Ali Khameni of Iran, and Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi
The greatest concentration of dictators is in the Middle East and Africa.
Others are in Southeast Asia. Still others run the former Soviet republics,
such as Saparmurat Niyazo of Turkmenistan. Red China stands alone simply
for its vast population ruled by a Communist Party that poses a threat to
the stability of everyone on their borders.
The one universal reason for ridding the world of these men is a moral one.
They are murderers and thieves on a grand scale. Another reason is the right
of all people to live in freedom, to live where the rule of law exists and
the will of the people determines the decisions made by elected, representative
Then and only then could the Universal Declaration of Human Rights become
a reality with everyone enjoying regular and free elections, a free press,
trade unions, and an independent judiciary. This document is the heart of
the aspirations set forth with the creation of the United Nations, but the
UN accepts as members those same dictatorships and treats them as equal to
There is another compelling reason. As Ambassador Palmer notes, “the free
nations produce 89% of the world’s economic output; the dictatorships just
6%.” Imagine how productive the world could be if the remaining captive
nations could be set free to tap the energies of their people? We would see
an end to famine everywhere. We would see the great flow of trade and goods
that would enrich everyone. We would see the “hidden hand” of competition
that would insure the affordability of those goods.
What some Americans and others around the world have not understood about
the invasion of Iraq by the United States and a coalition was the absolute
need to remove one of the world’s worst dictators, Saddam Hussein. Even now
we hear influential voices saying that we could have continued to accept
his rule, that he really didn’t pose an immediate threat to the United States,
that he didn’t have any weapons of mass destruction. All this ignores Saddam’s
endless potential as a continuing threat, willing to threaten war against
his neighbors and to hatch grave plots against the US with its enemies among
the fanatical Islamic Jihad movement.
In the few short months since the invasion, it has significantly transformed
the entire region. Pakistan, a hotbed of Jihadists, is now an ally in the
war on terror. Libya’s dictator has taken steps to secure American and international
acceptance. Syria’s dictator may be contemplating trying to seek peace with
Israel and withdrawing from Lebanon. Iran is contemplating allowing international
inspections of its nuclear facilities. Saudi Arabia’s rulers are contemplating
what changes they must make to save themselves from the very Jihadists they
have funded and supported for decades. Other Middle East nations such as
Bahrain and Kuwait seek to ally themselves with the United States and consider
movement toward establishing some aspects of democracy.
Ambassador Palmer states that the “removal of dictators is first and foremost
a domestic political matter, undertaken by the people living under tyranny.”
That said, he outlines the steps the United States and other free nations
can take to support such efforts. Nor does he rule out military intervention
such as that undertaken in Iraq.
The reason for eliminating the remaining dictators is the simple proof of
history that “by attempting to base US security in other parts of the world,
the practitioners of foreign policy common wisdom not only failed, but also
undermined American credibility worldwide.”
When people ask why do people around the world hate us, the answer is they
have seen our great example of democracy and wondered why we have accepted
to work with and even praise dictators who are utterly corrupt. The last
century demonstrated why this simply does not work and why appeasement only
leads to war. An estimated 169,000,000 people died in the last century due
to war and famine that was the direct result of the tyrannies of Nazi Germany,
Japan, Red China, and the former Soviet Union. Others died on the vast African
continent and continue to die every day because of the tyrants who rule so
many of its nations.
The notion that Americans should live in a republic governed by the world’s
oldest, living Constitution, and that others in the world do not yearn for
the same blessings of liberty is absurd. We saw that in 1989 when thousands
gathered in Tiananmen Square, the heart of Red China, to protest peacefully
for more representative government. Deng Xiaping made it very clear that
the protesters wanted to “overthrow the Party, state and socialist system
and to replace it with pro-Western bourgeois republic.” He was right. That
is why the protesters had created their own Statue of Liberty. It was crushed
beneath the treads of Communist tanks.
It is a wonder to me that people still go around mouthing all the lies and
nonsense about Communism and Socialism as the answer to the world’s problems.
They have long been and remain one of the world’s greatest problems. It is
why Communists resist all efforts toward democracy and freedom. It is why
Socialist nations cannot even begin to compete with those utilizing our Capitalist
system. Communist and Socialist systems are inherently corrupt. Both
systems concentrate power in government rather than allowing the economy
to flourish and its benefits to enrich and enhance the lives of free citizens.
The concentration of power in the hands of forty-five dictators or in governments
where citizens have no say in the conduct of their lives is a tyranny that
must end. There is a movement toward that and it is called the Community
of Democracies. Ambassador Palmer calls it “the best-kept secret in foreign
affairs.” It has met in 2000 in Warsaw and produced a founding document.
It met again in Seoul in 2002. Ultimately, the CD must replace the UN. The
UN is an utterly failed and flawed international institution. The Ambassador
also sees an expanding role for NATO.
It is time to let the world’s remaining dictators know their time is up.
It is time for free and democratic nations to join together to encourage
domestic opposition to them. If they don’t, the lethal technologies of the
new century can make the millions of deaths in the past one look puny by
The good news is that in 1972 there were only forty-three free countries
in the world. Today there are eighty-nine. We are about to add Iraq to the
list no matter how messy that effort may seem. Americans are dying there
for the same reason they died in far greater numbers to free Europe and Asia
in the last century. That’s what free people do. They fight and they die
to free others because it is the right thing to do and because a free world
is a safe world.
Alan Caruba is the author of Warning Signs, published by Merril Press. His weekly commentaries are posted on the Internet site of The National Anxiety Center.
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