Roger Williams runs the excellent dicatators of the world blog. If you have not visited this blog you should. Also explore the interesting links especially this is Zimbabwe. Freedomnow, Junglemom and AOW have visited and the site is always interesting.
This interview will focus on despots of all stripes. Roger will have to did deep into his archives to answer some of these questions.
1 There was a lengthy argument about Napoleon on Bad Eagle. Is the correct way to view Napoleon is within his peer group of European Monarchs. Was he a meglomaniacal tryrant or agent of change or a melange of both?
2 Are some cultures more prone to Authoritarianism than others. Certainly a religion whose main tennent is submission to God's may be more prone to this than Americans. A Moroccan friend said "If I wore a government uniform and tossed a broom at the feet of my countrymen
and told them to sweep they would. However, if I tried this with Americans this would never work.
3 Is there such a thing as a benign despot like a King Hassan or the late King Hussein or is this a product of our nostalgia.
4 Would a theocracy by nature be inherently totalitarian? How does one enforce religious law without religious police?
5 Can you describe the essence of Communism? Is it similar to a theocracy, fuedalism or organized crime? Is the concept itself inherently totalitarian?
6 We hear the usual suspects blame the problems of the Soviet Union on Stalin. Were there serious human rights violations under Lenin.
7 How much culpability does Leon Trotsky have for the crimes commited by Lenin or Stalin.
I point out that like Ernest Roehm Trotsky lost a power struggle and that anything he said afterwards should be viewed as the comments of an opportunist trying to remain relevant after his time was up.
8 On a recent trip to your blog, I was hardly surprised to see another appologist for Castro proclaim him to be a hero. I am somewhat amused by an alleged Trotskyite who claims not to revere Castro but claims " If the people in Miami ruled Cuba it would be like Haiti". The far left demonize Cuban Americans almost as much as Jews who support Israel.
A How long does the left intend to use Batista as an excuse for Castro's theft, ruinous economic policies, repression and intervention in the affairs of other countries? Is four decades long enough ?
B How much of the blame does the boycott of Cuba deserve for the economic misery? Oddly Castroites will then often demand boycotts of Israel which has better health care and education than Cuba.
C Is Castro a classic cleptocrat with some Marxist PR tossed in.
9 What is your take on Pol Pot? Commie apologist trot out the standard excuses that Pol Pot was a nationalist and therefore wasn't communist.
10 Who are some of todays despots that slip under the radar because their country is not in the news?
11 What is your view of the Assad dynasty in Syria? Does a powerful Alawite clique have a strangle hold on power. Syria has had chemical weapons since the early 70's
12 What are your thoughts on the Saudi Royal family. How is it the same people who lecture us about apartheid feign ignorance at the Saudi system of Jim Crow. Even Hirsan Ali's father noted the backwardsness in her book. He attributed these odious aspects to Arabian culture not Islam.
13 What are your thoughts on Tianamen Square? Did the students accomplish anything? Do you envision an Iranian version of this in the future?
14 Are any of the worlds notorious troubled spots getting better? Some say that Sierra Leonne and Liberia are turning the corner.
15 What is your view of Hugo Chavez? Communists pretend his regime is something new and unique. Some apologists compare Chavez to Peron?
16 Has Khadafy mended his ways or mellowed with age? What is your take on the bizzare world of the wacky Colonel? The recent story with the foreign nurses seems odd.
17 What is your view of Zimbabwe? All of us should agree that apartheid was wrong. However,
it took a brutal Communist authoritarian to create starvation in a country that exported food historically.
18 Starvation seems to inevitably follow Communist despots, but not other types of authoritarians. The former Soviet Union, Eithiopia, North Korea, China, Cambodia are part of what appears to be a pattern of starvation. Cubans and now Venezuelans are suffering from food shortages. Does such a pattern exist? Is it an inevitable byproduct of breaking up working efficient food production and replacing them with collectives.
19 Your thoughts on Tito and Hoxtha. Have their human rights abuses slipped uder the radar of Americans. I remember the surprise of some when author Stephen Scwartz pointed out the despotic side of Tito.
20 What is your take on Anarchists? I view them as clown like simpletons with zero grasp of history, economics and governance. Lets see hospitals, universities, roads without a tax base seems insane in my book.
21 What are your thoughts on Putin, Yeltsin and Gorbachev?
22 Does drug traficking destalize a country or is it a product of a country that was allready destabalized? Afghanistan, Burma, Lebanon, Columbia are some examples of narcotics hot spots.
23 What is your take on Saddam? Classic commie idiocy has Saddam being the CIA's man armed to the teeth with Soviet weapons and advisors.
24 Has the information age made despotism more dificult? The world saw the Tianamen Square
debacle in real time. However, in remote places like Sudan we rarely see the attrocities at all. In places like Cuba and Iran the opponents of the government are invisible.
25 Is foreign aid a revenue stream for despots?