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What produces RUTHLESS DICTATORS?

 
 
okie
 
Reply Sat 31 Dec, 2005 01:31 am
Please pardon the length of this thread's beginning post, but I found my study of this subject so interesting that I am providing my take on what I found out. This is my own personal study, not some borrowed report here. Reading this completely through I think is worth it. To the administrators of this forum, please bear with me here as I think this subject deserves some attention in light of today's politics. Sorry for the lengthy beginning. I promise not to make a habit of this.

Rating the worst dictators in history would be a debate and a subject by itself. I've selected the following: Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Mao Tse-Tung, Pol Pot, Fidel Castro, and Saddam Hussein. There are plenty more to choose from. Hussein and Castro were included even though they are probably not be as bad as some others, but I think that they qualify for the list because they are bad guys, and dictators, and they are fresh in our minds as being part of current history.

This was a study of the childhood environments, conditions, and personality types, and it turned out from my research that there were indeed common characteristics and environments that produced such dictators, from their childhood on. I've categorized these factors as follows:

1 - Dysfunctional family and troubled childhood that extends into adulthood. This includes troubled spousal relationships and other relationships as adults.
2 - Rejection and/or hate for religious belief, sometimes despite training as a child. As they grow into adulthood, they have a hatred or unresolved resentment toward certain groups, races, or religion.
3 - They perceive injustice from childhood and develop a burning desire to dominate, gain power, and right the wrongs toward society and to them as they view it. Typically there is a hate for business and private enterprise, as it is viewed as unfair and the cause of much injustice and suffering, and religion is also viewed as a failure, so government and they are the hope of righting the wrongs and creating their vision of utopia on earth.


I've summarized the main points of each of their lives to illustrate the above. I've tried to capture the main point without including much detail. Obviously, there is much more supporting information available for anyone wishing to research the subjects.

HITLER - Hitler's mother was his father's third wife and 23 years younger than his father. Hitler's father was very strict and evidently beat Adolph. He did okay in early years of school, but later quit trying, did poorly, and portrayed a generally rebellious attitude. He tried being an artist, was rejected by art schools, and never excelled at anything much until becoming involved in political movements. As an adult, he was a womanizer, with Eva Braun becoming his main girlfriend and eventually his wife. She once attempted suicide in jealosy of the other women in his life. Although described in primary school as deeply religious and even a prospect to become a monk, he obviously made a U-turn by the time he was an adult. He acquired a hatred for Jews and other groups that he felt did not fit in with his scheme of developing a superior race, which was based on evolutionary theory known as "eugenics," an idea founded by Charles Darwin's cousin, Francis Galton.

STALIN - Stalin was his mother's 4th child in less than 4 years, with the previous 3 dying. Stalin contracted smallpox at the age of seven, survived, but the scarring caused other kids to call him "pocky." Stalin was expelled from school once. A half brother had experienced prison time. Stalin himself was of course later arrested several times for his political activities. Included in Stalin's troubled personal life, Stalin's second wife committed suicide following an argument with Stalin during a party, and left him a scathing personal note. Stalin's mother was deeply religious and sent Joseph to a local church school. Later, he attended a theological seminary, but while there began his involvement into his revolutionary activities and organizations. He studied the works of Charles Darwin, became an atheist, and one could say his approach to life and political power followed the "survival of the fittest" theory.

MAO TSE-TUNG - Mao was a rebellious teenager; his father wanted him to be a farmer as he was, but Mao rebelled and left home at age 13 for more advanced schools. A look at Mao as an adult shows a very demanding personality, who had several wives and mistresses and displayed abnormal personal traits. Mao could be described as non-religious to atheistic. His faith was completely placed in the state, and as the leader of the state, he was the final arbitor of all things for everyone, bar none, so religion was highly suppressed, disallowed, or eliminated from public life.

POL POT - Childhood not well documented, but for much of the time, did not live with his parents. At the early age of six, he was sent to the city for school and later to a boarding school. He was apparently only a mediocre student and was failed and held back from advancement at least once. He did win a scholarship to study radio engineering in Paris, but never proceeded with it, and instead pursued his political activities. Pol Pot's first wife spent much time in a hospital due to some mental condition. His second wife was about 30 years younger than him. Pol Pot himself was a paranoid personality, understandable given his elimination of enemies and political opponents. At one point in his childhood, his parents sent him to a large Buddhist monastery. He also attended a Catholic primary school, but there is no evidence he had any religious belief later in life. In fact, he along with the Kmer Rouge aggessively attempted to stamp out any opposition to his regime, his plan for utopia, including any religion.

CASTRO - Fidel was an illegitimate son of a sugar plantation owner, was rebellious in childhood, and at only 13 years old, he helped organize a strike of sugar workers against his own father's plantation. A former classmate described him as "different," and was called "loco" by some. He had an interest in politics and read alot about Stalin, Napoleon, and Mussolini. His first marriage did not go well, and a custody dispute spurred him to kidnap his son from his divorced wife so that he could be raised as a model communist (interesting parallel with the Elian Gonzales case). An illegitimate daughter of Castro fled Cuba and is one of his most avid opponents. Castro threatened his parents that he would burn the house down if they wouldn't send him to school, so Fidel attended a Jesuit boarding school in Havana. Later in life, he was described as indifferent to religion and actually was excommunicated by the Catholic Church for political acts against Cuban priests.

HUSSEIN - Hussein was born into a family in a small village and lived in a mud hut. Not much is known, but his father either died or abandoned the family. His step-father turned out to be abusive and a thief. At age 10, Hussein moved in with his mother's brother. Poor school grades hindered him getting into a military academy, and he then became involved in radical movements. The shadowy personal life of Hussein as an adult is no secret. He had a wife that was apparently selected by parents when he was young, but had mistresses, one of which came to be regarded as his "second wife," even though perhaps not officially with a marriage certificate. Under Hussein's rule, any religions or leaders that defied his absolute rule were denied rights, imprisoned, or eliminated.

One observation I would like to make here. Such personalities can be found in abundance in every culture, but obviously there must be conditions whereby such people can gain an audience and eventually gain political power. I think such potential dictators with their inherent politics can only gain traction in a society that also has more of a preponderence of the mindset similar to that of the potential dictator. This mindset would include a general feeling of failure and personal feeling of powerlessness, unfairness, and resentment, coupled with an increased lack of faith in God or religion. Such a collective mindset then takes on an increased hope that "government" can right the wrongs and create some kind of system that is more fair. Business and free enterprise becomes more demonized and viewed more as unfair, thus something needs to be done to correct it. An important component in this cultural mindset is the condition of the family unit, whereby children grow up in happy, balanced conditions, so that they can grow into being happy adults without some axe to grind, and they are happy to work and bear the fruits of their own labors. Also a belief in God rather than a belief in government is important in keeping a culture away from dictators, at least that has been true for the first 200 years of this country. If too many people in our culture begin to have more axes to grind, then the seeds of some ruthless dictator or government gaining traction becomes a very real danger.

What prompted my little study was the current political climate, with many extremists rejecting the norm of past generations, even going so far as leftist liberals calling George Bush a Nazi. It aroused a curiosity to see if history had shown certain personality types to be more prone to becoming ruthless dictators if they gained power. Of course, I think Bush being compared to Hitler is utterly preposterous and in fact I think the opposite political scenario is more likely, and I think my study into the subject strongly supports my view. It is my firm belief that the extreme leftist mindset presents by far the most dangerous fertile ground to produce another ruthless dictator. It is the unhinged personalities with dysfunctional backgrounds, commonly with poor and immoral personal relationships, coupled with a lack of religious faith, then add to this an acquired strong belief that government can and should solve all problems, perhaps even creating some kind of utopia. As I've said before, the dangerous dictators have big axes to grind. And when I say a lack of religious faith, I would include the Osama Bin Ladens of the world and perhaps even certain hardline Muslim rulers because they may appear to use religion, but their true faith is in a governments power, not God. Some people may not be truly religious at all, but may want to appear to be religious in order to fool and use other people. Usually the nature of their own personal lives betray their true natures.

One final observation. I would assert here that when people vote for a candidate, a look at their "personal" lives, their family relationships, their moral beliefs, is not only good and proper, but it is paramount to making good choices in our leaders. It is at least as important as their public stances on issues, probably more so. Usually one follows the other, but not always. The troubling part to this subject is when cultural morality is on the downward slide and families are increasingly dysfunctional, the risk of electing dysfunctional and dangerous personalities increases accordingly.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 20 • Views: 73,471 • Replies: 1,988

 
queen annie
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 Dec, 2005 04:03 pm
Re: What produces RUTHLESS DICTATORS?
okie wrote:
I found my study of this subject so interesting that I am providing my take on what I found out. This is my own personal study, not some borrowed report here.

I find this subject, and your report, to be both interesting and relevant--primarily because I have done a similar examination of this very same 'phenomenon' myself, although I have never formally written it down, I've expounded on it verbally and thought it over in great lengths.


Quote:
Reading this completely through I think is worth it.

I agree. Thanks for sharing the results of your effort.


Quote:
I think this subject deserves some attention in light of today's politics.

I certainly agree--and maybe not so much in the interest of politics is it important (although definitely showcased therein) but rather it is crucial for humanity, as a family/society, to understand the monsters that we (yes, all of us, in a sense) create. We find ourselves at an utter loss when faced with such a person--a clear and present danger--a true moral concern for all of us when others are tortured and killed--but what to do?

I truly think understanding and empathy is the first step to healing any wound--and even though these despots caused wounds and pain beyond description, it was their own wounds that led them to inflict the same upon others--albeit in an exponentially heinous degree--the needless damage to one soul is no better than the needless damage to many.

Quote:
Hussein and Castro were included even though they are probably not be as bad as some others, but I think that they qualify for the list because they are bad guys, and dictators, and they are fresh in our minds as being part of current history.
Is Castro still in power? Have you ever known anyone who emigrated from Cuba to America? And the things they willingly endure just to escape his regime? I'm talking about things like crossing shark-infested waters using only an innertube! Can you imagine such a thing? It must be unspeakably miserable there, from what I understand.

And as far as Hussein--something that doesn't seem to be widely known or perhaps not completely considered--but it is very likely that, at the time he was deposed, he had exterminated at least half of Iraq's population over the time he was in power? Half of all the people of Iraq all the years he was there!--wasn't it something like 20 years?

Both of these men are definitely just as qualified as the others, IMO.

I hope you don't mind if I share my own conclusions--which are based, in detail, upon only Hitler and Hussein, but in general, upon the personality type of what I call the 'despot' type. As far as detail, I mean life history and events leading up to their time of infamy.


Quote:
1 - Dysfunctional family and troubled childhood that extends into adulthood. This includes troubled spousal relationships and other relationships as adults.

This, I feel, is the root and predominant cause and lead-in to the subsequent reaction/effect cycle that you have examined with your other points of similarity. I really haven't focused on the events of their adulthood, as you have--and your conclusions help to extend my own understandings.

I think there are two things every child needs and which every adult manifests the lack of, if it occurred, in certain traits manifested various ways--from mild to severe, related to the severity of the deprivation.

From the mother it is 'nurturing' and from the father it is 'approval.'

These two things are so fundamental and start at birth--any witholding of either will result in some sort of dysfunction later on. These are things which are subtle, often unseen by others, and become ingrained in one's nature to the extent that they cannot be dealt with 'on the surface.' (as opposed to blatant and active abuse--these are subtle and negligent abuses--but potentially more harmful, perhaps.) But it is the dysfunctional dealing with these things which characterizes the megalomania, insatiable cruelty, and even the facade which hides these things--and which allows them to gain the power they desire as a way to perform unconscious self-therapy. Of course, the therapy is poison, and it leads to more need of more intense forms of therapy--a true vicious cycle incarnated.

The lack of nurturing roots itself in the inability to understand what the nature of love is, and love is not recognized when it is offered by others. Expression of love is more to the tune of needing to control or manipulate others. Truly, I think it actually makes the idea of 'love' something totally foreign and what is called love is actually the manifestations of deep-seated fear and hate; and I totally agree there is much to do with rejection, too, as you point out. Not being nurtured is essentially rejection, and it breeds distrust and insecurity.

As far as paternal approval--when this is not experienced as a child, the adult becomes both insatiable in their efforts for external validation--and it is their need to find approval that might very well lead to the deceiving charisma that many of these men possess (Hitler is one who is noted for his charismatic ways toward the public). The lifelong seeking of other's approval makes them not so much a 'yes' man but an 'every' man--their forceful personality is not compromised by their ability to seem to fill every requirement of the situation at hand--gaining both the trust and admiration of those they seek to reign over. This is something that can't be maintained--and it is not that the facade dims, but rather the fact that in the beginning, the atrocities are hidden; and so this other side is not seen until they are firmly planted in their seat of power.

Your point of perceiving injustice from childhood, I think, is also related to the approval issue, too.

Why didn't they deserve to succeed in their father's eyes? Why didn't he stick around/love them/express pride etc.?

They feel 'they weren't good enough' and so they seek to show that, really, they were--political success and territorial conquest is the ultimate fulfillment available, perhaps. It's not the politics which attract their ambition, but rather the potentially large scale of compensation--the control of many to remedy the helplessness of one.

Quote:
An important component in this cultural mindset is the condition of the family unit, whereby children grow up in happy, balanced conditions, so that they can grow into being happy adults without some axe to grind, and they are happy to work and bear the fruits of their own labors. Also a belief in God rather than a belief in government is important in keeping a culture away from dictators, at least that has been true for the first 200 years of this country. If too many people in our culture begin to have more axes to grind, then the seeds of some ruthless dictator or government gaining traction becomes a very real danger.

Very good points--your analysis is very well thought out.

My own ideas are given only for your consideration--and they have been added to with your own insights--your approach covers many things I had not even considered.

Quote:
One final observation. I would assert here that when people vote for a candidate, a look at their "personal" lives, their family relationships, their moral beliefs, is not only good and proper, but it is paramount to making good choices in our leaders.


I agree with this--but (and correct me if need be) weren't most of these men elevated to their offices through circumstances not usually related to any kind of voting process or choice involving the people later affected? I know Hitler snuck in another way--but I don't know too much about the others' rise to power. A dictator only need one vote, though...
It's rather scary to think about--such power over so many ever being solely in the hands of one man.

My interest has always been from the point of view of early family life and the essential, non-negotiable needs that all children must absolutely be freely given in order to grow into a soul that values life and nurtures new life themselves--basically the only real requirement for the establishment and maintainence of a healthy world without war and unnecessary suffering. Some may laugh or scorn at my seemingly idealist fairy-tale dream, there--but I am a realist, not an idealist.

The world is not as it should be, as far as man's relationship with man--and there really isn't any real justification for man's evil--it is not the devil but ourselves that create these things--and we must repair and rectify if we want to keep our world. The world can only be destroyed by hate--and therefore love is all that is necessary to repair. But it must be a higher form of intelligent and non-emotional love--mature spiritual insight and compassion for others.

And only by prevention can we avoid the later burden of judgment that is currently being addressed in the trial of Hussein. While I do not excuse or condone anything so cruel as such a one's behavior--I also must admit that I would not want to be placed in the position of having to judge and sentence. It has become a situation with no possibility of what I would consider a 'positive' or 'just' outcome--and one I truly feel is not within mankind's 'jurisdiction.' It is a crime too big but there is more than just his crime on trial--it is the world's crime, as well.
0 Replies
 
Asherman
 
  2  
Reply Sat 31 Dec, 2005 04:52 pm
A bit of a problem is that countless multitudes share the same "profile", yet only a very, very few become infamous despots or even serial killers.

1 - Dysfunctional family and troubled childhood that extends into adulthood. This includes troubled spousal relationships and other relationships as adults.

If you consider all the people now living on our planet and the terrible conditions that most must endure, this may well describe the experience of the majority. Screwed up childhoods (bed-wetting, playing with fire, torturing animals, etc.) are certainly found in the backgrounds of many sociopaths, but not all.

2 - Rejection and/or hate for religious belief, sometimes despite training as a child. As they grow into adulthood, they have a hatred or unresolved resentment toward certain groups, races, or religion.

The key here seems to be the harboring of hatred of others, not necessarily religious prejudice. Folks do murder without qualm people holding different religious convictions. Remember the Wars of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation and the Inquisition. "I burn thousands at the stake to save their souls." Hitler's Final Solution was not so much religious as it was racial. Blacks in the American South were lynched to "keep them in their place". Some despots with national power to commit genecide may commit that act without an ounce of hatred in them, nor twing of conscience later. Chauvinism is just as likely to lie at the heart of hatred as religion, which is only a sub-set of chauvinism.

3 - They perceive injustice from childhood and develop a burning desire to dominate, gain power, and right the wrongs toward society and to them as they view it. Typically there is a hate for business and private enterprise, as it is viewed as unfair and the cause of much injustice and suffering, and religion is also viewed as a failure, so government and they are the hope of righting the wrongs and creating their vision of utopia on earth.

I imagine that as many saints as despots are described in your first sentence. Perceiving injustice and desiring to right wrongs can as easily lead to a career fighting crime, or poverty, or any other real injustice. A desire to dominate and gain the power to coerce others may not spring from that sense of injustice, but from other causes as well. I'm not convienced that CEO's are never sociopaths, its just that their particular career is confined to a business organization, not necessarily to a larger social grouping. Some national dictators may have been driven by an inner need to succeed in a "business" sense. Hitler and Musselini apparently were much more comfortable dealing with the wealthy aristocrats in a social sense than the commons. The drive to create a Utopian society comes in many forms. Some believe in Capitalism, some in Marxism, some in one religious guise or another, some in science, etc. etc.

The bottom line is that understanding the psychological-sociological-economical and individual causes that give rise to despots and dictators is far more complicated than is provided for in your analysis. Your model is also, I believe, too limited. You should be considering all of the worst rulers in world history, not just a select group from the 20th century. How does one fit the Emperor Chi'n, Ghengis Khan, Caligula, Ivan the Terrible, Hassin (The Old Man in the Mountain), into your model? Will the model fit all those un-named and forgotten despots who wiped out entire tribes in Africa, in the Americas, or Eurasia? Are the Israelites of the Bible who wiped out man, woman, child and beast heros or akin to other mass killers? Is there a difference, other than the scope of their crimes, between serial/mass murderers and an SS Colonel at Auschwitz. Is a mob boss, or the head of a drug cartel any different from a Ugandan dictator who just seemed to like killing folks?
ralpheb
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 Dec, 2005 04:54 pm
Okie, Welcome to A2K. It was a pleasure to read your article, and it was a pleasure to read Queen's response. Okie, don't appologize for the length of your article. It was refreshing to read on that was done out of research. Too many times have posters, including myself, posted long winded articles. Your look at the family and childhood of leaders shows a very mportant insight. They are also the same characteristics that are looked at for serial killers and rapists. One has to wonder if these leaders opted for political power to allow them the exercise of these behaviors.
Just remember that these are not the only criteria that made lead to despotism. Would Louie XIV be considered a despot?
Keep up the good work. Its enlightening.
0 Replies
 
queen annie
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 Dec, 2005 05:09 pm
Asherman wrote:
A bit of a problem is that countless multitudes share the same "profile", yet only a very, very few become infamous despots or even serial killers.

That's a good point. From my own perspective, I feel that maybe it is the question of degree/severity or whatever it might be termed--that determines the magnitude of the manifestation.

As well as opportunity, of course.

My simplest idea about this is basically this:

Love is a 'filler' of holes.
If there is no love, the hole still seeks to be filled.

That which is done in misguided attempt to fill the hole only makes the hole deeper.

The only filler for such a hole is love given by another--because it is a negative or positive cycle, in relation to the world--and if unchecked can only advance in the direction it is already headed.

That is the root of the matter, though--regarding our service to each other.
It is a very hard thing to love another with such a gaping void--but that is the only answer. If the hole persists unchecked, the next generation is an even more dismal void.

This was shown, to me, in the demonstration of what Hussein's sons seemed destined to become--monsters even worse than their father.
0 Replies
 
okie
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 Dec, 2005 06:30 pm
Thanks for the very insightful replies. I will try to address a couple of points.

As I said before, many leftists are now calling Bush a Nazi, comparing him to Hitler. I think they are 180 degrees out of phase, but anyway it stimulated my study, all done by searching the internet for a week or so off and on. And I do think it is very important for people to recognize the danger signs in an effort to avoid the pitfalls.

One of you suggested expanding the study, but I have another job, family and more, and I spent about as much time as I felt like on it. I am sure there is enough information to write several books.

Another point raised is that there are countless dysfunctional personalities around the world. I would agree, but only a few will get a chance to grind their axes because of them happening to encounter the right (or wrong) circumstances coming together to allow them to gain power instead of somebody else.

It was suggested that religion has been used in evil ways, true, but I think evil men may use religion as a cover, when in fact they are not truly religious at all.

My last point I feel is so very important, that is that potential ruthless dictators believe that they must control others to right the wrongs and fix all the injustice. Therefore, marxism, communism, and those types of governments are well suited for them, because if they can gain power, they can control everybody and everything. It was suggested that some may use capitalism, but I don't think pure capitalism is their favored environment because it doesn't allow their government power to run everything. Freedom, individual rights and responsibilities, free enterprise, capitalism, these things are not well suited for such people. In a free country, they will maybe mistreat their families, maybe become criminals, or simply be unhappy all their lives, whatever, but at least the political system does not allow them to gain enough power to grind their axes against everybody. As I said before, it is so important for our country to remain moral and upright, thus we will most likely elect and allow people that are more like us into positions of authority to make decisions that will continue the great free country that we have. If too many people become hopeless, angry, dysfunctional, and with axes to grind, they will elect or promote people like them into positions of authority, at which time laws and policies, even our system of government would become in danger of being changed.

In an effort to totally summarize, there are controllers and non-controllers. Non-controllers are happy enough being responsible for themselves and their families in a free country. Controllers aren't happy with that. They must stamp out all suffering, all injustice, all whatever, the list is endless. Why can't they mind their own business?
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cyphercat
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Jan, 2006 12:53 am
looks interesting...just bookmarking.
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Ray
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Jan, 2006 01:41 am
You provided an interesting study. I agree with Asherman though. It is not the rejection of religion that is a factor, but I think we have to look at their beliefs. I mean, they may think that morality is not independent of religion and thus when they think that a certain religion is false, they may, coupled with their hatred, rejected morality altogether because they can not see that morality is not religious. It may also be that they are messianic, meaning that they believe too much that they are the savior of mankind that they will do anything to achieve their objective.

In short, I think you are making the wrong inference when you are saying that their rejection of religion is a factor.

I will give you a counter-example: The man that started the Taiping rebellion in China, in which many people were killed, believes that he is a prophet of God. He did not reject religion.
0 Replies
 
talk72000
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Jan, 2006 01:57 am
Check GWB's childhood. He challenged his father to a fight. He was a failure in business but family connections made him rich. He was into drinking and rumors of cocaine use abound. He never completed his National Guard service. He aspires to be a dictator or King George III.
0 Replies
 
okie
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Jan, 2006 08:35 pm
talk72000 wrote:
Check GWB's childhood. He challenged his father to a fight. He was a failure in business but family connections made him rich. He was into drinking and rumors of cocaine use abound. He never completed his National Guard service. He aspires to be a dictator or King George III.


I'm not talking about perfect childhoods, but I think the Bush family is a fairly loving and well connected family. Drinking and rumors of drug use are not as extreme as some other things, in fact almost common in colleges around the country. I do not think George Bush can be described as some strange, antisocial, type personality because of some weird upbringing. I think the man comes from a reasonably balanced family, and I think we could have a great time going fishing sometime, or cutting brush on his ranch. I feel like he's more like a typical American. And Bush did complete his National Guard service, and about aspiring to be a dictator or king, ha ha, very funny.

By the way, I don't agree with many Democrats, but I don't fear most of them to become some evil dictator if they had a chance. Even Clinton, I think he just wanted to have fun and feel important, but probably is not dangerous, however, many of his political enemies were in fact threatened by his operatives, so maybe I take that back. I would trust Gore before Kerry, and Kerry even before Clinton. Harry Reid, I would totally trust, I just think he's a dope. I won't go into the others.
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Jan, 2006 08:41 pm
Some of the idiocy in this thread is just breathtaking. One leapt out at me immediately--the contention that Hussein had killed half the population of Iraq by the time of his deposition. There are roughly 25,000,000 Iraqis right now--give or take the few thousand killed by insurgents and the few tens of thousands killed by American kindness. Does the member seriously expect us to believe that in the short span from 1978 to 2003, Hussein bumped off 25,000,000 Iraqis ? ! ? ! ?

Seeing things like that suggest to me that an attempt to discuss what might otherwise be an interesting topic is simply not worth the effort. These things can only be instructive when taken slowly with careful fact-checking and a heavy dose of reality. Swallowing nonsense such as that whole does no one any service.
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okie
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Jan, 2006 08:47 pm
I started this thread, and when I read that assertion about Hussein, I wondered as well concerning the accuracy. That is why I stated that I include Hussein and Castro even though they may not have been as bad as the Hitlers, Stalins, Pol Pots, etc. of the world because those guys killed millions. I would say though that Hussein killed at least a few hundred thousand, and probably nobody will ever know exactly how many. One thing is for sure, he killed as many as he needed to in order to intimidate sufficiently and stay in power.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Jan, 2006 08:59 pm
I've read assertions to the effect that he is responsible for roughly 300,000 dead. This makes him a bad guy, no doubt, but it puts him no where near the league of Hilter and Pol Pot, neither of whom even approach what old Joe Stalin did.

Charlemagne launched annual, large-scale raids against the Saxons, because they were "pagan." They retaliated in kind, when they could, but they were clearly outclassed militarily. Anselm, his nearest contemporary biographer, who was raised and educated in his palace at Aachen, related that in one summer campaign, of women and children alone, the Franks killed 3,000 Saxons and "other pagans." Even using that as a base estimate, and suggesting that he'd only need to cut his way through 2,000 able bodied men to accomplish that, in the more than 40 years that he waged unrelenting warfare on the Saxons, that would be 200,000. Although that may be a high estimate, it doesn't include any of the dead from his wars to conquer the Lombards, and his failed campaigns into Iberia. Given that the population of the portion of Europe in which he operated in the Gothic period was considerably less than the 25,000,000 of modern Iraq, does that make him any less of a murderous horror, historically speaking? Does he get a pass because he killed "pagan" Saxons and Basques, and Muslims in Iberia? What about the Lombards, Christians of the same confession as his own, does that count as a crime against humanity?

When Boudicca, Queen of the Iceni, raged through Roman Britain in 62 CE, she is reputed to have put 50,000 people to the sword. The population of Roman Britain at the time is reasonably estimated to have been not much more than a quarter of a million. That means she took out 20% of the population. Hussein would have needed to have killed five million Iraqis to have accomplished an equivalent slaughter. She accomplished those murders with a few thousand followers in less than two months. Who is the greater monster?

It takes a good deal of perspective to render such historical judgments. It is my experience that in such discussions as these, such perspective is often lacking.

Asherman's post is a fine example of a cogent response to the hypothesis. It is worth studying, precisely because it offers perspective.
0 Replies
 
ralpheb
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Jan, 2006 09:05 pm
One thing we need to look at: Of the people Okie originally spoke of, only Hussein is still alive and, if you keep watching the news, you will see that we are still uncovering bodies in mass graves inside of Iraq. We still don't know where the count will stop.
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Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Jan, 2006 06:59 pm
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0 Replies
 
Mortkat
 
  0  
Reply Tue 3 Jan, 2006 03:16 am
I am sure Okie that you did some good research. I do agree that the people you listed , Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot and Saddam were ruthless killers, but your attempts to exculpate George W. Bush were in error.

Is not the US the most powerful country in the world?

Why, we could spread our largess throughout the four corners. We could eliminate AIDS, POVERTY, DISCRIMINATION. But President Bush is just not up to the job. His attempts to subvert the constitution are proof that he is not benign but rather does partake of some of the basic failings of Adolf Hitler.

If Bill Clinton had been allowed to run again, this world would be a lot different than it is. He, at least, was not as narcissistic and self-centered as President Bush.

If you don't believe me, Okie, do some more research. Try Move on.org or the Democratic National Committee with Howard Dean. There you will learn the truth.
0 Replies
 
Wolf ODonnell
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Jan, 2006 06:29 am
Mortkat wrote:
I am sure Okie that you did some good research. I do agree that the people you listed , Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot and Saddam were ruthless killers, but your attempts to exculpate George W. Bush were in error.

Is not the US the most powerful country in the world?

Why, we could spread our largess throughout the four corners. We could eliminate AIDS, POVERTY, DISCRIMINATION. But President Bush is just not up to the job. His attempts to subvert the constitution are proof that he is not benign but rather does partake of some of the basic failings of Adolf Hitler.

If Bill Clinton had been allowed to run again, this world would be a lot different than it is. He, at least, was not as narcissistic and self-centered as President Bush.

If you don't believe me, Okie, do some more research. Try Move on.org or the Democratic National Committee with Howard Dean. There you will learn the truth.


Guh? Judging from some of the things you said in other posts, I would have thought you supported George W. Bush. Guess this another piece of evidence that proves that the labelling of politics as left and right is absurdly simplistic.

Furthermore, I would say Okie's analysis is a bit too simplistic too, especially that of Saddam. He was actually quite a religious person, despite creating a secular government and he's not the only one who murdered thousands in Iraq to maintain his rule.

Many people forget that Winston Churchill also gassed and bombed the Kurds when they tried to rebel against British rule there.

The problem with Iraq was that it was created without any respect to tribal allegiances and sensitivities in the area, lumping people who really don't like each other together in the same country.

That's not to say I'm excusing either of them. All I'm saying is that there's more to it than just the dictator's racial hatred.
0 Replies
 
okie
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Jan, 2006 09:34 pm
Mortkat wrote:

If you don't believe me, Okie, do some more research. Try Move on.org or the Democratic National Committee with Howard Dean. There you will learn the truth.


Being new here I'm not sure, but judging from your other posts, I am going to guess you are attempting to demonstrate the absurd with absurdity?

And from Wolf ODonnell
Quote:
Furthermore, I would say Okie's analysis is a bit too simplistic too, especially that of Saddam. He was actually quite a religious person, despite creating a secular government and he's not the only one who murdered thousands in Iraq to maintain his rule.

I would probably agree it was simplified, and there are undoubtedly exceptions to every rule, but I think it has validity in that some personalities are much more dangerous. I also fully believe the potential for evil exists or lurks in the shadows of every human being if the wrong decisions and direction is taken. Oh, by the way, perhaps I'm not informed, but I've never gotten the impression that Hussein was seriously religious in any fashion whatsoever.
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Mortkat
 
  0  
Reply Wed 4 Jan, 2006 02:27 am
okie- Right you are. It is astounding to me that the left wing can excoriate George W. Bush when their hero, Bill Clinton actually did very little during his term of office:

What did Bill do?

He signed the NAFTA bill( the left wing labor groups just LOVED that)

He pressed for the Most Favored Nation Status for China( the left wing labor groups just LOVED that)

He signed the Welfare Bill after consistent prodding by the Republicans( The left wing welfare crowd just LOVED that)

He did, of course, renominate Alan Greenspan, who was the architect of the Economy of the nineties. He must get credit for KEEPING the right man in place. Greenspan was, of course, appointed originally by Ronald Reagan.

He presided over the dissolution of the control held by the Democratic Party in 1994. During Clinton's tenure, the Democrats LOST control of the House and Senate and have never regained it.

and, of course, Clinton was impeached. It was not about sex. The impeachment handed down by the House of Representatives was for OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE.

Thus far, Okie,I have not discovered that any court had impeached Bush or that the Republican Party had lost control of the House or Senate or that the tax cuts have been rescinded or that the Patriot Act will not be passed or that Judge Roberts will be removed from the USSC or that Judge Alito will not be confirmed or that the unemployment rate is above 5%.

All I have read about is charges and allegations.

When they bring up a bill of impeachment for Bush( it will never happen) then, Okie, he can join Clinton in the pantheon of disgraced presidents.
0 Replies
 
okie
 
  2  
Reply Wed 4 Jan, 2006 02:45 am
Correct on all points. In the debate over Bush abusing power, no evidence of that in the wiretaps in my opinion. He is not doing to protect himself, but the country. Pick one of literally dozens of corruption scandals by Clinton, pick the harassment and selective audits directed by Clintonistas of their political enemies, now I would say that is a serious abuse of power and gross misuse of the bureaucracy to intimidate and hush people that may wish to oppose them. They were famous for that. That scandal did not even receive much press at all, but that in and of itself, if true, and I think good evidence exists that it is, is a very definite impeachable offense. I believe lots of info. on this is in the Barrett Report, a report being blocked to come out by Democrats. They are more interested in the Abramoffs and DeLays.
 

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