(For even more dictators see Part 1 — but not before you get to No. 5 on this list)
According to the Oxford Dictionary, a dictator is “a person who behaves in an autocratic way.” Autocratic, in turn, means “taking no account of other people’s wishes or opinions; domineering.”
Here’s a list (in random order) of five current and past dictators that features some trivia, infamy and, of course, the dickshit things they say.
1. Idi Amin
Dickshit he said: When asked by a reporter about eating people, Idi Amin replied, “I don’t like human flesh — it’s too salty for me.”
Trivia: Before becoming president of Uganda (which resulted from a coup in 1971) and before being aptly dubbed “Butcher of Uganda,” Idi Amin was an assistant cook in the British colonial army. If the “Fried Green Tomatoes” barbecue scene just came to mind, you’re not alone. Idi Amin was such an asshole that when Forest Whitaker played him in 2006’s “The Last King of Scotland,” Forest Whitaker became an asshole. Kerry Washington, who played Whitaker/Amin’s wife in the film, admitted it was “terrifying” working with him and said, “He was scary to be around because he was Idi all the time.”
Infamy: Amnesty International estimated Idi Amin was responsible for the deaths of 500,000 people. He was a brutal torturer and mutilated his victims, sometimes after death.
2. Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus
Trivia: Lukashenko was picked on as a boy and now rigs elections and jails his opposition. He has been president of Belarus since 1994 and likes to be called “Daddy.” Belarus is called the last dictatorship in Europe, and its leader keeps having travel bans and visa bans placed upon him by the EU to scold him for human rights violations.
Infamy: Belarus is one of the top 10 worst countries to work in, according to the 2015 Global Rights Index. Recent laws in Belarus force farm and forestry workers to stay at their jobs, to never be able to look for work elsewhere, and even Lukashenko calls it serfdom.
3. Augusto Pinochet
Dickshit he said: “I was only an aspiring dictator. I was never a real dictator” and “Not a single leaf moves in this country if I’m not the one moving it. I want that to be clear!” That sounds like a real dictator to me.
Trivia: Pinochet was the son of a customs official.
Infamy: Gen. Pinochet’s army staged a coup in 1973, and he appointed himself president of Chile in 1974 and ruled until 1990. Chile has recognized 40,018 victims of Pinochet’s fascist regime — victims of sadistic torture, abductions and executions.
Dickshit he said: “Off with her head!” OK, he didn’t say that, or I can’t find an instance of him exactly saying that, but executions happen at a rate of every couple of days in Saudi Arabia. These executions include children (if there are signs of puberty), and 48.5 percent of the executions since 1985 have been of foreign nationals and migrant workers. People are executed even when courts fail to produce evidence.
Trivia: King Salman loves discipline. Before being king, he had a private prison where he’d restrain naughty Saudi princes.
Infamy: Since King Salman became absolute leader this past January, it has been a record-breaking year in Saudi Arabia for beheadings, a country where being accused of giving up the faith (Islam) or even being accused of sorcery (think Salem witch trials) results in the death penalty and peaceful demonstration or disagreeing with leadership results in death by crucifixion. Saudi Arabia is committing so many amputations and executions that this year it advertised for eight more executioners — no qualifications necessary; here’s your sword (I’m not joking).
For more information on Saudi Arabia’s notorious human rights violations, read Human Rights Watch’s World Report 2015: Saudi Arabia.
5. Stephen Harper
Before my fellow Canadians get defensive, it was Stephen Harper who called Canada a “benign dictatorship,” but how benign is it?
Dickshit he said: Last week, Canada’s Prime Minister Harper defended the $15-billion arms contract his government has made to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia — a country famed for human rights violations that is rife with human trafficking that continues to go unpunished and known for secondary funding of terrorist organizations. Harper said, “We expressed our outrage, our disagreement from time to time with the government of Saudi Arabia for their treatment of human rights, but I don’t think it makes any sense to pull a contract in a way that would only punish Canadian workers instead of actually expressing our outrage at some of these things in Saudi Arabia.” The Harper government “expressed outrage from time to time.” Wow, outrage. Is this what Canadian values look like in 2015, or are these Harper’s values?
Trivia: Stephen Harper is the only prime minister in Canadian history to rename the Canadian government so it bears his name — the Harper Government.
Infamy: Selling weapons to the “repressive regime” of Saudi Arabia regardless of dangers to human rights, muzzling Canadian scientists and cutting research, firing the president of Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission for reporting an unsafe reactor, accusing experts of being terrorists, destroying the planet, destroying Canada’s international reputation, protecting Canadian corporate violators of human rights abroad, “complicity in torture,” spying on Canadians, rewriting rules, shutting down Parliament and democratic process when things don’t go his way, illegal appointments of officials, selling the Canadian Wheat Board to Saudis and more.
Kirsten Koza is the author of “Lost in Moscow: A Brat in the USSR” and her anthology “Wake Up and Smell the Shit: Hilarious Travel Disasters, Monstrous Toilets, and a Demon Dildo” hits store shelves this October. She has been a contributing journalist for TheBlot Magazine for two years.