Tuesday, April 01, 2003

Call for nominations
Reuters had a little story this morning:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Forget Stalin or Hitler

The worst ruler in world history is Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, the Pentagon says.

"The Iraqi people will be free of decades and decades and decades of torture and oppression the likes of which I think the world has not ever seen before," Pentagon spokeswoman Victoria Clarke told a Pentagon news conference on Monday.

Clarke's comment was in line with a mounting stream of comments from Washington that have demonised the Iraqi leader as U.S. and British troops now look as if they may take longer than expected in removing him from power.

Saddam has been condemned for his exceptional brutality against his own people but historians generally agree that Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler and Soviet leader Josef Stalin were responsible for killing more people than any other dictators in world history.

In the published transcript the Department of Defense amended her comment to read: “the likes of which I think the world has not ever seen before [SIC -- is one of the worst in history].” Now whether we call Saddam the worst dictator ever, one of the worst, orpPretty bad for that neighborhood is not a something that should be determined by military/industrial complex bureaucrats or by reporter. It should be determined by middle-aged history graduate students over vast quantities of beer. Lacking that, dear friends, I turn this over to you.

I’m putting out a call for nominations for worst dictator ever. All nominations must be accompanied by the reasons this nominee deserves this honor. Feel free to create subcategories (worst dressed, most insane, evilest). Also feel free to engage in pointless digressions on the proper criteria for determining “worst.” Prizes will be given for obscurity of historical references.

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