But We Had to Overthrow that Evil Dictator!

That’s the argument I hear about why we are at war in Iraq.

OK, OK, so Iraq didn’t have weapons of mass destruction AND they had nothing to do with 9/11, but we had to overthrow that evil dictator! And we have to bring democracy to their country! Democracy? You mean run their country like we run ours? Perhaps, since we’re almost finished with George Bush, we should give him to Iraq so he can show them how a real government should be run. After all, he’s done so well here.

Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.–Matthew 7:5

Yes, we’re all about overthrowing evil dictators. After all, we got Hitler!
Hitler started persecuting Jews in 1935 when he took away their German citizenship. The Jews in this country were well aware of the atrocities going on with their European families, but they were ignored. This went on for six years before we entered WWII and we only entered it because we declared war on JAPAN, after we were attacked at Pearl Harbor. We only got into the European arena because they declared war on us! But we manage to spin it so we look like heroes in the end.

Which dictator shall we tackle next? Since we are clearly in the business of ridding the world of evil dictators?

What about Kim Jong-Il who runs the most isolated, repressive regime in the world. Citiizens are not allowed to have any information outside of government propaganda. The government has a “guilt by association” rule whereby three generations of family members may be punished for one member’s alleged crimes and he has imprisoned roughly 200,000 citizens in labor camps, for arbitrary reasons. They are fed near starvation rations and are tortured and executed for trivial offenses. and the capture, torture and jailing of those who try to flee to China. (oh, wait. we have that too..it’s called Guantanamo)
The North Korean government prioritized the diversion of resources and food to assist military and nuclear programs and allowed as many as 1 million people to die in a famine. And North Korea actually HAS weapons of mass destruction, one of which they’ve already tested.
Oh, yes, but we’ve already fought in Korea.

China’s human rights violations include torture, forced abortions, forced labor, detention of religious groups, government corruption and restrictions on speech and the media. Tibet has been a target for Chinese human rights violations. Thousands of Tibet citizens have been jailed, tortured and murdered for practicing their religion.

Last year, citizens were executed for such nonviolent crimes as bribery and stealing oil. China has a one-child policy which has led to the abandonment and killing of countless infants, especially females. Thousands of citizens are currently be detained in prisons for civil demonstration or trying to exercise a freedom of speech. These people are often held for long periods of time without access to legal counsel.

There is no religious freedom in China. By law, citizens are required to be atheist. Those who practice religion have been arrested, detained, placed under close police surveillance or internal exile, fined and, in some cases, tortured.
People are often arrested arbitrarily and placed under one of two forms of rehabilitation:

*1″reeducation through labor,” under which police, without trial, can send individuals to labor camps for up to four years; and

2) “shelter and investigation,” under which police can detain people without charge or trial for up to three months, a time limit that is routinely ignored.

Use of the death penalty is also random and has increased dramatically in the last few years. A person may be put to death for criminal offenses, including nonviolent property crimes such as theft, embezzlement and forgery.

China has instituted forced reproduction limitations and under the new law, certain categories of people still may be prevented from bearing children. There is forced sterilization and forced abortions.

I could go on. Why don’t we do anything about the human rights violations in China? Because we need them for cheap labor so we can sell crap at Walmart!!

We want Iraq to become a democracy yet Saudi Arabia is not an electoral democracy. It’s a religious dictatorship. The country is run by a dictator, King Abdullah. The country’s basic law declares that the Koran and the Sunna (the guidance set by the deeds and sayings of the prophet Muhammad) are the country’s constitution. All Saudis are required by law to be Muslims. The government prohibits the public practice of any religions other than Islam and restricts the religious practices of both the Shiite and Sufi Muslim minority sects. Families are allowed to execute other members who convert to other religions, particularly Christianity.

The government controls access to media and blocks internet websites that they deem offensive. (probably this one) Academic freedom is restricted in Saudi Arabia, and informers monitor classrooms for compliance with limits on curriculums, such as a ban on teaching Western philosophy and religions other than Islam. They arrest and detains political activists who stage civil demonstrations. Allegations of torture by police and prison officials are frequent.

The rights and treatment of women in Saudi Arabia is notorious. Women may not legally drive cars and their use of
public facilities is restricted when men are present.By law and custom, women cannot travel within or outside of the country without a male relative. The testimony of one man is equal to that of two women in Islamic law courts. Education is limited for women. If a woman divorces, she loses custody of her preteen children.

15 of the 19 airline hijackers in the attacks were Saudi citizens.
Osama bin Laden, leader of the terrorist group al-Qaeda, is from a wealthy Saudi family.

Why on earth do we tolerate the injustices and human rights violations in Saudi Arabia? Because, well, they have OIL! And lots of it. Saudi Arabia has the largest proven oil reserves in the world.

Other likely candidates:

Omar Al-Bashir, dictator of Sudan. According to the International Criminal Court, he is probably personally responsible for the genocide and violence in Darfur, in which 400,000 estimated people have died. He has been officially charged with masterminding the elimination of certain ethnic groups.
Robert Mugabe, dictator of Zimbabwe. Conditions in his country are so dismal that the life expectancy is 37 years of age. Peaceful assembly is frequently met with police in riot gear. People are also detained here for arbitrary “crimes” and tortured in prisons. We don’t interfere with these dictatorships for the same reason we didn’t interfere in Rwanda where 800,000 people were slaughtered with machetes: They’re African. Enough said.



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