Monday, June 22, 2009

The best of the worst

There is plenty of competition for the title of "World's Worst Regime". Twenty years ago the Tiananmen Massacre would have seen China in with a strong chance.

Today the Kim Family Empire of North Korea is clearly a leading contender, spending the country's limited resources on developing nuclear weapons while the people go hungry. Robert Mugabe's achievement in turning one of the most prosperous countries in Africa into one of the poorest and most repressive through his greed, arrogance and incompetence also makes him a strong competitor. Saudi Arabia's treatment of women puts it on the list, as does Israel's six decades of trampling on the Palestinians, while Iran is mounting a spirited challenge following the (probably rigged) re-election of Ahmadinejad.

But for sheer out-and-out hypocrisy it would be very hard to beat the unpleasant bunch of aging generals who rule Burma. The BBC reports that they have just jailed two people for 18 months for "insulting religion" after they publicly prayed at a temple for the release of democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi. This from the regime that showed its deep respect for religion in 2007 by murdering hundreds of Buddhist monks for protesting peacefully!


Alex Hofford said...

Hi there,

I’ve got a new blog in Hong Kong. I hope you like it. Any chance of a link on your site?



Joyce said...

I have this depressing job where I all I do is read and edit stories about bad regimes. It's like there's a worldwide content to see who can reach the bottom first.

If you want full details on war, greed, dictatorship and refugees (Swat, Somalia -- what is this? Refugee Year?) pick up the IHT. It's been so bad that readers have been writing in saying they've had enough photos of poor Asian people on the cover.

Our response? There are an awful lot of poor people out there. And if we don't show those photos, who will?