Posts Tagged ‘dictatorships’

A Modern Game of Thrones in North Korea

05 Aug
North Korean Dictator Kim Jong Un and his wife, Ri Sol Ju

North Korean Dictator Kim Jong Un and his wife, Ri Sol Ju

Among modern tyrannical dictators, there is a strong tendency toward attempting to establish a “Game of Thrones” type of generational legitimacy.  Anyone familiar with the popular fantasy books and HBO TV show knows that the Kings and other Lords in the fictional land of Westeros work and fight very hard to place their children on the thrones of their respective kingdoms and fiefdoms.  Usually this involves much death, intrigue, war, and general misery for the common people, most of whom could care less about the “Game of Thrones” played by their rulers.  In the real world of international politics, one needs only look a bit at history and current events to see interesting patterns developing in the attempts of dictators to pass on their rule to their progeny, especially in North Korea.

It was recently reported that Kim Jong-Un, North Korea’s third leader of the Kim Dynasty, has taken a wife.  This actually should be considered good news for those worried about renewed war on the Korean Peninsula.  Kim Jong-Un’s new wife, named Ri Sol-Ju, is reported to be ‘pretty and charming’ by an insider with knowledge of the Kim family.  Most likely, within the next year or two, word will come out of North Korea that Ri Sol-Ju is expecting a child with her husband, the Supreme Leader.  Such a pregnancy and, presumably a live birth of a son, will continue the Kim Dynasty for another generation.  Assuming North Korea as a nation survives.  One thing about North Korea and the politics of the Stalinist hermit kingdom, is that no one on outside of North Korea really knows if there will be another Korean War.  Every time a leadership change occurs in the North, or in the time leading up to such a change, tensions mount as the North makes militaristic and belligerent noises and actions.  In 2010, as Kim Jong-Un’s father weakened, the North attacked a South Korean island.  It is now known that Kim Jong-Un was on the island with his father just prior to that attack, and that this may have been a demonstration of his ability to command.

While few outside of North Korea would see the continuation of this dynasty of dictators as a positive, all would likely agree that a new Korean War would be in no one’s best interests.  The marriage of Kim Jong-Un assures that he will attempt to pass on his power and rule to his future children.  This means that he will (hopefully), not engage in any reckless actions that may spark a war that any reasonable person with knowledge of military affairs could surmise would end with North Korea’s end.  Of course, no one outside of North Korea really knows if Kim Jong-Un himself is really aware that North Korea’s conventional military forces cannot truly compete with the South Korean and American military might that any North Korean attack would face.  Any reasonable observer would have guessed that Saddam Hussein, who also groomed his sons to succeed him, would have avoided any reckless military adventures that could undo his family’s rule of Iraq.  As we all know, Saddam and all of his sons are now dead, and his county is now ruled by people that Saddam would have loved to kill.

Other modern dictators attempted to pass on their rule to a second generation.  Libya’s late and largely unlamented tyrant, Muammar Gaddafi, intended to pass on power to his sons.  A bloody civil war later, and we see that they are all now dead or imprisoned.  Egypt’s strongman Hosni Mubarak, while not as dictatorial as the Kims or Gadaffis, nonetheless intended to pass on power to his eldest son.  The Egyptian Revolution changed that, and Egypt is now holding democratic elections. And in Syria, where the Assad Dynasty is currently in its second generation, a bloody civil war has Bashar Assad on the edge of following the footsteps of Saddam, Gaddafi, and Mubarak.  No one expects North Korea’s people to suddenly rise up and kick out the Kims.  The dynamic is much different and the grip the North Korean communists have on their rule is much too tight.  But in this modern Game of Thrones, some kings live, and some kings die.  But one thing remains steady:  If there is a man on the figurative throne of a dictatorship, if  that ruler can pass on his power to his sons, he will do so.

Prince Joffrey on his Throne in Game of Thrones: Would he fit in as a modern dictator?

Prince Joffrey on his Throne in Game of Thrones: Would he fit in as a modern dictator?


Egypt History Timeline

31 Jan

Timeline of Egyptian History at

1970– Nasser dies, and Vice-President Anwar al-Sadat becomes President of Egypt.

1973War with Israel. The Yom Kippur/Ramadan War paves the way for eventual peace negotiations to take place.

1974First Sinai Disengagement Agreement between Egypt an Israel. Israel pulled back from part of the Sinai. This agreement was, in effect, the first land-for-peace agreement between Israel and an Arab neighbor.

1977 (January)–Egyptian ‘Bread Riots’ against economic reforms. Nearly 80 deaths, and 800 wounded.

1977 (July)-Short border war with Libya.

1977 (November)-Sadat goes to Jerusalem and is the first Arab leader to visit Israel. Sadat spoke before the Knesset in Jerusalem about how to achieve a comprehensive peace between Israel and the Arab nations.

1978-Egypt and Israel sign the Camp David Accords. There were two accords, titled A Framework for Peace in the Middle East and A Framework for the Conclusion of a Peace Treaty between Egypt and Israel. The Accords set the stage for the 1979 peace treaty.

1979-Egypt and Israel sign the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty, ending the state of war that had existed since 1948.

1979-Egypt is expelled from the Arab League for making peace with Israel.

1981-Assassination of President Sadat. Vice-President Hosni Mubarak assumes power.

1989-Egypt readmitted to the Arab League.

1991-War with Iraq. Egypt took part in the multi-national coalition that drove Iraqi forces from Kuwait in the Gulf War.

2011Massive unrest takes place throughout Egypt with opposition groups calling for the ouster of President Mubarak.


Egypt History Online

29 Jan

New page on Egyptian History, including information on the Political Unrest in Egypt in January of 2011.

Egypt History Portal page is at


Joseph Stalin: History’s Villain

22 Dec
Joseph Stalin-Soviet Dictator and Mass Murderer

Joseph Stalin-Soviet Dictator and Mass Murderer

Joseph Stalin’s 130th birthday is today.  That he was ever born and lived out his evil, bloody life is a cause for despair and sadness.  Joseph Stalin was, without a doubt, one of the vilest, most villainous dictators in history.  Only Hitler surpasses Stalin in the annals of war and genocide.

Russia’s remaining Communists, though, choose to ignore his crimes (or, perhaps they actually applaud them.  Being Communists, you never know what they truly believe), and instead want to celebrate the birth of their long-lost hero.  For those who may not be fully aware of what Stalin did in his criminal career to deserve this status just below Hitler in

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Posted in History, russia, Soviet Union, Tibet, world war two


Pakistan’s Violent Political History Continues With Bhutto’s Assassination

27 Dec

Pakistan’s Violent Political History Continues
With Bhutto’s Assassination


With the political assassination of former Prime
Minister Benazir Bhutto on December 27, 2007, Pakistan’s bloody
tradition of political violence continues to plague an already
fractured and unstable country.

A short list of significant acts of political
violence in Pakistan. Note that Pakistan has been an independent
nation only since 1947.

–1947-Independence from the British and the
violent separation from India (several million killed in Pakistan and

–First Kashmir War
(1947-1948) with India

annexation of Baluchistan, military suppression of Baluch

–1951–Assassination of
Pakistan’s first Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan

–Pakistan’s first President, Iskandar Mirza,
throws out the constitution and declares martial law on October 7,

–General Ayub Khan overthrows Iskander Mirza in a
bloodless coup d’etat on October 7, 1958.

–1958-1960–Pakistani military suppression of
Baluch nationalists

–Second Kashmir War (1965)
with India

–Bangladesh War of
Independence (1971) from Pakistan (Bangladesh had, from 1947 to 1971,
been part of Pakistan, best known as East Pakistan). India intervened
in the war to aid Bangladesh against Pakistan

–1973-1976-Rebellion in
Baluchistan, a province in southwestern Pakistan

–1977–Military coup
overthrows Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. He was replaced by
General Zia al-Huq.

–1979–Former Prime
Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was executed after a controversial

War (Kashmir Border Conflict)
war with India

–October, 1999–General Pervez
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a bloodless military coup


(2004-Present)-against tribal rebels and al-Qaida fighters in the
Northwest border region

–2003–Two unsuccessful
assassination attempts against President

–July, 2003–Siege and Battle at the Red Mosque–over 100 killed.

–October 18,
2007–Assassination attempt on former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto
upon her return from exile

–December 27,
2007–Assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in