(Irrawaddy) In an article titled “The Worst of the Worst,” Foreign Policy magazine named junta chief Snr-Gen Than Shwe the world's third worst
dictator, with North Korean leader Kim Jong Il ranked No 1 and Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe No 2.
Than Shwe, Kim Jong Il and Mugabe were pictured on the magazine cover with the caption, “The committee to destroy the world.”
Than Shwe, who has been ruling Burma by force for almost 20 years, was described by Foreign Policy as a “heartless military coconut head whose sole consuming preoccupation is power.”
The article said the Burmese dictator has decimated the opposition with arrests and detentions, denied humanitarian assistance to his people in the wake of Cyclone Nargis, which devastated Burma in May 2008, and thrived off a black market economy and natural gas exports.
“This vainglorious general bubbling with swagger sports a uniform festooned with self-awarded medals, but he is too cowardly to face an honest ballot box,” the article said.
Kim Jong Il, in power for 16 years, was described as a personality-cult-cultivating isolationist. Foreign Policy said Kim has pauperized his people, allowed famine to run rampant, thrown hundreds of thousands in prison camps and spent his country's resources on a nuclear program.
Robert Mugabe, in power for 30 years, was described as a liberation “hero” in the struggle for independence who has since transformed himself into a murderous despot. He was condemned by Foreign Policy for arresting and torturing the opposition, squeezing his economy into astounding negative growth and billion-percent inflation and funneling off a juicy cut for himself using currency manipulation and offshore accounts.
The article named 23 world dictators in total, including the leaders of Uganda, Rwanda, Cuba, China, Iran, Venezuela, Sudan, Ethiopia and Egypt.