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Blame it on Terrorists

Terrorism and/or terrorists make a pretty good excuse for about anything.  Can I get a show of hands from the audience if you've ever used this trick?  Yes, that's what I thought - almost all of you.  You can put your hand down now, George.

The trick is: you need to be a bit clever about it. 

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Latest Headlines from the Forum

Here are the latest headlines from our forum. Are you with us? You should be!

  1. [Guinea Bissau] still sucks
  2. [Mali] Africanistan
  3. [Venezuela] Gets a touch-up in Cuba
  4. [USA] Texas and the DemRep of Congo: not so different
  5. [Ecuador] Now stuck with Assange - ha ha!
  6. [N Korea] Kim Jong Il is sexiest man alive
  7. [Burma] Washington's going in too fast: pull out!
  8. [Russia] Here's one beauty queen who will soon be experiencing trouble
  9. [Israel] Finally Twitter is good for something, but not much
  10. Aid is a trap to enslave African nations: discuss among yourselves
  11. [Egypt] No porn for the Egyptians

And here is the quote of the week, courtesy of Netizen Scat in the Hat in response to the article "No porn for the Egyptians":

This is a good article. Somehow the idea of getting rabid Egyptians up in arms about intrusion of secular mores on society, or creating a faux scandal that tugs at nationalistic and traditional heartstrings, seems likes an effort to distract.

That said, it seems the American Republican party is having a field day doing something that looks rather similar. I was glad to see Sarah Palin go silent in the latter part of the Republican campaign. Seems she had her panties in a knot of some alleged slight. From my point of view, it was worth it as no one was subjected to her hateful, ridiculous bile.

Maybe Morsi can try something out of the Republican Party's play book.

We don't usually have a runner-up, but this week we can't resist calling out a second, juicy quote. This one is courtesy of Netizen D1 Dave in response to the article "[Ecuador] Now stuck with Assange - ha ha!" He writes:

Ha ha! Suck it, Ecuador!

Points for succinctness, D1 Dave - thanks for contributing. See you on the other side, folks.

Dictator Dislikes: Morons

Holy crap, people, can you work with me here?  

I'm the leader of the nation and I've actually got a lot of frikkin work to do here: I've got several violent uprisings to put down, the leaders of the West mouthing off about how I'm not - ahem - democratic enough for their liking - and an economy that's in freefall at best.

Yes, I can probably handle it all by myself.  But I wouldn't mind a little help around this joint if you morons think you are able to step up to the task. 

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Fear is the best medicine

There's a whole chapter on it in the Dictator's Handbook:  "The Culture of Fear."  (it's chapter five, by the way).  Fact is, if you want to rule a nation that remains mostly pacificistic, complacent about your administration, and more grateful than bellicose, then look no farther than at the clenched fist at the end of your own wrist. Continue reading "Fear is the best medicine"

Dick's Tips: Move Fast

No one likes a slacker. I certainly don't, and I tend to reward those supporters of mine who show initiative and quickly move to serve my interests. And as a quite competent dictator, I do the same. See an uprising brewing? Try to snuff it out before the week is over, using whatever security tools work best -- clandestine or otherwise (note to Bashar: this does NOT mean indiscriminate bombing or terror tactics. 'Move fast' doesn't mean 'move stupid'). Generals not cooperating? Before they have breakfast be sure to welcome them to a new posting at a volatile and distant border checkpoint. Have fun, commandante. 

But what if you're worried about those annoying checks and balances that come with democratic legitimacy? Here again is the perfect opportunity for rapid action.

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You Have No Friends

The great American poet Charles Bukowski once wrote, "If you want to find out who your friends are, you can do two things: throw a party or go to jail. You will soon find that you have no friends." To that pithy bit of advice you could add, "Or become a dictator and lose power," and it's likely the result would not change. Certainly one could say, "Well, any dictator is bound to be surrounded by unscrupulous, amoral types, and it's to be expected that they won't be there when the capo falls."

While that is true, it's also true that for legacy purposes a really successful dictator will make sure that his inner circle -- his friends, wife, and family -- remain loyal and supportive as he rides off into a hopefully uneventful retirement. (See chapter 13 of our book for more on legacy issues.) The last thing a retired dictator needs, after all, is an outspoken media magnet as a friend. 

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Latest Headlines from the Forum

Are you participating on our forum, or are you elsewhere in the Internet clicking on pictures of funny cats? 'Nuff said.

Latest headlines from the forum:

  1. [Iran] Now with even more bullshit!
  2. [Belarus] Lukashenka pimps his ride
  3. [Russia] hates it when human rights are politicized
  4. [Ukraine] Tymoshkenko requests return to prison - WTF?
  5. [Venezuela] Chronicling the Rot
  6. [Somalia] Worst job ever: Somali journalist
  7. [Somalia] Al Shabab is NOT FUNNY!

And here is the quote of the week, courtesy of netizen "D1 Dave" in response to the article "Al Shabab is NOT FUNNY!":

Actually, they're frikkin' hilarious. But we're laughing AT them, not WITH them. Al Shabaab is a huge bunch of cockheads with no sense of irony. Will someone please go colonize that shithole-also-known-as-Somalia and be done with it?

Oh no, I've said it. Now the Shabab Nutjobs will want to assassinate me too! Oh no!

OK, Back to your LOLCats, people.

Bluster Like You Mean It

It's rare, but sometimes people stand up to me. Of course, very few people in my country have the stones to disobey my directives, and usually when I'm challenged or called out on a lie it's likely that I'm across the table from Western diplomat (I was about to write 'UN representative' but hey, with them objections turn to ready acceptance once the suitcase full of money slides in their direction).

It's true: more often than not some pious or over-educated milquetoast from Washington DC or London or Oslo is wagging their finger at me, repeating the same tired litany over and over again. 'Stop slaughtering your own people!' or 'Those funds were not meant for your weekends with whores' or 'You claim we'll support your latest military adventure? I don't recall discussing this?' I usually just tune them out and try to leave the room ... the Prime Minister can listen to their complaints, I'm just too busy.

Sometimes, though, when Western do-goodniks are threatening to intervene in your personal affairs, you need to up the ante. Listen up, my dictator colleagues around the world, and find out how it's done.  

Continue reading "Bluster Like You Mean It"