Saturday, April 01, 2006

Wow! African nations are pondering the possibilities for all the former (and future) dictators who committed atrocities yet get away scott free by exiling themselves in some other country.
Hopes have been raised by the case of Charles Taylor, the former Liberian president accused of greed and savagery extraordinary even for a continent that has known some of the worst tyrants of modern times. He was extradited Wednesday to face crimes against humanity charges at a U.N.-supported Special Court for his role in fomenting civil wars in Sierra Leone.
Seriously, the UN court is finally getting serious about this after watching passively while dictators left and right fled from revolutions and then lived high on the hog in some other third world country that couldn't have cared less about harboring them.
But I'm wondering what tone this will set for fascist leaders of nations around the world, not just in Africa. Sure, the dark continent has more of them, and banana dictatorships have been more of a problem there, but there are other bad boys around the world who have to be reading the writing on the wall. Chavez of Venezuela, Kim Jong Il in North Korea, Burma, Thailand, Iran. You can't just expect to run your country into the ground and then slip away with the spoils to a happy retirement on some sandy third world beach any more.

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