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Tragic ending of dictators

Posted December. 06, 2017 07:38,   

Updated December. 06, 2017 09:24

한국어

The three most miserable countries in the world now would be North Korea, Syria and Yemen. The stories of extreme poverty in North Korea symbolized by parasites and hepatitis B found inside the body of a North Korean soldier recently defected to South Korea and terrorist attacks by Islamic States (IS) and air strikes by the government forces killing innocent civilians in Syria are all familiar to us. The situation is not better in Yemen. The centuries-old Sunni-Shia civil war has killed almost 10,000 people for the past two years with the Yemeni government practically collapsed. The catastrophic situation in Yemen has been used as the background of the popular American TV series Prison Break. In its fifth season, the lead character Michael escapes from the country engulfed by war.

Former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh was killed Monday by Houthi rebels, making the situation in Yemen all the more unpredictable. In the aftermath of “The Arab Spring,” a pro-democracy movement that spread across the Middle East in 2011, Saleh stepped down as president after 33 years of reign under the condition that he will be exempted from any punishments. But he strived to reemerge as a major political figure, protesting against current President Mansur Hadi. The Houthi-Saleh alliance has disintegrated over the control of Yemen's capital, Sana'a, leading to the killing of the former president.

In 2011, an anti-government uprising in Libya ended an iron fist rule of former President Muammar Gaddafi, who was nicknamed mad dog, after 42 years of reign. He fled to his hometown Sirtei, where he was shot to death by rebel fighters. Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was released early this year after being sentenced to six years in prison for corruption charges during his presidency. It is not a coincidence that three dictators in the Middle East, who were ousted after the Arab Spring, had miserable endings.

The last days of dictators have been all miserable: Former Romanian President Nicolae Ceaușescu and his wife were executed by firing squad in 1989 and former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was captured by the U.S. military in an underground hideout and was later hanged to death in 2006. More recently, former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, who ruled the country for 37 years, resigned after trying to hand over the power to his wife and faced with impeachment. He has escaped punishment so far thanks to his successor who is close to him. Just like a bicycle collapses once it stops running, a dictator faces a miserable ending once he loses power. The tragic ending of dictators is their karma.