World Leaders’ Most Wanted

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But wasn’t that  a doozy of a World Leaders Forum? We had autocratic thugs, alleged autocratic thugs, cruel and petty dictators, and, for variety’s sake, the visionary leader of an up-and-coming democracy. This’ll be a tough one to top. But don’t worry, John Coatsworth: you won’t have to to resurrect Hitler to make next year’s WLF as action-packed as this one. All you have to do is choose from Bwog’s WORLD LEADERS WISHLIST!:

Here are 20(ish) leaders we’d like to see squirming uncomfortably at next year’s Forum. Because if you can get Ahmadinejad to speak here, you can get anyone to speak here.

In no particular order:

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberia: Africa’s first woman president. Also

the first president in post-civil war Liberia.

Paul Kagame, Rwanda: Former head of the RPF and “hero” during the Rwandan civil war. Now either Africa’s most dynamic leader or a dictatorial autocrat, depending on who you ask. Has the very tough job of making sure Rwanda doesn’t lapse into another genocide.

Monmohan Singh and/or Sonia Gandhi, India: Gandhi is the most controversial person in India; Jeffrey Sachs once credited Singh for rescuing the country through his program of economic liberalization.

Tzippi Livni, Israel: Foreign minister and probably the future prime minister of the most controversial county in the world.

Islam Karimov, Uzbekistan: One of the worst dictators on earth, and a one-time close friend of the United States. Also hasn’t come clean about a Tiananmen-square like massacre a couple of years ago.

Sheik Mohammad bin Rashid, Dubai: Dubai is prosperous, stable and successful in a part of the world that generally isn’t. Why?

Felipe Calderon, Mexico: Mexico’s big, and close by and shit. That and immigration. 

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran: since we invited the president of Iran, we might as well meet the guy who’s probably got the more legit power in the country.

Mahmoud Abbas, Palestine: Peacemaker or panderer? And if he is a panderer, exactly who is he pandering to? The WLF would be a great venue for us to find out.

Nicholas Sarkozy, France: He’s gotta be better than Jacques Chirac. Or at least we can hope so. 

Abdullah Gul, Turkey: The first person with a politically Islamic

past to become elected  president of a country founded on strict secularism. Need we say more?

Alvaro Uribe Velez, Colombia: With drug cultivation rampant and paramilitary stalking the countryside, Colombia is a perfect basket case. We’d be interested in seeing what Uribe plans on doing about this.

Elias Antonio Saca, El Salvador: Tiny, oft-ignored El Salvador has been in the news because of the fearsome and ever-expanding Mara Salvatrucha gang. And with the

complete dollarization of El Salvador in 2004, it’d be worth giving

the Latin American country a look.

Raul Castro, Cuba: Is Fidel still alive? Raul probably won’t tell us, but maybe he would.

Angela Merkel, Germany: Best thing that happened to climate change since Al Gore, and recipient of The Rub.

Nestor and Christina Kirchner, Argentina: Hooray for South American politics! And nepotism!

Benazir Bhutto, Pakistan: Loose nukes, radical Islam and a certain man currently hanging out in a cave in Waziristan make Pakistan a vital spot. And by this time next year, the exiled Bhutto might be back in charge of it.

John Howard, Australia: Bwog thinks we could really use an update from down under.

Meles Zenawi, Ethiopia:  So how’s that proxy war in Somalia going, Meles? Yet another U.S.-propped dictator with pseudo-imperial ambitions.

King Jigme Wangchuck, Bhutan: Bhutan is the world’s only medieval-style Buddhist theocracy. That’s umm…cool.

George W. Bush, United States: Brazenly provocative; also exhibits many of the signs of a cruel and petty dictator. And worst of all, he’s a Yale alum.

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  1. Indian  

    Would kill to see Manmohan Singh or Sonia Gandhi here.
    I'm surprised Hu Jintao didn't figure in this list.

  2. Manmohan

    didn't exactly begin the liberalization process (oh Jeffrey)

    It's roots probably began after the 79 election where he country finally saw the end of one party's dominance at the polls. During the 80's there were more private investments and the early 90's were the true period of booming economic liberalization (unsurprisingly at a time period concurrent to the collapse of the USSR)

    Manmohan is supposed to be the savior because he'll be a departure from Congress' previously protectionist/socialist economic tendenicies in terms of economic liberalization while at the same time increasing discretionary spending for capital projects---thus trying to solve the problem of a nation where the majority still live in poverty despite very high annual gdp growth and a booming middle class

    sonia gandhi is meh---some indians get in a tiff cause she's a foreigner

    • Read  

      what Bwog wrote: Sachs credited Manmohan for RESCUING the country, a reference to the fact that when India faced a financial crisis in the late 80's/early 90's, Manmohan helped rescue the economy with a series of free-market reforms, such as allowing the rupee to depreciate, opening up to foreign investment, etc. And you're right that the process of liberalization officially began in the 80's, but it only took on a meaningful purpose under Manmohan Singh & Yashwant Sinha. India was still notoriously protectionist during the 80's, and foreign companies couldn't come in without a JV with a local firm (hence Coke left, allowing Pepsi to capitalize).

      And yes, some Indians get in a tiff because she wasn't born here, but hey- at least (another) woman was elected to be the Head of State, and a woman born abroad no less. I'd love to see that here.

      • well

        i certainly don't disagree that manmohan was one of the chief architects of the 91 changes--and frankly it was stupid of me to think that the sachs quote referred to the present day instead of his obvious role under rao

        i'll admit i'm wrong on that though rescuing is a bit far considering both singh and pawar had also indicated that they favored economic liberalization and the changing dynamics of the USSR relationship took away a crutch india had always depended on--its also hard to imagine any of the serious candidates having gone the other way in terms of liberalization especially considering janata dal collapsed right before (no indian leader was going to leave tariffs up at 90% or continue to not allow majority ownership through FDI now that the commies had reduced power)

        as for sonia gandhi--thankfully the indian people saw past her country of birth and gender in the last election when casting their ballots--and while its a nice thing to point to indira and say 'look india had a female pm' the entire point of her stay at the top was that she was chosen as the best leader regardless of gender

        frankly, gender, race, etc shouldn't matter and i hope that is something that's true for the US too---electing a hillary or condaleeza shouldn't be done just cause they're female/black but because they're the best choice

  3. hmm

    does anyone think, despite being the "most controversial country in the world," an israeli visit would ever draw nearly as many protests as one by iran?

  4. not khamenei  

    id much rather hear from akbar rafsanjani: he is a former president of the country, the current chairman of the assembly of experts and the current chairman of the expediency council.
    he's been appointed to those positions, which make him the second most powerful man in iran (behind the supreme ayatollah). best of all, he's the man ahmadinejad beat to win the presidency.

  5. for the sake  

    of promoting controversy... i think hugo chavez should make this list

    • Hugo was coming

      back in like 2005. But PrezBo says he demanded too much (live video on Venezuelan TV), so Low Library pulled the plug.

      Also, screw Bhutto. Pick MQM leader Altaf Hussein. Political boss, mafia chief, or international terrorists, depending on who you ask, Hussein has led the Musharraf supporting MQM to dominate urban politics in Pakistan's largest city and become possibly the most powerful political party in a country where 3 parties (People's Party, Muslim League, Jama'at e Islami) held the overwhelming majority for 40 years.

  6. how about  

    Gordon Brown

  7. how about  

    PrezBo? He's the president of something

  8. Kagame  

    was here in fall 2005. he was very good.

  9. petty  

    President Bush exhibits all of the signs of a petty and cruel dictator? When was the last time you were arrested or threatened with arrest for making such a stupid accusation, or idiotic implicit comparison? Go slap some cold water on your face or flush the toilet a couple of times with your head submerged.

  10. controversial  

    "Controversial" is a stupid, subjective synonym for "much-despised in my leftist circle of acquaintances." Israel, is, indeed, one of the most hated countries in the world, but there is nothing particularly rational about this hatred. To call it "most controversial" is to grant its hateful detractors an unwarranted cloak of credibility.

  11. controversial  

    The suggestion that women should have equal rights as men is extremely "controversial" in the Middle East. Free speech is "controversial" in China. Ethnic Albanians were "controversial" in Kosovo a decade ago.

  12. controversial  

    I don't mean to suggest that none of Israel's detractors have grievances, just that its stupid to deem Israel "perhaps the most controversial country in the world." It is the most unfairly demonized country in the world.

  13. well  

    obviously given all the crazy things that happen because of the entire Israel-Palestine debate all over the Middle East, you can't possibly call the entire region controversial whatsoever. Just because people fight over it doesn't mean there's any controversial dispute, right?!

    I mean, duh.

  14. how about we invite  


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