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World’s worst baddies (dead and alive)

World’s worst baddies (dead and alive)

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These days, death is a fashionable must-have for dictators/terrorists/megalomaniacs of all sorts.

By Terence Lee

Darth Vader. Doctor Evil. Voldemort. Fiction and Hollywood are filled with great villains, but all of them pale in comparison to the real-life monsters we have in our midst. Together, these individuals are responsible for countless wars, and millions upon millions of innocent lives lost.

While some are captured and killed, others remain scot-free. Here, we take a short trip down memory lane and present you a totally unauthoritative list of the most evil villians ever.

#6 Muammar Gaddafi

If there’s an award for World’s Ugliest Baddie, he deserves it. Frog-faced Gaddafi was the autocratic ruler of Libya for over 40 years. His star power rose after he massacred thousands of civilians when they demanded that he step down from power.

His stubbornness and borderline insanity led to a civil war which lasted for months, and he has shown himself to be ruthless when it comes to putting civilians in harm’s way. He came perilously close to routing the rebels, but NATO’s intervention turned the tide of battle. Most recently, the rebels have reported that Gaddafi was shot and killed while trying to escape in a four-car convoy.

But while he scores points for his peacock-like fashion sense (probably compensating for his ugly face), he’s a noob when it comes to the PhD of villiany. His war with the rebels lasted for only a few months, and he was stupid for not escaping to neighboring countries when he had the chance. US President Obama must be really pleased.

#5 Kim Jong Il

Kim: "Can my cucumber be as big as this?"

Little known fact: Kim’s birth name was actually Yuri Irsenovich Kim. But more popularily known as Kim Jong Il, this shortie is a God amongst men. Revered as the Great Leader, he commands the respect of his brainwashed citizens, many of whom sing patriotic songs praising the Motherland.

This dude is ruthless. He commands the fourth largest standing army in the world, is ranked the 31st most powerful person by Forbes in 2010. He has no qualms about eliminating political rivals that stand in his way.

His propaganda is so potent that some North Koreans supposedly believe that he has a magical ability to change the weather. They even think that Kim is a global fashionista whose attire has set trends around the world. While that is a bit far out, he is somewhat of a cultural phenomena, having inspired a humor site and a YouTube video.

While he is very good at staying in power, he doesn’t have a lot of villainous deeds to be proud. He has a lot of bite but no bark. While he is good at hanging on to power, he did not start a war.

Unlike the next dude.

#4 Osama Bin Laden

The first virgin.

Ten years. That was how long it took to capture and kill him. His most famous act was of course 9/11, where he killed thousands of Americans. He was also the catalyst for two wars, one in Afghanistan and the other in Iraq. As the leader of terrorist network Al-Qaeda, he had a US$25 million bounty on his head —  enough to make 25 people millionaires.

Raised as a devout Muslim, he attended an elite theological school and may have even earned a degree of two. The brainy turbanator also did charity, enjoyed reading and writing poetry. He even plays soccer and was said to be a fan of Arsenal FC. New Nation spoke to a club spokesperson, and they won’t admit anything.

His crowning achievement, of course, was Al-Qaeda. He started the group in 1988, and slowly developed their version of jihad where the killing of innocent lives was permissible. He was responsible or involved in many terrorist operations throughout the 90s, which would become training exercises for the destruction of the Twin Towers.

But that singular act also proved to be his greatest downfall. Since he went for the jugular, Americans were outraged. They struck back, invaded Afghanistan, and sent Osama fleeing into the mountains. As brainy as he was, he failed to see that killing 1,000 people in 10 separate operations was much safer than killing 1,000 at once. And while he was foxy enough to evade capture for a decade, Obama eventually got Osama, found a stash of porn in his house, and discovered that he had a crush on Condoleezza Rice.

#3 Saddam Hussein

In the Facebook age, Saddam has been quickly forgotten. But as the former president of Iraq, he was responsible for the death of over 200,000 Kurdish people and other minorities. The mass killings happened from 1986 to 1989 as a decisive campaign against insurgency. Poison gas was used in cities, causing thousands of deaths. Many men accused of being rebels were sent to concentration camps where they faced the firing squad.

His hold on power, however, ended in 2003 when then US President George W. Bush invaded Iraq. He was eventually captured later the same year, tried in 2004, and executed in 2006 by hanging.

#2 George W. Bush

Seriously, you can’t get any more badass than former American President George W. Bush. This dude is directly or indirectly responsible for the deaths of two of his rival villians (Saddam and Osama). And while many credit President Obama for killing Osama, you cannot ignore the painstaking intelligence work that was conducted during Bush’s time.

He invented an excuse to get rid of Saddam, telling the whole world that Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction, ie the Nuclear Bomb. As if to prove his macho-ness, he invaded Iraq without telling the other world leaders, effectively showing them the middle finger. And guess what? No nuclear devices were found. Zilch. Nada. And the World Leader was left red-faced.

He effectively sent thousands of patriotic American troops to a totally unnecessary war, causing unneeded casualties, widowed women, and fatherless children.

Either he was incredibly stupid, or hungry for oil.

And while he was busy inspecting troops in foreign lands, the US economy was suffering. A classic misstep: He instituted tax cuts while spending trillions of dollars on two war fronts.

But are his exploits enough to place him in the number two spot? Yes, because he got away scot free. He eased off into retirement, writing books and giving speeches. Only in the Land of the Free can that happen.

#1 Adolf Hitler

As evil (and clueless) as George Bush was, even he cannot match most devious character in human history — Adolf Hitler. Not much needs to be said about him, because plenty is  known. He wiped out 6 million Jews off the face of the Planet (and probably 10 Einsteins amongst them). Indirectly, he was responsible for killing over 60 million people, just for starting World War 2.

But if you think that’s the total extent of his impact, you’re wrong. While killing of Jews was horrifying in itself, it resulted in a revolt against Anti-Semitism which eventually led to the creation of the state of Israel.

His legacy is still evident today. On YouTube, he’s the inspiration behind countless parody videos, which altogether accumulated billions of pageviews.

Also, no sane parent would ever name their children ‘Adolf’ or ‘Hitler’.

That is why he is the number one baddie of all time.

Image credits: iluvuflickr, Marion Doss, Amir Farshad Ebrahimi

A personal history of 9/11

A personal history of 9/11

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It’s been 10 years since the world was introduced to the term ‘9/11′ but the legacy of the fallen twin towers still lives on. By Fang Shihan

Courtesy: ibtimes.com

You don’t really give a shit about things when you’re 15.

I know I was having a nap during English class when I first heard about the World Trade Centre attack in New York.

In fact I was probably a little confused because when Ms. C our teacher asked us if we knew what the place was, I immediately thought about cable cars and the yearly family trip to Sentosa.

I really didn’t care – not even when a classmate watched an online video of a plane crashing into one of the twin towers, and not even when another classmate related a probably made-up story of her friend making a phone call to her saying that the plane just flew past her office window.

The O Levels then came and went in 2002 with almost no mention about Osama bin Laden or Islamicism. I probably knew the text of Julius Caesar better than the causes of the 9/11 attack or the implications it had on the global economy.

It was only in 2003 that I starting taking note of the legacy it made in the world. And it all started with a television broadcast of the war in Afghanistan.

After a long hike through Tioman island, a bunch of us JC kids (including pre-NS weapons enthusiasts) decided to sit down for dinner at a restaurant which happened to have a TV set tuned in to the evening news.

I didn’t understand a word of Bahasa, but I did understand the footage. In a dusty city somewhere in the Middle East, U.S. troops were driving though town squares in heavily armored vehicles, flashing their machine guns while civilians were being killed every minute. No war is without collateral. At that time my only point of reference was World War II and we all know WWII, in a nutshell, sucked.

Fast forward to university. After going through various texts and theories of war, international relations and exhaustive arguments with culture relativists, I decided to pick up religious studies as a minor because

1) I didn’t understand why people would pick on a religion that when translated, literally meant ‘peace’
2) why terrorists would terrorise for the promise of 72 virgins
3) why some Muslims were so hard up on a bunch of Danish cartoons when the rest of the world lampoons Christian nutters with little resistance
4) why people would wuss out on talking about the problem of obviously conflicting opinions, choosing instead to say “Oh everyone has a right to an opinion.”

Obviously everyone has a right to be nuts, but there had to be a reason why some opinions are considered more nutty than others.

And that was also when I decided that being in the news industry was pretty cool. Different aces report on the very same issues so differently, with so many consequences.

And we have no way of drawing any proverbial line on the black/white, right/wrong, objective/ subjective. Is Al Jazeera wrong for publishing shit about everyone else in the middle east except its pay masters, the Qatar royalty? Is Fox News being unobjective for slamming the liberals and having a Christian undertone when the liberal outlets have their own slant too?

So a decade down the road since 9/11, here i am at New Nation, where we write about stuff that happens everyday. It’s been a long time since the first image of the twin towers collapsing was etched deep into my memory but in truth, 9/11 has really stuck.

So what if Osama’s dead. Obama’s still getting flak for having a Muslim middle name, people are still making money talking about Islamic security threats (real or imagined) in the region, and Muslims are still being detained in Singapre by Internal Security for being terrorist threats.

The truth is, 9/11 just gave the developed world an excuse to pick on something else after the Cold War. And until we find that something else to demonise, there can be no closure to the event that will shaped the histories of Muslims, Americans, Singaporeans and the like, for better or for worse.

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