dictators

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Sisi and Erdogan Are Accomplices of the Coronavirus

By killing the Middle East’s sense of community, the region’s dictators have helped the pandemic on its death march.

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Putin Wants the World to Keep Guessing

The Russian president’s goal isn’t necessarily to be president for life. Unless it is.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, a 2020 U.S. presidential candidate, speaks during the "We The People" Summit at the Warner Theater in Washington on April 1, 2019.

Grow Up About Dictators, America!

The Democrats’ presidential primary has exposed the pathological moral obsessions of U.S. foreign policy.

U.S. President Donald Trump gestures as he speaks during an event to unveil changes to the National Environmental Policy Act at the White House in Washington on Jan. 9.

Trump Is Failing His Dictatorship Test

After impeachment, the president has been passing most of the checkpoints on the way to authoritarianism.

Robert Mugabe gives a speech in Harare, Zimbabwe, in March 1980.

Mugabe’s Promise

A transcript of the late leader’s address to the nation on March 4, 1980.

Rabbi Jason Kimelman-Block, Rev. Susan Henry-Crowe, Imam Talib Shareef, and Rev. Traci Blackmon speak at a rally at the White House on June 30, 2018.

To Protect Human Rights Abroad, Preach to Trump Voters

Religious leaders can help convince the most ethnocentric and authoritarian U.S. voters to oppose Washington’s backing of abusive dictators.

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov presents a Alabai shepherd dog to his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, during a meeting in Sochi, Russia, on Oct. 11, 2017.

Weekend at Berdi’s

The president of Turkmenistan is probably alive. But as with so much else in the country, it’s hard to tell.

A Saudi fan holds a scarf with portraits of King Salman and his son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, during a friendly football match between Saudi Arabia and Iraq for the "Superclassico" championship at King Saud University Stadium in Riyadh on Oct. 15, 2018.

Mohammed bin Salman’s Fake Anti-Extremist Campaign

The Saudi crown prince vowed to crack down on radical clerics—but the victims have mostly been advocates for moderate Islam.

Donald Trump speaks at the NRA-ILA's Leadership Forum at the 146th NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits on April 28, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Loving Dictators Is as American as Apple Pie

Trump has embraced yet another strongman, this time in Libya. But it’s not just a personal failing—it’s a national tradition.

Omar al-Bashir appears during a rally with his supporters in the Green Square in Khartoum on Jan. 9, 2019. (Sharaf Shazly/AFP/Getty Images)

It Takes a Village to Make a Monster

Omar al-Bashir is gone—but he was never the key to Sudan’s oppression to begin with.

President Omar al-Bashir appears at a rally with his supporters in Khartoum on Jan. 9, 2019. (Ashraf Shazly/AFP/Getty Images)

This Is the Uprising Sudan’s Genocidal Dictator Always Feared

The country’s current protests include all sections of society—and may soon topple Omar al-Bashir’s entire regime.

Abdel Fattah al-Sisi attends a military ceremony at the Hotel des Invalides in Paris on Oct. 24, 2017.  CHARLES PLATIAU (Charles Platiau/AFP/Getty Images)

Sisi Isn’t Mubarak. He’s Much Worse.

Egypt faced terrible repression during the Nasser, Sadat, and Mubarak eras, but nothing like today’s sustained cruelty.

A supporter of Brazil's far-right presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro takes part in a rally in Rio de Janeiro on Oct. 21. (CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images)

It’s Not Just the Right That’s Voting for Bolsonaro. It’s Everyone.

Brazil’s populist firebrand is relying on conservative values, fear of crime, anger about corruption, and rampant fake news to gain support from across the political spectrum.

People make the fascist salute at La Basilica The Valley of Fallen in San Lorenzo del Escorial near Madrid on July 15, 2018, as they protest against the removal of Franco's remains from The Valley of Fallen. (JAVIER SORIANO / AFP)

Spain’s Dictator Is Dead, but the Debate About Him Lives On

Francisco Franco ran Spain with an iron fist for decades—and created myths about his rule that are only now starting to come undone.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends a meeting on November 14, 2017, in Riyadh. (FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images)

Strongmen Are Weaker Than They Look

Authoritarians are on the rise around the world, but history shows they’re mostly helpless.

Former President Robert Mugabe during a speech on Nov. 8 in Harare, Zimbabwe. (Jekesai Njikizana/AFP/Getty Images)

Mugabe Is a Goner, But His Looting Machine Is Here to Stay

Zimbabwe’s military didn’t topple the regime. It just restored the ruling party’s corrupt old guard to power.

Cambodian police officials patrol during a hearing at the Supreme Court in Phnom Penh on Nov. 16. (Tang Chhin Sothy/AFP/Getty Images)

Cambodia Becomes the World’s Newest One-Party State

With Chinese support, Hun Sen has effectively destroyed all opposition to his autocratic rule.

Students protest in Medellin, Colombia, on Oct. 12 during a protest in the framework of a general strike. (Joaquin Sarmiento/AFP/Getty Images)

Is Populism Making a Comeback in Latin America?

Having rejected its demogogues just a few years ago, the region is now poised to welcome them back.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on February 24, 2015. (PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP/Getty Images)

The Ghost of Franco Still Haunts Catalonia

Mariano Rajoy’s use of violence against separatists wasn’t an aberration. It was an authentic expression of Spanish conservatism.

Cambodian people cover their heads with local newspapers as they wait to pray for the late former King Norodom Sihanouk at the cremation site near the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh on February 2, 2013.  A sea of mourners filled the streets of the Cambodian capital on February 1, for a lavish funeral for revered former king Norodom Sihanouk, who towered over six tumultuous decades in his nation's history.  AFP PHOTO/TANG CHHIN SOTHY        (Photo credit should read TANG CHHIN SOTHY/AFP/Getty Images)

The ‘Cambodia Daily’ Is Dying in Darkness

Cambodia’s autocratic leader is trying to shut down his country’s most celebrated journalistic training ground.