Here Come the Despots
From Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Libya's Muammar al-Qaddafi, the U.N. is playing host to the world's most tyrannical leaders during next week's U.N. General Assembly in New York. 

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Rape, torture, murder and calls for the destruction of Israel -- these are all in a day's work for  President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Iran's mullahs. Ahmadinejad, in light of a new report that claims his country can now build a nuclear bomb, says he won't rule out making one.  That doesn't exactly sit well with the world community, considering how the country's rulers handled Ahmadinejad's July 2009 re-election. Protesters, claiming a rigged election, were crushed in violent protests that left dozens dead.

Ahmadinejad will speak on Sept. 23, his fifth visit to the U.N. General Assembly. Many will be waiting to see if he'll channel the12th Imam again, as he did in 2007.  But during this trip he'll certainly be addressing his suspect nuclear program  -- especially in a scheduled meeting on Oct. 1 with members of the U.N. Security Council -- which includes the U.S.

(AP )

Muammar al-Qaddafi

Despite his public denouncement of terrorism, Muammar al-Qaddafi's name will forever live in infamy among those who remember the 1988 bombing of Pan AM flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. 

His government accepted responsibility for the bombing, which killed 270 people, most of them Americans. And just last month Qaddafi helped spring Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, the sole person convicted in the bombing. Al-Megrahi, who is terminally ill, went home to a hero's welcome -- another slap in the face to Lockerbie families.  

But New Jersey lawmakers got one up on Qaddafi when they successfully blocked the eccentric leader from popping his Bedouin-style tent on a Libyan-owned property there. Instead he'll be checking in to a luxury hotel, where he can stay on the first floor because he refuses to ride in elevators.

Qaddafi, making his first trip to the U.S. since taking power 40 years ago, is expected to address the General Assembly on Wednesday, Sept. 23. 

(AP )

Hugo Chavez

He seizes control of private land, cracks down on his country's independent media and once had a habit of calling President George W. Bush the devil.  

A fierce critic of U.S. foreign policy, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is expected to address the U.N. General Assembly on Thursday, Sept. 24. The U.S. has a new president now, so it's unlikely Chavez will say the place "smells of sulfur," as he did when following Bush's speech in 2006. But the colorful leftist leader always seems to have something up his sleeve.

Chavez, who is closely allied with Iran, has blasted "progressive" leaders and once called for the fall of the U.S. economy. Now his focus seems to be shutting down his country's media outlets.  He's up to 34 in the last month -- and he has 29 more in his sights.

(Reuters )

Evo Morales

Bolivia's leftist leader, President Evo Morales, has signed a number of far-reaching deals with Venezuela's president, Chavez, who is openly hostile toward the U.S. The deals between the leaders include alliances on the country's state-owned oil companies as well as joint mining ventures. "He's a baby Chavez," Hillel Neuer, executive of director of U.N. Watch, told "He hasn’t risen to the level of Chavez, but he's definitely a 'wanna-be.'"

(AP )

Robert Mugabe

Zimbabwe's president has been blasted by world leaders for his blatant neglect of his impoverished country, which is plagued with cholera outbreaks and food shortages. Mugabe has blamed Zimbabwe's economic woes on U.S. sanctions. His controversial land reform enacted in 2000 is designed to have white-owned farms given to blacks -- a program that has prompted violent seizures of such farms. Mugabe is scheduled to speak before the U.N. General Assembly on Friday, Sept. 25.  

(Reuters )

Daniel Ortega

Daniel Ortega, who has served as Nigaragua's president since January 10, 2007, and before that from January 10, 1985 until 1990, is a close ally of Venezuela's President Chavez and a member of his country's Sandinista National Liberation Front. In 1998, Ortega's adopted stepdaughter released a 48-page report alleging that Ortega had sexually abused her regularly from the time she was 11 until she was 22. Ortega denied the allegations, and he was never tried in Nicaraguan court because he had immunity.


Here Come the Despots

From Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Libya's Muammar al-Qaddafi, the U.N. is playing host to the world's most tyrannical leaders during next week's U.N. General Assembly in New York. 

More From Our Sponsors