There are a considerable number of world leaders whose influence and action are predominantly negative in the struggle to achieve a happy, just and cohesive world. Here, we look at just some of the more remarkable and prominent ones amongst them. Some are downright criminals of the worst order with innocent blood on their hands. Others are corrupt and/or incompetent and yet others have short-sighted attitudes and huge egos which cause them to damage their countries and the wider world around them.
They are not listed in any particular order. While some are indeed horrendous they lead not so powerful countries and their negative effects are limited largely to their own populations. Others, while not being in the same moral league, head much more powerful nations and therefore have a greater effect at large.
1. Kim Jong Un of North Korea
Kim Jong Un stands accused of many crimes and executions and has zealously developed North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile technology undermining the stability of the region and making countries further afield nervous. Despite having the benefit of an education in Europe he seems to be somewhat paranoid and boasts a love of absolute power unhindered by ethical qualms.
2. Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe
Mugabe has managed to turn one of the most prosperous countries in Africa into an economic ruin and effectively destroyed the country’s democracy in order to maintain an iron grip on power. During the civil war he was one of the rebel leaders whose forces shot down civilian airliners.
He is responsible for a considerable number of deaths and will never step down for fear of being prosecuted for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Zimbabwe and the world are just patiently waiting for old age to remove him. As his country is neither large nor powerful the effects of his rule are relatively limited.
3. Bashir Al Assad of Syria
Assad has led a murderous war against his own people that has killed hundreds of thousands of civilians including many children, apparently without giving it any more thought than if he was just squashing flies. Right at the beginning of the demonstrations against his rule during the Arab spring he could have simply resigned with all of his wealth intact. It was once reported that his own mother suggested that he do this. Yet he was determined to remain President of Syria no matter what the cost in innocent lives.
4. Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation
Putin has ruled Russia for a dozen years and has managed to stifle what democracy it had when he came to power. It is obvious that wants Russia to be the power that it once was in the glory days of the Soviet Union and is none too fussy about what means he uses to achieve that end. He apparently is doing all he can to weaken Western Europe and the United States. It seems that he did indeed attempt to influence the outcome of the U.S. presidential election last year. Surprisingly perhaps, Putin is popular with the majority of Russians and also with the Russian Orthodox Church. The church likes his conservative stand against gay rights and the population perhaps fall for the nationalist drivel that so many of the world’s people do. Apart from standing accused of having masterminded several state-sponsored murders Putin’s support of Assad’s murderous regime is undoubtedly a crime against humanity. Without Putin’s support, the war in Syria may well have ended a couple of years ago and the dreaded ISIS may never have come into existence.
5. Donald Trump of the United States
Regardless of whether Trump colluded with the Russians during the election campaign or not, it is becoming increasingly apparent that he simply does not have the ability to effectively govern the world’s most powerful nation. A man with a huge ego and a belief in simple solutions to complex problems is simply not up to the task. Nearly six months into his presidency he seems to be still in campaign mode. His simple “solutions” often appeal to the most selfish and unreasonable side of human nature, marginalizing minorities in the process. A person who is addicted to Twitter, especially one in his position, could be fairly described as a twit.
6. Theresa May of the UK
Theresa May is another leader who appears to have a larger than life ego. Since the Brexit referendum of last year she has been determined to carry out the Brexit regardless of the cost to the nation. Rather than listening to any sensible advice she has made it her mission to achieve a Brexit, no matter what the cost. As one of her own Conservative Party members said during the debate in the Commons about triggering article 50 to leave the EU, “She is leading us down the rabbit hole but with no Wonderland at the bottom.” It is likely that many of the people who voted for the Brexit now regret their decision. Theresa May’s loss of her parliamentary majority at the recent election underlines the fact that many people in the UK do not believe in her foolishly optimistic attitude to the problems that face the nation.
7. Jacob Zuma of South Africa
Jacob Zuma is obviously guilty of gross corruption but has used his power to effectively stifle dissent. Questions of incompetence also arise about his conduct of the presidency. It is almost surprising that he has managed to cling to power.
8. Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela
Nicolas Maduro has done little if anything to fight corruption in his country and has so mismanaged it that it is facing economic ruin, social collapse, and civil strife. Certainly, the falling oil price has exacerbated the economy’s position but there has been no plan to develop other sources of foreign revenue and no effective measures to deal with the situation. He is clinging to power regardless of popular dissent. The recent helicopter attack on a government building has been widely reported as possibly staging so he can further clamp down on the country’s freedoms and ensure a virtual dictatorship.