Reading Parade Magazine’s list of The World’s 10 Worst Dictators, I was surprised to see how closely linked many of them were to the United States – and our consumption. For instance:
#1- On the worst dictator list, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe – U.S. purchases of nickel and ferrochromium to use in stainless steel rose in 2008.
#2 – Omar al-Bashir of Sudan, we purchase millions of dollars of
gum Arabic to use in soft drinks and candy.
#5 – King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, we imported $50 billion in oil on 2008.
#6 – Hu Jintao of China, passed Japan last year as our number one foreign creditor. And in 2008 we imported another $340 billion worth of other goods.
The list continues: our trade skyrocketed with Iran (#7) last year, we imported $100 million in oil from Turkmenistan (#9), and $4 billion in oil from Libya (#10).
Looking at the list, it appears our consumption of oil, consumer goods, and our relentless hunger for more credit is helping finance the worst dictatorships on the globe. And perhaps the worse question (particularly in the case of China), what happens when they start calling in the loans? Is a day of reckoning coming for the United States? Can it be averted? What do you think?