Despot of the Week #8 – Baron Ungern von Sternberg

October 27, 2009

Baron

“He’s out there operating without any decent restraint, totally beyond the pale of any acceptable human conduct. And he is still in the field commanding troops.”

General Corman on Colonel Kurtz, Apocalypse Now.

Back in the bad old days of Imperial Europe, before the two Great Wars of the 20th century finally reined in the long history of bloody conquest plaguing the continent, violent psychopaths did not become serial killers. They ruled nations. By the time the 1900’s rolled around, Europe’s aristocracy were the scions of a dozen centuries’ worth of treachery and inbreeding: sociopaths, perverts and lunatics all. Perhaps no other Empire had a crazier nobility than the Russians, and the Russians produced no more demented an individual than Baron Ungern von Sternberg, a fanatic nationalist who came to believe that he was the reincarnation of Genghis Khan. He pursued a bloody adventure of rampant lunacy through Siberia and the Asian Steppes, torturing, plundering and exterminating Jews along the way. He even managed (briefly) to conquer Mongolia. This is the story of a man so unhinged he was convinced that by shooting people, he was doing them a good turn.

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Iran: Latest Developments

July 15, 2009

Iran Developments

Twists and turns in the fallout from Iran’s disputed election just keep coming thick and fast at the moment. Combined with the issue of Iran’s uranium enrichment program and the continued frostiness of US – Iran relations, there’s no more newsworthy nation on the planet right now. For better or for worse, Iran is a state that will have its voice heard in international affairs. The news summary in brief:

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