Fucked-up Asia

Oh, isn’t this rich? Back in 2002, Hindu mobs, with state police conveniently looking the other way and egged on by the ever-so-charming Chief Minister Narendra Modi, went on a delightful rampage against Muslims across the state. Fast forward to yesterday, and guess who’s being inaugurated as president of India again? Yep, the same Modi – the guy who was so popular he couldn’t even snag a US diplomatic visa back in 2005.

Now, let’s talk about genocide for a second. It’s defined as “any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial, or religious group.” You know, things like killing members of the group, causing them serious harm, inflicting conditions that are meant to physically destroy them, or even stopping them from having babies. According to Genocide Watch and a bunch of genocide scholars, what happened in Gujarat between February and March 2002 fits this bill perfectly. They argue that four of these lovely acts of genocide were proudly displayed during the Gujarat massacres.

And over in the Philippines, we have the son of a legendary crook who plundered the country now sitting pretty as president. The Marcos family’s alleged ill-gotten wealth is estimated to be between a modest US$5 billion and US$10 billion, with some bold guesses even suggesting they could have amassed up to US$30 billion since the 1950s. Quite the nest egg, isn’t it?

In Cambodia, Hun Manet is prime minister. His daddy dearest Hun Sen during his 38 years in power saw hundreds of opposition figures, journalists, trade union leaders, and others murdered in politically motivated attacks.

Not to be outdone, Indonesia’s Prabowo is already receiving congratulations as its new president. He’s famously known for allegedly commanding a unit that abducted and tortured several democracy activists during the glorious final days of the Suharto regime in the late 1990s. Out of 23 abducted, some managed to survive, one died, and 13 are still missing. What an impressive résumé.

Fasten your seatbelts, dudes.

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