In regards to your recent post "Say it loud I'm S and I'm proud" I couldn't help remembering a picture I found of current Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov who is widely known to be a sadistic and dangeous s.o.b., many also say he is extremely charming, fits the profile of a sociopath. I attached a picture of him that needs no further description. Look at it carefully, notice the smirk and the t-shirt. Made me laugh, thinking he is proud of his reputation, and how you put it "I'm S and I'm proud!".
If you're going to write about Kadyrov, do a quick search on him, you'll find plenty of very interesting information. I remembered the charming part from an interview with him that I read somewhere, can't remember which magazine I read it in though, but the reporter specifically used the word charming when describing him, it stuck in my head. The reporter was questioning how could such a well mannered and charming man be considered such a ruthless dictator. He also likes paying celebrities to party with him, he enjoys being seen with famous or important people, it gives a boost to his fragile ego I guess. Also plenty of info on the torture he applies to his political enemies including the now infamous boiling alive of some of his opponents and some rather interesting speculation of him having a prison in which he enjoys making his prisoners watch him while he has sex. Interesting paralel between him and Saddam Hussein, which is why I got interested in Kadyrov in the first place. While both privately more or less neutral towards religion, in public they made efforts to appear devout muslims. Saddam especially in the later part of his rule, shaped his image after Salah ad Din (popularly known as Saladin), which was a brilliant military commander, devout muslim and national hero of Iraq and the arab world. Even statues or artistic representations pertaining to Saddam's cult of personality were modeled after ancient representations of Saladin. I was wondering if it was just simple politics or the power they held made them see themselves as divine or under divine protection. After the first Gulf war, even though the coalition defeated Saddam and drove him out of Kuweit, he interpreted it as a divine victory, added God is Great to the Iraqi flag, and started presenting himself as a very devout man.
This sort of reminds of me of a NY Times article I read recently of a Russian man who was barred from attending the memorial service of a 2002 airplane crash because he killed the air traffic controller whom he blamed for the murder of his family:
“The German authorities apparently do not want to let me attend the mourning ceremony,” Mr. Kaloyev told the Interfax news agency in a telephone interview. “They think for some reason that my presence there is unnecessary, although all my family perished in the plane crash.”
In the nighttime accident on July 2, 2002, a Bashkirian Airlines Tupolev passenger jet filled with children headed for a vacation collided with a DHL Boeing 757 cargo airplane, killing 71 people, including 52 children.
The only controller on duty at the time, Peter Nielsen, a Danish citizen, had instructed the Russian jet to descend, after noticing that the planes were on a collision course.
Partly because radar data was delayed, owing to technical repairs taking place at the time, and because a colleague was sleeping, Mr. Nielsen was slow in delivering the instruction to descend to the Russian pilots.
But the onboard collision-avoidance systems on the planes issued contradictory instructions, telling the Russian pilots of the passenger plane to ascend, while instructing the DHL jet to descend. The Russian pilots followed the air traffic controller’s advice and the two descending planes collided.
The Boeing’s tail fin severed the Russian fuselage, and both aircraft crashed, scattering debris and bodies over the surrounding countryside.
A German investigation partly blamed Skyguide for the collision.
After learning this, Mr. Kaloyev, an architect said to be overwhelmed with grief, flew to Switzerland in 2004, found Mr. Nielsen’s house and stabbed him to death in a garden. Mr. Nielsen’s wife and three children were home at the time. Mr. Nielsen was 36.
After the killing, Swiss police detained Mr. Kaloyev at a nearby hotel. A court sentenced him to the eight years in prison for murder in 2005, but the authorities released him after he had served two years of the sentence.
To the annoyance of the Swiss, he was welcomed back to his native region of North Ossetia as a hero; the region has a deep tradition of tolerating vendettas.
The story reminded me of this post about how certain societies really are more sociopathic seeming than others.