Time Essay: The Dilemma of with Dictators

It has been a bad year for right-wing dictatorships—and for the U.S., which has often supported them. First Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi of Iran, then General Anastasio Somoza Debayle of Nicaragua were swept into exile by largely home-grown revolutions. Each had long been taken for granted as the absolute ruler of his country and as a friend of the U.S. Yet in the end, Somoza's national guard, cloned from the U.S. Marine Corps, was as ineffective against the Sandinista guerrillas as the Shah's army and secret police—the best that petro-billions could buy—were against...

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