The Year in the World

In countries from Mexico to Yugoslavia, the cry was let freedom ring! In the Middle East, gunfire rang out. Elsewhere, in Africa, tragedy came more quietly

The year 2000 was not the best of times for tyranny. True, Saddam Hussein began to shake off the shackles of world sanctions, all the while restocking his arsenal with the nastiest of weapons, unfettered and unwatched. Against all expectations, however, Yugoslavia's strongman, Slobodan Milosevic, vanished--poof!--from power after calling an election he felt sure he'd win, and then failing to steal the result from a populace that rose up to guard its rejection of his troublemaking. Another autarch actually took a turn toward benevolence all on his own: North Korea's quirky Kim Jong Il reached out kindly to the previously abhorred,...