Gadhafi is gone but other US foes remain By DOUGLAS BIRCH - Associated Press | AP – 32 mins ago 16 2 Email Print Related Content A Libyan former rebel fighter kicks a graffiti depicting Moammar Gadhafi with "Allah Hakbar, God is Great" written on top, on a checkpoint border of Ras Ajdir between Tunisia and Libya, late at night Thursday Oct. 20, 2011. The death Thursday of Gadhafi, two months after he was driven from power and into hiding, decisively buries the nearly 42-year regime that had turned the oil-rich country into an international pariah and his own personal fiefdom. (AP Photo/Francois Mori) A Libyan former rebel fighter kicks a graffiti depicting Moammar Gadhafi with "Allah … U.S. slideshows Grandma of missing Ariz. girl pleads for attention 6 photos - 12 hrs ago Snapshots 185 photos - 12 hrs ago Smiling dogs 7 photos - 14 hrs ago See latest photos » WASHINGTON (AP) — Moammar Gadhafi now joins the ranks of powerful foreign figures who have battled the United States only to come to a bad end. But even with the demise of the Libyan dictator, plus Osama bin Laden, Iraq's Saddam Hussein and Serbia's Slobodan Milosevic, there are still autocrats around the world hostile to the U.S., notably in Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea and Iran. America's most determined foes have been bucking more than just the world's sole surviving superpower, which spends as much on its military as all other countries combined. All faced social and technological trends that made their work more difficult by opening more borders to trade and travel, promoting ethnic and religious tolerance and wiring the world for high-speed Internet. But as long as the U.S. maintains its leadership role in world affairs, it will find itself a tempting target. Among the despots and autocratic regimes hostile to the U.S. are: —Cuban leader Fidel Castro, who survived CIA assassination plots, the Bay of Pigs invasion and the U.S. economic embargo to excoriate and antagonize the United States for more than half a century. Castro, 85, formally resigned as president in February 2008 due to illness but handed the reins to his brother, Raul, and the revolutionary regime survives. Cuban-U.S. trade is minimal and there are no diplomatic relations between the two countries. The U.S. accuses the Cuban government of trampling on human rights and silencing dissent, while Havana portrays itself as a victim of U.S. bullying. —Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a left-wing activist and former military officer who came to power in 1999 and instituted radical changes in economic and social policy, including expanding state control of the oil industry. Chavez has accused Washington of plotting to invade Venezuela, called for containment of the U.S., aligned himself with Cuba and signed major arms deals with Russia to build Venezuela into a regional power. The U.S. likes to portray Venezuela as more of an irritant than an adversary, but that could change if Chavez adopts more aggressive policies. — Kim Jong Il of North Korea, a Stanlinist-style nation with a 1 million-strong army that has been a thorn in the side of the U.S. since the Korean War. In recent years the U.S. has sought to persuade Kim to give up his small nuclear weapons program, offering economic aid and diplomatic favors as bargaining chips. But the U.S. accuses Kim of repeatedly reneging on promises to disarm while selling weapons expertise abroad. The U.S. and other nations accused Pyongyang last year of torpedoing a South Korean navy ship and shelling a South Korean island. With the North Korean leader believed to be gravely ill, the key to Washington's future relations with Pyongyang may be Kim's son and heir apparent, Kim Jong Un. —Iran clerical leadership. The theocratic regime in Tehran has demonstrated little tolerance for dissent and a deep and abiding hostility to Washington since the overthrow of the U.S.-backed regime of the shah of Iran in 1979. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's broadsides against the U.S. and Israel are a regular feature of U.N. General Assembly meetings, but his is just one voice among many in the Iranian government, which Western analysts say consists of a jigsaw puzzle of anti-Western factions. The present conflict with Washington grows out of concerns about Iran's support for terror groups in the Middle East and attacks against U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, but mainly focuses on Tehran's nuclear ambitions. The U.S. says Iran is laying the groundwork for a nuclear weapons program that could threaten the Middle East, U.S. and Europe. Iran says it is interested only in peaceful nuclear technology. Not all dictators are regarded as enemies of the U.S.; during the Cold War and beyond, many have been treated as stalwart allies. Today, a number of autocrats endure criticism from the U.S. but are thought to represent little threat to Washington's strategic interests, including President Aleksander Lukashenko of Belarus, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Omar al-Bashir of Sudan and Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan. From the U.S. perspective, the survival of openly hostile despotic regimes may be less important than the rise of rival economic and political powerhouses like China, India, Brazil and Russia, a trend that some experts say could one day create a world where the United States becomes one major power among many competing for influence and markets. The decline and fall of Gadhafi, Saddam and others doesn't mean the age of hostile dictatorships is ending. Just as enemies can become allies, allies can become adversaries. The U.S. considered Saddam a check on the power of the clerical regime in Iran until his invasion of Kuwait led to a deadly U.S. war in 1991. After the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, Saddam became the ace of spades in the U.S. military's deck of cards representing its most-wanted list. He ultimately was cornered by U.S. forces in a hole near his hometown of Tikrit and executed by the new Iraqi government in 2006. Today the U.S. faces the challenge of helping prevent newly liberated countries from slipping back into authoritarianism. While Taliban leader Mullah Omar was driven from power in Afghanistan in 2001, his movement made an impressive comeback and could once again become a major force in Afghanistan politics as the U.S. withdraws. Gadhafi's death Thursday is just the beginning of a critical new phase in Libya's history, said Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. The leaders of the Libyan rebellion inherit a divided population, a ruined economy and a barely functioning state — all crippled by decades of Gadhafi's erratic rule. "He left Libya with a unique set of problems," Cordesman said. "You'd have to go back to Nero or Caligula to find someone who was able to impose their own personal eccentricities on a state to the degree that Gadhafi did." @yahoonews on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook Editors' Picks FILE - In this Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2009 file photo, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi gestures with a green cane as he takes his seat behind bulletproof glass for a military parade in Green Square, Tripoli, Libya. Libyan special forces stormed a two-day-old protest encampment in the country's second largest city of Benghazi, clearing the area early Saturday, Feb. 19, 2011, said witnesses, as a human rights group estimate scores of people have died in the harsh crackdown on days of demonstrations. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis, File)slideshow Libyan dictator Gadhafi killed Libyans celebrate Moammar Gadhafi's death in front of the Libyan Embassy in Amman, Jordan, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2011. Moammar Gadhafi, who ruled Libya with a dictatorial grip for 42 years until he was ousted by his own people in an uprising that turned into a bloody civil war, was killed Thursday when revolutionary forces overwhelmed his hometown, Sirte, the last major bastion of resistance two months after his regime fell. (AP Photo/Mohammad Hannon)slideshow Libyans celebrate Gadhafi's death Hannibal Gaddafislideshow Gadhafi family on the run A bulldozer destroys a building today inside Moamer Kadhafi's compound of Bab al-Aziziya in Tripolislideshow Gadhafi compound torn down Dead animals are seen on Terry Thompson's property where exotic animals were kept in Zanesvilleslideshow Exotic animal escape in Ohio Lindsay Lohan is handcuffed after a judge revoked her probation for failing to appear at a series of community service appointments at the Downtown Women's Shelter at Airport Branch Courthouse in Los Angelesslideshow Lohan probation revoked Explore Related Content 1 - 4 of 12 Raw Video: New video of Gadhafi capturePlay Video Raw Video: New video of Gadhafi cap … Workers transfer a container in front of Saddam Hussein's Al Faw palace at Camp Victory that is set to close in Baghdad, Iraq, Saturday, Oct. 15, 2011. The U.S. has promised to withdraw from Iraq by ... 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HelpComment Guidelines your avatar Please Enter a Comment Manage Updates Your updates will be shared through Yahoo! Updates based on your preferences. Start sharing your updates on Yahoo! to Twitter based on your preferences. Add Twitter Your update will be shared to Facebook based on your Facebook preferences. 115 comments Popular Now Newest Oldest Most Replied non partisan 0Thumbs UpThumbs Down0 non partisan • New York, United States • 5 minutes ago Report Abuse Isnt it interesting this govenment has taken the face of the so called enemy...by glorifying killing.. the rule of law is out the window... Reply non partisan 0Thumbs UpThumbs Down0 non partisan • New York, United States • 6 minutes ago Report Abuse The hypesters, thru the controlled media has the sheepls fooled again...the REAL enemy is within the 10 square miles called the capital district...The "America first", has become a mere slogan for the politricksters to use as they campaign... Reply WHO 0Thumbs UpThumbs Down0 WHO 10 minutes ago Report Abuse KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK MR,OBAMA!KILL THEM ALL ! Reply WHO 0Thumbs UpThumbs Down0 WHO 12 minutes ago Report Abuse We,must kill all leaders who !say one thing and do another thing!kill them all who break the rule of law! And oppress its people! who steal and lie and make up the own rules !that have nothing to do with the rule of law! Lets take back america!from these commies ! we must ban together! If... More Reply Benth164 0Thumbs UpThumbs Down0 Benth164 • San Diego, United States • 14 minutes ago Report Abuse What is it with you people? Do feel so self righteous that you can go war upon other nations just because you can? Yes there are MORAL things we can do for nations whose leaders perpetrate Ethnic Cleansing, but when those other nations really do not have the wherewithal to pursue any actions... More Reply Roy Letterman 0Thumbs UpThumbs Down0 Roy Letterman • Winder, United States • 17 minutes ago Report Abuse Apparently there are some people in the world who don't want to bend over and allow us to determine their best interests. Reply John 0Thumbs UpThumbs Down0 John 20 minutes ago Report Abuse As long as here are moslems in the world, the rest of it will have to be at war to stop all their murdering adn invasions. Moslems are evil. 1 Reply a secular man 0Thumbs UpThumbs Down1 a secular man 23 minutes ago Report Abuse the next tarrget is accoding to the plan of terrorist nation america and and thier terror organaisation of NATO with help of thier of thier prostitute the UNO Reply muttkat 1Thumbs UpThumbs Down0 muttkat 24 minutes ago Report Abuse Ron Paul has said to the effect Why should the US police others borders when it can't or won't police it's own borders. 1 Reply Alexis 0Thumbs UpThumbs Down1 Alexis • Miami, United States • 25 minutes ago Report Abuse well there is another one taken down since the uprising that began in the arab world in the name of .......democracy??? Oh well thd U.S can now go in an bully all those gullable arabs set up station and prepare for the New World Order in taking the oil....we will see who's the next contestant on... More Reply Sebastian G 0Thumbs UpThumbs Down0 Sebastian G 25 minutes ago Report Abuse well this is a pain in the butt.will this foolish cycle never end? Reply a secular man 0Thumbs UpThumbs Down0 a secular man 26 minutes ago Report Abuse in my openion those who fly high has to come down too. now a days the NATO and AMERICA are flying high in the sky with out seeing any thing . they need to rested by grouding to earth. sure they are . Reply JamesJ 2Thumbs UpThumbs Down0 JamesJ • Fort Worth, United States • 28 minutes ago Report Abuse Why isn't OBAMA on that list? Reply John 0Thumbs UpThumbs Down1 John 32 minutes ago Report Abuse It would seem the investment in terms of risk and reward in Libya was better than Iraq. We're still trying to get out of Iraq, a country we invaded under the false pretense of wmds. I concede they were next to a country that sheltered people who did attack us; but beyond that no justification has... More 1 Reply jovita 0Thumbs UpThumbs Down1 jovita • Madrid, Spain • 32 minutes ago Report Abuse it is better to die like a man,than to live like cowards.gaddafi is a hero.he will continue to be remembered.i hope the west and usa are happy now.go there and install your base.drill their oil.allah is not sleeping. 2 Replies ImJustSayan 0Thumbs UpThumbs Down0 ImJustSayan 35 minutes ago Report Abuse So now bad guy Mooamar is gone and al qaeda bad guys have taken over the country with a big assist from U.S. funded air cover. Clinton had done a great job at state but on this one you gotta wonder what she was thinking. Reply RH 1Thumbs UpThumbs Down0 RH 35 minutes ago Report Abuse Reminds me of a poster I once read "Until moral is improved, the beatings will continue" (Until you accept U.S. influence, the attacks will escalate) Reply RH 0Thumbs UpThumbs Down1 RH 37 minutes ago Report Abuse These countries are only on the list because they fight U.S. influence. Cuba a threat? Venezuela? Give me a break, they have never nor would ever attack us. Reply Robert Newmark 2Thumbs UpThumbs Down1 Robert Newmark • Bucharest, Romania • 39 minutes ago Report Abuse Oh, come on! Chavez and Castro are nowhere near Saddam Hussein or Qaddafi. Chavez is loved by most of his people, so much that a coup d'état staged by the opposition failed because of the support he has among the people. Watch the documentary "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" if you want to... More Reply Paradux 0Thumbs UpThumbs Down1 Paradux 39 minutes ago Report Abuse He was executed. Not that I mind or will miss him...but just hope the USA had nothing to do with putting a bullet in his head or we will never hear the end of it from the bleeding hearts from around the Globe. Reply More Post a comment New: Location! You can now share your location with each comment and make it more interesting. 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News Gadhafi's death helps clear the way for #oil exports: http://t.co/tJHUKZXJ (via @torrey_ynews) 5 hrs ago Reply Retweet Favorite Journalist confronts Vice President Joe Biden over his jobs bill rhetoric: http://t.co/hhKtJXLn 6 hrs ago Reply Retweet Favorite Forbes magazine editor-in-chief calls Rick Perry tax proposal "most exciting" plan since Reagan's: http://t.co/T5L8HrQN (via @YahooLookout) 7 hrs ago Reply Retweet Favorite More tweets » US News » Poverty rates up in most U.S. states, cities: Census Lisa Lambert Justice served by Gaddafi death, Lockerbie families say Michelle Nichols After Ohio panic, call for ban on exotic animal ownership Andrew Stern Senate backs plan to help Americans buy homes Rachelle Younglai Dog bowls led Philadelphia landlord to basement dungeon Dave Warner Featured Gadhafi fashion The emperor had some crazy clothes. 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