Despicable or pariah countries

Depressing world news

Watching international news is really bad for your mental health, it’s depressing. Many countries show their worst side. Can we rate some as “despicable or pariah countries”?
I made a quick compilation of media comments, most common opinions found from a Western perspective. Feel free to add a country or add *, or comment. All subject to individual opinions…
It’s not about the people, it’s about the regime.
Sadly the list could become longer. Looking at politics today one loses faith in people and certainly in politicians. Western countries are surely not role models. The U.S. has lost much of its shine as a beacon of (real) democracy.

A draft list

It would be interesting if a reputable survey company could do its own poll… Or was it done already? See here an tentative list, in alphabetical order.

  • Afghanistan
  • Belarus
  • China *
  • Cuba *
  • Ghana #
  • Iran
  • Iraq #
  • Israel *
  • Myanmar
  • North Korea
  • Russia
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Sudan *
  • Somalia
  • Syria
  • Uganda #
  • Venezuela *
  • Yemen

* opinions differ
# LGBT issues mostly

Example: many vilify China but I live here since decades and the truth is pretty complex.
Other countries like Iran and Afghanistan leave little doubt. They went back to the dark Middle Ages.


In a recent poll, most people chose religion as the root cause for conflicts and suffering.
Not all studies support that, see here.
But many of the terrible conflicts do have their root in religion.

Yes I am an atheist…


With the war in Gaza, we see people coming out to protest because of the civilian casualties. I can only say it’s more complicated than those protesters shout about.
There have been so many atrocities in very recent decades, I just give one “small” example.

The Yazidi genocide was perpetrated by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria between 2014 and 2017. It was characterized by massacres, genocidal rape, and forced conversions to Islam. Over a period of three years, IS militants trafficked thousands of Yazidi women and girls and killed thousands of Yazidi men. The United Nations reported that IS killed about 5,000 Yazidis and trafficked about 10,800 Yazidi women and girls in a “forced conversion campaign”. By 2015, upwards of 71% of the global Yazidi population was displaced by the genocide.

Some details:
10 May 2017 – Nearly 10,000 Yazidis killed, kidnapped by Islamic State in 2014, study finds – By Lin Taylor REUTERS
At least 9,900 of Iraq’s Yazidis were killed or kidnapped in just days in an IS attack in 2014, according to the first study to document the number of Yazidis affected which could be used as evidence in any trial for genocide.
About 3,100 Yazidis were killed – with more than half shot, beheaded or burned alive – and about 6,800 kidnapped to become sex slaves or fighters, according to the report.

Also this extensive description: “ISIS genocide of Yezidis and Christians

Who came out on the street in London, Brussels, Paris, … to stop the horrible killings? And shout “Free Yazidis”?
And there is also Syria, Sudan (More than 14,000 people dead, more than 8 million people displaced, yet Sudan is rarely mentioned in our media headlines),… a long list.

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