Kim Jong-Il and Father-Son Ruling Dynasties

THE KIMS OF NORTH KOREA
Kim il Sung
1948–94
His Great Leader mystique captivated citizens, but military-first strategy of communist self-reliance led only to mass deprivation.

Kim Jong Il
1994–present
A true heir: nuke obsession trumps attention to food, classrooms. No wonder Hermit Kingdom's life expectancy is 171st in the world.

THE ASSADS OF SYRIA
Hafez Assad
1971–2000
Iron-fisted toward dissidents, crushed a 1982 Muslim uprising by killing 20,000 in Hama. Used Soviet arms pipeline to attack Israel in 1973.

Bashar Al-Assad
2000–present
A modernizer who inches toward reform, but it's give-and-take with the old guard. Hints at Israeli peace, but it's unclear how much clout he has.

THE HASSANS OF MOROCCO
KING Hassan II
1961–99
Brought stability —and also harsh crackdowns on civil rights, especially for women. But moderate Israel stance led to closer U.S. ties.

King Mohamed VI
1999–present
A sharp departure: permits dissent and women's rights, even launched a "truth commission" and paid $85 million to past persecution victims.

THE KABILAS OF DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO
Laurent Kabila
1997–2001
Seized Zaire from a tyrant, restored country's old name. But rebels launched six-state war, leaving 2.5 million dead before he was assassinated.

Joseph Kabila
2001–present
World's youngest president aims for peace, but war still claims 1,000 a day. An elected reformist who includes rivals in his government.