Published in Playboy South Africa July 2012

Admiral General Hafez Aladeen, more fondly known as the Dictator (and discreetly known as Sacha Baron Cohen), is the ruthless ruler of the fictional oil-rich state of Wadiya, located in North Africa. His film “The Dictator,” a biopic of his life and times, was released in South Africa in July 2012.

PLAYBOY: Your Excellency, have you ever read a PLAYBOY magazine? What is your favourite part of the magazine? Would you and your very attractive security guards pose for a PLAYBOY cover?
ALADEEN: I have read PLAYBOY magazines for many years – my father bought me a subscription when I was five-years-old. I thought they were art books and I would “colour in” in the pictures, you know, draw clothes and pubic hair on the girls. I still draw on the photographs today: a cross means “no thanks” and a tick means “get me that one.” My female guards and I would love to pose for a PLAYBOY cover, but I don’t know if they are suitable – they are all virgins. This is very important to me and I have their virginity checked every single night by the head of my penis.

PLAYBOY: What would Hollywood be like if instead of being ruled by Jewish people, it was ruled by the Middle East?
ALADEEN: Well my part of the world has a small but growing film community. At the moment we specialise in short films, usually about two minutes long, which feature an opposition leader, a video camera and some old Saudi “surgical tools.” I won’t tell you how it ends – no spoilers, no spoilers. But actually, I think if my guys ran Hollywood we’d make similar stuff to what’s there already, but put our twist on it. For example, we have our version of the American show, Two-and-a-Half Men – it used to be called Three Men but one of the men made a joke on the show about my beard and the next day his legs fell off.

PLAYBOY: Why do you think dictatorship should still be an option of government?
ALADEEN: Democracy just seems a lot of work and hassle; first you have to campaign, then debate your opponents, then the people have to vote, then the votes have to be counted until at last, the winner can be announced. This is why in Wadiya, I have introduced a streamlined form of democracy which just has the last stage. I think that the Arab Spring is a passing fad, like The Atkins Diet, or Human Rights. And I don’t worry about it happening in Wadiya because my people love me so greatly. However, just to be safe, I have removed all the spring months from the calendar and made February 128 days long.

PLAYBOY: What is your opinion about our neighbour, Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe having been recently appointed as UN International Envoy For Tourism? Do you aspire to such a position, or what post would you accept from the UN, if any?
ALADEEN: I am delighted that my dear friend Robert Mugabe is at last getting official recognition for all the excellent work he has done over the past few years – I have been campaigning tirelessly for this. I spoke to him recently and he said that the first thing he’s going to do in this new role is seek justice for Joseph Kony – the way our mutual friend has been portrayed in the media is an outrage! Did you see the video about him that was posted on YouTube? It’s disgusting – he has done far worse things than it accuses him of – his reputation has suffered terribly. Also, 300 million downloads worldwide and he has not seen a penny – it’s outrageous, who is his agent? He has serious overheads – a Kalashnikov isn’t any cheaper just because an eight year old is holding it.

PLAYBOY: What’s your opinion on gay marriage?
ALADEEN: I don’t know that much about the gays – there is not one single gay person in Wadiya. But if there were, homosexuals would have exactly the same rights as everybody else. None. There are some homosexuals in Syria, though, and life is very difficult for them because of the ban on gay marriage. I am of course talking about President Assad and his personal trainer, Hosni. You know, with Assad people always talk about the oppression, the torture and the genocide, – but he’s also got a bad side: I mean, what is it with that moustache!? He’s got to change it! He looks like a teenaged Armenian girl.

PLAYBOY: Would you consider paying for sex? What’s your opinion about prostitution?
ALADEEN: Of course. If you see my film, you will discover that I paid for sex with Megan Fox. She is simply adorable – and very good value. But she is now pregnant and is claiming that the baby is mine. She had better not start asking for child support. Princess Diana tried that with our son Harry and it didn’t end so well for her. Megan isn’t the only star I’ve paid to perform at my palace. A few years ago I paid Tupac Shakur $3 million to play for an hour – and he just spent 20 minutes singing, “Put your hands in the air, and wave them like you just don’t care.” How dare he order me what to do? That was the last concert he ever gave. I also had Biggie Smalls perform for me at a birthday party – and he ate half the buffet. That was his last meal.

PLAYBOY: What’s your opinion on pornography in general?
ALADEEN: I am a huge fan. I pretty much see everything as pornography. Take MTV for example, it’s like a shopping channel to me; every night I watch a video and if I like the song, I call up a friend and have the singer kidnapped. Did you ever wonder what happened to Janet Jackson? I have her in my palace. You can have her back now. She is missing her passport and one of her hands – it fell off. I thought I’d found it under my sofa, but it was white.

PLAYBOY: What do you hide behind those sunglasses?
ALADEEN: Right now, a terrible hangover. I just got back from the annual Axis of Evil Spring Retreat in Sandals, Antigua. It’s supposed to be relaxing, but my dictator buddies are crazy! Ahmadinejad is such a joker – he got our new fat friend, Kim Jong-un drunk and wrote “Hillary was here” on his face and “Bill was here” on his fatoot. I warned him not to mess with North Korea though – they are just years away from developing a boat that can reach Iran. Depending on the wind and the tides, obviously.

PLAYBOY: What are you wearing right now?
ALADEEN: I’m wearing a General’s uniform by John Galliano, but socks from Walmart. I never waste money on the stuff no one sees – “socks are socks,” Saddam told me that. But fashion and style is, of course, a very important part of being a dictator – the main thing is dress down and be careful not to wear things that can be ridiculed by the West. Gaddafi taught me that.

PLAYBOY: Who are your role models?
ALADEEN: It would, of course, be very easy just to say “Hitler and Stalin” – but that’s so obvious, it’s like saying “The Beatles” when someone asks who your favourite band is. I was a huge fan and close personal friend of Kim Jong-il and I miss him terribly. He did so, so much to spread compassion, wisdom and herpes throughout South East Asia. I have to admit that I am also inspired by Barack Obama. He did not let being an ex-Kenyan Al Qaeda child soldier stop him from seizing control of the most powerful nation in the world. For many Americans, he has forever tainted the word “hope” – and for that I applaud him.

PLAYBOY: Do you believe in God?
ALADEEN: My beliefs vary – sometimes I am certain that he is just some invented figure who cannot possibly exist, and then I look in the mirror and he somehow feels very real again. I have to say that there are parallels between us: we have both only ever fathered sons (I have 2,000 sons, but no daughters… what a coincidence!); we both decide on a daily basis whether thousands of people live or die; and, for both of us, the Jews are the “chosen ones.”

PLAYBOY: Would you use the Internet to meet a woman?
ALADEEN: Sort of. My secret police often use Google Earth to plan how to get into the houses of models and actresses I want to bring to my palace. You have to be careful that your address information is up to date though – one time I ordered Beyoncé and Macy Gray was delivered to me. Aaarrgh!

PLAYBOY: What do you think about Cuba? And what about Fidel Castro?
ALADEEN: He is a hero! What a beard! What a guy! He’s looking a little worse for the wear these days though. I keep offering to send him the blood of Swedish virgins to inject in order to stay eternally young (the medical science is weak, I admit – but the psychosomatic effect really works), but you know Fidel, so stubborn about accepting charity. But say what you will about Castro, he did pull off the JFK assassination, then paid Oliver Stone to pin it on some other guy. Oh, the West doesn’t know about that yet? As soon as I get round to transferring my father’s old Super 8 movies to DVD, I’ll put the footage up on YouTube.

PLAYBOY: Which historical figure do you most identify with?
ALADEEN: I LOVE Idi Amin. He is, of course, the grandfather of all the Sub-Saharan bad boys – without him there would be no Mugabe, no Charles Taylor, no Joseph Kony and no Bobby Brown.

PLAYBOY: What was Amin’s greatest impact on your growth as a dictator?
ALADEEN: It was Idi who personally taught me medal etiquette – that you should always make sure you deserve them before awarding them to yourself. Of course you’re allowed a couple of exceptions – I’m only human! – like the medals I gave myself for walking on Mars and for wiping Israel off the map. But these things are only a matter of time and you don’t buy a new pair of shoes without first trying them on, do you? I need to know that the ribbons match my beard.

PLAYBOY: How is your current state of mind?
ALADEEN: I’m actually feeling a bit sleepy. And as I’ve got three Victoria’s Secret models in the room next to me furiously making out with each other, I’m beginning to think that I may have got my Viagra and Rohypnol pill boxes mixed up.

PLAYBOY: Totalitarianism or democracy?
ALADEEN: I prefer the current Russian and Chinese model: totalitarianism, but you call it democracy.

PLAYBOY: War or Peace?
ALADEEN: Let’s just say that if you look up “Israel” on Wikipedia, everything is still in the present tense, so I clearly have some work to do there.

PLAYBOY: How would you describe your ideal woman?
ALADEEN: Frequently. I am so fickle – I think that I have found my ideal woman, then all of a sudden they reach 19 and I go off them. I’m a romantic though and will keep looking – maybe wife number 87 will “the one”!

PLAYBOY: What’s your idea of a perfect world?
ALADEEN: One where the “Arab Spring” has turned into the “Crackdown Summer,” “Torture Autumn” and “Execution Winter.”