You Smell Like a Dictator

From last week’s Special Report in The Economist on Iraq:

[Maliki] has also gained ground, even among Sunnis, by his increasingly acerbic attitude towards the Kurds, who many Arabs think have overreached themselves in the past few years. In August he sent Iraqi army units into Khanaqin, a mainly Kurdish district that is controlled by the Kurdish authorities but falls within Diyala province. He and Massoud Barzani, president of the Kurdistan Regional Government, who heads the KDP, one of two rival parties that jointly run Iraqi Kurdistan, are increasingly rude to each other. Mr Barzani is said to have recently told Mr Maliki to his face: “You smell like a dictator.”

What exactly does a dictator smell like? My guess is that dictators vary pretty dramatically in odor. Some are perfumed dandies. Others — and here I’m thinking of the hirsute Saddam Hussein and Mr Maliki — probably smell of mustache wax.