The world would be a better place if dictators such as Muammar Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein were still in power, US Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump said in a TV interview that aired on Sunday.
When asked if the world would be better if Saddam and Gaddafi were still at the helm in Iraq and Libya, Trump replied “100 percent”.
"People are getting their heads chopped off. They're being drowned. Right now it's far worse than ever under Saddam Hussein or Gaddafi," Trump said.
Both Gaddafi and Saddam, who are now dead, committed atrocities against their own citizens.
Saddam Hussein, the former Iraqi president, was ousted in the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq and executed in 2006.
Muammar Gaddafi, who ruled Libya for four decades, was toppled and slain in 2011 amid a revolt.
"I mean, look what happened. Libya is a catastrophe. Libya is a disaster. Iraq is a disaster. Syria is a disaster. The whole Middle East. It all blew up around Hillary Clinton and around Obama. It blew up," Trump said.
Trump described Iraq as the “Harvard of terrorism” saying that the country had turned into a “training ground for terrorists.”
"If you look at Iraq from years ago, I'm not saying he [Saddam] was a nice guy. He was a horrible guy but it's better than it is now," Trump said.
Trump also emphasised Iraq’s oil was being bought by China now and going to Iran and ISIS adding that the United States should have taken the oil.
"They [ISIS] have plenty of money because they took the oil because we were stupid," he said.
"I said take the oil when we leave."
Trump on Sunday also mentioned his foreign policy strategy saying that the centre of his strategy would be beefing up the US military.
"All I know is this: we're living in Medieval times ... We're living in an unbelievably dangerous and horrible world," he said.
"The Trump doctrine is simple. It's strength. It's strength. Nobody is going to mess with us. Our military will be made stronger."
Carson does well in Iowa elections
Trump’s Republican rival Ben Carson surged past him in the early-voting state of Iowa. According to a Bloomberg/Des Moines Register poll that came out on Friday, 28 percent voted in support of Carson in the Republican Iowa caucus as Trump got only 19 percent.
Trump on Sunday also challenged his rival.
"Ben Carson has never created a job in his life (well, maybe a nurse)," Trump posted on Twitter referring to the retired pediatric neurosurgeon, a fellow political newcomer.
"I have created tens of thousands of jobs, it's what I do."
Carson replied to Trump’s remarks in a TV interview on Sunday saying that he does not want to get into the mud pit.
"He [Trump] is who he is. I don't think that's going to change. And I am who I am. That's not going to change either," Carson said.
Trump admitted that he was “surprised” over Carson’s gains in Iowa event.
"I like Ben but he cannot do with trade like I do with trade. He can't do a lot of things like I do," Trump said adding that Carson was also "very, very weak on immigration" and a "low energy person."