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Jean-Claude Van Damme, Ramzan Kadyrov, Hilary Swank

STR/AFP/Getty Images

You'd think they'd know better. Or, at least, you'd think their people would know better.

Ever since this world has had stars and strong-arm dictators, the two groups have loved to hang out with each other, cavorting in gold-leafed ballrooms or in private menageries teeming with tiny giraffes.

Just this week, Hilary Swank, that respected actress who won an Oscar for a movie about tolerance, headed to what amounted to a 35th birthday bash for Chechnya's president, Ramzan Kadyrov. In case you missed your own invitation in the mail, let the State Department fill you in on the host: He is accused of being one of the world's most notorious human rights violators, with an alleged history of arson, abductions and torture against people who aren't hot celebrities.

Oh: Jean-Claude Van Damme was at the party, too.

As ill-considered as the decision may have been, Swank and Van Damme aren't alone....