Mariah Carey Dictator ... He Hardly Knew Her!

1/18/2014 12:33 AM PST

Mariah Carey's may have lined her pockets with dictator cash in the past ... but the 43-year old diva says those days -- like Mussolini himself -- are gone.

Carey was navigating her way through a sea of paparazzi at LAX Friday night when our photog asked if she'll ever perform for a dictator again.

As you know ... Mimi was blasted in 2008 for performing at Moammar Gaddafi's family party. She apologized ... but did it again two years later -- when she performed for Angola dictator Jose Eduardo Dos Santos.

She sure knows how to dictate.