For the heck of it

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Where there is a will, there's a weapon

Lord of War is a film that charts the rise and fall of Yuri Orlov, from his early days in the early 1980s in Little Odessa. The film goes through a phase of Yuri's ups and downs of his weapon-trafficking business right from him selling guns to mobsters in his local neighbourhood, through to his ascension through the decade of excess and indulgence into the early 90s, where he forms a business partnership with an African warlord and his psychotic son.

The film also charts his relationship through the years with his younger brother, his marriage to a famous model, his relentless pursuit by a determined federal agent and his inner demons that sway between his drive for success and the immorality of what he does.

The film portrays the role of the assault rifle AK-47 also known as Kalashnikov, which today is one of the largest and the most trusted weapon used worldwide. So much so that this weapon is displayed by many countries as a weapon of pride. For instance, Mozambique uses an AK-47 on its flag!

AK-47 Guide has a very in-depth coverage of this weapon.

This news report on ABS-CBN is a very nice read about arms-dealing worldwide:

>> The world’s five largest arms dealers, top manufacturers of nuclear armaments and weapons of mass destruction, are the United States of America, United Kingdom, France, Russia and China, which are ironically the five permanent members of the UN Security Council. These states account for 88 percent of the world’s conventional arms exports, which contribute regularly to gross abuses of human rights.

>> The arms business guarantees an annual expenditure for global military weapons amounting to US$839 billion. Even the Security Council’s permanent nonvoting members lucratively engage in the manufacture of war weapons and ammunition—Germany produces G3 assault rifles, with seven million units available worldwide, while Belgium and America manufacture FAL and M-16 rifles, respectively, with the same number of units worldwide.

>> The governments in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America spend at least US$22 billion for stockpiling weapons alone. This amount surpasses the US$10 billion needed for the Millennium Development Fund (MDF) to achieve universal primary education plus the US$12-billion MDF goal to reduce, if not eradicate, infant and maternal mortality.

>> America’s principal companies engaged in the weapons industry remain the turf of America’s top politicians. Former US President George Bush Sr., father of incumbent President Dubya Bush, heads the Carlyle Group, which manufactures war armaments, formerly for Afghan mujahideens against Soviets during the Cold War, and presently for Arab Muslims and the Jews in the Middle East.

>> The death toll from small arms exceeds the death toll of atomic bombs unleashed on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Kalashnikov (AK47), the favorite assault rifle of military and police forces, has at least 100 million units scattered worldwide, constituting 80 percent of the total number of assault rifles.


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