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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 7/16/2001 5:03:00 PM EST
The Chicago Tribune July 16, 2001 Busting the global flow of guns By Salim Muwakkil The Bush administration's recent moves to thwart a United Nations pact curbing the global flow of small arms reveals just how much it is a captive of the National Rifle Association's gun-happy lobby. But it also underscored the growing incompatibility of right-wing Republicanism with emerging global trends. At the opening of the UN Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons, John R. Bolton, the U.S. undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, made it clear that the U.S. did not find all guns "problematic" and would not join any effort to "constrain legal trade and legal manufacturing of small arms and light weapons." The UN estimates that there are more than 500 million small arms in the world, about half of which were acquired illegally. These weapons are used to arm child soldiers, rival militia, criminal gangs and other "irregular forces" that kill about 4 million people each year, say UN officials. The problem is particularly acute in places like Afghanistan, Sierra Leone and Angola, where the UN estimates there are more than 17 million light weapons in circulation. The conference is seeking ways to curtail the bustling trade in illicit arms that fuels those deadly conflicts; its goal is to introduce global standards and tracing methods that assure some control of weapon distribution. Some regional groups and nations already have implemented rigorous efforts to reduce the flow of small arms (for example, South Africa and Norway have programs that destroy small weapons found in the wrong hands). The 10-day UN conference, which will end July 20, is the first attempt to forge an international consensus. "The United States would not join consensus on a final document that contains measures abrogating the constitutional right to bear arms," Bolton said in his remarks. He said the U.S. would object to any plan that included prohibitions on private ownership of military arms, or any steps toward a binding global treaty. Critics complained that the U.S. opposes the UN effort because it is the world's leading arms producer and, like Russia, China and India, reaps huge profits from looser weapons controls. While there undoubtedly are commercial pressures at work, Bolton wrapped his remarks in 2nd-Amendment imagery. UN officials went out of their way to allay the Bush administration's fears that constitutional protections would be infringed, even publishing a booklet addressed to the U.S. called "Setting the Record Straight." What's more, the conference's action plan would not be legally binding. Bolton is a former vice president of the American Enterprise Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based conservative think tank, so he understood the need to pitch his remarks to the anti-UN theme so beloved by the American right. For many years, far-right groups like the John Birch Society and various branches of the so-called "Patriots" movement (even the Ku Klux Klan) have railed against the UN for its reputed intent to strip away U.S. rights and liberties and create a One World government. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the international agency has been elevated to the global headquarters of godless communism by many of these right-wing forces.
Link Posted: 7/16/2001 5:04:03 PM EST
That sense of paranoia reached a crescendo in the mid-1990s with various militia groups warning of an impending, UN-imposed New World Order and citing the appearance of UN-owned black helicopters flying clandestine missions over the U.S. Although the clamor has died down a bit, many partisans on the right still are nurturing these black helicopter scenarios. More importantly, some of them are now a part of the Bush administration effort. Rep. Bob Barr (R-Ga.), one of the House's most extreme right-wingers and a board member of the National Rifle Association, was an official observer at the UN conference. In truth, the hard-line conservative critique of the UN is winning over increasing numbers of Americans because its partisans are the most passionate evangelists. Those on the hard right place a high premium on UN paranoia; by contrast, the political mainstream is rather tepid in its defense of the international organization. The left's voice is virtually mute. The Bush administration's actions in the UN, as well as its position on a growing number of international treaties and protocols, demonstrate an allegiance to a reactionary world view that ill suits an enlightened democracy. Salim Muwakkil is a senior editor at In These Times. E-mail: salim4x@aol.com http://chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/commentary/article/0,2669,SAV-0107160234,FF.html
Link Posted: 7/16/2001 5:16:39 PM EST
I would e-mail this clown but it would do no good. Besides, I would not be very nice and would portray us in a bad light. Morons like this make my blood boil.
Link Posted: 7/16/2001 5:29:44 PM EST
Link Posted: 7/16/2001 6:26:36 PM EST
Send him email. Ask him why he isn't back in whatever worthless country he came from, fighting violence. Tell him to leave Americans alone. GunLvr
Link Posted: 7/16/2001 6:44:24 PM EST
Link Posted: 7/16/2001 6:59:50 PM EST
"These weapons are used to arm child soldiers..." Would he prefer unarmed child soldiers?
Link Posted: 7/16/2001 7:13:36 PM EST
Originally Posted By FRIZ: ...that ill suits an enlightened democracy.
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I believe I see the base problem with that persons reasoning.
Link Posted: 7/16/2001 7:30:27 PM EST
"Enlightened democracy" my red ass! What this living bonor does not realize, is that most of the strife and horror in Africa, SE Asia (Burma and Indonesia) was caused by governments or foreign governments shipping arms to dictators to achieve political aims. During the Cold War, the Soviet Union flooded Africa with AK-47s and other light weaponry. Likewise, former French, British and German colonies received thousands of FALs and G3 assault rifles. Hell, even America did it's own number on Indonesia, Burma, Cambodia and Vietnam (including a few African nations). This was to be put in the hands of pro-west dictators vs. pro-commis. Likewise, several governments in Africa participated in disarmament of citizens long before the UN got involved in Africa. Ex: the Rwandans disarmed their citizens before the Hutus and the Tutsis went at it, costing 2 million lives in fighting from 1994-96. Does one think that if every citizen had been armed, not just criminal gangs or government troops, this massacre would have taken place? Uh yeah of course, and monkeys fly out of my ass! If these no-it all do-gooders would have stayed out of African politics in the first place, Africa would not have been so screwed over the past 40 years. The same with Indonesia or other SE Asian countries. Foreign governments proposing disarmament are trying to undo what they created themselves. Unfortunately, their plan will not work, it will only hurt us and the civilians they're trying to protect, and the sinister politicians that realize what power holds for them with citizen disarmament will turn us into subservient slaves of the state. themao [chainsawkill] "It takes a Mao to know a Mao" - themao
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