Thursday, March 06, 2008

Merchant of Death, Lord of War

Thursday evening Melissa Block reports on weapons dealer, Viktor Bout, who was arrested in Thailand. She says he is "known as the Merchant of Death and the Lord of War." Oooooh, imagine that! Block notes that "starting in the 1990s Viktor Bout made a business of providing arms to fuel wars from Sudan to Sierra Leone to Rwanda to Afghanistan...." I can't imagine what kind of sick, disgusting warmongering profiteers would flood the developing world - and especially the continent of Africa - with weaponry.

Block interviews Doug Farah, an investigative journalist, who coauthored a book about Bout. She expresses great surprise that "he fueled conflicts all over the world, [but]...also did a lot of work for the US military it seems." What's the surprise? Has she ever heard of Dick Cheney? Does she ever read any independent articles about US arms exports?

Farah responds, "He did, ironically, after helping to inflame conflicts in Africa throughout the 1990s and even working with the Taliban in Afghanistan and indirectly al-Qaeda...he then flipped and began working with the US military and also for private contractors in Iraq."

Hmm, what other dastardly crew of individuals helped inflame conflicts in Africa and even helped to build al-Qaeda? So why does Farah considers it "ironic," and call it a "flip" when Bout starts working with the US military?

Block's surprise and Farah's framing of Bout's lethal business help to buttress the narrative that in the world there are "bad guys" and then there is the US military establishment and its allies, the "good guys." Even when a story concerns negative behavior of the US (in this report Farah discusses the US government's close work with Bout in Iraq) the report is always based on the assumption that US military and foreign policy is at its core decent, humane and moral.


Anonymous said...

Wayne Madsen has been writing about Victor Bout for a couple of years. His most recent attribution doesn't add alot to the story, but based on what he's written in the past, I would expect Bout to disappear for good.

Porter Melmoth said...

I think the feigned (?) surprise that is often shown by NPR hosts is a ploy to instill doubt in listeners. That is, they want the average NPR listener to find it hard to believe that the US could be involved in dirty business but to believe that the US is always right, and also, that NPR is always right and...

I think I'll leave it at that. It's a brain-twister that takes some theorizing to figure out.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Missy-poo. There, there. Don't wowwwy about those bad guys, now. Next segment on some stodgy modern rock act (odd how the reviews as well as the music they feature sounds like we heard it there before?) will bring you back to being your ol' contrived-perky self again. Have a lollipop.

Anonymous said...

The USG mulching its assets again.

Edwin Wilson, anyone?
Case Against Ex-CIA Agent Is Dismissed

A federal judge dismissed an indictment against a former CIA operative who was convicted of selling arms to Libya, after prosecutors decided they would not pursue a retrial. A 1983 conviction of Edwin Wilson, now 75, for shipping 20 tons of C-4 plastic explosives to Libya was thrown out late last year. At his trial, Wilson maintained he was only doing what the CIA asked him to do....(AP, 7 Feb 04)

Anonymous said...

"Oh gee, why do they hate us?"


We have met the enemy and he is in denial.

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