• Gun Ownership in Iraq

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    I have twice
    seen the same film clip on CBS news: an Iraqi citizen buying what
    looks like a machine gun (Kalashnikov), and another citizen trying
    out a semi-automatic pistol’s slide action. Both times, the voice-over
    warned of Iraqis preparing to defend themselves.

    Nobody mentions
    the obvious: unless the film clip was staged, Saddam Hussein lets
    Iraqis buy guns and ammo.

    This testifies
    against the theory that Saddam fears an organized uprising. If
    he fears assassination — his supposed use of look-alikes in public
    — he doesn’t fear it enough to impose complete gun control.

    He claims
    that he has no weapons of mass destruction. In
    a recent article posted on the generally hawkish World Net Daily,
    physicist Gordon Prather
    cites long-suppressed evidence from
    a top Iraqi defector that there are no WMD in Iraq. The defector
    was General Hussein Kamal. He was Saddam Hussein’s son-in-law.
    He was assassinated when he later returned to Iraq.

    Kamal was interviewed by Rolf Ekeus, chairman of the U.N. Special
    Commission on Iraq and Chief Inspector Maurizio Zifferero of
    the International Atomic Energy Action Team, both established
    by the U.N. Security Council to implement UNSC disarmament resolutions.

    has obtained the U.N. document, verified its authenticity and
    reports in its current issue that Kamal told the same story
    to the CIA and to the Brits.

    after the Gulf War ceasefire, but before the U.N. inspectors
    had arrived in Iraq, Kamal said he ordered the destruction of
    all chemical and biological weapons stocks and the missiles
    to deliver them. . . .

    inspectors — and hence all U.N. Security Council members — have
    known for at least four years that, as best the U.N. inspectors
    could subsequently discover, Kamal did tell the truth, when,
    in response to the question posed by UNSCOM inspector Nikita

    Were weapons and agents destroyed?

    Nothing remained.

    Was it before or after inspections started?

    After visits of inspection teams. You have an important role
    in Iraq with this. You should not underestimate yourself. You
    are very effective in Iraq.

    according to Kamal, himself, not only were all chembio "weapons
    and agents destroyed", but U.N. inspectors had been "very
    effective" in ferreting out what the Iraqis had done.

    This information
    was kept secret until Newsweek published it on February
    24 of this year. You might think that this story would have been
    front-page news in every newspaper in the world. It wasn’t.

    I have repeatedly said, the coming war in Iraq isn’t about al-Qaeda.

    It’s also not about weapons of mass destruction. It’s about the
    control of the price of oil at the margin and placing U.S. troops
    in the Middle East to keep the pipelines open.

    If Iraq has
    no WMD, then the invasion should be a cakewalk. But there is a
    wild card: the willingness and the ability of Iraqis to defend
    themselves from attack, house by house.

    Urban warfare
    is no picnic if the residents are willing to die, taking an invading
    soldier with them, one by one. (Unless, of course, the invader
    uses gas.)

    This raises
    the issue of the distribution of guns in Iraq.


    The media’s
    talking heads constantly cite the government’s accusation that
    Saddam is another Hitler. In one crucial sense, he is nothing
    like Hitler. Nazi Germany’s 1938 gun control law was signed into
    law on March 18, 1938.

    following information is posted on the Web site of Jews for the
    Preservation of Firearms Ownership
    , a pro-Second Amendment
    organization. If you want to know why there are Jewish supporters
    of this organization, which has been around a long time, read
    the following. You may be amazed.

    Until 1943-44,
    the German government published its laws and regulations in
    the u2018Reichsgesetzblatt,’ roughly the equivalent of the U.S.
    Federal Register. Carefully shelved by law librarians, the 1938
    issues of this German government publication had gathered a
    lot of dust. In the u2018Reichsgesetzblatt’ issue for the week of
    March 21, 1938, was the official text of the Weapons Law (March
    18, 1938). It gave Hitler’s Nazi party a stranglehold on the
    Germans, many of whom did not support the Nazis. We found that
    the Nazis did not invent "gun control" in Germany.
    The Nazis inherited gun control and then perfected it: they
    invented handgun control.

    The Nazi
    Weapons Law of 1938 replaced a Law on Firearms and Ammunition
    of April 13, 1928. The 1928 law was enacted by a center-right,
    freely elected German government that wanted to curb "gang
    activity," violent street fights between Nazi party and
    Communist party thugs. All firearm owners and their firearms
    had to be registered. Sound familiar? "Gun control"
    did not save democracy in Germany. It helped to make sure that
    the toughest criminals, the Nazis, prevailed.

    The Nazis
    inherited lists of firearm owners and their firearms when they
    u2018lawfully’ took over in March 1933. The Nazis used these inherited
    registration lists to seize privately held firearms from persons
    who were not "reliable." Knowing exactly who owned
    which firearms, the Nazis had only to revoke the annual ownership
    permits or decline to renew them.

    In 1938,
    five years after taking power, the Nazis enhanced the 1928 law.
    The Nazi Weapons Law introduced handgun control. Firearms ownership
    was restricted to Nazi party members and other "reliable"

    The 1938
    Nazi law barred Jews from businesses involving firearms. On
    November 10. 1938 — one day after the Nazi party terror
    squads (the SS) savaged thousands of Jews, synagogues and Jewish
    businesses throughout Germany — new regulations under the Weapons
    Law specifically barred Jews from owning any weapons, even clubs
    or knives.

    The site
    goes on to show that the 1938 German law was, passage by passage,
    copied into the U.S. Gun Control Act of 1968.

    The parallels
    between the Nazi law and GCA u201868 will leap at you from the page.
    For example, law abiding firearm owners in Illinois, Massachusetts
    and New Jersey must carry identification cards based on formats
    from the Nazi Weapons Law.

    The article
    goes on to identify the most likely political suspect in having
    copied the Nazi’s code into ours. He was a Democrat and a liberal.
    His son now holds his seat in the Senate. Click

    special interest to Jews is the extension of the gun control law,
    which was signed into law on November 11, 1938.
    will recall the previous evening: Kristal night, when the windows
    of stores owned by Jews were smashed by the Nazis. Highlights
    of the law include:

    #1 Jews
    (#5 of the First Regulations of the German Citizenship Law of
    14 November 1935, Reichsgesetzblatt 1, p. 1332) are prohibited
    from acquiring, possessing, and carrying firearms and ammunition,
    as well as truncheons or stabbing weapons. Those now possessing
    weapons and ammunition are at once to turn them over to the
    local police authority.

    #2 Firearms
    and ammunition found in a Jew’s possession will be forfeited
    to the government without compensation.

    This story
    is well known within the Second Amendment movement. It was JPFO’s
    Aaron Zelman who first gave wide publicity to the 1938-1968 connection.
    His book translates the 1938 law and then compares it, passage
    by passage, to the 1968 act.

    to say, liberals have not acknowledged the error of their ways
    in continuing to support the 1968 Act and its subsequent modifications.
    The 1938-1968 connection has been tossed down the memory hole.
    But JPFO keeps dredging it back up. The Web now helps keep the
    story alive.


    From what
    the U.S. media report, citizens of Baghdad are armed. An armed
    citizenry threatens American troops. For a decade, the U.S. military
    has trained to deal with urban occupation, but a real-life situation
    has yet to occur.

    If their
    city is still standing, they may defend their homes from invading
    forces. If they don’t defend, then some of them may later use
    their guns to shoot occupying troops. It’s one thing for Iraqis
    to approve of Saddam’s removal by the U.S. It’s another thing
    entirely to think that they will submit to long-term occupation
    of their country by U.S. troops.

    There is
    no democratic tradition in Iraq. The peaceful succession of elected
    governments is not part of Iraqi tradition.

    If Saddam
    has weapons of mass destruction, he has hidden them well. His
    son-in-law thought they had been destroyed, we now learn. If they
    really were destroyed, then casualties to U.S. troops will be
    imposed by defending troops and armed citizens.

    This raises
    the question of legitimacy. For two centuries, the United States
    has gained enormous international legitimacy as the world’s beacon
    of freedom. (Switzerland has freedom, but it is a closed society
    — closed to immigrants.) This nation has been seen as defending
    the rights of the oppressed. But an invasion of a nation across
    the planet and without the ability to inflict damage on this nation
    will be seen by a billion Muslims and maybe an equal number of
    non-Muslims as an unwarranted extension of our military power:
    the reversal of Woodrow Wilson’s heralded right of national self-determination.

    is not a free resource. It is most inexpensively gained through
    voluntarism. When it must be coerced, it gets very expensive for
    the coercer. This is why all empires eventually contract or are

    The world
    cooperates with us through market exchange. It also cooperates
    by allowing U.S. troops inside their borders: an estimated 130
    countries. But a pre-emptive strike against a nation that must
    defend itself from a superpower will not be seen as a legitimate
    act. If Saddam doesn’t use WMD against us, then the Administration
    will find itself removed permanently from the high moral ground.

    If Saddam
    doesn’t use WMD, the Administration will lose face. It will be
    seen as an aggressor nation. If there is widespread armed resistance
    by Iraqi citizens, it will cost the United States more than the
    lives of our troops.

    At that point,
    international cooperation will dissipate — not overnight, but
    steadily. People don’t like bullies. They will take steps to increase
    their ability to resist.

    The Administration
    will soon be in Catch-22. If our troops enjoy a cakewalk, then
    the justification for going in — Iraq’s WMD — will evaporate.
    If Iraq does use WMD (VX gas), then our troops will have a tough
    time of it. The cost of victory will be higher than in 1991. If
    citizens resist at the cost of their lives, morale will collapse
    in the military. Warriors do not gain honor by killing people
    who are merely defending their homes.


    How much
    money will it cost to win in Iraq? Lawrence Lindsey was the Administration’s
    senior economic advisor when he estimated $100 billion to $200
    billion. Then he was sacked. Career-wise men learn. With no evidence
    presented, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget
    now says $50 billion to $60 billion. Here
    is a New York Times story (Jan. 2).

    Administration Official Lowers Estimate of Cost for War With


    — The administration’s top budget official estimated Monday
    that the cost of a war with Iraq could be in the range of $50
    billion to $60 billion, a figure that is well below earlier
    estimates from White House officials.

    Daniels Jr., the director of the Office of Management and Budget,
    also said that there was likely to be a deficit in the fiscal
    2004 budget, though he declined to specify how large it would
    be. The Bush administration is scheduled to present its budget
    to Congress on Feb. 3.

    would not provide specific costs for either a long or a short
    military campaign against Saddam Hussein. But he said the administration
    was budgeting for both, and that earlier projections of $100
    billion to $200 billion in Iraq war costs by Lawrence Lindsey,
    President Bush’s former chief economic adviser, were too high.

    projections place the cost of an Iraq war in line with the 1991
    Persian Gulf War, which cost nearly $60 billion, or about $80
    billion in current dollars. But the United States paid for only
    a small portion of that conflict, with Saudi Arabia, Kuwait
    and Japan bearing the brunt of the costs. This time, diplomats
    say, Americans would likely bear most of the costs.

    The budget
    director’s projections Monday served as a corrective to figures
    put forth by Lindsey in September, when he said that a war with
    Iraq might amount to 1 percent to 2 percent of the gross domestic
    product, or $100 billion to $200 billion.

    was criticized for putting forth such a large number, which
    helped pave the way for his ouster earlier this month.

    to the most recent report from the Treasury, the Federal budget
    deficit for fiscal 2003 is $97.6 for the first four months. A
    year ago, the figure was a surplus of $8.4 billion. (AP story,
    Feb. 24).

    The war has
    not yet begun.

    There are
    lots of predictions about the de-stabilization of Arab governments
    if the U.S. invades. I don’t pretend to know how accurate these
    forecasts are. Some things are obvious. Most Muslims are opposed,
    and these are the people the terrorists recruit.


    The stock
    market will not do well if there is strong resistance in Iraq.
    The voters are not prepared for a drawn-out war, which would imply
    civilian resistance. But starving out civilians by quarantining
    Baghdad will win America no laurels. It will win the undying hostility
    of a billion Muslims.

    expect another 1991. But the price of obtaining this will be the
    Administration’s loss of legitimacy in the eyes of the world —
    immediately — and the eyes of swing voters (2004). Another 1991
    will mean that there were no WMD. It will mean that the war was
    about stealing oil and avenging a father’s decision to quit on
    the battlefield.

    Costs somewhere
    between 1991’s costs and the de-stabilization of the entire region
    are likely. If costs are low, the President loses legitimacy:
    "No WMD after all." If they are high, he will also lose
    legitimacy: "He failed to warn us!" He needs a Goldilocks
    solution: just right. How many dead American troops are too many?
    In my view, one. When it comes to the Middle East, and also the
    Balkans, I concur with Bismarck’s assessment of the Balkans: “Not
    worth the life of one Pomeranian grenadier.” But I’m obviously
    an extremist.

    7, 2003

    North is the author of Mises
    on Money
    . Visit http://www.freebooks.com.
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