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Monday, 22 December 2008

The Lord of War or The Word of Law?

Image credit: ©

Sometimes, just sometimes, no matter what you do, the law catches up with you. I remember seeing that movie with Nicholas Cage about a Russian arms dealer called Yuri Orlov who travels the world selling arms and munitions to the highest bidder. This story is true in that it is based on the real exploits of one Russian arms dealer, Viktor Bout, dubbed the "Merchant of Death" who was arrested here in Thailand in March. Many believe he supplied arms to the Taliban militia, Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaeda terror network and former Liberian leader Charles Taylor to name just a few of the madmen of the world to make it onto his Christmas card list.

Image credit: ©

Viktor Bout now says: 'I was framed'. This is like the usual though funny rebuttal of the typical petty criminals so often found in British drama of the 1980s. I can just about still here in my head Del Boy uttering the same sentiments albeit in his own inimitable way - 'It's a stitch up in'it? I was framed weren't I. The fuzz were waiting for me to leave Sudan like...and that geezer wiv the turban. How was I to know he was one of 'em like terrorist geezers! I just fought he was, you know, like Paki Ali, the market trader on Camden High Street! Nuffin' to do wiv me mate! I ask ya!'

According to the imprisoned fugitive, the Americans set him up because they don't want better relations between Thailand and Russia. As he says himself, 'They have framed me because the US does not want relations between Thailand and Russia to develop more'.

It's hard to feel a patina of grief for a man who, if the film version of his exploits is to be believed, lived the 'life of Reilly' while the carnage of war that he helped supply raged on in the background of his luxury lifestyle. It is unquestionably true that if you are going to get into the arms business, you'd better have made a Mephistophelean pact with your maker that, when it's all over, you'll go willingly to shake the hand of the Grim Reaper because for sure that's where you'll be heading when the music stops and there are no more chairs to sit down on.

Sooner or later the The Lord of War was bound to be caught out by The Word of Law, niet?

1 comment:

cos67 aka costick67 aka cosine67 said...

hey tommy

of course, you should have equal sang froid for the governments who stoop to selling arms to pariah countries. Look it up. I know, it's an evil world in which we live.