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For those who feel the war on terrorism
could use a little "Structural Adjustment".

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Wednesday, August 13, 2003

The New York Times has their story up about the man who was arrested yesterday for trying to sell a shoulder-launched missile to undercover U.S. agents. It was a "double sting" operation, which means that both the supplier (Russia) and the buyer (U.S. Agents) were participating and at no time was the missile actually in the hands of anyone nasty. However, this seems to be more of a political ploy than an attempt to go after the folks who supply the bulk of weapons to the Al-Qaeda network of terrorists. First off, note the timing of the sting:

'The arrest followed a series of urgent warnings from Bush administration officials that terrorists might use portable missiles against commercial aircraft.'

Second, the NYT tells us that this man isn't a big player on the international arms market:

'The officials said the arrested man was not a well-known arms trader, but had told associates in the New York area in the last year that he could obtain arms, including shoulder-fired missiles, from military stocks in countries like Russia'

Which begs the question -- why aren't we taking out the big fish?:

'Intelligence agencies say Al Qaeda already has dozens of missiles, many of them American-made Stingers left over from the war in Afghanistan in the 1980's when the United States supplied them to Afghan guerrillas seeking to oust Soviet troops from their country.'

Not only does Al-Qaeda have all the weapons it needs, but it got them from the U.S. via the big fish in the international arms trade market (cough - Iran-Contra - cough).

Andrew 8:33 AM : |


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