T Nation

Iraq Firearms Confiscations

So I’ve been somewhat at odds with myself over a recent development. I’ve made it abundantly clear that I supported the beginning of the war up to just after Saddam’s death. Now it seems to me like we’ve done all we can. The war has been won for over two years so far as I’m concerned. But besides this I have a question.

I recently read a news article talking about US troops going door to door confiscating firearms from Baghdad residents. Now we accept here in America that our rights are given to us by our creator, not by men with powdered wigs. Our rights come by virtue of our being alive, not granted by the BoR.

If this is the case, does the BoR apply to the rest of the world? And if it does, aren’t we violating the rights of Iraqi citizens by taking their AK’s from them?

mike

And how do you feel that Saddam had no issues with privately owned guns?

Iraqi law states that an Iraqi can own one rifle and two magazines of ammunition per male in a household. US troops will regularly confiscate any weapons over that amount.

[quote]orion wrote:
And how do you feel that Saddam had no issues with privately owned guns?

[/quote]

I find this hard to believe, but I feel stupid if true.

[quote]Mikeyali wrote:
So I’ve been somewhat at odds with myself over a recent development. I’ve made it abundantly clear that I supported the beginning of the war up to just after Saddam’s death. Now it seems to me like we’ve done all we can. The war has been won for over two years so far as I’m concerned. But besides this I have a question.

I recently read a news article talking about US troops going door to door confiscating firearms from Baghdad residents. Now we accept here in America that our rights are given to us by our creator, not by men with powdered wigs. Our rights come by virtue of our being alive, not granted by the BoR.

If this is the case, does the BoR apply to the rest of the world? And if it does, aren’t we violating the rights of Iraqi citizens by taking their AK’s from them?

mike[/quote]

You’re confusing the Declaration of Independence with the Bill of Rights. And how does the Bill of Rights apply to the rest of the world? Didn’t we learn anything from the last few years of trying to transfer Western rights and norms to other countries? Good to see that the French Revolution and all its ills are alive and well.

Considering the lawlessness in Iraq, I think the common folk should be allowed to have a means of self defense.

I think it is immoral to disarm people when the authorities are not up to the task of maintaining law and order.

The Iraqi’s have a valid arguement in pointing to the 2nd amendment and given their recent history it does make sense for them to have some level of citizen gun ownership.

I have heard conflicting stories about gun ownership under Sadaam. One NY times article says he allowed it another says he forbade it.

Gun ownership is only part of the equation of an armed populace being able to control the government. That is why the 1st amendment allows people to assemble and the 2nd amendment has a further provision for the people assemble into an organized, armed, militia. A militia is much harder to control than disorganized individuals trying to start their own private revolutions.

Then there is the types of weaponry allowed. A bunch of untrained disorganised farmers with bolt action rifles and shotguns was not a good matchup against the revolutionary guards armed with Assault rifles and armor support. It’s why the 2nd amendment provides for militia and the right to carry so people can train.

[quote]PRCalDude wrote:
orion wrote:
And how do you feel that Saddam had no issues with privately owned guns?

I find this hard to believe, but I feel stupid if true. [/quote]

It’s true. Many former military members owned their own assault rifles.

Here is an article that I found by doing a google search for “firearm ownership in Iraq” just in case someone thinks I only post from Lew Rockwell articles. It was the first articled returned on the list and it was published a week before the US military invaded Iraq in March 2003.

[quote]GDollars37 wrote:
Mikeyali wrote:
So I’ve been somewhat at odds with myself over a recent development. I’ve made it abundantly clear that I supported the beginning of the war up to just after Saddam’s death. Now it seems to me like we’ve done all we can. The war has been won for over two years so far as I’m concerned. But besides this I have a question.

I recently read a news article talking about US troops going door to door confiscating firearms from Baghdad residents. Now we accept here in America that our rights are given to us by our creator, not by men with powdered wigs. Our rights come by virtue of our being alive, not granted by the BoR.

If this is the case, does the BoR apply to the rest of the world? And if it does, aren’t we violating the rights of Iraqi citizens by taking their AK’s from them?

mike

You’re confusing the Declaration of Independence with the Bill of Rights. [/quote]

No, I am not.

So sayeth Thomas Jefferson, “A bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular, and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inferences.”

So sayeth Justice Brennen, “The Framers of the Bill of Rights did not purport to “create” rights. Rather, they designed the Bill of Rights to prohibit our Government from infringing rights and liberties presumed to be preexisting.”

I really don’t want to dig beyond a basic google search but I can if you still need me to prove the point.

The idea was and always has been that we have rights by our very existence. This is also said in the DoI, but several of those rights are simply put to paper in the BoR. And if you would have read my post before jumping into your idealogical supersuit then you would see that I was asking a question as to whether or not the BoR applied to the rest of the world.[quote]

Didn’t we learn anything from the last few years of trying to transfer Western rights and norms to other countries? Good to see that the French Revolution and all its ills are alive and well.[/quote]

bangs head against wall Okay, were you just looking for the tiniest opening to spout out your feelings on the war that we’ve all heard a dozen times? My post had nothing to do with any of this. I was asking if we are violating the rights of Iraqis by taking their guns. I didn’t say anything about imposing our rights on them.

mike

[quote]I think it is immoral to disarm people when the authorities are not up to the task of maintaining law and order.
[/quote]

What does that matter? It’s immoral period. People have a right to defend themselves.

[quote]Mikeyali wrote:
GDollars37 wrote:
Mikeyali wrote:
So I’ve been somewhat at odds with myself over a recent development. I’ve made it abundantly clear that I supported the beginning of the war up to just after Saddam’s death. Now it seems to me like we’ve done all we can. The war has been won for over two years so far as I’m concerned. But besides this I have a question.

I recently read a news article talking about US troops going door to door confiscating firearms from Baghdad residents. Now we accept here in America that our rights are given to us by our creator, not by men with powdered wigs. Our rights come by virtue of our being alive, not granted by the BoR.

If this is the case, does the BoR apply to the rest of the world? And if it does, aren’t we violating the rights of Iraqi citizens by taking their AK’s from them?

mike

You’re confusing the Declaration of Independence with the Bill of Rights.

No, I am not.

And how does the Bill of Rights apply to the rest of the world?

So sayeth Thomas Jefferson, “A bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular, and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inferences.”
[/quote]

OK, A Bill of Rights, not THE Bill of Rights. And Jefferson does not equal the Constitution. I think those words “entitled to” are kind of problematic.

Yeah, but a basic Google search is all I used to check that the Bill of Rights does not in any way refer to universal rights given to us by our Creator. Neither does the preamble to the Constitution.

I don’t know about ideological supersuit, but fair enough, you did phrase it as a question.

[quote]
Didn’t we learn anything from the last few years of trying to transfer Western rights and norms to other countries? Good to see that the French Revolution and all its ills are alive and well.

bangs head against wall Okay, were you just looking for the tiniest opening to spout out your feelings on the war that we’ve all heard a dozen times? My post had nothing to do with any of this. I was asking if we are violating the rights of Iraqis by taking their guns. I didn’t say anything about imposing our rights on them.

mike[/quote]

I actually agree with you politically the majority of the time, and certainly on the 2nd Amendment. But my understanding has always been that the American and French Revolutions were fundamentally different. Ours was about the rights of Englishmen, which were being abridged by the King. It was a conservative revolution, if that’s possible. It was grounded in culture and history. Theirs was what you’re talking about, “the universal rights of Man,” a radical revolution that upended society and, predictably, resulted in a ton of bloodshed. But I’d be happy to hear a convincing argument otherwise.

I also have trouble understanding how a guy who’s for freedom and extremely limited government at home justifies our exporting liberty abroad by force of arms. I think John Quincy Adams had it exactly right for America:

"Wherever the standard of freedom and Independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be.

But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy.

She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all.

She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.

She will commend the general cause by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example.

She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom.

The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force…"

As for the Iraqis, I’d wager some money they have bigger complaints against us than leaving them with one AK per household.

I didn’t mean to come off as an ass. While we don’t agree on everything, I do respect your posts. I think all this living here with Obama signs every fucking where has had me edgy. I’m really dispirited about the republic and damn near a full year since deciding not to go back in the Corps I’m still bitter about towards a large portion of my countrymen. I’m not directing that fire productively. Now with my circle jerk over I will forge ahead.

[quote]GDollars37 wrote:
And how does the Bill of Rights apply to the rest of the world?

So sayeth Thomas Jefferson, “A bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular, and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inferences.”

OK, A Bill of Rights, not THE Bill of Rights. And Jefferson does not equal the Constitution. I think those words “entitled to” are kind of problematic.[/quote]

True, considering the fact that Jefferson was in France during the framing of the Constitution. That said he was one of the figureheads of antifederalist thought and it was George Mason and the antifederalists that got the BoR in the Constitution. But I suppose that if you want to go with “A” Bill of Rights instead of “The” Bill of Rights and still accepted the premise that these rights are God-given, would we then just have to accept that every right put to paper applied to all peoples of the world?

[quote]

So sayeth Justice Brennen, “The Framers of the Bill of Rights did not purport to “create” rights. Rather, they designed the Bill of Rights to prohibit our Government from infringing rights and liberties presumed to be preexisting.”

I really don’t want to dig beyond a basic google search but I can if you still need me to prove the point.

Yeah, but a basic Google search is all I used to check that the Bill of Rights does not in any way refer to universal rights given to us by our Creator. Neither does the preamble to the Constitution. [/quote]

Yeah, I’m pretty well versed in them and they don’t state this in their text. I don’t think that defeats the statement that our rights are inherent though.[quote]

The idea was and always has been that we have rights by our very existence. This is also said in the DoI, but several of those rights are simply put to paper in the BoR. And if you would have read my post before jumping into your idealogical supersuit then you would see that I was asking a question as to whether or not the BoR applied to the rest of the world.

I don’t know about ideological supersuit, but fair enough, you did phrase it as a question.

Didn’t we learn anything from the last few years of trying to transfer Western rights and norms to other countries? Good to see that the French Revolution and all its ills are alive and well.

bangs head against wall Okay, were you just looking for the tiniest opening to spout out your feelings on the war that we’ve all heard a dozen times? My post had nothing to do with any of this. I was asking if we are violating the rights of Iraqis by taking their guns. I didn’t say anything about imposing our rights on them.

mike

I actually agree with you politically the majority of the time, and certainly on the 2nd Amendment. But my understanding has always been that the American and French Revolutions were fundamentally different. Ours was about the rights of Englishmen, which were being abridged by the King. It was a conservative revolution, if that’s possible. It was grounded in culture and history. Theirs was what you’re talking about, “the universal rights of Man,” a radical revolution that upended society and, predictably, resulted in a ton of bloodshed. But I’d be happy to hear a convincing argument otherwise.[/quote]

I think it’s fair to say that our revolution was more conservative than the French one, but ours was much more radical than most of us think. I’d say the guy most well-versed in the AmRev would be Gordon Wood who wrote the book Radicalism of the American Revolution. It’s a damn fine scholarly study of the radical change in American society leading up to and following the AmRev. [quote]

I also have trouble understanding how a guy who’s for freedom and extremely limited government at home justifies our exporting liberty abroad by force of arms. I think John Quincy Adams had it exactly right for America:

"Wherever the standard of freedom and Independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be.

But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy.

She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all.

She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.

She will commend the general cause by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example.

She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom.

The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force…"[/quote]

I concede that I do believe in exporting liberty by the sword if necessary. It is how we shook off our own shackles so you really cannot figure it ineffective. My only beef is in our doing it with American tax dollars and sending men overseas as nation builders. As I’ve said before, if we did not have our own domestic terrorist force in the ATF it would be possible for men to assemble and train here to repel tyrants abroad. Imagine the potential for good we truly could have without a government monopoly on force.

Consider John Paul Jones. Following the American Revolution he went to help both the French and the Russians. What about Thomas Paine? He didn’t fight but went and joined the French Revolution after our war. Hell, he even took a seat in the national assembly.

Consider our own foreign help. How different would our own war for independence ahve been without Von Steuben or Lafayette? I still think we would have won, but who really knows? These men, like myself, fought not for a flag, but for an idea. [quote]

As for the Iraqis, I’d wager some money they have bigger complaints against us than leaving them with one AK per household.[/quote]

I’m sure some of them do. But that wasn’t the question at hand. And I don’t think it is 1 AK. This link says that it’s zero guns in Baghdad.

mike

[quote]BH6 wrote:
Iraqi law states that an Iraqi can own one rifle and two magazines of ammunition per male in a household. US troops will regularly confiscate any weapons over that amount.
[/quote]

That used to be the rule when I was there too, but this seems to say things have changed.

mike

[quote]“Actually, we need them for self-defense and protecting the home,” he said.

Soldiers said they regularly hear that complaint when they confiscate weapons.[/quote]

It’s likely only a matter of time before soldiers will be hearing that complaint here.

[quote]Mikeyali wrote:
BH6 wrote:
Iraqi law states that an Iraqi can own one rifle and two magazines of ammunition per male in a household. US troops will regularly confiscate any weapons over that amount.

That used to be the rule when I was there too, but this seems to say things have changed.

mike[/quote]

I wasn’t in Baghdad at all. You are right, it seems things have changed. Thanks for the update.

[quote]GDollars37 wrote:
Mikeyali wrote:
So I’ve been somewhat at odds with myself over a recent development. I’ve made it abundantly clear that I supported the beginning of the war up to just after Saddam’s death. Now it seems to me like we’ve done all we can. The war has been won for over two years so far as I’m concerned. But besides this I have a question.

I recently read a news article talking about US troops going door to door confiscating firearms from Baghdad residents. Now we accept here in America that our rights are given to us by our creator, not by men with powdered wigs. Our rights come by virtue of our being alive, not granted by the BoR.

If this is the case, does the BoR apply to the rest of the world? And if it does, aren’t we violating the rights of Iraqi citizens by taking their AK’s from them?

mike

You’re confusing the Declaration of Independence with the Bill of Rights. And how does the Bill of Rights apply to the rest of the world? Didn’t we learn anything from the last few years of trying to transfer Western rights and norms to other countries? Good to see that the French Revolution and all its ills are alive and well.[/quote]

You need to go back and rethink this. You do know that the Bill of Rights contains the second amendment to which Mikeyali is referring, right?

Evidently not.

Good question. I don’t think we should be disarming the normal citizen in Iraq, especially as it is becoming more peaceful.

Time to get out anyway and make them responsible for their own security.

For what it’s worth, the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), Article 3, Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

http://www.un.org/Overview/rights.html

What good is a right to life, liberty and security without a gun to enforce it?

[quote]Loose Tool wrote:
For what it’s worth, the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), Article 3, Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

http://www.un.org/Overview/rights.html

What good is a right to life, liberty and security without a gun to enforce it?
[/quote]

I guess it’s too late to put that question to the dead Jews and Rwandans, isn’t it?

[quote]Mikeyali wrote:

So sayeth Thomas Jefferson, “A bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular, and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inferences.”

OK, A Bill of Rights, not THE Bill of Rights. And Jefferson does not equal the Constitution. I think those words “entitled to” are kind of problematic.

True, considering the fact that Jefferson was in France during the framing of the Constitution. That said he was one of the figureheads of antifederalist thought and it was George Mason and the antifederalists that got the BoR in the Constitution. But I suppose that if you want to go with “A” Bill of Rights instead of “The” Bill of Rights and still accepted the premise that these rights are God-given, would we then just have to accept that every right put to paper applied to all peoples of the world?
[/quote]

Not sure I follow you here.

I’d say we base our views on the text. Instead of reading into it ideas like a “right to privacy.”

Thanks, I’ve added that to my Amazon wish list, will hopefully get to it down the line. I haven’t read it, but if the first reviewer is anything to go by, I think my point stands:

“What is intriguing about Wood’s analysis, is the reluctance many Americans had about making a complete breach from England. Americans realized that their institutions were an outgrowth of ENGLISH REPUBLICAN ideas. It was a slow, evolving revolution, carrying these principles to their fullest realization. Never short of praise for themselves, the Americans thought they had succeeded where the British had failed in creating a truly representative government.”

Honestly, I think you’re pretty naive about this liberty by the sword stuff. Most spots where tyrants have been overthrown by popular revolutions have not become democracies, or even decent places to live. Russia, Spain, Haiti, half of Africa… Like Pat Buchanan said about Iraq, “a constitution doesn’t make a country, a country makes a constitution.” All the varied pieces of a free society (free press, independent judiciary, transparency, etc.) are far more important than elections are.

The father of modern conservatism, Russell Kirk, along the same lines:

“It has been said by liberal intellectuals that the conservative believes all social questions, at heart, to be questions of private morality. Properly understood, this statement is quite true. A society in which men and women are governed by belief in an enduring moral order, by a strong sense of right and wrong, by personal convictions about justice and honor, will be a good society–whatever political machinery it may utilize; while a society in which men and women are morally adrift, ignorant of norms, and intent chiefly upon gratification of appetites, will be a bad society–no matter how many people vote and no matter how liberal its formal constitution may be.”

Also, I doubt very many Americans would be signing up for your new Abraham Lincoln Brigade (look what happened to them). As for foreigners doing it for themselves, see Chalabi’s little militia, whatever they were called, in 2003.

Yup, though I don’t think Thomas Paine is someone to emulate. Change a few words and “To the People of England on the Invasion of England” could have been an essay in the Weekly Standard in 2002. I also doubt he enjoyed his time in revolutionary Paris too much.

I saw Tadeusz Ko�?ciuszko’s crypt when I was in Poland a couple years ago though, that was kind of cool.

[quote]GDollars37 wrote:
<<< The father of modern conservatism, Russell Kirk, along the same lines:

"It has been said by liberal intellectuals that the conservative believes all social questions, at heart, to be questions of private morality. Properly understood, this statement is quite true.

A society in which men and women are governed by belief in an enduring moral order, by a strong sense of right and wrong, by personal convictions about justice and honor, will be a good society–whatever political machinery it may utilize;

While a society in which men and women are morally adrift, ignorant of norms, and intent chiefly upon gratification of appetites, will be a bad society–no matter how many people vote and no matter how liberal its formal constitution may be." >>>
[/quote]

This is cosmically brilliant and the very definition of why this country is decaying from the inside out.