Monday, August 06, 2007

Restating the obvious

It has been a long held belief of mine, supported by a good deal of evidence, that pretty much any nation state, criminal organization or shady businessman with access to spare small arms and platoon level infantry weaponry is selling weapons either directly or indirectly to the Iraqi black, gray and white markets. One of the larger foreign suppliers of arms to the Iraqi black market is the United States government. These actions were not intentional, just part of the cluster of amazing incompetence and unnaccountability of the Heritage Foundation jokers who were the 'best and brightest' the GOP could find willing to go to supply sider heaven. Publius at Obsidian Wings makes a very good point on the lack of accountability of US weaponry as I'll steal his entire short post:

One quick point on the Post's "lost guns" story that I referenced in the last post. It pretty much speaks for itself, and there's nothing good about it. But, it's worth keeping this story in mind next time someone presents evidence of an Iranian-produced gun in the hands of an insurgent as evidence that Iran is intentionally arming the insurgency. Like us, I suspect Iran provides arms to its favored militia (or "army" if you prefer) and, after that, black market forces kick in.

Standard and pragmatic poli-sci research indicates that usually democracies over the long run make better decisions than autocracies, dictatorships and theocracies because the democracy theoretically has stronger accountability mechanisms that allows for a shorter lifespan for remarkably dumb ideas to continue. That does not allows happen but it is a good rule of thumb. We know that Iran has a multitude of competing governing factions and a byzantine security apparatus with multiple lines of responsibility, accountability, and power flows. We should always remember this when looking at the 'Iranians are arming everyone' stories.... define which version and section of IRAN is a big part of the story there.

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