Weapon maker’s passing provokes strange memories

It took Mikhail Kalashnikov almost 60 years of his life to concede at long last that had he invented a lawnmower, his legacy would have been more acceptable.

As it is, he invented a submachine gun, named AK-47 (Avtomat Kalashnikova, and the two digits signify the year of the weapon’s creation).

Kalashnikov died recently, aged 94, and loving obituaries filled Russian media beyond comprehension. Not only that: even media in other countries, in places where they should have known better, were shedding bitter tears.

Is it Kalashnikov’s fault that his weapons became more than his country’s army’s arms of choice? Is it his fault that pictures of pre-teens holding his submachine guns have shown the world Muslim terrorism in action? Is it Kalashnikov’s fault that AK-47s have become weapons of choice for all and sundry terrorist groups all over the world? Is he guilty of the fact that Russian army is now looking for something better and has been selling these wonderful killing machines to anyone who pays cash, including firms in the U.S. that sell the AK-47 under the name of Saiga?

Is it Kalashnikov’s fault he was born in Russia and lived most of his life in the Soviet Union?

The answer to all these questions is a resolute no.

But here’s another question: is it becoming to mourn a guy who invented this kind of weapon in the first place?

The answer is not and should not be a straightforward yes, or a straightforward no. After all, how can we feel about scientists who developed the world’s first nuclear weapons? They thought they were saving humanity. Were they? Again, it’s neither yes, nor no.

But while asking these questions, one can’t help but expand them.

For example: was it becoming for the entire world to go into a frenzy of deeply-felt mourning upon the passing of Nelson Mandela?

The guy was a terrorist, after all. He never renounced violence against civilians. He acted upon his Marxist-Leninist beliefs with a vengeance. One of his closest associates, one Joe Slovo, had been a KGB colonel, hailing from the Baltic republics that, at the time, belonged to the Soviet Union. When apartheid in South Africa collapsed, it wasn’t due to Mandela’s efforts or, precisely, not due to his efforts only. The other guy who would get the Nobel Prize for the end of the regime, Frederik Willem de Klerk, South Africa’s last white president, seems to have become a persona non grata in the politically correct circles. One wonders if all world leaders and other members of the “lumpenintelligentsia” (see “lumpenproletariat” for explanation of the meaning of this word) will hurry to Johannesburg for HIS funeral once the inevitable happens. (He’s 77 now, after all.)

And yet, without de Klerk, who knows how it all would have ended.

Which doesn’t change the basic facts. Such as that de Klerk decided to deal with Mandela even though he was perfectly aware that the guy had been arrested and sentenced perfectly legally under every standard of the law for planning and operating actions of indiscriminate violence, including killings of innocent bystanders.

One should only speak well of the deceased?

Are you suggesting one should speak well of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, the two guys who developed one of the most deadliest and dangerous ideologies under the sun?

Are you suggesting one should speak well of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin or Josef Vissarionovich Stalin, the two guys who changed the theories by Marx and Engels into living hell for hundreds of millions of people?

Are you suggesting one should speak well of Benito Mussolini or Adolf Hitler, the two guys who used the same basic ideology as Lenin and Stalin, only approaching it from different angles?

That Mandela changed his views and mellowed with time?

Would Lenin, Stalin, Mussolini or Hitler have changed their views and mellowed had they lived longer?

South Africa today is a much more dangerous place to live in (or, indeed, just visit) than it used to be. Criminal records say so. This just happens to be one of Nelson Mandela’s legacies.

The entire regime in that poor country is based on lies.

One wonders what’s going to happen when the inevitable happens and Desmond Tutu, another part of today’s South African regime, goes to hell at long last. He should, because he’s been lying through his teeth most of his life.

Want an example?

Here’s a personal experience from a news conference given by Tutu. Somebody asked whether he wasn’t afraid that Soviet-led troops (Cubans, with East German security advisers and Soviet commanders), currently in Angola, might make the relatively short trek to South Africa. It would have made geopolitical sense at the time because of South Africa’s geographic location.

The Archbishop didn’t hesitate to say South African people would be ecstatic to welcome Soviet-led troops and would display at least as much enthusiasm as people in Czechoslovakia displayed following the 1968 Soviet-led invasion of their country.

There were two people in the room who had experienced the exemplary lack of enthusiasm of the people of Czechoslovakia those days. So, we immediately questioned how dare a man of cloth lie like this. Whereupon Desmond Tutu stormed out of the room. His secretary would approach us as we were leaving. To apologize? Not in this world. To warn us to never try question his master again, and to tell us neither of us would be ever invited to a Desmond Tutu news conference again.

Still, one anticipates an outpouring of sympathy and whatnot once his days are numbered. Whether those sympathies would be sincere or not would be irrelevant.

What this is to say is we now live in a perfectly twisted world. Our social values have gone upside-down. Not as individuals, perhaps. But as societies we are perfectly willing to honour mass killers. As societies we frown upon all who dare question the Nobel Committee for bestowing its prizes on such murderers like Yassir Arafat or such nobodies like Al Gore or, Heavens forbid, Barack Hussein Obama.

What’s the world coming to?

Have a Merry Christmas, eh?

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