Monday, April 12, 2010

Kyrgyzstan and personal firearms

Bryan Suits is a talk show host who does a weekend show for KFI radio of Los Angeles on the military and military issues around the world. This week, he had a few thoughts on Kyrgyzstan. I've transcribed leaving out extraneous verbal revision.
Quickly, Kyrgyzstan, a revolution. The government came to power after the Tulip Revolution from 5 years ago and they were increasingly thuggish, and they were kind of amateurish when they were renegotiating the lease for the Manas air base North of the capital that the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Military uses.

[It's a] very crucial hub. Everything that goes into Afghanistan, every person, every human being that flies in or out of Afghanistan flies through that air base. Sometimes they go and hang out. They fly in for a couple days. It's the Afghanistan equivalent of Kuwait.

The Kyrgyz government knows it's crucial, the Russians know it's crucial as well. I believe it's the only country on Earth where there is an active U.S. military base and an active Russian military base. The Russians want it to be one or the other and they don't really like our base there, but we pay cash and the Kyrgyz need cash and they were keeping the cash.

There's a long list of problems that the Kyrgese people had with this particular government right now, but the protest last week...began as robust protests. The final straw apparently was last weekend when the Kyrgyz government raised utility rates on everybody.

Now this is a country that could be the Saudi Arabia of hydroelectric power, but they are dragging their feet on bringing electricity to their people. They're enriching themselves buying Beamers and Mercedes and everything. They're cash rich.

And we're not a lot of help. We don't hold their feet to the fire about liberalizing their country. So the people take to the streets last week. In the span of a couple hours the protest got serious because police started firing live rounds back at people. In another city, a crowd of demonstrators broke into a government building and beat the Interior Minister to death. So you know that things aren't going to go well that day for either the government or the demonstrators.

The president of Kyrgyzstan, who disappeared, who is down with his ethnicity in Southern Kyrgystan, apparently he personally ordered his police to get up on the roof tops of the capital building of the government headquarters in Bishkek,the capital. Their strategy was not to snipe the demonstration leaders. He didn't say, "Shoot at the guys with the megaphones, shoot at the guys leading the crowds." He said, "Shoot at random people in the crowd, that way you'll terrify everyone into going home."

Well, here's something he forgot. Gun ownership is legal in Kyrgyzstan. People went to gun stores in Bishkek and they either paid cash or looted the guns. They came back to the government square and when the police were firing using live rounds at them, they started firing back. And the police retreated.

Hours later, the dust settled and they're in charge [the demonstrators]. They called a former foreign minister and said, "How would you like to be president until further notice?"

She said, "Hey, why not?"
Mr. Suits focuses on military action around the world, and went on to say that flights were being diverted during the upheaval, but this morning they appear to have resumed.

My point is that the 2nd Amendment is as relevant as ever, and effective as ever at stopping would-be tyrants. No such rebellion is necessary in the U.S., but those who say personal firearms are irrelevant in this sort of situation are simply wrong. Case study after case study confirms it.

The rest of the audio is available from KFI. You'll be looking for the 04/11/2010 podcast of Bryan Suits' Dark Secret Place.

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