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The UN's war on firearms: Taking advantage of black tuesday and the ongoing "war on terrorism," the United Nations is intensifying its own campaign against civilian ownership of firearms. (Civilian Disarmament).

In matters of disarmament, all roads increasingly lead to the United Nations. This principle applies not only to international "arms control" initiatives, but to civilian disarmament -- or what is commonly called "gun control." Thus it should come as no surprise that the UN has capitalized upon the Black Tuesday attack to advance its campaign to prevent firearms ownership by "non-state actors" -- a category that not only includes terrorists, guerrillas, drug lords, and gangsters, but also law-abiding civilians.

In an October 28th address to the UN General Assembly's First Committee, Jayantha Dhanapala, the UN's undersecretary-general for disarmament affairs, expressed the hope that the September 11th atrocity would "encourage states to consider once again the need to prohibit the transfer of military-grade small arms and light weapons to non-state actors..." At first glance, this proposal may seem relatively benign. What harm could come from a coordinated effort to keep weapons such as grenade launchers, anti-tank guns, and machine guns out of the hands of terrorists?

Unfortunately, the UN doesn't limit its definition of "military-grade small arms and light weapons" to such heavy artillery. The relevant UN document -- the August 19, 1999 "Report of the Group of Governmental Experts on Small Arms" -- defines "small arms" to include "rifles," as well as "revolvers and self-loading pistols" -- which many law-abiding Americans own. The UN has made it abundantly clear, however, that it regards civilian possession of firearms of any type to be "illicit" by definition.

A UN propaganda film entitled Armed to the Teeth informs the viewer that "legal" weapons are those "used by armies and police forces to protect us." The film denounces civilian ownership of firearms as "illegitimate" and insists that such "illicit" weapons "bring insecurity, pain, suffering and devastation." This view was enshrined as official UN policy in 'we the peoples,' Secretary-General Kofi Annan's official 2000 report.

In a section of that report entitled "Freedom from Fear," Annan asserts: "Controlling the proliferation of illicit weapons is a necessary first step towards the non-proliferation of small arms. These weapons must be brought under the control of states, and states must be held responsible for their transfer."

The UN's ongoing drive to extinguish civilian firearms ownership was foreshadowed in Our Global Neighborhood, the 1995 report of the UN-funded Commission on Global Governance (CGG). That document, which has served as an authoritative guide for efforts to "reform" and "empower" the UN, describes "militarization" as a global social problem to be addressed by the world body. According to the CGG, the plague of "militarization" can be seen in the "acquisition and use of increasingly lethal weapons by civilians -- whether individuals seeking a means of self-defense, street gangs, political opposition groups, or terrorist organizations." (Emphasis added.)

That's right -- from the UN's point of view, an American who bought a firearm for personal protection in the wake of Black Tuesday should be looked upon as the moral equal of a member of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda terrorist network.

President Bush obliquely endorsed this view in his November 10th address to the UN General Assembly, when he pointed to the "basic obligations in this new conflict." Those obligations are outlined in Security Council Resolution 1373, the measure that provides the supposed authority for the UN-directed "war on terrorism." Under that resolution, declared Mr. Bush, "We have a responsibility to deny weapons to terrorists and to actively prevent private citizens from providing them." (Emphasis added.)

Anti-gun zealots in the United States have seized upon this statement, insisting that it mandates radically expanded restrictions on the sale and private ownership of firearms in the name of fighting terrorism (see the article on page 10). This theme was recited by UN-connected anti-gun activists well in advance of September 11th. "The American public is learning that guns that are purchased in legal markets here can and do flow into the illicit market," declared Mary Leigh Blek of the so-called Million Mom March (MMM) during the UN Small Arms Conference last July. "We know that guns know no borders."

Not surprisingly, the "Million Mom March" is perfectly in sync with the UN's civilian disarmament campaign. Last May, the world body unveiled a global campaign called the "Billion Mom March" modeled upon the MMM. UN disarmament czar Jayantha Dhanapala presided over the press conference announcing the creation of the "Billion Mom March," and he explained that the group's purpose was to pressure governments worldwide "to ensure that the [UN's anti-gun] program of action is in fact implemented."

Snatching Small Arms

Dhanapala and UN Development Program Director Mark Malloch Brown co-authored an essay entitled: "Let's Go Out into the World and Gather Up the Small Arms." A UN-favored method of snatching up small arms is the gun "buy-back" ploy, in which a government or a UN peacekeeping mission offers incentives for civilians to surrender their arms. Last December, Brown called for a $6 billion UN reconstruction effort in Afghanistan, including a "cash-for-guns" program.

In Afghanistan, Brown told the Reuters wire service on December 7th, the UN "has to de-mine and re-establish a police force and judicial system, and collect weapons. We need a cash-for-guns program, like we had in Mali, Albania and Sierra Leone." The Japanese government, which has been an avid supporter of UN civilian disarmament efforts, announced on January 3rd that it would provide money for "a money-for-weapons aid project." "Firearms exchanged by soldiers and civilians in Afghanistan will generate credits toward building schools, bridges and hospitals," explained the Kyodo news service. "For instance, surrendering 200 small arms in a single community would lead to one school being established."

The UN has conducted similar "disarmament-for-development" initiatives in the Balkans, Latin America, and elsewhere. Significantly, these programs stem from UN-approved programs here in the United States. The UN Centre for Disarmament Affairs (UNCDA) refers to "buy-backs" as a "practical method of micro-disarmament" -- that is, the disarmament of civilians. A 1995 UNCDA paper by Dr. Edward J. Laurance, a consultant to the UN Register of Conventional Arms since 1992, notes that the UNCDA has studied both "buyback programs as practiced in many American cities" and those undertaken by U.S. soldiers during the UN-directed invasion and occupation of Haiti. Since September 11th, "buy-back" programs have been conducted in Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, and elsewhere -- even as more sensible Americans have made a mad dash to gun stores.

"From Mozambique to El Salvador, from the Republic of Georgia to Newark, N.J., gun owners -- legal or illegal -- are being encouraged to turn in their weapons in return for money, food, footwear, or farm tools," observed the May 4, 2000 Christian Science Monitor. "The whole idea of weapons collection is now huge....This is now a global trend," Laurance enthusiastically told the Monitor. The publication did not mention his behind-the-scenes work to create that "trend" -- including work with several official UN bodies, various UN-sponsored front groups, and the presentation of a paper on "micro-disarmament" to the Council on Foreign Relations' Center for Preventive Action in 1996.

"Monopoly on Force"

According to Sami Faltas, a consultant to UN civilian disarmament efforts, gun "buy-backs" and turn-ins employ a "subtle mix of rewards and penalties" to induce targeted populations to surrender their firearms. "Ultimately, the ownership of arms should not be left to the personal choice of individuals," writes Faltas. "The state needs to preserve its monopoly of the legitimate use of force." The type of state described by Faltas meets Lenin's definition of a "scientific dictatorship"; it is a regime exercising "power without limit, resting directly on force."

"We must make greater progress in achieving our disarmament and non-proliferation goals and thereby contribute to the creation of a safer and better world in which terrorism cannot breed or flourish," declared UN disarmament commissar Dhanapala on October 25, 2001. Dhanapala denounced the concept of "weapon-based security" as a product of "the wrong value system."

However, "[w]e're not talking about an idealistic, utopian world where there are no weapons," he told reporters during a September 19th press conference. He cited Article 51 and Chapter VII of the UN Charter, under which military action could be taken "in the collective interest of international peace and security." "Both of those [provisions] obviously require weapons to be used," commented Dhanapala.

However, in keeping with the UN's prescription for global "human security," the weapons Dhanapala refers to would be wielded by a globe-spanning "peace force," occasionally supplemented with national military and police personnel acting under UN supervision. The ongoing "war on terrorism" provides the UN with new opportunities to advance the universal disarmament of civilians -- which would be a prelude to a global reign of terror in the name of "peace."

Mr. Grigg is the author of Global Gun Grab: The United Nations Campaign to Disarm Americans.
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Author:Grigg, William Norman
Publication:The New American
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 11, 2002
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