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Eason Jordan: living down to my expectations

Earlier today, one of Wizbang's resident detractors took Lorie's piece about Eason Jordan to link to one of his first endeavors -- a blurb on the black-market trade in AK-47 ammunition.

(Note: this was written before USMC Pilot put up his eerily prescient comment. I find myself slightly miffed that he "stepped on" my idea.)

According to Mr. Jordan (if we can trust him), the price has spiked recently, and he ties this in to one of the black market's biggest source of ammunition: dissatisfied and disloyal Shia police officers.

Jordan presents this as a sign of corruption and failure among the police, and that's one possible interpretation. But I can't believe he was so ignorant or biased to overlook the real significance of rising prices of ammunition.

A black market is, most often, capitalism in its purest form. Utterly unfettered by government interference and regulation, the basic laws of economics function without restraint. And chief among them is the basic law of supply and demand.

Prices of items rise in response to two factors: an increase in demand, and a decline in supply. While the demand very well might be rising, it is also possible that the supply is declining.

The AK-47 and its variants is quite possibly the greatest legacy of the Soviet Union: a cheap, simple, and reliable assault weapon, manufactured all around the world. Ammunition for the gun is also made all over the world. And those nations that have an interest in keeping Iraq in turmoil have literally tons of it they have been more than willing to give away to those committing carnage in Iraq. This in a nation that was swimming in conventional weapons (mostly of Soviet, Chinese, or French in origin) before the US invaded.

When I read Jordan's piece about the black-market price skyrocketing, my first thought was that there must be something wrong with the supply lines. I'm no economist, but it seems to me that demand alone did not seem adequate to justify 200% or 300% increases in price.

But this is all predicated on accepting Jordan's report at face value. And I can't bring myself to do that.

Jordan, like it or not, has no standing as an objective source of information. He spent literally years as an unpaid supporter of Saddam's regime, willingly suppressing news of atrocities and other misdeeds of Saddam and his cronies in a devil's pact for "access." Then, after his partners in Saddam's government fell, he gave aid and comfort to the insurgents by attacking the US military, saying they were "deliberately targeting" journalists in Iraq -- without offering a single shred of evidence that it was so. As I said yesterday, he first hid real, verifiable atrocities, then alleged other ones without any offer of proof. In both cases, the thread was the same: the US was wrong, and the Baathists and terrorists were in the right.

And this is the guy that Michelle Malkin is entrusting her very life to, as they wander the blood-stained yellow brick road in search of the AP's "wizard," the apparently-fictitious Police Captain Jilal Hussein? Well, if anyone's earned the good will of the head-choppers and market-bombers among the media, Eason Jordan is probably the best she can do without consorting with Al Jazeera or Reuters.

She's a braver person than I am -- and I don't have a spouse and several children.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Eason Jordan: living down to my expectations:

» Flopping Aces linked with Eason Jordan & His Shill

» Murdoc Online linked with Friday Linkzookery - 15 Dec 2006

» Absolute Moral Authority linked with Eason Jordan is on the loose again!

Comments (10)

This was exactly my feeling... (Below threshold)

This was exactly my feeling about this. I don't want Michelle to go.

Would I be stepping on anyb... (Below threshold)

Would I be stepping on anybody's toes if I said that part of the reason for the spike (in this part of the world, anyway) is because people are recognizing the weapon's merits, and are buying and shooting more? Not to mention the general increase in violence all over the world, and the frequent asking price of as little as $50 US, in some markets?

My brother used to dismiss the AK as a gang weapon, something you'd see in the hands of some pragmatic Marxist in the city. Last time I checked he had two of 'em.

I have a cousin in the Special Forces who says that, on his first day on the range, the instructor picked up an AK and said, "Okay, this is why you've got to keep your weapon clean. This is an AK-47, and wherever you go in the world, this is most likely going to be the gun your enemy is carrying."

Then he proceeded to jam the barrel into the mud at his feet, twisted it around and around like a drill, then grabbed it like a club and threw it into a shallow puddle -- no clip in the receiver, of course, so there was mud and water all through the works. The puddle was a slight depression, which he bridged with the AK and then began to jump up and down on it, for about a full minute.

Then he picked it up, jammed a clip in the receiver, addressed the target at about 100 feet and caused the bullseye to go away.

"And that," he said, "is why you've got to keep your weapon clean."

Hope I'm not off topic here.

astigafa:There wer... (Below threshold)


There were so many AK-47s in Iraq before the war, there's literally zero chance that the locals have suddenly started buying and using them in larger numbers. We're talking about literally millions of the things in use in Iraq alone.

Ammunition, however, would be a different story. Sure, there was a helluva lot of ammo laying around, and hundreds of tons of the stuff got grabbed by Saddam's guys on the way out the door, but ammunition gets used up, fast, in any sort of conflict.

Due to the untrained "spray and pray" tactics used by the bad guys, they're blowing off ammo much faster than they could reasonably replenish on the cheap, and an increased police presence means they have to go underground to get more...

Asti,The AKs are che... (Below threshold)

The AKs are cheap, reliable and durable. They are also plentiful. But when you fire more than a single round, they are terribly innacurate. A properly maintained AR-15/M-16 is a better rifle, but maintainence it the price you must pay for the advantage.
Anyway, the low cost to manufacture (aside from the barrel, all of the metal parts are stamped) and the fact that anyone can keep one working is why the AKs are found everywhere. It is the VW beetle of assault weapons :)
If the overall demand was up, we'd see a price hike in more than just Iraq, and that just isn't happening.

The rising cost could also ... (Below threshold)

The rising cost could also be a reflection of rising wages in Iraq as well. Why should they keep the price down if the citizenry can afford to pay more?

Or it could be supply/demand.

Or it could be ... Jordan doesn't know WTF he's talking about.

I still don't think she'll ... (Below threshold)

I still don't think she'll go. She's already offered up two others to take her place.

And this is the gu... (Below threshold)
And this is the guy that Michelle Malkin is entrusting her very life to, as they wander the blood-stained yellow brick road in search of the AP's "wizard," the apparently-fictitious Police Captain Jilal Hussein?

What the hell are you talking about?

We all know that Iraq is no more dangerous than Philadelphia

Geez! What a pussy!

No, jp2, she's given them a... (Below threshold)

No, jp2, she's given them as addition to, not in place of.
Curt from Flopping Aces, as he has led the charge in the Capt Hussein questions, is going with her.
Mike Yon, Bill Ardolino and Bill Roggio are going as part of their previously engaged jobs.

Or perhaps all the excess c... (Below threshold)

Or perhaps all the excess caches of ammunition that was laying around after the era of saddam have finally been used up.

Well, given the well deserv... (Below threshold)

Well, given the well deserved flogging he got before, hepefully have has moderated himself and is trying to redeem his journalistic soul. Everyone deserves at least one more chance.

/begin OT
I'm not one to normally come down on control of people's writings, and as a lurker I realize I have no cred here, but please add some way to turn off messages from people (I'd sign up or something just to get that feature).

This is one of my main blogs I read every day, and I enjoy the top articles, but as much as I like to see other people's take on them, having to wade through the idiot droppings of jp2, Lee et all (here and on other blogs, with similar minded people) is a real grind.

I think that's their whole purpose in life...disrupt the discussions of others.

/end OT rant.






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