tv The Stream 2019 Ep 181 Al Jazeera November 13, 2019 11:32am-12:01pm +03
in afghanistan's capital a car bomb went off during rush hour and kabul but the interior ministry says another 7 people were injured there's been no claim of responsibility so far. a lebanese man has been shot dead south of beirut marking the 1st at than 27 days of nationwide protests the army says one soldier has been detained after forces opened fire on protesters blocking a road it's been more than 2 weeks now since the prime minister saad hariri resigned following weeks of protests australian officials have ordered more people to evacuate as firefighters struggle to contain an outbreak of bushfires cooler conditions are brought some relief in new south wales a leave immediately warning has been issued for several areas in the state of queensland there are the headlines keep it here on al-jazeera the strain is that next.
where every. year in the stream today we're talking about the kalashnikov assault rifle or a k 47 just what makes it the world's most popular gun will discuss its history and legacy and we want to hear your questions and comments about it share your thoughts via twitter or in our lives. hello i'm dr charmaine nelson professor of art history at mcgill university in montreal and you are in the street. russia is commemorating 100 years since the birth of soviet weapon inventor kalashnikov for the russian ministry of education it is an opportunity to teach school aged children about kalashnikov who was hailed
a national hero and died in 2013 at the age of 94. online russians are using the hash tag kalashnikov 100 to share their thoughts on his life and legacy lewis offers this insight the machine gun invented by him became a symbol of russia as well as the most widespread small arms in history radio studio but it's important to protect kalashnikov memory just this is invention how to protect russians on instagram people are using that same hash tag here he's commemorated on postage stamps and lapel pins and the military offers a look at an in progress morial that will be installed at the museum in st petersburg later this month meanwhile kalashnikov media put together an immersive site to help you learn more about his life we heard from the project's editor in chief andre have. to coax 2 lives together is needed
because ultimately which collision course will do little good sleeper agent so simply. because i've learned to trust. control you can move to my favorite late to . me is absurd i'm not going to do you see is due. to his dual online space project for me could you would you could be in your. introduced me to impose recent really cool constructive. so we've heard from people commemorating his legacy but what do people in other parts of the world think joining us today to discuss imposed on poland yunus army far a combat zone anthropologist and author of the book living with the a k 47 also with us jonathan ferguson armaments research services and the firearms curator at the royal armories museum in leeds in the u.k. where he joins us and in doha. and journalist who covers the middle east the balkans and eastern europe she's written for a variety of media outlets including al-jazeera welcome everyone to this show so
good to have you here i want to start with our community because they had a lot to say about this weapon many familiar with it all started here 2 opposing opinions wasif says it symbolizes terror mass murder and lethal violence to say the very least so that's one person's perspective i'll give you another persons who wrote in and this is just minutes after we sent out this tweet our community telling them we're doing the show as well the case symbolizes freedom to me when i look at the a k 47 it was instrumental in the freedom of zimbabwe mozambique it symbolizes great. so jonathan you see these 2 opposing sides there although both still be true can you give us the back story how did this come about. sure yeah totally so you want to be extreme views and views in the middle as well.
as to origins the car kalashnikov was a military man himself time criminal it was injured times mine to theirs and of small arms came up with a submachine gun. on a carbine. ended up in charge of a design team working on a new concept there so why for so combining different types of weapon into along the central something that would do all of the jobs of an infantry unit automatic fire medium range controllable fire as well. so this was based in part on a german german concept and 2nd world war there filmed. but we got assault rifle from this is very much the russian take on the design. i want to play a video comments from a member of our community who had some parts on the creator this is eric harper is a political science lecturer in the us here in virginia and here's what he told the
stream he'd been plucked out of obscurity to lead a new research development program a weapons program that he was involved in. it wasn't creating the most sophisticated guy never quite the opposite it was the simplest firearm and the result was to mate warfare easy for amateurs in the 1960 s. in the 1970 s. we saw the consequences guerrilla warfare everywhere in the 1980 s. his rifle made possible the spread of global terrorism in the 1990 s. it was directly responsible for the spread of child soldiers be idea of having not more sophisticated technologies in the future but simpler easier to operate technologies that's kalashnikovs that was his insight. you know what do you make that parents come in there specially the point where he says it was the simplest firearm that true in your view and as it is it's still true. so it's quite a simple. to operate but it was not
a fire our whole amplified violence violence existed in different ways in a underlying structure of societies be it in africa the middle east or central asia basically it highlighted. so the simplicity is one thing but the symbolism which produce in different societies around it it allowed to become such an appealing element so you have knowledge is quite a much of militia fighters are course middle east who do not differ a necessary if you're 47 anymore and they have access to other arms so it produced certain form of cultural habits you asian as well besides the fact that it's a simple weaponry it's quite easy to operate it's quite it has acquired resilience and learned to beauty but it had it has a lot of symbolic partition and it has a lot of aesthetic appeal and so those elements basically need elements of
balance or element of highlighting balance bud's those balance all of that just as if you're 47 was not there something else would make it much more why aren't you as you're speaking mary or is it maria was nodding her head mary you go 1st and then janice the shark and you come in after. yeah i mean i was actually quite surprised . where a brow aaron. assessment of the a k 47 but it calls somehow terrorism violence and all that stuff if there was a k 47 if kalashnikov hadn't been around. many decades ago to invent it there would have been another weapon that would have been produced so what if it was out in the exact same thing so we're talking about wind and so when soaking about search and see. terrorism and so on all these different types of warfare they we have to look at geopolitics and we have to think about when the
a k 47 was born and he was born the cold war was beginning and what was the cold war doing it was there were 2 superpowers that were interested in influencing the world and were always to influence the world was to provide weapons to different forces on the ground in different countries and to support their goals right so this is a k $47.00 that for the u.s.s.r. it basically supports and so if it closes the u.s.s.r. wants the police because to succeed the u.s. was also supplying weapons to different factions different parties different countries governments and so on so to blame everything bob happening in the world in terms of violence you know terrorism and so on it's i think a bit of an exaggeration right now jonathan. i was going to say something similar. if it wasn't the i.k.
it would have been something else. about something else is there now if think. if we have sound which always was you mean i did seem to answer in a way correct yeah absolutely yeah we talked just then about different states providing arms to different actors. sometimes the united states did supply kalashnikov rifles because it was. the time the place whatever. but if we think in terms of the numbers 75000000 question call. direct variance minimum in the world will be more the next most numerous is the way all 15 america's favorite rifle arguably and certainly the u.s. military is rifle that's at $11000000.00 so it's a lot a lot lower quantity wise but starting to catch up and it's simple its own weight in fact it has something i wouldn't say myth about the cost because that
it's easy to use it's definitely simple what it isn't is particularly over gnomic so the controls are few and quite simple but they're not kind of the way you would want them to be if you were starting from scratch if that makes sense they were made to be as simple as possible that's great for mass production and with conscripts soldiers. that's fine you know you thought was the starting point of any right right and it perfectly adequate perfectly great for professional armies as well but just like the british army rifle you kind of to try to round that the the eye off if dean is like a gold standard for firearms are going to mix i would say. and it's simple in its own way without getting into the technicalities of. so be at the time it's a product of its time. in the manufacturing techniques of the time as well the m 16 i often think could not be so. usually also cheap.
i love it that's how you sums it up because jonathan i want to bring in this comment we got from someone watching on you tube a man he says explaining the reason that it is everywhere is that you can only do that with a low maintenance weapon the simple ease of use of the 8 k. allowed the soviets to then give them away so i want to show our audience because i know our gas probably already know this i want to show our audience the places that it is traveled at least models of the 8 k. so this is mozambique's national flag you might notice that they are usually side in the 1st tweet that i read it on the today show explained that there this. quite interesting one saddam hussein's gold plated a k $47.00 that was found after the u.s. invasion of iraq and this last one is a whole list to be a mike 10 photos that show how the a k 47 has become a global political symbol a scroll to show you just a few chill a iraq the hezbollah although some say this is a variant of the a k 47 not the
a k 47 itself but explaining that and why it has really spread so many places yunus i want to bring you in here on this why. is there go global appeal how do you explain that global appeal. so my area of work is most let's say best asian central asian and that i can talk much but you see there was a confluence of times when esposito and seventy's when a lot of resistance groups they met each other in the west asia and these groups they understood they can talk to this to simplicity of design of a cure for autism and together they could train together they can exchange lesson militar knowledge to the simplicity and then from there when the 1st resistant groups like hezbollah are they received this weapon it became the symbol symbolic
appearance which something which always comes along with martyrs so you see any photo when there's a martyr there's the age of $47.00 there so it became merged with the idea of martyrdom and this emergence slowly slowly produces the culture of resistance so this culture of resistance of produce this symbolism and the all around mark around if you're $47.00 and for example to give you in very specific an actor and much our masood who basically was the commander of the northern alliance in afghanistan then he at end of the funeral of a one of his commanders immediately during the during the burial ceremony he picked up the if you're $47.00 and handed it to the brother of the. multi-year and said this is the weapon of a martyrdom so will you promise to carry it further so it has that aura and however now any weapon which has similarity of structure it has its becomes kalash
it becomes a cure $47.00 kalash as it would be said in central asia or middle east so that symbolism which is to certain social history it had it creates for that abil and a lot of forms of masculinity and boyhood is. militarized the middle east so this militarization could do certain imagination ideas i hope to become a man so if you're 47 becomes a purchase or accessory of. certain male groups in the. i mean that's all right it's amazing that so passing i wrote that down and how to become a man eunice because we're actually hearing from people who talk about the use of the 8 k. by children especially child soldiers i want to share this from you tube nathan says as a u.s. military veteran any weapon of war does not belong in civilian hands i'm a 4th generation bat my father faced child soldiers in vietnam with a k 47 s.
and we also got a comment from a former child soldier himself in the south sudan region conflict i listen to emmanuel jal and here's his experience with that gun. in my experience it's a k 47 and it's light it's easy to cotton and when you find you enjoy the beach the reason makes you strong see it strong when my friend died i had to cut the sky plus my. what i can say now is. that. no child should ever case. when we were growing. we're taught to care for 70 so far and how much we looked. what do you make of that comment. it's actually really sad and i wish there was a bit more awareness. among the countries and the governments that decide to send
these weapons to different points around the world whether it's africa whether it's the middle east like in america. from the mass actually on the other side of. the process the people who produce the gun you can see that there is actually pride in it there is no there is no remorse no sense of guilt there is no understanding that god has created a lot of violence it has created a lot of suffering so you can see i mean that was the introduction of the program the soul how in russia this gun is perceived and also the maker of the gun i can tell you in vogue area for example which receives to trounce worth acknowledging. the license to produce this during the communist era.
they might come she and many of my country mates see the ball gary and kalashnikov as this superior kolache go so they don't they haven't realized you know during the coleman is suitable kit was exporting a large amounts of kalashnikovs and other small arms. so the full version it's continued to do so during the yugoslav for for example bulgaria was a huge source of weapons without conflict which was right next door. then they were call 6 a bit further but still close enough let's say syria in iraq of gonna stand and so on and you can see the dung go as far as places in africa. i have traced like somewhat the book area and made weapons as far as africa so in vogue area when you talk so much. or let's say
a let them feel or they will say proudly the bulgarian kalashnikov has the best kalashnikov in the world but if you ask this child soldier if you ask right now a fight in syria. you know back in the day during the vietnam war. in vietnam if they could recognize the bulgarian kalashnikov and they could tell it apart from the russian one or the chinese no calls none of them would tell you yes i can normal most of them would say like yeah i proudly carry a bulgarian gun the bulgarian kalashnikov. and that for me. i would say is is incredibly sad to see that there is this. cold meat of this in the us in the way the people who produce the gun and the people who end up using it . this is absolutely yeah totally the idea that there are different layers of
kalashnikov we lump everything in under a k 47 which is a problem in itself for people like us who try to truck and record and write about these things. because the best describes only one of many. offspring and jonathan i'm glad you said that because it's not often that we're able to show what we're talking about on the stream you have with any style weapon can you show us what makes it in a k yeah well that. the collection that we have. the law marries extensive kalashnikovs i have one myself which is not actually live thankfully for everyone involved. well it depends where you are right but. where i am it would probably get me in trouble so this is actually a factory made dummy gun so it's used for training. instructional
purposes so it's the same as a real kalashnikov a k 74. so this is. 990 s. and still in use today in the russian armed forces. buttons very much like it in many other forces russia has modernized recently with the a k 12 k. . so we just see iteration after iteration even from from russia. still sticking by the basic mechanical design and then around the world so the main difference here is that this one is chambered in a smaller with a small of bullet in the cartridge which is a high velocity flash to shooting more like the american m. 16. concept of yes so. there's a particular type. so strictly ok $47.00 is only the prototype troilus rifles so we use which is actually easier but it's
a bit late because the world is already brown the whole ok well i think you for dispelling some of this about and explaining that to us you know so i hear you trying to get in but i want to add one more thing and i'll direct this to you because i do want to share this with the world for those who don't know this is a headline it's from 2014 weapons designer kalashnikov reprinted 47 killings in a letter before his death. this is reported by russian daily the pain in my soul is unbearable i keep asking myself the same unsolvable question if my assault rifle took people's lives that means i am responsible for people's deaths now there was an interview a little clip of caution off the daughter speaking at a museum exhibit earlier this year in september here's what she said. and he was a quiet man who was a very short stature he was very modest he had great self-restraint he was a very wise man. he was the he only came out on the world stage so to speak
in the 1990 s. and before that our family was kept secret the kids were kept secret and everything was kept secret. eunice as were playing that someone watching on you tube says the gun is not to blame those who put it in the hands of children if it wasn't a k. it would have been another weapon probably an american made one point that has been raised earlier here you know what if you want to. so i wanted to add there is one thing which will land around this interesting let's say a little object is that the political economy of us or some and how even us socially produced this idea let's say not manufactured as a piece of machinery as an idea because if you look at the very how it became so pervasive because users are tolerated it's not version and all the
copycats so it was a form for decentralization of power because we imagine u.s.s.r. as a point of art already and absolute authoritarianism but even just to look at the travel of this object is basically a cure for autism and we see how it allowed to power to be decentralized and everybody who produces produce let's say a little object and at the same time so u.s.s.r. locked all the let's say friendly country to act and not by giving them also the if what is a by locking them to the ammunition because the ammunition basically which is a if if a said correctly adding is 4.54 or 4.4 they will lock in with an awful lot of people that are of yeah i think if you are. $5.00 you will lock in that production of ammunition and they were locked with the continuation of the
pollution of $47.00 so it was more there was a lot of political thinking around hall lit such illegal little object become a dominating of weapon in the certain areas so it's great it's simple it's so one so which we talk a lot but there was much more into it there was a lot of political loading into it i mean here is a unicellular fire jonathan ferguson thank you for adding that and in clarifying a little bit unfortunately i have to pas the us was marriott had called thank you so much for join. that's all the time we have for this conversation but so much more to say it can happen. at interstate thank you for joining us and thanks to our community for sharing your thoughts we'll see online.
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