The NY Times has more details of the civilian disarmament of Iraq.
"Iraqi citizens will be required to turn over automatic weapons and heavy weapons under a proclamation that allied authorities plan to issue this week, allied officials said today.
The aim of the proclamation is to help stabilize Iraq by confiscating the huge supply of AK-47's, machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades and other weapons that are used by criminal gangs, paramilitary groups and remnants of the Saddam Hussein government.
Iraqis who refuse to comply with the edict will be subject to arrest. Only Iraqis authorized to use military-type weapons because of their police or military duties will be exempt."
I wonder if they have considered that in addition to criminal groups & Hussein loyalists, that paramilitary groups such as a militia can use those weapons to repel attacks launched by criminals & Hussein loyalists.
"We are in the final stages of formulating a weapons policy to put rules on who can and cannot possess a weapon,' Lt. Gen. David D. McKiernan, the chief allied land commander said in an interview. 'We want to get explosives and AK's out of the wrong hands."
Of course getting weapons out of the wrong hands can only be accomplished by getting them out of the right hands, & even then the people they don't want to be armed will still be armed.
"Iraqis who are in the military, the police or an authorized security organization supervised by the allies will be authorized to carry automatic or heavy weapons. But other Iraqis will not be allowed to possess weapons, and open-air arms markets, common in Baghdad, will be banned.
Iraqis will be allowed to keep small arms at home for protection.
For a nation as dangerous as Iraq and as rife with weapons, total disarmament is impractical, allied officials say. But Iraqis will not be allowed to take their weapons outside their home without a special license.
Those who do obtain such licenses — security guards, for example — will not be allowed to carry concealed weapons."
I wonder what thye consider 'small arms'? An AK-47 is considered a 'small arm' but they seem to have problems with the iraqi civilians possesing them. But I do see a pattern: since total disarmament is impractical, they set up a system of registration & criminalization for mere possession. & even with a license they prohibit carrying in a certain manner. They've used the same tactics in the US.
"To ensure that Iraqis are aware of the new policy the allies will saturate Iraqis with leaflets, use loudspeaker announcements and radio and television broadcasts. The edict will establish an amnesty period during which weapons can be turned in without fear of arrest."
Again, it reminds me of domestic strategies such a Project Exile which uses billboards & other advertising to promote gun control laws.
I am terribly ashamed the our military is participating in civilian disarmament. & I have problems with a standing army 'practicing' civlian disarmament abroad as they very well might use the experience here at home.
Also I have a very obscure theory about the Conbstitution: the Constitution is a document that establishes certain powers for the federal government & restricts the same power to specific areas. In other words it's a document that applies to the federal government as a restraint, rather than to U.S. citizens as a shield, so the federal government is prohibited from enacting gun control anywhere it has influence. This means that, if my theroy holds up, that civilian disamrament by the U.S. military is a direct violation of the Constitution even it it occurs on foreign soil. There are a few ways in which this theory can be supported & perhaps more than a few ways in which it can be refuted. I mention it only to give ya'll something to ponder.
But the real problem is that the U.S. military is disarming civilians. Because it is in a foreign country most people don't give it a second thought, but I believe there is a real possibility that they could use this experience as a guideline if they ever attempted civilian disarmament here. In any event I am ashamed of this action by our military.