Just another reason for the Americans to thank the European "friends" in the Austrian government. High-powered 50 caliber rifles sold to Iran "to fight drug smugglers" by the Austrian firm Steyr-Mannlicher are now killing US troops in Iraq, and the Austrian government expressly approved the sale in 2005 despite U.S. protests, describing the deal as "unimpeachable":
Report: Austrian rifles supplied to Iran have found their way to Iraqi insurgents
LONDON: Sophisticated rifles supplied to Iran by an Austrian arms company in 2006 are finding their way into the hands of Iraqi insurgents, a British newspaper reported Tuesday.
American troops have recovered more than 100 "Steyr .50 HS" rifles in Iraq, part of an Austrian consignment of 800 such weapons delivered to Iran over American protests that they could be given to insurgents, the Daily Telegraph reported.
The Austrian government approved the sale of the rifles, made by precision weapons maker Steyr Mannlicher GmbH, after it concluded in 2004 that they would be used to fight narcotics smugglers. (source)
Just more evidence of the non-violent superiority of the European way-of-life. Trade anything to anyone. Who cares if they are genocidal thugs or out to build a nuke or wipe Israel off the map? Who cares if they use the rifles to kill Americans? This keeps Austria's unemployment down. Don't you just love pacifism?
The Austrian "statesmen" most responsible for approving the deal. From left to right: Former Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel, Interior Minister Guenther Platter, Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik, Ex-Interior Minister Ernst Strasser.
By the way: Where's Michael Moore when you need him? Here's a documentary idea: Take the family members of the American soldiers killed by Austrian rifles in Iraq and confront former Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel and ask him how any sane human being could have approved shipping hundreds of these killing machines to Iran. Were the measly profits involved worth the potential damage to US-Austrian relations? More here...
Endnote: We strongly suggest our American readers contact the press office at the Austrian Embassy with their thoughts and opinions on this:
Embassy Telephone: 1-202-895-6700 (listen to the recording and then press 1 and then press 4 for the press department - you may be asked to record your message)
Embassy E-mail: email@example.com
The members of the then Schuessel cabinet most responsible for approving the sale can be reached here:
Ex-Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also contact the firm that produced and sold the rifles to Iran. Apparently, Steyr-Mannlicher boss Wolfgang Fuerlinger has gone on the record as saying that Iran is "a market of the future" and that "more is coming" in the way of business with Iran for his firm:
Phone: +43 (0) 7252 896 0
Fax: +43 (0) 7252 896 53
STEYR MANNLICHER GmbH & Co KG
4442 Kleinraming | Austria
Normally we ask our readers to keep their comments civil and respectful. In this case, we understand if that is difficult...