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Victor Bout, the Merchant of Death, has been caught.
March 6, 2008 4:05 PM   Subscribe

NYT Article The man who served as inspiration for the 2005 Nicolas Cage's 2005 flick "Lord of War," arms trafficer Victor Bout, has been arrested in Thailand.

"the world’s most efficient postman" is said to have owned his own fleet of aircraft to ferry small arms into embargoed conflict zones. old articles about him: The Embargo Buster: Fueling Bloody Civil Wars, Arms and the Man (NYT Mag).
posted by krautland (28 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Good. I hated that movie.
posted by LiliaNic at 4:16 PM on March 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Only being a footnote in Nicolas Cage's filmography can top being incarcerated in a squalid Thai jail for sheer indignity and degradation.
posted by fire&wings at 4:19 PM on March 6, 2008


I forgot to mention this but the reporter in the extra audio bit on the nyt article page suggests the impact this is going to have on the availability of illegal arms to conflict zones: none. it's just too easy to do. what a lovely world this is.
posted by krautland at 4:21 PM on March 6, 2008


It's OK, you're either with us or with the terrorists, and he apparently helped fly arms to Iraq to give to the good guys du jour. So maybe nothing comes of this arrest.
posted by ibmcginty at 4:23 PM on March 6, 2008


Lord of War was actually surprisingly enjoyable. The previews have little if anything to do with the movie itself, as usual.
posted by Skorgu at 4:27 PM on March 6, 2008


Here's a book about Bout: Merchant of Death

And here's a similar story about another arms dealer getting busted.
posted by homunculus at 4:30 PM on March 6, 2008


Seconding the Lord of War recommendation. Don't believe the "hurf durf nicolas cage sux so all his movies do too" crowd.

On the topic: whilst we may have cut off a very large head from the hydra, there are others.
posted by basicchannel at 4:50 PM on March 6, 2008


Don't believe the "hurf durf nicolas cage sux so all his movies do too"

Mmmmmmkay.
posted by william_boot at 5:12 PM on March 6, 2008


I'll chime in with the anti-Lord of War crowd. The movie sucked. I shut it off an hour in. Now... The Weather Man, that's a good Cage flick from the same year.
posted by dobbs at 5:13 PM on March 6, 2008


I'd be more interested if they caught the guy who inspired the Leonard Smalls in Raising Arizona.
posted by brundlefly at 5:30 PM on March 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


In other news: KBR Dodges $500 Million In Social Security And Medicare Taxes In Cheney-Backed Scheme

Bout has nothing on Cheney.
posted by homunculus at 5:30 PM on March 6, 2008


I didn't think that Lord of War was a bad movie per se, but....

- Nick Cage's voice-over is the definition of hammy.
- The movie takes place over a long span of time, never dwelling very long on any of the episodes that are introduced. I suspect this was largely done because, on their own, not a single one of these episodes would stand up. Don't get wrong - I know that men like Cage's character exist, but the storytelling in this movie is pretty damn weak.

On to the matter at hand. Yeah, this guy Bout was obviously as amoral as they come, but I'm not under the impression that this arrest is going to make a difference to the global arms trade. It makes great headlines to arrest somebody like this, but how about they try to secure some of those loose weapons that are floating around this world? Were they to do that, men like Bout would have to go out and get a real job.
posted by Afroblanco at 5:46 PM on March 6, 2008


Don't care much about Lord of War, but the opening scene, "The Life of a Bullet," is great and contains exactly zero (0) Cage.
posted by nevercalm at 6:20 PM on March 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


Yeah, that's a great opening sequence.
posted by jouke at 7:47 PM on March 6, 2008


Come on. Lord of War was one of the few Nicholas Cage movies that slightly dulled my hatred of Nicholas Cage.

THE BEES? NO... NOT THE BEES!!!
posted by Krrrlson at 8:29 PM on March 6, 2008


No matter how many bad movies Cage makes he will always be a legend for his roles in Birdy, Peggy Sue Got Married, Raising Arizona and Moonstruck. That's a 3 year stretch of superlative acting that will never be surpassed.
posted by any major dude at 9:15 PM on March 6, 2008


That's a 3 year stretch of superlative acting that will never be surpassed.

(By him.)
posted by pracowity at 9:41 PM on March 6, 2008


I liked the movie. (One of my favorite opening sequences too.) Combined with "The Weather Man", I felt that it was a pretty good year for Cage.

Can we bitch about what a douche that Jared Leto is now?

Wait...what was this post about again?
posted by paddysat at 10:12 PM on March 6, 2008


...Nicolas Cage's 2005 flick "Lord of War,"...

FWIW, that movie wasn't Nick Cage's, it was Andrew Niccol's. (Haven't seen it.)
posted by neuron at 10:22 PM on March 6, 2008


I thought "Lord of War" was a great movie. Even though I can't remember a damn thing about it.
posted by phaedon at 10:49 PM on March 6, 2008


I just about choked on the irony - the US leading sting operations against gun runners. Oh yeah, and Nick Cage too.
posted by YouRebelScum at 4:20 AM on March 7, 2008


YouRebelScum wrote:

I just about choked on the irony - the US leading sting operations against gun runners

the more likely scenario is that someone came along and started making bigger payments to the Bush administration which were so lucrative he was able to call for the incarceration of his rival.
posted by any major dude at 5:11 AM on March 7, 2008


homunculus In other news: KBR Dodges $500 Million

kbr directly hired bout. cheney couldn't have moved cargo into iraq without him. bout operated tons of flights for fedex and the various us military branches in the early days after the war. the us even gave him a credit card to pay for his fuel. npr had the story today.
posted by krautland at 7:28 AM on March 7, 2008


The arrest was set in motion by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, which alerted the Thai authorities that Mr. Bout was traveling to Thailand,

I found this to be both interesting and a great idea for the future: we need to redirect the efforts of our drug warriors to a much more useful purpose, fighting war. Not fighting in war, mind you, but fighting the agents that would attempt to foster environments where hot conflicts can start.

We can finally end the useless and damaging War of Drugs and begin a much more beneficial War on War.
posted by quin at 11:06 AM on March 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


No matter how many bad movies Cage makes he will always be a legend for his roles in Birdy, Peggy Sue Got Married, Raising Arizona and Moonstruck.

Those were certainly good films, but nothing can atone for Face/Off.
posted by Pollomacho at 12:02 PM on March 7, 2008


kbr directly hired bout. cheney couldn't have moved cargo into iraq without him. bout operated tons of flights for fedex and the various us military branches in the early days after the war. the us even gave him a credit card to pay for his fuel. npr had the story today.

This story? I'll listen to it latter. Thanks for the heads up.
posted by homunculus at 12:02 PM on March 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


but nothing can atone for Face/Off.

Try Amos and Andrew. I don't know if it can balance the scales against Face/Off, but it's the movie I point to when people hate on Nicolas Cage. It's not high-art, but it is pretty damn entertaining.
posted by quin at 1:06 PM on March 7, 2008


I really like Face/Off.
posted by brundlefly at 4:44 PM on March 7, 2008


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