Have you ever wanted your own army? Pondered world domination? Thought that things are pretty fucked up and that you and people like you could probably do a better job than the crappy system that exists in the real world?
Well then be at ease and be excited – it’s apparently easier than I had ever thought possible to effectively build your own army!
To anyone who says that they’ve never thought at least one the above things (or similar), you’re either a saint or a liar – guess which one I’m inclined to assume is more likely. Truth is that this has nothing to do with my being cynical about anything, it’s just reason. I’m a pacifist and a laid-back person, but even I’ve been fascinated by larger than life characters and history is littered with revolutionaries and such, some who became martyrs and legends (like El Che) or you go on to become the very establishment you were trying to replace (like Fidel Castro in the same case) – kind of lives up to the whole “Either you die a hero, or live long enough to become the villain” concept, but that’s a whole other post and conversation.
The main thing is that both in real life and fiction, human history has no shortage of people forming militias, private armies, revolutionary groups, rebels, etc, etc, etc – but I’ve personally always been fascinated by where and how the arms and munitions and such of the world move around. To this end I’ve loved watching some documentaries and of course the mind-blowingly awesome “Lord of War” which is arguably the finest movie about arms dealing Hollywood has ever made and one that’s starkly honest about the people involved on all sides.
Even more importantly, I get how the guns and bullets could be moved, they take up space but one container of guns and clips/bullets (for example) is a LOT and you could do some serious damage and battling with that anywhere on Earth. What about the rest of it? Jeeps, tanks and the like? It all gets harder and harder to move, yet it’s everywhere – sure we have the legal arms market which is disturbingly hidden from public view, even though to my mind it should be more open to scrutiny and tracking given that products at a an arms trade fair are infinitely more dangerous than those at an auto-show.
Which one gets coverage and access?
SO! With all that in mind, I began to conduct some online searches. Not elaborate, under the radar dark-net underbelly browsing, just plain old farting around (as Ray Bradbury might call it) and hereunder is the amazing result of some of that – and this is all legal, not black market which is a whole other animal – and I dare you to tell me this doesn’t scare you just a wee bit:
1. Self-guided automatic sentry gun, a.k.a, The Mercenary!
Let’s start simple, with Zero-Op Systems. They are currently selling as a “paintball turret”, which first of all begs the question of how fucking seriously do you take paintball that you have a motion-sensing turret for it. Secondly, how hard would it be to modify this and mount say, a chain-gun or gatling gun on it or any number of deadly automatic weapons?
According to the site where you can buy this marvelous product:
“An on-board computer processes real-time video, acquires targets using motion and colour processing, and then tracks them using predictive logic techniques. Players can interact with The Mercenary by setting options through an on-board LCD display, or through an interactive target. User adjustable settings include: rate of fire, burst modes, turret aggression and scenario modes.”
Ok, I’ll admit, some of that sounds so utterly bad-ass, but wow is that some very intense and heavy tech and firepower to be using for a paintball game! And you can just order this online. AND this not the only one, there’s the Adunok by a Belarus based company (their site now shows only avionics displays, though the video is just barely 2 years old so unless the company is a whole other creature now…) and there’s also this site called RealSentryGun which has some pretty sweet-ass looking turret systems, be your needs paintball, law enforcement, the mounts are universal! Isn’t that just excellent?Oh yeah, and there’s also an automated gun-turret being developed by Samsung. Yup, the same guys who make your phone! Don’t believe it? Here you go!
2. Tanks and more!
Now further on my searching, I found a site called Tanksforsale which is a UK based site and the dude who runs it basically sells a crap-load of different tanks. From what I can tell of the site, he sells it in the UK, but also sells outside the UK and for which he is kind enough to “undertake to apply for export licenses for vehicles exported. If for whatever reason I am unable to obtain an export license I will return any deposits for vehicles in full. NB At the time of writing I have never had a license refused.”
If that isn’t a nice fellow and a good supplier, I don’t know what is!
In addition to this, I ALSO came across a lovely little site called Mortar Investments which according to their site can be described as follows:
“MORTAR INVESTMENTS is a global dealer in soviet, post-communist, namely Russian, Czechoslovak (Czech and Slovak), Polish and Hungarian military vehicles, tanks, BMPs, howitzers, trucks, jeeps, motorbikes and armaments for civilian purposes and specialist in armoured vehicles repairs, demilitarisations, reconstructions, restorations and refurbishments.”
Between their two sites, you can buy vehicles from the World Wars eras till fairly recent-ish stuff including APC’s Jeeps, Tanks, Military trucks, Amphibious vehicles and even some ammo AND a field hospital!
3. NEXT! Armoured Walker anyone?
No, I’m not reaching into science fiction and trying to screw with you.
This is a real product, The Landwalker, manufactured by a company called Sakakibara Kikai and you can buy one for a very affordable US$306,000 – a price I daresay any wanna Cobra Commander in his right mind would be giddy with excitement about, don’t you!?
Sure, at the moment they show it shooting just these pink fuzzy balls – which granted won’t do much damage, but come on! How easy would it be to mount something that shoots something a little more deadly? Or just replace those balls with some kind of mini rocket launcher?
Granted, it’s got a bit of a way to go before it becomes the true killing machine it’s destined to someday be, but this ancestor of the eventual army of Skynet will one day be looked back on in awe as the first step down a road most interesting.
Tell me honestly that you wouldn’t like to take this for a spin, I dare you.
4. Jet. Pack. – ‘Nuff said!
It’s a working jetpack system that can travel a distance of 2500ft and a maximum height of 250ft – granted the flight time is a mere 33 seconds.
But consider that you’re in a tight spot or like the ISIS fighters who are currently embedded into towns – you need quick looks and you need the upper ground. You can’t do everything with drones and ground troops need updates and intel and eyes-in-the-sky – I don’t know about you but to me a guy with a pack like this (granted he’ll be risking his life but that’s what soldiers do) could do a quick sortie up and down and get shots and video of what’s ahead, which rooftops are clear, what lanes look clear – hell he could even be given a gun to rain down some fire or a few grenades to be lobbed in his wake as he zips by and the enemy try and take pot-shots at him.
It’s not a perfect plan, but then war never is and I can definitely see the potential in this gadget!
5. The Nuke-Yew-Ler option!
Yes that was a “Dubya” joke. Even all these years later, the man can still make me chuckle – now THAT’S a legacy he can be proud of, bringing joy to so many.
Anyway, as it turns out, there’s this handy little site that you can join and then proceed to order Radioactive material.
Ok fine, I’ll admit that it’s probably got a lot of checks and balances and stuff and maybe even a crap-load of security and official hoops to jump through, but it’s still a system to essentially mail-order radioactive material.
Now before anyone gets the wrong idea, I’m neither a paranoid nor a war-mongering person and I don’t really believe cynically in the worst that human beings can be – though if you’re honest, you have to admit that it’s a hard thing not to do that if you just for five minutes think about all that humans have done in our long history and some of the truly horrific and downright malicious things that go on annually, monthly, weekly, daily, hourly across this planet.
The point of all this for me at least was to showcase something that perhaps you had not come across before – if you have, then you are more aware than I was until now. The point was also to do so in a good-natured and amused kind of way – BUT, being a rational person, I also acknowledge and feel that I should put to you, that while most or all of these things I’ve linked and shown you here and others like them might well be utterly legitimate and secure from the wrong people using them, it is not a guarantee. The world does have a lot of terrible people and also many desperate people and between them and the greedy proponents of war-profiteering, someone, somewhere will consider what I did and unlike me, try and use these things for ill – the black market that ran on things like The Silk Road and other hidden networks deals in exactly that.
What can the rest of us do? How not to give into that, well I can’t answer that except to say that people need to be aware, not live in a bubble and regardless of how active you are or how much you just want to leave all this alone and live your life, BE AWARE, because otherwise you can be expect that people will tell you to shut the fuck up – and like ALL things in life, ignorance and denial is not an excuse.
Am I harsh? Yes, but after a while it feels like it’s necessary.