Great Men live to regret their inventions: the Kalashnikov

Quintus De Zylva

ALBERT EINSTEIN reflecting on his role in the development of the atomic bomb said “ If only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker”!


And now, many years later, MIKHAIL KALASHNIKOV the designer of the AK – 47 assault rifle, who died in December 2013, wrote a letter before he died to the head of the Russian Orthodox Church saying “The pain in my soul is unbearable. I keep asking myself that if my assault rifle took people’s lives that means that I, Mikhail Kalashnikov, am responsible for people’s deaths”. He went on to say “The longer I live, the more often that question gets in to my brain, the deeper I go in my thoughts and guesses about why the Almighty allowed humans to have devilish desires of envy, greed and aggression”. The letter contrasted sharply with his past statements that he created the weapon to protect his country and couldn’t be blamed for other people’s actions. He went on in 2007 to tell Associated Press  that he slept well and it’s the politicians who are to blame for failing to come to an agreement and resorting to violence! The Patriarch responded to his letter and praised him for being a true patriot – “ if the weapon is used to defend the motherland, the church supports both its creator and the servicemen using it”.

The picture shows a Somali warrior teaching a child how to use the AK 47 and Mikhail with his invention. The AK 47 is the world’s most popular firearm and an estimated 100 million are spread around the world. Vladimir Putin who once called the AK 47 “ a symbol of the creative genius of our people” attended Mikhail’s funeral.

Paul Anka wrote the English lyrics in 1967 of the song MY WAY – “And now the end is near, and so I face the final curtain; My friend I’ll say it clear I’ll state my case of which I’m certain … Regrets I’ve had a few but then again too few to mention: I did what I had to do and saw it through without exemption, I planned each chartered course , each careful step along the byway – and more, much more than this, I did it  MY WAY”.

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, historical interpretation, life stories, military strategy, politIcal discourse, self-reflexivity, truth as casualty of war, war crimes, world events & processes

Leave a Reply