Quotes: Lord of War
[Looking at the camera] There are over 550 million firearms in worldwide circulation. That's one firearm for every twelve people on the planet. The only question is: How do we arm the other 11?
The first and most important rule of gun-running is, never get shot with your own merchandise.
I sell to leftists, and rightists. I'd sell to pacifists, but they're not the most regular customers.
I don't put a gun to anybody's head and make them shoot. I admit, the shooting war is better for business, but I prefer people to fire my guns and miss, just as long as they keep firing.
You know who's going to inherit the earth? Arms dealers. Because everyone else is too busy killing each other. That's the secret to survival. Never go to war, especially with yourself.
Selling guns is like selling vacuum cleaners; you make calls, pound the pavement, take orders. I was an equal-opportunity merchant of death; I supplied to every army but the Salvation Army. I sold Israeli-made Uzis to Muslims...I delivered Communist-made bullets to fascists...I even shipped cargo to Afghanistan while they were fighting my fellow Soviets. I never sold to Osama bin Laden-not on any moral grounds; back then, he was always bouncing cheques.
The massacre played out exactly how Vitaly predicted, but then, a half-dozen other massacres happened in Sierra Leone that week. You can't stop them all. In my experience, you can't stop any of them. They say, "evil prevails when good men fail to act." What they ought to say is, "evil prevails."
(to Agent Valentine): Let me tell you what's gonna happen. This way you can prepare yourself. Okay. Soon there's gonna be a knock on that door and you will be called outside. In the hall there will be a man who outranks you. First, he'll compliment you on the fine job you've done, that you're making the world a safer place, that you're to receive a commendation and a promotion. And then he's going to tell you that I am to be released. You're going to protest. You'll probably threaten to resign. But in the end I will be released. The reason I'll be released is the same reason you think I'll be convicted. I do rub shoulders with some of the most vile, sadistic men calling themselves leaders today. But some of those men are the enemies of your enemies. And while the biggest arms dealer in the world is your boss, the President of the United States, who ships more merchandise in a day than I do in a year... sometimes it's embarrassing to have his fingerprints on the guns. Sometimes he needs a freelancer like me to supply forces he can't be seen supplying. So... you call me evil. But unfortunately for you, I'm a necessary evil.
You get rich by giving the poorest people on the planet the means to continue killing each other. Do you know why I do what I do? I mean, there are more prestigous assignments. Keeping track of nuclear arsenals. You'd think that would be more critical to world security. But it's not. No. Nine out of ten war victims today are killed with assault rifles and small arms. Like yours. Those nuclear missiles, they're sitting in their silos. Your AK-47, that is the real weapon of mass destruction.
Simeon Weisz: You think I just sell guns, don't you? I don't; I take sides.
Yuri Orlov: But in the Iran-Iraq War, you sold guns to both sides.
Simeon Weisz: Did you ever consider that I wanted both sides to lose? Bullets change governments far surer than votes. You're in the wrong place, my young friend; this is no place for amateurs.
Mr. White Man, will my arm grow back?
— African Girls, to Yuri Orlov
I feel like all I've done my whole life is be pretty. I mean, all I've done is be born! I'm a failed actress, a failed artist... I'm not much good as a mother. Come to think of it, I'm not even that pretty anymore. I have failed at everything, Yuri... but I won't fail as a human being.