Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Made in the USA

I know this world is killing you
Oh, Alison, my aim is true

(My Aim is True), Elvis Costello

I had a brother at Khe Sahn

Fighting off the Viet Cong

They're still there, he's all gone
--Born in the USA, Bruce Sringsteen

Observations on a recent photo of a Mahdi army fighter taken by AFP embedded photographer Essam al-Sudani (USA Today, 3/28.) They are not staged shots.

  • The fighter has an AK-47 with a good flash suppressor/muzzle brake. He also has a good quality rifle scope affixed to his rifle with Weaver see-through scope mounts made in the U.S.A.These allow the shooter to use iron sights for close-quarters combat, and flexibility to use his sniper scope for aimed long-range fire. Hence his AK is formidable for fighting in built-up areas.
  • The fighter is wearing an assault-type vest to keep his combat goodies in order.
  • He is wearing sandals.
  • This fighter is a well-trained shooter. He has a good stock weld, he is not gripping his rifle too tightly and he has good shooting support. Ranger will say that he is as well trained as a U.S. soldier in rifle marksmanship.

Other photos from the same photographer, such as the above, indicate a standardization of weapons. This commonality indicates a professional nature, something one would expect the Mahdi army would gain after five years of internecine war. It is possible their technical and tactical skills rival those of the U.S. military, and equal or exceed those of the Iraqi forces.

It is also evident they fight for something greater than dollars, unlike the Iraqi National Forces.

Items 1-4 add up to about $1,000 USD, depending on whether the sandals are TEVA's or cheap Chinese knock-offs. It costs $35,000 to equip a U.S. soldier.

Final intelligence indicator: these fighters do not have their baseball hats on backwards, so it is clear they are anti-American.

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Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

gotta agree on all points there ranger. the only thing i would maybe suggest to the shooter is to back his head off the scope a bit.

it's embarassing to walk around with an "idiot ring" of bruising around the eye from recoil.

most folks only need to learn that lesson once though.

i've been telling folks since the "purple finger" bullshit that the real power in iraq was moqtada al-sadr and his militia. so far, they've pretty much proven that out. it's been very under reported that in their area of control in bagdhad they fought the U.S. (not the iraqi gov't) forces to a standstill that didn't change much after the first day.

also, they not only stopped incursions into their territory they expanded to control the city of kut effectively.

even casual observers have to give this round to moqtada.

Thursday, April 3, 2008 at 11:28:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

i score it 10-9, i briefly considered the loss of kut as a "knockdown" or a standing 8 count which would have called for a 10-8 round.

but, i am after all, an american and there simply must be some provisions made for hometown scorecards.

Thursday, April 3, 2008 at 11:29:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous tw said...

Dahr Jamail reported that the US sent forces to surround Sadr city and support their Badr and Dawa allies however the Mehdi army quickly controlled the Shia and mixed parts of Baghdad and the Iraqi army and police forces suddenly disappeared from the streets leaving their armoured vehicles for the Mehdi militiamen to drive around in joyful convoys that toured many parts of Baghdad before taking them to their stronghold of Sadr city in the east of Baghdad.

He quoted Brigadier General Kathum Alwan of the Iraqi army as saying "not a single unit of our army and police stood for their duty in Baghdad."

Sounds like the Vietnamisation of Iraq isn't going so well, not that the MSM would dare report any of that.

Thursday, April 3, 2008 at 11:47:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

After reexam of his stock weld you are correct. I'd adjust the scope for better eye relief. Otherwise he's good to go.The NRA should be proud. jim

Friday, April 4, 2008 at 9:23:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

The key point is that US forces are weighing in where they shouldn't be. The US military is not to be used supporting factions in foreign civil wars.
The security of Amurica is not to be decided in some back alley of shit hole cities.ITS CRIMINAL THAT OUR SOLDIERS ARE DYING FOR THIS CORRUPTION. jim

Friday, April 4, 2008 at 9:28:00 AM GMT-5  

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