Snipers in Afghanistan Get New Rifle

Snipers in Afghanistan Get New Rifle

Army News Service | Matthew Leary | April 23, 2007

FORWARD OPERATING BASE SALERNO, Afghanistan (Army News Service, April 23, 2007) – Soldiers from Task Force Fury are the first in a combat zone to receive a new sniper rifle, the XM110 semi-automatic sniper system.

The new rifle has several new features, the most prominent being an improved rate of fire.

“It’s semi-automatic, so it allows for rapid re-engagement of targets,” said Staff Sgt. Jason R. Terry, a sniper instructor with the U.S. Army Sniper School.

Older rifles such as the M24 Sniper Weapon System are bolt-action weapons that require the user to manually feed another round into the chamber after each shot. The automatic firing capabilities of the SASS will decrease lag time in between shots, Staff Sgt. Terry said.

A metal tube that fits over the barrel of the rifle also significantly reduces the signature blast and eliminates the small cloud of dust that rises off the ground from the gases emitted through the barrel.

This advancement will make locating snipers in the field, even after they have fired a shot, difficult for enemy forces, said Staff Sgt. Terry.

The new weapons came with three days of training, both in the classroom and on the range, by Staff Sgt. Terry and other experts.

“We learned to maintain and operate the weapon, what we can fix ourselves and what we can’t,” said Pfc. Joel D. Dulashanti, a sniper with the 82nd Airborne Division’s Troop C, 4th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team.

Mr. Kyle P. Gleason, an equipment specialist with Tank Automotive and Armorist Command, handled the maintenance portion of the class.

“I teach them the basics,” he said. “Here’s your rifle, here’s what it can do and here’s how you take care of it.”

Mr. Gleason taught Soldier how to determine the level of maintenance the weapon needs and who is capable of providing it. He also cautioned Soldiers about particularly fragile parts of the weapon, which only manufacturers can repair.

Soldiers appreciated the hands-on training, which they said helped them better understand their new equipment.

“I think it’s a pretty simple gun to maintain and operate,” said Spc. Aaron J. Fillmore, an infantryman with Troop C, 4-73rd Cav. “It was good to get the familiarization with the weapon.”

(Spc. Matthew Leary writes for the Task Force Fury Public Affairs Office.)

Sound Off…What do you think? Join the discussion.

New articles from Fred Thompson:

New articles from Fred Thompson:

Charles Landers was kind enough to bring these new articles to our attention.

“Getting On Line: Crisis management in the age of IM” 4-25-07

“For The Defense: Federalism’ n’ me” 4-23-07

For more Fred Thompson commentary visit

Fred Watch Update:

May 3 – Tonight Show with Jay Leno
May 4 – Lincoln Club Annual Dinner, Orange County, CA
May 19 – National Restaurant Association, Chicago, IL
June 2 – Virginia GOP Annual Gala, Richmond, VA

There are quite a few great pro-Fred blogs out there and we hope to list them all on the site very soon. In the meantime, check out these two from our new friends in Colorado and Virginia:

Coloradoans For Thompson

Virginians For Fred Thompson

If you will be near Cookeville, Tennessee this weekend (April 28), stop by for info and directions to a petition signing and rally. Congressman Zach Wamp and Radio Host Steve Gill are headlining the event. Fred isn’t scheduled to attend, but they do expect several hundred participants, great weather and plenty of fun for all.

Best wishes,

Reuben Watkins

Corporal Rock Blasts Reid Again: “What Does He Know About Us Losing, Besides What He Wants To Believe?”

Corporal Rock Blasts Reid Again: “What Does He Know About Us

Losing, Besides What He Wants To Believe?”

During the process of verifying his identity, the New York Post had an email exchange with now-iconic Corporal Tyler Rock. Rock cc’d me on the exchange. Here is a key excerpt.

Corporal Tyler Rock and his squadmates of “2/2 Martyr Makers”

“the truth is that we have done much more for the people in iraq than is posted to the people. ramadi was a terrible place in the beginning of this deployment (september). now the police in ramadi are doing patrols everyday and coming back with many, many IED’s and other explosive ordinance. the civilians are coming to us and telling us where the insurgents are. that should scream to the people back home that the iraqi’s want our help. they dont want insurgents in the area. all the insurgents are, are thugs and gangs. just in larger scale and more weapons. they terrorize the people to get what they want and the people are fed up with it. we dont “just blow things up”. we care about the people here. we want these people to live as free as we do back home. thats why we are here. if we didnt care then why would we be working so hard to rebuild what is destroyed. we give them water. we give them food. and we respect their way of living.with the other topic. my opinion is what i already stated in the email to pat. i am a marine in iraq that isnt getting the support from a senator that should support his fellow americans. when was the last time he was here. what does he know about us “losing” besides what he wants to believe. the truth is that we are pushing al qaeda out and we are pushing the insurgency out. we are here to support a nation.”

Corporal Rock is currently out on a several day ambush, and will not be able to write back to those who have emailed him. I will have some further dispatches from past exchanges in the hours ahead.

China Poisoning US Food Supply

America’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is investigating if ingredients imported from China and used in recalled pet food were spiked intentionally with an industrial chemical to boost their apparent protein content.

If so, is this a case of greed–or bio-terrorism? The FDA won’t comment. Officials concede, however, that contaminated foods from China are becoming a growing problem as the Communist Party-ruled country plays a greater part in the global food chain, thanks to globalization. In China, chemical use is high and regulations are lax, or routinely violated (corruption is rampant). The FDA has the authority to inspect imports for contaminants that are in violation of US law; but the agency only has the resources to physically check a small fraction of them.

To make matters worse, China’s retail sales arm–the brutal, Main Street-busting behemoth known as Wal-Mart–plans to grow so-called organic food in China. Organic food … from a country plagued by toxic industrial pollution that taints the water and soil in which the crops are grown. Wonderful.

Back to the FDA. The agency’s food sleuths are still awaiting visas that would allow them to visit the Chinese factories where the vegetable protein ingredients were produced. While they’re waiting, they could check out the video below to get a feel for what ordinary Americans think about China’s newest threat to US national security.

Sarko vs. Sego: May the Immigrant Win

Sarko vs. Sego: May the Immigrant Win

A quote from Paul Belien in The Washington Times, 25 April 2007

Miss Royal has the best cards to win on May 6 because her anti-capitalism appeals to the voters of Francois Bayrou, […] and because her anti-Americanism appeals to Jean-Marie Le Pen, […] Two weeks ago, Mr. Le Pen surprised many of his former supporters by saying that the children of the Muslim North African immigrants are “as French as can be.” At the same time he denounced Mr. Sarkozy for not being French enough because he “comes from an immigrant background.” This may seem a paradox, but not to the French. Immigrants with a North African background are considered to belong to the broad French culture, while those with a Hungarian background do not. […]

Traditionally, French foreign policy is aimed at counterbalancing America’s global power by allying a French-led Europe with North Africa, thereby creating a power basis around the Mediterranean Sea which is dominated by a French-Arab culture. […] Mr. Sarkozy jeopardized this grand strategy when, as French interior minister in 2005, he reacted so strongly against the rioting Islamist “youths” in the French suburbs that he became a symbol of resistance against the Islamization of Europe’s urban neighborhoods. “Sarko” talked tougher than he acted. Nevertheless, he became a hate figure for Muslims, who were not used to being opposed. If “Sarko” becomes president of France, the strategy to ally Europe and North Africa against America will suffer a setback. Firstly, because he is seen as a friend of America and secondly, because French Muslims regard him as an enemy.

Democrats are taking ownership of a defeat in Iraq.

Mentors to Mass Murderers

Mentors to Mass Murderers

By Steven Zak

Students in classrooms were taking exams. Others were registering for classes for the coming semester. Still others enjoyed snacks or meals, alone or in the company of friends. Just an ordinary day on an ordinary university campus. But something wasn’t ordinary. On this day, there was a monster about.

July 31, 2002, the monster left a bomb packed with bolts, screws and nails in a bag on a table in the crowded cafeteria of the Frank Sinatra International Student Center of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. When the bomb exploded, its contents shattered glass, smashed wooden chairs, and ripped through bodies, ultimately leaving 9 dead and 85 injured. The dead included 4 Israelis and 5 Americans. Their names were David Ladowski, Levina Shapira, Maria Bennett, Benjamin Blutstein, Dina Carter, Janis Ruth Coulter, David Gritz, Daphna Spruch, and Revital Barashi.
April 16, 2007, on another campus in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, another monster lurked. Armed with two pistols and deadly intent, he first entered a coed dormitory on the campus of Virginia Tech University and shot and killed two people. Later, he entered an engineering building and killed 30 more and wounded still more.
The motives of the two monsters no doubt differed as did other details of their crimes. The first, an employee of the Hebrew University, also acted at the behest of Hamas, terrorists supported by Iran and now the duly elected “Palestinian” “government.” The second, a brooding student majoring in English, acted alone and had some grievance with “rich kids” and “debauchery.”
This does not make the two crimes or those responsible fundamentally different.
Mass murders all differ in their particulars. And motive isn’t even an element — part of the definition — of the crime. The key element is intent. And the intent of abovementioned two murderers was similar — to bring about mass deaths and mayhem against innocents. The results of such intent were, in both cases, similar: scores dead, injured, distraught, anguished, traumatized. 
But while the crime of April 16 feels real, the one of July 31 may seem distant and abstract. Not for reasons of time — one event recent, the other nearly five years ago. But because similar events in places like Jerusalem and Tel Aviv and Madrid and London and Bali and Moscow are reported virtually every day. You read about them in your morning paper. Mass murder has become a daily fact of life.
Some have denied that the phenomenon of mass murder, at least in the United States, is any different now than ever before. They’ve pointed out, for instance, that as far back as 1927, an anti-tax zealot dynamited a schoolhouse in Michigan, murdering 40 children and several adults. Yes, monsters have always lived among us and always will. But 1927 is a long way back to dig for an example.
Consider, by contrast, the ordinariness of mass murders against Israelis, and in particular, a few of many murderous events surrounding the Hebrew University massacre of July 31.
Just weeks earlier on May 7, a mass murderer detonated a bomb in a crowded game club in Rishon Lezion, southeast of Tel-Aviv, killing 16 people and wounding 55 more.
Two days later on May 19, a mass murderer detonated a bomb in a market in Netanya, killing 3 people and injuring 59 others.
Three days later, May 22, a murderer detonated himself in the Rothschild Street pedestrian mall of Rishon Lezion, killing 2 people and wounding 40.
May 27, a murderer blew himself up near an ice cream parlor outside a shopping mall in Petah Tikva, killing a grandmother and her infant granddaughter and injuring 37 others.
June 18, a mass murderer detonated a bomb on an Egged Bus traveling from Gilo to the center of Jerusalem, killing 19 people and injuring 74 others.
The next day, June 19, a mass murderer blew himself up at a bus stop and popular hitchhiking post in northern Jerusalem, killing 7 people and injuring 50 more.
Four days following the Hebrew University massacre, August 4, yet another mass murderer detonated a bomb on an Egged bus traveling from Haifa to Safed in northern Israel, killing 9 people and wounding 50 others.
These acts of mass murder, along with at least a dozen and a half others, all occurred in a single summer.
Many in the United States and elsewhere view such relentless acts of mass murder as somewhat of an abstraction — as if universities and malls and ice cream parlors in Israel are different, alien and, after all, in the center of that age-old “conflict.”
But when it happens here in the USA, so close, in a place so ordinary, reality can’t be denied.
And so TV reports of the multiple murders in Virginia were, understandably, nonstop. Newspapers would soon trumpet headlines like BLOODBATH, underscoring the horrific reality of what had occurred, on an ordinary campus, here at home. 
We ought to solemnly remember the victims of the massacre in Virginia. But remember, too, who tirelessly sets the example that makes such slaughter so easily imagined as to — who knows — one day become almost unremarkable .

Protestant Pastor: “secular” Turkey; enough mockery!

Protestant Pastor: “secular” Turkey; enough mockery!

A Protestant pastor in AsiaNews (thanks to all who sent this in) calls the “secular” Turkish government on its manifest hypocrisy toward Christians.

The Christian religious tells AsiaNews that the arrest of five young men, in connection with the Malatya massacre, and the cries of condemnation hide the far worse reality of an Islamic country where religious freedom is non existent and false propaganda is spread to target followers of Christ.Ankara (AsiaNews) – Five young men arrested in connection to yesterday’s murder of three employees of Zirve Christian publishing house in Malatya. Little more than boys, as were the assassins of Don Andrea Santoro and the Christian journalist Hrant Dink, it appears that fanatical religious declarations were found on them. This is where news of the story ends, accompanied by condemnation – mainly of a generic nature – from Turkey’s political leaders.

Speaking to AsiaNews a Protestant Pastor outlines the situation in Turkey, where the “secular” State only counts for Christians, while the mass media all too often make use of, indeed even promote, a campaign of disinformation and defamation. In this case too, the Malata governor Ibrahim Dasoz’s immediate reaction is highly significant; he maintains that it was “not an attack” but rather the result of “internal clashes” within the publishing house, while media reports seek to place responsibility at the door of the deceased whom they accuse of “distributing” Bibles, an activity regarded as proselytism and thus were “enemies of Turkey”. Even the Turkish Minister for Religious Affairs, Mehmet Aydin, recently declared that those who practise proselytism “divide the nation”. This is the testimony of a Pastor who for obvious reasons will remain anonymous.

“Where are we? I am disgusted by theses atrocities which seem to repeat themselves again and again with ever increasing violence, in a country which promotes itself as a secular and democratic majority Muslim nation. But where is the respect for differences, for the religious and ethnic minorities present on the territory? We were almost used to the continual background slander and accusations of proselytism, of giving out money and faith, we were almost used to being ladled as “infidel Muslim grabbers”, who – poor things – allow themselves be brainwashed by us, convinced by a mere handful of dollars hidden in a Bible. But we never could have imagined that all of this would have led to such an atrocious gesture, prepared in the name of God, carried out against Christians”.


Yesterdays act was a horrific one: three employees were brutally slaughtered, blindfolded them, their hands and feet bound and their throats slit. Yet again it appears to have been carried out by five young fanatical university students, who completely out of their minds carried out this ferocious act for the love of Allah.

Why to they persist in mocking us? Today, Turkey cries out at the shocking scandal, against the nightmare of religious hatred which persists, yet no-one is courageous enough to really take a stand, to condemn not only this religious hatred, but also the mass media which with great subtly and cunning continues to brainwash people with propaganda which incites them to believe that we are evil, that we want to wipe them out, to take away their faith and turn them from their beliefs in the God of Mohammad. Is it not perhaps the opposite? Look at the figures, look at the statistics: they tell us that since the era of Ataturk the construction of places of worship have been banned, and for this we are not authorized to open new churches, only there where there is already a Christian presence (usually foreigners), but the mosques sprout up like mushrooms all over Turkey. They tells us that , once again due to Ataturks’ laws, we cannot run courses of Christian formation, seminars, nor – taking into account what happened yesterday – can we produce didactic materials to educate or inform Christians. Why, I ask, does no-one speak out against courses on the Koran which are held each summer in public schools for children?

They fear conversions, but its nota s if we are a pack of missionaries who go around baptizing all everybody we meet: let us count the numbers of newly converted, let us count the numbers of pastors and religious who live on Turkish soil, then let us count the number of Imams who receive a monthly wage from the State, let us count the number of Christians who go to Islam due to work pressures or marriage, if we do so we see there can be no doubts about the massive imbalance.

If Turkey truly wants to be a free, democratic, secular republic, then it has to stop mocking us. Rather it should seriously commit itself to defending and safeguarding the rights of each citizen, of each person despite their ethnic or religious background. But is their really the will to do so? Who is it that wants to make us hate this land and these people who we came to serve and help, and for whom we are ready to give our own lives? Let us begin to admit in all honesty and transparency who is behind the murders, which for over a year now, have been plaguing the nation of Turkey: after don Andrea Santoro, Hrant Dink, and our three Presbyterian employees, whose turn is it next?

Women who repeatedly violate dress code may be banned from Tehran for up to 5 years

Women who repeatedly violate dress code may be banned from Tehran for up to 5 years

An update on this story. “Exile for Teheran women who flout dress code,” from Reuters:

TEHERAN – Women in Teheran who repeatedly flout the Islamic dress code in defiance of a police crackdown may be banned from the Iranian capital for up to five years, Teheran’s prosecutor said in comments published on Tuesday.

‘Those women who appear in public like decadent models endanger the security and dignity of young men,’ prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi was quoted as saying by the Etemad newspaper.

In what has become a regular occurrence ahead of the warm summer months, police on Saturday launched a campaign against the growing numbers of young women testing the limits of the law with shorter, brighter and skimpier clothing.

Under sharia, Islamic law, imposed after Iran’s 1979 revolution, women are obliged to cover their hair and wear long, loose-fitting clothes to disguise their figures and protect their modesty.

Violators can be given lashes, fines and imprisonment.

‘If primary punishments are not effective, repeat violators may receive up to five years exile from Teheran,’ Mortazavi said.

Since Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won the presidency in 2005, promising a return to the values of the revolution, hardliners have pressed for tighter controls on ‘immoral behaviour’.

A Teheran police spokesman said that since Saturday 3,242 people had received a warning for breaching the dress code in the capital, the semi-official Fars news agency said. The code also covers men who are not allowed to wear shorts.

Police have also stopped foreign tourists, who have to respect the dress code, Iranian media reported.

Iran’s judiciary chief criticised the crackdown.

Dragging young men and women to police stations will only have negative social impacts,’ daily Etemad-e Melli quoted Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi-Shahroudi as saying.

Posted by Marisol at 01:04 AM | Comments (41)
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Iranian modesty police in action


Publius Pundit (thanks to Kemaste) has photos of this activity.

London police counter-terror chief: “Sensible assumption” jihadists will strike again in U.K.

London police counter-terror chief: “Sensible assumption” jihadists will strike again in U.K.

There is much discussion in the article about how difficult the situation is, but almost nothing about what they intend to do in order to manage and reduce the threat. “Islamist militants may strike in Britain again,” by Adrian Croft for Reuters:

LONDON (Reuters) – London police’s anti-terrorist chief said on Tuesday it was a “sensible assumption” that Islamist militants will strike again in Britain.

Reviewing British counter-terrorism efforts since the September 11 attacks on U.S. cities, Peter Clarke said the strategic threat from Islamist militants was “enduring and to a significant extent targeted at the United Kingdom.”

“Within the country we have people who are sympathetic to the terrorist cause and prepared to carry out attacks against their fellow citizens,” he said in a lecture.

The police and security service had stopped a number of attacks in Britain and more than 100 people were awaiting trial on terrorist-related charges, he said.

“Nevertheless, we suffered the appalling attacks of July 2005 and the only sensible assumption is that we shall be attacked again,” he said.


“The extremists have a momentum that must be stopped,” he added.

In the 2005 London attacks and in other cases, police had spotted a trend for groups of British citizens to travel to Pakistan for training and then returning to Britain and building up their networks in preparation for launching attacks, he said.

This has become known as the “Al-Qaeda Pipeline.”

Clarke said the threat from al Qaeda was very different from the threat Britain faced for 30 years from Irish Republican Army (IRA) guerrillas opposed to British rule in Northern Ireland.

The al Qaeda networks are large, mobile and resilient, he said.

“We have seen how al Qaeda has been able to survive a prolonged, multinational assault on its structures, personnel and logistics. It has certainly retained its ability to deliver centrally directed attacks here in the UK,” he said.

“Arrested leaders or key players are quickly replaced, and disrupted networks will re-form quickly. Suicide has been a frequent feature of attack planning and delivery,” he said.

Posted by Marisol at 01:20 AM |