Monday, April 13, 2009

Johnny Depp They're Not

...certainly not even Orlando Bloom.

At no point in any accounting of the dramatic rescue of Captain Richard Phillips, the American skipper held captive by three Somali pirates, was the acronym SEAL ever used. The only word anyone will ever use is the word "snipers."

Fair enough. These men are operating under as much secrecy as possible and the less you mention the SEALs, the better. They don't exactly seek out publicity (ironically, when I got to Coronado Island, I sported the crossed quills of the JO or Journalist, a newly-acquired rating I'd earned at Great Lakes. I was the butt of jokes at Coronado because we all knew I'd never use my skills. I was sorry I struck for that rating.).

But when you mention the words "snipers" and "Navy" in the same breath, you know who they're talking about.

What I can't square is why they were using AK47s to take out those three pirates. Since when is a Soviet-era assault rifle standard issue among the SEALs or in any branch of the DoD? At medium range, they'll do in a pinch, sure (plus the AK47 such as the Kalishnikov fired the same 7.62 mm slug as my old M14, even though the M14 made for a far superior sniper rifle than it did in full-auto assault mode but that's a story for another day).

But if you want to get serious and make sure you do the job right the first time and if you have the luxury of time to plan a sniping mission, you'd use something state of the art like the Barrett 50 cal, a miniature cannon with a three mile range and a fucking dildo of a bullet that exits the muzzle at speeds in excess of 4000 feet per second. With firepower like that, you could drill for water on the fucking moon from down here.

Whew. Someone get me a box o' Kleenex. I love talking about guns even more than politics or baseball.

Anyway, if this doesn't establish President Barack motherfucking Obama as the coolest Commander in Chief ever, nothing will. It'll be hard to see how even the wingnuts could possibly criticize the president's decision to use "terminal force if necessary" to take out the pirates holding Captain Phillips hostage.

They're whining about, "But, but we never killed anyone before! We're the good pirates!" Go fuck your parrots and your peg legs, losers. You don't fuck with American captains by holding them hostage, you don't fuck with the Navy fucking SEALs and you don't fuck with the coolest and most dangerous man alive, President Barack motherfucking Obama.

Am I cursing too much? Fuck yes. But you all wanna know why this story has me so pumped up?

Because, speaking as someone who's been on more unheroic missions than I'd like to remember, it's really nice to see the Navy SEALs being used to kill some actual bad guys for a change.

And that's all I'm gonna say on that score for now.

So beware. There's a new sheriff in town. And he don't take no shit from terr'ists, pirates and corporate thugs like the last All Hat, No Cattle boob before him.


At April 13, 2009 at 8:39 PM, Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

there is no way a 100' shot could be made accurately with an AK. they were also using nightvision scopes. from the pitching deck of a destroyer to a 24' lifeboat under tow. (the applicable image here is a champagne cork in a toilet bowl)

simultanious shots, the skipper of the destroyer said it sounded like one big ass gun. 3 shots. 3 kills. a 30-30 (M1) or a .308 (M40) would have done the job nicely.

i imagine that most of the publicly dissemated information is bullshit.

i would also like to point out what the divers did. they were tethered to the keel of the destroyer so that they could maintain position under the lifeboat. they were using rebreathers, although that's probably more stealth than they needed, the bubbles and churn of the ship would have masked conventional dive gear. i always hated rebreathers. motherfuckers gave me migraines. anyway, these guys were in the water, under the lifeboat and when the shots went, so did they. they grabbed the boat captain, took him under to safety, cut the tethers and went to clear water. two other guys slid down the tow ropes to do any cleanup.

fucking good ass op. those boys were born again hardasses.

fuck all pirates.

At April 13, 2009 at 10:06 PM, Blogger Bukko_in_Australia said...

It'll be hard to see how even the wingnuts could possibly criticize the president's decision to use "terminal force if necessary" to take out the pirates holding Captain Phillips hostage.Oh, it's never hard for a fuckwit to criticise Obama. Let me give you a few snippets from an econoblog I read mainly for the shits and giggles of seeing the squirming worms of the reich-wing mindset.

These are comments from a pirate-related blog post:

If they were actually pirates then good riddance but when have we EVER been told the full truth? Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, must be fact checked 10 times over when you have financial pirates running the world.Paranoia reigns supreme in lunatic-land:

Unless ransom was paid and the news were fixed as usual, right? Has anyone seen the dead kidnappers? I rest my case.Yeah, and the Moon landings were fake, too. Plus, Obama gets no credit with fuckwits because he didn't physically pull the trigger that killed anyone:

All these booyahs for the great Messiah, WTF ?

Some of you guys are acting as if HE personally lead the rescue.

What if it had failed and cost some Navy seals their lives ?

Jimmy Carter was pilloried for the Iran hostages rescue that failed.

Lets not get overboard.
And another:

"Obama haters, how are you going to spin this one?"

what was he doing for those 6 days, reading my little goat?
This is typical:

"Obama haters, how are you going to spin this one?"

Wow, I have been wrong about this guy and his staff. Sarcasm!!!

I am glad he grabbed his nut sack, though it was three days late. Going to take a lot more than taking out some pirates for me to support him.
And yet one more:

Keith you forgot to mention the reason why 200 terroist that boated out to support their friends were all allowed to sail away in the name of affirmative action.

Obama is a disgrace
And the Reich can be every bit as paranoid as the Left when it comes to dreaming up ramifications of world events:

Geez, let me guess, now Blackwater will be securing all American ships. Simple plan:

1. Shady characters (Mossad, rogue agents working for shadow gov, etc) infiltrate Somalis and convince them to hold ships for ransom.

2. Corrupt mainstream media and biased blogers play along to give cover.

3. New bill introduced by corrupt Congress, that requires ships to provide security.

4. Corrupt politicians give contracts to gov parasites to provide such security.

5. Meanwhile, the Messiah comes out of this as hero.

6. Keith gets all wet, while corrupt media gives cover again.

7. Higher costs on shipping are passed onto stupid American consumers.

8. Corrupt politicians and gov contractors laugh all the way to the bank.
In fairness, many of the commenters on this generally anti-Obama blog were praising him. But in the world of teh Internets tubez, people with too much time on their hands (like me!) sit around at the 'puters trying to think of outlandish things to say that will take it to the next level.

At April 14, 2009 at 12:09 AM, Anonymous ShortWoman said...

Yeah, seems unlikely they really used AKs.

But funny enough, the very next thing I read was this article on SEAL snipers. Small blogosphere, eh?

At April 14, 2009 at 12:36 AM, Anonymous Kootenay said...

Errr...JP, you're relying on the American media again, that's always a big mistake. Both Al Jazeera and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported that the snipers were SEALS right off the bat. Prompted a hearty cheer from this Canuck, after reading you and Stevie all this time. Yo Ho Ho Motherfuckers!

At April 14, 2009 at 8:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I often wonder what the world would be like if a SEAL team had been sent to Iraq instead of the whole friggin army.

At April 14, 2009 at 7:22 PM, Blogger Stan B. said...

This is how our military should be used. That said, even this action would have been completely unnecessary if the much larger (and ignored) issue would have been addressed. Somalia being the basically lawless state that it is, Italian organized crime has dumped all sorts of chemical and nuclear waste on their northern coastline, resulting in hundreds of Somalis dying of radiation poisoning. In addition, several countries sent their massive fishing trawlers to rape Somali coastlines clean of remaining fish. So what else do fisherman do in a country awash in weapons and deprived of its one and only viable industry? Go figure.

At April 14, 2009 at 7:44 PM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

Well, the unlinked sources I'd read (not, obviously, the Time article to which I had linked) claimed AK47s were used. As Stevie said, these are not exactly what you'd call preferred sniper gear, even at 75-100 feet out. These are built for one purpose and one purpose only- Assault weapons. The M14, OTOH, is the exact opposite: Shitty assault rifle on account of its kick or recoil but wonderful sniper rifle in szemi-auto mode.

The loud boom certainly would be indicative of a larger bore weapon: Something like a 30.30 caliber like the M1 Garand (no longer standard issue), one of the best assault rifles ever made or a .50 caliber, such as the state-of-the-art Barrett.

7.62 mm in one form or the other is still the caliber used by I'd estimate 75-80 of the world's elite snipers but the .50 cal is making a big comeback, as evidenced by the Barrett (featured prominently in Rambo 4). But bullets are made for different applications and some bullets are more aerodynamic since they're engineered to pierce wind resistance over extended distances.

Bukko, those comments made me ill to read. Obama could've personally led that assault and they still would've found fault with how it turned out. Yet these very same idjits still get misty-eyed when they mention St. Ronnie personally ending Communism as if he was the guy who'd stood shoulder to shoulder with the Germans to bust down the Berlin Wall.

Short Woman: That article about the SEALs and how it takes three years training to be a sniper isn't all true. Sometimes the turnaround time is a lot, well, shorter, especially in my day.

Nowadays, the game and the rules have changed. In fact, the zeitgeist today is to take a center mass shot, hitting a blood-carrying organ. But back in my day, it was taught that in certain situations, a head shot was actually preferable, especially if you were from an elevated vantage point. The head is the only part of the human body that's always exposed regardless of your vantage point or how dramatic your forced perspective because it's roughly round. Aiming down from a high angle compresses the torso through forced perspective.

Anyway, I digress in my flashback episode.

This incident proves once again, as with the Murray mine disaster of a few years ago, of how incredibly fallible and fallacious the press is when reporting basic facts, especially the US media.

At April 14, 2009 at 7:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank you Stan B. for bringing that up, everyone else go to Alternet and learn why they are pirates in the first place. it is not for the yo ho ho factor.
btw, Rob, nice to hear from you. hope all is going well for you.

At April 14, 2009 at 8:02 PM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

Hi, barb, and thanks. I have very limited time these days (an hour here at the local library and that's when any of the 6 terminals are available and if they're not making software upgrades. They actually still use floppy disks. They still haven't the software to store info on CD).

This post is so far below my usual standard. But I generally need a lot more than an hour of research and to the actual typing to make a good presentation. A lot more work goes on behind the scenes here than people realize and when my internet time is severely limited, it'll immediately and dramatically affect the quality and length of my posts. I absolutely cannot wait to get some internet access at home. But before I do that, I have to know if I'll still have a job before the end of the week. My boss let his gas bill lapse ($11,000) and if they shut us off by Thursday as they solemnly promise, he shuts his doors and we're all out of a job.

Right wing asshole.

I live in interesting times, as the Chinese say.

At April 15, 2009 at 4:50 AM, Blogger Bukko_in_Australia said...

Re: your boss -- isn't it amazing how reich-wing assholes sneer at "deadbeats who don't pay their bills" and yet they bail on big-time (and predictable) utilities? Have you had any conversations with him in which he parroted that Rick Santeli bullshit about not wanting to help losers who couldn't afford their houses? I won't wonder whether he sees the irony, because I know rightists don't HAVE a sense of irony.

Although you've described what a piece of work your boss is, for your sake I hope his biz doesn't crash and burn. At least not until you have a new job. I suggest getting a big car loan while you're still employed. That way, you can drive to a new job!

And re: the research you put into blog posts -- I've long recognised what work you must do on them, especially Assclowns. I calculate how much time it would take ME to do that, even if I did have the image-formatting skills you do. That's why I don't do anything with my blog. Gets in the way of life, and Mrs. Bukko would be angry. Justifiably so.

If I might give one bit of advice, I'd say "consider how much time you spend entertaining us ghosts in the machine vs. how much you spend with the fleshy ones around you, and ask yourself what role that had in how things have gone." I'm just sayin'...

At April 15, 2009 at 7:18 PM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

Bukko: Uh, I don't think I'll be needing to take out a loan for a car or otherwise. This has been a pretty weird day, but weird in a good way for a change.

The boss: Somehow, he came up with the 11 grand he needed to keep NSTAR from shutting off our gas today. He had to drain half the payroll account to do it so some of us won't be getting paid tomorrow (I made arrangements to get my check early). But it's a necessary tradeoff, I guess. Either wait a day to get paid or get paid now then never again.

Recently, I've come to the sad conclusion that most of my real and best friends are the ones I've made online through this and my other blogs. I haven't many friends in the meat world but, oddly, those whom I've never met have been more helpful and supportive than those whom I do personally know.

And you know of at least one. He wears a really shitty leather bush hat and loves silver dollars.

So I don't see my blogging as subtracting from a life that I was destined to lose, anyway. I always made the time to do the chores, would've made more time for sex and, the way I figure it, I actually came out ahead. And my grandson still wraps his little arms around my leg everytime he sees me (which isn't often enough).

At April 15, 2009 at 7:57 PM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

One last word on this before we all move on, by William Rivers Pitt:
Make no mistake, there was much to celebrate here from the top right on down. President Obama gave authorization for the use of force if Captain Phillips' life was judged to be in immediate peril. Obama did not grandstand or wallow in the media spectacle - indeed, during the five days of the crisis, he was asked specifically by reporters about the situation and declined to comment - nor did he engage in the kind of hyper-violent military overreach that defined the previous administration.

When the decision to use violence arrived, it was executed with unimaginable precision, and when it was all over, not one civilian was dead, injured, scratched, bruised or even lightly ruffled. The cool, calm, drama-free manner in which the rescue of Captain Phillips was undertaken is good news for America and the world, for it demonstrates, finally, that this nation is once again in the hands of responsible people. Most important, perhaps, is the fact that a man held prisoner at gunpoint, who was beaten by his captors repeatedly according to reports, was rescued and sent home to his family.
Thank you, Mr. Pitt and thank you to the US Navy SEALs.

At April 15, 2009 at 8:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

JP: Good to have you back in the saddle. I keep checking every day. I miss you when you're not around!
Philip, Buenos Aires

At April 16, 2009 at 9:11 AM, Blogger Pryme said...


As you may have seen on Countdown, Rush theorized that had a white Republican President given the order to shoot "three black teenagers" they would have gotten hell. So yes; they're going there, and they're going there at warp factor 10.

At April 16, 2009 at 12:51 PM, Anonymous doro said...

I love talking about guns even more than politics or and hubby would get along like a house on fire. I like talking guns, too, but as opposed to hubby I'm a novice. I do target practice only with a Haemmerli 280, your typical paper puncher.

At April 16, 2009 at 6:24 PM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

As you may have seen on Countdown, Rush theorized that had a white Republican President given the order to shoot "three black teenagers" they would have gotten hell. So yes; they're going there, and they're going there at warp factor 10.No, I haven't either TV nor internet but hopefully that'll change fairly soon.

Dear God, Rush didn't actually say that, did he? Are you serious?

At April 18, 2009 at 10:55 PM, Anonymous Michael Collins said...

Oh my, I'm inspired by your writing. I researched these pirates some months ago in view of some hysteria about a captured Iranian vessel. The hysteria word was that the vessel had some nasty stuff aboard and, when released, was headed straight for Israel. Well, that was a heavy load that sunk under its own weight.

The pirate stories in the early 90's shounded like the same stories on around 2000, which sound like the stories out of those rough seas today.

But Eureka! I just figured it out. This is what Biden was talking about. "The test" that Obama would endure. Enterprising guys in dinghies working a deal with insurance companies to make some money, more money than just about anyone could make (handicapped by their relative wealth at the start).

Master and Commander Obama stood on the bridge and lifted his hand, pointing to the Somali coast. He made it happen. He passed his test! We are saved.

Now, wouldn't it be nice if he pointed at Geithner and Summers, who continue to loot the Treasury, and said - be off you vandals making the disappear to Brazil or somewhere without extradition.

But no, it's just the pirates that get the shaft. Our domestic criminals, stealing far more per day than the aggregate take of the Somali pirates, are ignored.

It carries on a proud tradition of turning the people's government into the elite's government in just months after assuming power.

But there are those who must believe and believe they will until they're living in the streets without a chance of "change" unless it's of the spare type.

Down with tyranny, all tyranny.

Stop the looting.

Nah, that's just from the movie version. The real, predictable, ongoing version, world without end, is what we're stuck with.

At April 19, 2009 at 5:35 PM, Blogger rangeragainstwar said...


the m1 is 30/06 m2 ball cartridge. Also, it's not a assault weapon-it's classified as a battle rifle. Nobody snipes w. an AK, at any distance BUT at 100 ft I'll shoot your headlights out.

Also, shooting uphill or downhill is very iffy when shooting at a head. Why in the hell would anyone shoot for a head shot in a military environment?

Head shots are for hostage barricade situations.

At April 20, 2009 at 1:03 PM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

The Garand used to be in a .30-06 format until they went with the .30one, later getting passed over for the gas-powered .276 about 80 years ago. It's still referred to as a .30 caliber weapon.

The current zeitgeist among snipers and sniper instructors is to go for the center body mass shot in the hopes of hitting a blood-carrying organ.

But in certain cases the head is actually, while a smaller target, a lower percentage shot.

Consider: When sighting down on a target from an elevated vantage point, the head, being roughly round, is the only part of the human body that's fully exposed no matter what the angle.

Sighting down on something more vertical, such as a torso, artificially compresses the target through forced perspective. In other words, if you're high enough, it's more difficult to hit a blood-carrying organ, making such a shot much more problematic.

But you're right about one thing: A head shot is often the desired one to take in hostage situations, especially if you can sever the medulla oblongata, essentially a no reflex zone that renders impossible a post mortem twitch that can pull a trigger.


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