Monday, January 26, 2015

Michael Moore and American Sniper

Film maker Michael Moore has had another rant at the movie American Sniper, he is reported to had said "snipers are cowards" in his original rant, others have claimed Chris Kyle (the name of the real navy SEAL the story is based on) "enjoyed killing".
I'm surprised at Moores outburst, he usually check his facts first, but this times he's got it wrong!
Just because snipers can kill at long distance doesn't mean they sit safely behind the lines and "pot" away at the enemy. 
Snipers usually work on the front line, often attached to small units in forward bases (not a cushy number by any means)  As well as accompanying foot patrols in hostile areas the sniper team (usually just the sniper and spotter) will often make patrols into the enemy areas alone and set up observation posts to report enemy activity and to take the occasional shot if a suitable target presents itself, and they have finished the information gathering part of the operation.
Far from being cowards it takes a lot of courage to go out virtually alone in enemy territory, add in the fact that snipers are universally hated by enemy soldiers, and can expect to suffer badly if captured.
Theres another point too, most soldiers who have been in combat claim to have shot someone at some point. In the heat of battle it's often very difficult to tell if you've hit your enemy, or whether it was the bloke next to you. Usually you can't see too well either, what with dodging returned fire and the distance, you'll see someone go down but was it a hit or have they fallen over? You may never find out, that leaves you with a cop-out later if you feel bad. 
Snipers don't have that luxury, they see the face of the person they are going to kill up-close and personal, they are often the only person shooting at that range so they know for sure it was their round that hit.  That means they need to be mentally strong too.
As for Chris Kyle saying he enjoying killing ( if true)...   Well I never met the guy so I can't say for sure, but I do know that most soldiers join up in the first place to fight, not many join to sit in the spider (army barracks)  And most soldiers who have been in combat are glad they shot their enemy.  After all the other guy was trying to kill you first, so you may not exactly enjoy it but you probably wouldn't feel too bad about it either.

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