Saturday, May 06, 2006

The Times Defends Zarqawi

In the course of enjoying my day off from the Army, I actually bought a New York Times this morning. As I read the Times, two items in particular caught my attention. One was a Maureen Dowd column that confirmed her utter inability to write intelligently about anything other than shopping for women's footwear. The other item was this article by C.J. Chivers:

An effort by the American military to discredit the terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi by showing video outtakes of him fumbling with a machine gun — suggesting that he lacks real fighting skill — was questioned yesterday by retired and active American military officers.

The video clips, released on Thursday to news organizations in Baghdad, show the terrorist leader confused about how to handle an M-249 squad automatic weapon, known as an S.A.W., which is part of the American inventory of infantry weapons.

This passage in particular raised my ire:

The weapon in question is complicated to master, and American soldiers and marines undergo many days of training to achieve the most basic competence with it. Moreover, the weapon in Mr. Zarqawi's hands was an older variant, which makes its malfunctioning unsurprising. The veterans said Mr. Zarqawi, who had spent his years as a terrorist surrounded by simpler weapons of Soviet design, could hardly have been expected to know how to handle it.

Frankly, this is utter crap. In basic, we had about one hour's worth of instruction on the SAW. Even I, who had arguably the worst combat skills in our company, was able to load and fire it without any problem. In fact, I found the SAW quite easy to use. It's certainly simpler than the M240B.

So Zarqawi was only familiar with Soviet-made weapons? So what. I wasn't familiar with any weapons beyond an M-16 when I was taught to use the SAW.

If a short, geeky librarian willing his way through Basic Training could figure out how to use the SAW, surely a veteran jihadist like Zarqawi could be expected to do the same.


Blogger The Sanity Inspector said...

I posted a link to this over at LGF, so you'll probably see a bit of lizardoid traffic, if you have a stat counter.

A conservative librarian? Then, you might enjoy meeting Miriam, if you don't already know her site.

God bless you for your service...

8:19 PM  

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