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‘American Sniper’ as viewed by real American snipers

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WASHINGTON — For all the debate surrounding the movie American Sniper, few people know the moral choices involved in the job better than those trained to pull the trigger.

“His job is to strike a paralytic fear into the enemy,” said Andrew Pedry, a Marine scout sniper section leader in Iraq in 2003.

For the sniper, killing is more personal, placing a heavy burden of responsibility on those that take up the profession. “It takes a lot of introspection, faith and care to yield that level of power,” Pedry said.

Many welcome the movie, starring Bradley Cooper, for bringing a more realistic look at snipers on the modern battlefield, replacing the Hollywood myth of a rogue operator with that of a highly trainedsharpshooter — and one with a conscience.

American Sniper, nominated for six Oscars, is based on the memoir of Chris Kyle, a Navy SEAL who became the deadliest sniper in U.S. military history. Kyle was later killed by a fellow veteran on a shooting range in Texas.

After the movie set box office records its opening weekend, filmmaker Michael Moore, tweeted that his uncle was killed by a sniper in World War II. “We were taught snipers were cowards,” he said.

Meyer took offense. “How does a man who never served … call the men and women who have the most skin in the game on behalf of our nation cowards,” he said.

Moore’s comments, which he later said were not directed at the movie, “did tap into a very long-running idea that sniping is not fair and Americans play fair,” Pedry said.

Pedry said that public perception of the sniper has changed since Vietnam. Even Hollywood has picked up on it.

“From the colonial period through Vietnam, the sniper was not the hero,” Pedry said. “In the John Wayne movies, he’s not the sniper.”

But the lengthy wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has prompted the public to recognize new military tactics of counter-insurgencies, Pedry said. Because of their precision, snipers have proven their worth in combat where insurgents often hide among civilians.

“Using snipers shows the greatest amount of restraint,” said Jim Lechner, a retired Army lieutenant colonel who served alongside Kyle in Ramadi, Iraq. “Innocent people are not getting killed.”

The change in public perception comes as sniper training has become more professional, and the equipment used by marksmen more sophisticated.

Sharpshooters have been around for centuries. In World War II a designated sniper might have been a farm boy who grew up hunting squirrels. But today’s snipers are the product of training and technology that has made the profession as much science as art.

Some Army snipers have handheld ballistic computers that can calculate the impact of atmospherics on a bullet’s trajectory.

Snipers have to calculate wind and other variables before taking a shot.

“This is a thinking man’s game,” said Marine Col. Tim Parker, commander of the Weapons Training Battalion, which oversees the sniper school at Quantico Marine base in Virginia.

The Marine sniper course is nearly three months long and the attrition rate averages about 50%. The course is both physically and academically demanding. “It’s some of the toughest training in the world,” Meyer said.

Students are taught sophisticated camouflage techniques and must crawl undetected across several hundred yards of terrain while instructors peer through binoculars in an attempt to see their movements. It can take more than five hours to move a couple hundred yards.

Students often have to replace their camouflage as the terrain and vegetation changes while crawling toward an objective.

“People who are comfortable in the woods and are used to being in the field have a natural tendency toward this craft,” Parker said.

The refinements in training and technology have paid off. A sniper in World War II could be expected to hit an enemy target at about 600 yards. Today, snipers hit targets at twice that range.

Marines and soldiers are also carefully vetted before being admitted to sniper school. Officers look for mature individuals who can operate often far from their unit without constant supervision and guidance.

That doesn’t mean they are rogue — they have rules of engagement drummed into them before they set out on a mission. “It’s got to be very specific criteria when they can take their shot,” Parker said.

Killing isn’t their only job. A key part of their mission is to provide intelligence or man observation points to protect conventional units as they move along a dangerous route.

But when they do kill, it has a psychological impact on the enemy. The fear of being killed by an unseen marksman is unnerving and eats away at an enemy’s morale.

“As snipers we have a saying: ‘Kill one, terrorize thousands,'” Meyer said.

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Veteran actor, Bruno Iwuoha dies at 68

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Veteran Nollywood actor, Bruno Iwuoha, has died after losing a protracted battle with diabetes and blindness. He was aged 68.

He died at the National Hospital Abuja in the early of today Saturday, April 10.

The Abia-state born actor had been in coma for about three weeks before giving up. His body has been deposited at the hospital mortuary.

Film maker, Derek Zai has taken to their social media handle to mourn him. He wrote;

A good man, has gone home to be with his Father, daddy its so painful doing this, we love you but God loves you more”

Bruno Obinna Iwuoha acted in many films and also won several awards in his career.

He won the Best Supporting Actor award at the 3rd Africa Movie Academy Awards for his performance in the movie “Sins of the Flesh”.

Some of the other films where he featured are: World Apart, Magic Cap, Keeping Close, Another Bondage, Faces Of Love, Days Of Hatred,Two Bad Boys.

 

Veteran actor, Bruno Iwuoha dies at 68

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Lagos state governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu Has Reacts to the brutality against Occupy Lekki Tollgate protesters

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Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has condemned the brutal treatment meted out on protesters at the Lekki tollgate.

Reacting, the Lagos State governor ordered the state’s Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, to investigate the incident.

The state’s Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotosho, disclosed this at a joint briefing by the state government and the Lekki Concession Company on Monday, Feb 15, in Lagos.

He reiterated that Lagos State government, under the leadership of Babajide Sanwo-Olu, would never trample on people’s rights.

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we may not need Amotekun, the time for state police is now – Governor Akeredolu

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Governor  Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State,  who hosted representatives of lawmakers of the All Progressives Congress South-West caucus in the House of Representatives who paid him a courtesy visit in his office on Tuesday, February 2, stated that there will be no need for Amotekun if there is state police.

He said;

”The most important thing you have said is that we have to think about our people first and in doing that, we have to make a declaration. We felt convinced that we can not have a situation where a first-class Oba is killed, a deputy registrar was killed, and the wife of the chief of staff was kidnapped. It’s one of the things that led us to create Amotekun.

“When we came up with Amotekun, people were scared they thought it was state police, but we stood our ground and Amotekun has come to stay. You have a duty to us, to our people and that has to do with the issue of state police. The time is now. This rampant security challenge is virtually everywhere. This issue of state police, we need to pursue.

“If we have the state police, we may not need Amotekun. It will be a great fight for our people. We must stand together. I commend the Governor of Kano State who said cows should not be moved to the south again for grazing.”

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