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Jay Currie

One Damn Thing After Another

4/21/2004

Shooters

Weapons change, but the goal of the sniper remains the same: harass and intimidate the enemy, make him afraid to venture into the open, deny him the chance to rest and regroup.

The Marines believe their snipers have killed hundreds of insurgents, though that figure alone does not accurately portray the significance of sniping. A sign on the wall of sniper school at Camp Pendleton displays a Chinese proverb: "Kill One Man, Terrorize a Thousand."

"Sometimes a guy will go down, and I'll let him scream a bit to destroy the morale of his buddies," said the Marine corporal. "Then I'll use a second shot."

In negotiations aimed at ending the standoff in the city, the insurgents have demanded the Marines pull back their snipers.
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Nasty, you bet. But infinitely more humane than some homicidal jackass driving a car into the midst of civilians. The Americans in Iraq need to ensure that the thugs and terrorists are actually scared to be armed in the streets. Snipers help.