SNIPER (American or otherwise) = COWARD


SNIPER (American or otherwise) = COWARD!

The Yowling Wolf has yet to view the hugely successful (revenue wise) and in some circles acclaimed Clint Eastwood-directed movie, American Sniper. And The Wolf won’t—not in an expensive movie theatre. (With yahoo Tea-Party types whooping at every “rag head” blown to bits from a quarter mile distant?)

The Wolf will eventually watch the movie—on cable. However, no need to watch to know that descriptions such as “hero” are ridiculous, far-fetched, Americans-seeking-redemption-after-yet-another-foolish-lost-war, wishful thinking.

Not that a sniper is not a necessary, even valuable component of a fighting force. Not that a sniper cannot be commended for a (deadly, cowardly-but-necessary) job well done. Not that a sniper should not be respected as a member of our American military forces, a soldier, one who serves his (or her) country, etc.

However, HERO WRIT LARGE?, as in “HERO!,” as in SOMEONE TO BE ADMIRED in a ROLE TO BE ASPIRED TO BY YOUNG BOYS AND GIRLS?, apart from, yes, perhaps performing the occasional heroic service in the sense of saving a life, averting a disaster, killing one who deserved to die and who might otherwise not have? …


At best a sniper performs a cowardly, if necessary act. The role itself contradicts the very idea of “hero.” TO DEEM A SNIPER A HERO IS TO DEMEAN “HERO.” It demeans all who perform (truly) brave, self-sacrificing, noble acts.

The behavior of a sniper—covert, at a distance, scant risk to self—is diametrically at odds with the forthright bravery of a hero.


Hang with The Wolf!


The Wolf, thanks to a macho, man’s man (in some respects) stepfather (mentioned, described in other Yowls), has had some experience with guns and sniper behavior. First, foremost, always, the role has to do with hunting and killing—at a distance. The fight is rarely fair. It is not supposed to be fair. The idea is to use sophisticated weaponry at (safe) distance to take out—kill!—an unsuspecting adversary, who typically poses no immediate danger to the sniper.

An apt example is hunting and shooting a ground hog, a burrowing creature akin to a beaver or raccoon. the “sport” of hunting and killing. If “sport” implies some sort of contest (never mind “even playing field” and “a fighting chance”), then lining up a ground hog 300 yards distant in the cross hairs of a 30-06 rifle scope, then blowing the beast in half, … IS NOT SPORT.

But The Wolf has done this very deed. The Wolf also once killed a red fox with the same rifle at close range. The critter had been disemboweled (by the stepfather) at considerable distance. He now lay panting, seemingly resigned, as we, several hunters, approached to survey the damage inflicted from afar. The Wolf, at the time but a lad of 12 or 13, was instructed to put the animal out of his misery [test of manliness?], although, frankly, he did not seem to be in great pain. The little fax just lay there, head up and alert, panting, watching to see what would happen next. Kinda like, “Okay. Ya got me!”

What The Wolf recalls is that initially the fox could not be seen in the rifle scope. At 10-15 feet, he was too close. The future Wolf had to back up until the victim came into focus. Then, yeah, POW!—right between the eyes.

Thus, The Yowling Wolf has a pretty good idea of what this sniping business is all about.

IT’S YOU/SOMEONE, armed with the most modern, sophisticated weapon for long-distance killing, hidden from view, possibly camouflaged, SEEING AND KILLING HIM (OR IT). AND HE (OR IT) DOES NOT SEE YOU. BLAM! … GONER. Never knows what hit ’em.

A dastardly, cowardly deed, if ever such is to be imagined. (Same as drone strikes!)

Hang with The Wolf!


If the reader hasn’t seen war movies with snipers in them, they are out there aplenty, from American Revolutionary and Civil War days on up through at least Vietnam War movies. In every single one a sniper is the lowest kind of sneaking, hiding coward. Without exception. The real heroes, the guys advancing on the enemy, rifle in hand, soon to engage in manly hand-to-hand combat, despise snipers. A cheer and dismissive curse is heard when the sniper gets taken out. “Sunnofabitch,” “bastard,” “coward” are the descriptive words heard.

Never, ever “hero.”

In the last 10-15 years there have been several movies featuring snipers as protagonists. One featured the actor who was the bad guy—truly vile—in the movie Titanic. Recall the rich, haughty guy who was to marry Kate Winslet (who loved Leonardo Di Caprio), the guy who tried to push past women and children to get a seat on a lifeboat. That should indicate who and what Hollywood thinks should be cast as a sniper, even when the sniper is a protagonist.

[Okay. Yes. The onetime (convicted) thug and Hollywood bad boy, Mark Wahlberg,* has also been cast as a sniper in one or two movies of late. Sort of upgrading or redeeming the breed? (Is this where America has gotten to? … Snipers are needed as heroes?!)]

Now comes this attempted remake or reinterpretation of sniper from Dirty Harry of “make my day, punk!” fame. (The 80+ year old hero/alter ego of Republicans and both wealthy and working class white guys.)

Well. In the turbulent 1970’s and 80’s, when the Silent—white, boring, less educated—Majority fretted under rise and threat of long-haired hippies and, worse, marauding criminals (a/k/a minorities), ‘ol Clint knew how to cleverly throw red meat to the Yahoos.

He has cleverly done it again. However, ain’t gonna change a fact of history and of common sense.



Need to find some other sort to call “hero,” America. Cause here you is scrapin’ the very bottom of the scoundrel barrel.


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