American Sniper Mythology and Other Tales of Horror

Lounge Lizard Clint Eastwood in his Best Dirty Harry American Sniper Suit
Lounge Lizard Clint Eastwood in his Best Dirty Harry American Sniper Suit
Lounge Lizard Clint Eastwood in his Best Dirty Harry American Sniper Suit

By Gordon Duff, Senior Editor


The job of sniper has nothing to do with the stories of movie and television, nothing related to the heavily fictionalized books foisted on the public decade after decade.  Snipers with high kill numbers shoot primarily armed American allies they “mistake” for enemy or unarmed civilians.  The best of them protect American bases and small units with precision fire and take great risks.

If you kill more than dozen people as a sniper and you aren’t guilty of murdering innocent civilians, I would be very surprised.  If you are insane enough to convince yourself, let’s say you are in Afghanistan or Iraq, countries where it is legal for any civilian to carry a weapon and no sane person would go outside without one, that shooting “armed Muslims” makes you a hero, you are both a liar and a fool.  You are probably also a psychopath.

Most of the armed “insurgents” the US has killed during the War on Terror were friendly militias, local herdsmen or, at best, armed tribal units that were armed tribal units when they fought the British and Russians as well for hundreds of years.  We are talking about “patriots” defending their country against foreign invaders who support drug cartels and criminal politicians like the governments the US has placed in power over and over.

I do expect this; I expect an American Sniper to use his skills to protect American personnel from attack even if America is there as part of an armed aggression on the part of whoever it is that runs America, which sure as hell isn’t the American people.  At best it can be considered a sad necessity and any moral person would, as soon as possible, rectify that mistake.  When wars were fought by draftees, that was harder.  Today you can simply not sign up again or ask for another job.

Oh, I am forgetting “stop loss,” that the US stopped letting people simply quit when their enlistment was over.  We don’t talk about that either.  We don’t talk about not thousands of suicides but hundreds of thousands.  Yes, this is not a simple story and there are no entire good or bad people.  Welcome to reality.

I was a sniper in Vietnam.  I held that occupation for a short time, seen as a “relief” from every day life there which for Marines involved 3 hours sleep, starvation, sleeping on the ground “behind enemy lines,” and the rigors of the backpacking trip from hell.  Here, decades later, the weapon I used isn’t even officially listed and doesn’t exist.

Sniper “talk” is largely mythology and, far too often, simply crazy.

Anyone ever find a .243 M14 National Match with Gen1.5 Starlight Scope? Shooting a handful of people at night from 400 meters away could be done in less time than it takes to open a can of beer and this was with what some might consider “junk” by today’s standards.

I should have taken a photo of it, I could sell it to gun magazines for millions.  There were folks out there with Remington 700s though none of us ever saw one, maybe we weren’t supposed to or were there other reasons?

99% of talk about snipers is plain bull and mythology.  I am not the world expert but I have “done the work” in the worst place on earth, I collect sniper rifles and own a company that builds them.  I make weapons that are longer range, lighter, smaller and more versatile, easily converted from silenced/suppressed short barreled MP (machine pistol) or SMG (submachine gun) configurations to a sniper file capable of extraordinary range.  Technology allows this, new optics and weapons designs.

I make weapons and can only hope they are used properly.  There are bad people who deserve killing but most of them are trained and supplied by the Mossad, CIA and our British and French allies, I am talking Boko Harum, ISIS and that gang.  You didn’t know that?  Imagine that.

There is a reason for this as many military organizations send out reconnaissance units with short ranged weapons and are incapable of defending themselves from accurate long range fire or require “overwatch” protection while engaged in building searches.

In South Vietnam there were some legitimate targets, sort of.  In truth, the US was in South Vietnam illegally and on the wrong side in the first place so any moral high ground disappears immediately anyway.  So, if you were a “sniper” killing the enemy, one thing for certain, you were shooting people better than you are.

It took a fat minute to figure that one out and absolutely everyone knew it, something we aren’t so sure about with our new “professional” military today.  The “pro-Vietnam war” bullshitters began creeping out of the woodwork during the Reagan administration with the vast majority of them Bush/Romney type blowhards, “Chickenhawks” and phonies.  Some had washed out of the military during basic training, others hadn’t been in the military at all.

While working for an intelligence organization long ago, I remember meeting with fellow “Vietnam vets,” all claiming to be Navy Seals, Marines or Ranger/Special Forces.  They were cooks and truck drivers, honorable occupations of course and perhaps they shouldn’t have felt pressured to make things up, but you see where I am going with this?

I, of course, listened to their stories, the in some cases stories of an imaginary Vietnam.  You see, most Marines either served in and out of DaNang or at least knew the city well, the bases, the black market spots, things like that.  Try this one out, ask a Marine if he knows who “Sandy at 3 corners” is.  We will save the explanation for a book sometime.

What we considered a legitimate target was a mortar or rocket team.  They would infiltrate into the region surrounding DaNang and either fire on the city or the US bases surrounding, bases that at one time held several hundred thousand troops.  The list of bases around DaNang would be rather lengthy with some like NSA (Naval Support Activity) extremely large, others with only a few dozen men.

No, there was no hospital at China Beach, no nurses or whores, not American whores anyway, not many and only for the privileged.  We could have a discussion about Red Cross “girls” at some time but bringing up things like that should have been done by someone else like Fox News.

There are some things I wonder about as I don’t know everything.  I do know that 90% of the Vietnam War was fought at night.  The only reason they depict it as day fighting is that making movies of night is pretty boring so they simply make things up.  You see, America does one thing very well, we do “artillery” and have for a very long time.  Why use a sniper during the day when you can simply call in artillery.

Let me explain.  In the day, instead of having snipers, we had forward observer teams, one NCO with a radio operator.  One of our best Marine teams was a gay couple.  No one cared as Vietnam was almost like a real war, no Playstations and no contractors serving meals.  Closest thing we had to that, air conditioners and steak and lobster for lunch was the Air Force.  Yes, they really lived like that.

When an “enemy” unit would come out during the day, invariably in an area designated a “free fire zone,” they would be seen.  Then artillery would be used to bracket the “grid square” they were in, a square kilometer.  Using up to naval 16 inch and down to 4.2″ mortar and everything in between, the grid square would be obliterated.  By that, I mean taken from forest to ready to plant once someone filled in the huge craters.  Nothing would be standing.

People with guns didn’t walk around during the day, not very often, not anyone other than Americans.  At night, were they to approach DaNang or other defended areas, they would be picked up by sensors, magnetic or seismic.  Artillery would fire on that as well, often killing small local deer.  In between times, artillery would continually fire “H &I,” or “harassment and interdiction.”  Vietnam could be quite dangerous.

Another point is the Vietnamese themselves.  For Americans walking around during the day, Vietnamese would watch us and follow us, if we allowed that.  Many Vietnamese resented us, imagine that!  We worked hard to evade being seen but also had protection in numbers, though a typical Marine squad was maybe 7 men.

The idea of a lone sniper with a funny outfit creeping around during the day with a bolt action rifle seems a bit unlikely.  There was another problem.  There was no one to shoot.

During one “ambush” we killed 3 people, a woman, a child and someone over 70.  They had one weapon, an unloaded and broken AK47.

This was during a truce, they were coming back to see their family as per agreement and we were there to kill them in violation of the truce, something we always did.  Nobody talks about such things?  Imagine that.

So, in Vietnam, who would a sniper shoot?  Do you think someone shot 100 North Vietnamese generals?  While on “operations,” this means traveling to a remote area by ship and landing, like on D-Day, we would enter areas with high concentrations of enemy.  Generally we would have serious problem, lots of dead people, stacked up in bags waiting to be taken back to the ships.

What we are saying is simple, snipers played no real role in Vietnam.  If the war was won, which it wasn’t, artillery did it.  I sure as hell didn’t.  Vietnam wasn’t won by Navy Seals, only 38 were killed in Vietnam in nearly 15 years compared to over 17,000 Marines and there weren’t that many Marines serving in Vietnam.

Many of the special operations units spent 90% of their time in rear areas living as well as possible doing exactly what the rest of us would do if we were as smart as them.  It would be impossible for any of these people to see as much real combat as an Army draftee who served as a simple “combat infantryman.”

What has been confirmed is that some American units serving in both Iraq and Afghanistan simply murdered civilians, and we mean women and children in “drive by” type shootings.  They would drive down the road and simply shoot at people walking by.  Americans have been convicted of this.  Another “trick” is to drive by a group of kids and toss a hand grenade at them.

Were these deaths added to the “sniper kills?”  My guess would be yes.

Another point that isn’t bought up is that within the US military street gangs have a very strong presence.  This has made the US military an unreliable guest anywhere in the world.  In Vietnam we had units that were basically “trash.”  Remember the Mai La massacre?  An American unit made up mostly of draftees and 3rd string officers murdered between 400 and up to 800 civilians, lining them up and shooting them down, we are talking only women, babies, small children and a few old men.

I would get angry at the people with me if they raised their voices at Vietnamese civilians.  For the most part, the Vietnamese were very kind to us, certainly much nicer than the American people and endlessly nicer than the “crotch” as real Marines referred to the “Corps” then.  Oh, you didn’t now that?  I think they call it “the Suck” now.

VT represents veterans from every war.  Defending war and war crimes, the kind of things Israel was involved in this summer, what the ICC will “white wash” when threatened or bribed, or what is going on on behalf of the Kiev junta against the decent people of the Ukraine is what war is really about.

War is about thugs with guns working for banks and oil companies, for drug cartels and crooked politicians.  War is a racket, but wait a minute, I stole that from someone else.  There are no good wars, there never were.  The Civil War wasn’t fought over slaves and the American War of Independence, in the end, turned out to be a struggle between international banking cartels with the worst one winning in the end when the Rothschilds took over the US in 1913.

After that, we fought World War I and II on their behalf and the rest is history, a history we live every day.  Hiring criminals from “clown colleges” to rewrite history, making movies about snipers and staging Paris street theatre isn’t going to change any of it.  The whole thing is a con.

No one has clean hands, not me, not anyone.  Even speaking up isn’t enough and few speak up at all.  Simply put, if you leave the US and kill a citizen of another country because George W. Bush and Dick Cheney or their friend Netanyahu makes a buck from it and you consider yourself a hero instead of a fool or criminal, talking to you isn’t going to help.

Think of Christmas 1914, the Christmas Truce.  What if all the men who got out of the trenches, turned around and marched on their leaders instead?  Where would we be now?  Hey, get yourself a job with Booz Allen, PJ Media or the Jamestown Foundation.  Planning terror attacks to keep the world killing each other pays well.


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Gordon Duff posted articles on VT from 2008 to 2022. He is a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War. A disabled veteran, he worked on veterans and POW issues for decades. Gordon is an accredited diplomat and is generally accepted as one of the top global intelligence specialists. He manages the world's largest private intelligence organization and regularly consults with governments challenged by security issues. Duff has traveled extensively, is published around the world, and is a regular guest on TV and radio in more than "several" countries. He is also a trained chef, wine enthusiast, avid motorcyclist, and gunsmith specializing in historical weapons and restoration. Business experience and interests are in energy and defense technology.