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 STEYR HS .50 effective to 1500 meters (courtesy

When the Pope called for peace in the Middle East he wasn’t kidding. The region is a swirling cauldron of ethnic, tribal, political and national violence. The so-called “Arab spring” (welcomed by our President) has done nothing to stabilize the region and much to destabilize it. The Syrian civil war, for example, has shuffled the deck, giving numerous bad actors a chance to gain arms, personnel and fighting experience. Specifically, “In 2005, the Austrian Steyr Mannlicher shipped 800 long-range bolt action anti-materiel rifles to Iran,” reports, “causing US concern lest they find their way to Iraq for use against coalition forces . . .

Copies of the Austrian Steyr 50 made in Iran were supplied to pro-Iran Iraqi Shiite clandestine groups then fighting the US. Today those groups are sending forces to Syria. There, the Steyr turned up first a year ago, used against Syrian rebels by snipers attached to Iranian special units.

And now Israel faces the threat . . .

IDF [Israeli Defense Force] investigators are combing through recent records to find out if [Popular Resistance Committees member Saleh Abu a-Tayyel’s death] was the first instance of a Palestinian sniper hit [using the Steyr rifle]. They are taking a second look at the murder of the 20-year old IDF Master Sgt. Gal Koby on Sept. 22. He too died of a single shot while on guard at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron. The shooter and his weapon were never found.

The new features of the current wave of Palestinian anti-Israeli terror are disturbing Israel’s military chiefs: It is orchestrated from Istanbul and Gaza by a new command made up of released Palestinian prisoners; Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas has not made the slightest effort to deploy his US-trained security forces to curb the rising violence; and finally the advent of snipers trained to kill with a single accurate bullet fired from a high-powered weapon.

To avoid this new peril, the IDF this week directed Israeli farmers to stop working their fields abutting on the Gaza Strip and draw back to a 1-kilometer radius from the border fence. The rifle is believed too heavy to plant just behind the fence. However, Israel has now been forced to accept a 1-kilometer deep no-go zone on its side of the border and keep it off-limits to civilians.

New weapons, new tactics, same old conflict.

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  1. To say the President supported the Arab Spring is, not to put to blunt a word to it, a lie.

    The Administration was consistently behind the curve. They came out in support of all of the current governments until it was obvious they were lost causes. For instance, they backed Mubarak until the very end and then suggested that his CIA-trained torturer-in-chief become the next President.

    But please, don’t let that get in the way of cleverly implying that “Our Moozlum President supports terrorism”

    • More important…the factions the US government backed were the fascist dictator types (the kind of people that RF would be against, and rightly so, if they were US politicians or LEOs), because dictatorships make better vassal states. The more liberal (in the classic, Jefferson-esque sense of the word, not the neo-fascist Obama-esque sense) groups were too interested in throwing out the foreign imperialists for the US government’s tastes.

    • Wait, nuran, when exactly was Obama in support of the Arab Spring in Libya? Was it when the insurgents were getting their butts kicked, or when they only had a chance aftef he ordered NATO airstrikes? Don’t get me wrong, Obama is wrong 99% of the time in foreign policy, and probably only accidentally right on that last 1%. Still, for better or worse, mostly worse, Ghaddafi is dead and Libya is what it is because of Obama’s efforts. The other countries? I’d agree with you.

  2. US did back the Arab Spring, while also trying to back those in power, in short they played both sides. They gave weapons to the Egyptian military to support Mubarak while also aiding the Egyptian protestors going so far as training some of them internationally.

    The US also supported rebels in Libya and Syria as well.

    That said US was in the wrong in all of its meddling, so it isn’t innocent at all and that goes back to more than just Obama.

  3. Let’s chip in to send Rabbi Mosbacher from the previous post over to Syria and let him talk them out of their guns.
    That should fix everything.

    • It would fix something, alright.

      But somehow the people who think that disarmament solves everything don’t follow their beliefs into actual danger, for some reason.

  4. The Palestinian Authority doesn’t control Gaza, Hezbollah does. Very different groups with different ideologies.

    Beyond that it is the same old thing. Israel attacks, Palestinians attack, Palestinian Authority can’t make promises for or control what happens in Gaza and Israel breaks promises, lies and sabotages when they can.

    The sad part is that the majority of people on both sides want it all to stop, a deal to be made and to just get on with their lives. Problem is with Hezbollah having anything to do with it and the Likud party in Israel with that idiot Netanyahu calling the shots it will never happen.

    Rather sad all the way around.

    • You’re absolutely right, Tom.

      Each side can point to attrocities done (and insane statements made) by the other and say “See, they don’t want peace. They want us all exterminated and will stop at nothing short.”

      Of course, what the israeli/palestinian conflict has to do w/ TTAG, I don’t know.

    • You hit it right on the head. If you ask anyone in the rubble-filled street what they want, they will probably tell you they just want to be able to buy food for dinner. Or live until the next meal.

      We have nothing to fear from an alien invasion. This civilization knows little except killing one another. There has not been a time when there was not a war somewhere on this planet. That is telling…

      • Both sides in the middle-east have holy books extolling the virtues of military success and providing the godly justification for genocide….in the past.

        These texts, the history, have become something like the curse of legacy software, but with guns and on steroids.

    • Just one minor correction Tom.
      It is Hamas who controls Gaza, not Hezbollah. Hezbollah sends support, as do certain factions in Egypt, but they do not control day to day operations and planning within Gaza. Hamas entered Gaza, and have taken over where Fatah which is the main group in the Palestinian Authority has no role in Gaza.

      • You are correct, sorry about that.

        I try to avoid Gaza, only been there once and have no plan to return. I think my brain got mixed up with Lebanon where Israel is/has held the “defense line”. Spent some time there and sort of never want to return to that area of Lebanon.

        Anyway, thank you for the correction.

  5. Let them shoot each other. Why should it matter to us? Violent felons should be allowed to have guns when they are out of jail but these people should not have a certain sniper rifles. Is RF upset that they are shooting at people in Israel? It is his belief and right that all people should be armed with whatever they should have. Should the 2A apply only to Americans and no one else?

      • Have you read SCOTUS’s explanation of the 2nd Amendment?
        In short, the right applies to every person on Earth. It’s a Natural Right which has nothing to do with the Constitution, other than the fact that the Constitution memorializes and codifies that it shall not be infringed.

        “…it has always been widely understood that the Second Amendment, like the First and Fourth Amendments, codified a pre-existing right. The very text of the Second Amendment implicitly recognizes the pre-existence of the right and declares only that it “shall not be infringed.” As we said in United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U. S. 542, 553 (1876), “[t]his is not a right granted by the Constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence.”

        • Yes. I’ve read all the opinions in Heller and McDonald, and fail to see where anyone said that the U.S. Constitution applies outside of the United States to foreign nationals. If you want to talk about the natural, preexisting rights of all mankind, then that is fine, but my friend above specifically referenced “2A.”

  6. Gonna catch flak for this but I find this good news, resisting occupation is the same whether its rocks or .50 BMG (though .50 BMG is preferable).

    • I tend to agree with you. My response to this article is “boo-effin’-hoo”. So the Palestinian side now has a handful of .50 BMG rifles. Israel had attack helicopters and tanks (thanks to the American taxpayer) back when the Palestinians were just chucking bricks. Maybe a little more parity in force is what’s needed to bring the Israelis to the table in good faith and end the damn conflict, something the majority of their people want.

      I personally don’t have a dog in the fight, and it seems to me that there are no longer any “good guys” in the conflict. The leadership on both sides have perpetuated the violence to advance their own agendas, ignoring that the man in the street, be he Arab or Jew, just wants the endless cycle of killing to stop.

        • Truth. It’s easy and wrong to say “both sides have done good and bad, they’re equivalent”. No they’re not. It takes more research, but while things are rarely black and white they are often different shades of grey. It’s a common sign of bad journalism and undereducated opinions. Israel takes great pain to avoid civilian deaths, they know that their existence is dependent on maintaining good international relationships. This is their public policy, reference the Israeli Defense Forces’ “purity of arms” doctrine. Palestinian elected leadership (both Hamas and Fatah) literally routinely openly carry out massacres of civilians through their “armed wings” and praise every mass murder of innocent civilians. Reference Fatah’s al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, Hamas’s the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, The Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine, the atheistic Marxist-Leninist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (who are just as bad as the worst violent Islamists), etc. Fatah and the PFLP have actually proudly and openly deployed children as suicide bombers, with no shame (the other groups I’ve mentioned have all also committed horrifying crimes against humanity, of course, but unlike Israel they actually continue to brag about such acts) I sincerely care for the welfare of the Palestinian and Israeli people and hope for peace in Israel and the Palestinian territories and I believe in a two-state solution that provides independence and self-determination for both peoples- as do the majority of Israelis, and a minority of Palestinians. I don’t value an Israeli life more than a Palestinian life, and I want everyone’s human rights protected. But one of these two cultures is more violent and has less respect for the sanctity of life. I have pity for the children who are raised to admire violence. Slinging stones at strangers is not a healthy childhood pastime, it’s assault and in America perpetrators are locked up. If only all of this energy was directed into economic development instead of hate!

  7. @maiko (sorry, comment system won’t allow me to reply to the reply to the reply to the reply)

    You’re right.

    Though I think Shawn was using 2A to mean the universal RKBA that way we use Xerox to mean making copies.

  8. @Jus Bill (sorry, as above, the comment system won’t allow me to reply to the reply to the reply to the reply)

    “Tell that to the subjects in England and Australia”

    Well a right denied is a right no less. I say this as a disarmed subject myself (of the CDRofNJ™).

  9. Small tactical nukes. Or carpet bombing, the 800 yard waffle where the buildings used to be. But unless they attack the golf courses around DC the Syrians have nothing to worry about.

  10. You might want to keep this article in mind the next time you’re confronted with that old “guns are useless against a modern military” canard.

    That awkward moment when despite being in possession of nuclear weapons, killer drones, supersonic aircraft, modern tanks, state of the art artillery, and satellite surveillance, you are still, for purely political reasons, “forced to accept a 1-kilometer deep no-go zone on its side of the border and keep it off-limits to civilians.”

    Because, you know, single-shot bolt-action rifle.

  11. I’m SICK OF HEARING THAT ISRAEL “FACES”; they’re the biggest threat to global security as it is. FLAME DELETED

    • If Hamas and Hezbollah surrender today they will continue. If Isreal surrenders today they will all be killed within a month.

      • And if they go, who’s next? The chant I always hear is “Death to Israel, Death to America!” To those people, Israel is the “Little Satan” and the United States of America is the “Great Satan”. Just look at Islamist rhetoric and actions (remember 9/11/2001?). Israel takes the brunt of the hatred of the Islamic world that would otherwise be directed toward America, and that alone makes their continuing existence an asset to the USA, to say nothing of right-and-wrong and the right of the Jewish and Israeli people to self-determination like every other nation. Even if we withdrew completely from intervention in the middle east and Islamic world, the USA would still be hated for our history of intervention, promoting human rights and democracy, and for our values (we’re not an oppressive Islamic caliphate).

  12. Unfortunately this response is typical of Israel as of late since I visited in 2010. By this I mean that the response is not arm israeli civilians and teach them to defend themselves outside of uniform or outside the IDF.

    Israel has become much weaker morally then what it was even 20 years ago and especially since its founding. When I went to the Ben-Gurion`s Desert Home there was a picture as well as the uzi and 9mm luger pistol he carried everyday after he was prime minister of Israel.

    I remember an Israeli soldier was interested that I knew so much about the tavor and I told her that I look forward to owning one some day. Then she flipped out and said why would anyone need to own one who is not in government. I was kind of shocked to hear this from an Israeli who was working for a security company and carrying an m1 carbine. Odd to say the least that they have been psychologically conditioned to fear private unregulated ownership of firearms.

    To say the least Israel is a police state contrary to popular belief.

    Also these rifle are most likely Iranian copies of the Steyr HS 50 due to the fact it is well established that the IRanian government supplies weapons to insurgents and terrorist organizations all over the world.

  13. None of this actually surprises me…go back to the 80’s when the U.S. was sup[plying arms, specifically stingers, to the Afghani rebels to use against the former Soviet Union, we faced those same arms in 2003……same shit, different day…

  14. The Isreali’s won’t negotiate over these rifles. They’ve established a no go zone which will now be an live fire artillery range. You “pound out” a hostile sniper.


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