Friday, September 30, 2005

Countdown to 2,000

Democracy on the march:

... Also Thursday, the U.S. military announced the deaths of five U.S. soldiers Wednesday in a roadside bombing during combat in Ramadi, west of Baghdad, a hotbed of Iraq's insurgency.

It was the deadliest single attack against American troops in more than a month, bringing to 1,934 the number of U.S. service members who have died since Iraq's war started in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.

Mission accomplished, indeed. One wonders if the death toll reaching 2,000 will equate to some sort of snapping point for people who have tolerated this until now. And, if not, what about 3,000? What was once unthinkable now seems entirely within reach.

Remember that it was that magic number of 3,000 dead that this administration used to justify every one of their atrocities since 9/11. 3,000 dead. Horrific. Unimaginable. Mind-boggling. The reason "everything changed."

So what happens when Commander Chimpy's own "War on Terror" (not to mention non-existent WMDs) is personally responsible for more American deaths than the terrorist attacks of September, 2001? Will that change things yet again?

BANG, BANG ... YOU'RE DEAD: Apparently, that mystical figure of 3,000 American military dead could arrive a lot sooner than you think, what with the zippy, new Russian AN-94 "Abakan" assault rifle if it falls into the hands of the insurgency. And what's so special about this new toy? From the spec sheet:

The main Assault Rifle's feature is that it has two rate of fire modes. The first standard is 600 rpm that is equal to the AK-74 Assault Rifle while the other is 1 800 rpm. However it has no manual mode changer. The 1 800 rpm mode automatically turns on when Assault Rifle fires 2 shot burst. It also fires 1 800 rpm first two full-auto mode shots and after returns to the previous 600 rpm mode itself. Furthermore the process is repeated every time when shooter pushes a trigger. First two shots leave barrel in 1 800 rpm while their recoil power is felt only when rifle changes mode back to the 600 rpm. This feature provides very high fire accuracy in the first shots. Furthermore burst recoil power is so small that the AN-94 shooter is able to execute fire without grinding rifle into his shoulder, just right from his hands.

During this 2 shot burst at 1 800 rpm, shooter feels only a single recoil from the 2 shots combined only afterwards both bullets leave barrel. Furthermore these 2 shots sound like one. This feature is called asymmetric recoil.

In short, the first two rounds are fired so closely together, they sound and feel like one. And why is this such a big deal? Because, according to a snippet in the "Social Studies" section of today's Globe and Mail:

"The new Russian AN-94 Abakan rifle, which is replacing the Kalashnikov, can fire a very rapid burst of two bullets -- at 100 metres, both bullets will go through the same hole," reports BBC Focus magazine. "Body armour can only withstand a single bullet at one point, so the second will penetrate."

Ooooooh ... I'm sure that's not what American troops fighting overseas wanted to hear. Bummer.

1 comment:

Martin B. said...

Russian ingenuity mowing down American soldiers. I would find it amusing, if it weren't so sad.