“American Sniper’ the movie, has rapidly moved from just a movie, or just a war movie, to a political and social issue. The artistic and aesthetics of the film get over looked by both the adulators and the critics; both of whom tend to focus, not so much on the movie, but on the character or characters that it was based upon. Also upon the larger story. That over-arching story is still hidden from the public, obfuscated from examination and bottom line; it could be so horrible that few care to deal with it. The larger story that I am referencing here is the invasion of the Middle East by American Forces starting in 2001, that is still going on in the present. Clint Eastwood, the director of the film, wisely chose to concentrate on one American soldier in his four tours in Iraq. To focus on the wider issues of American involvement in what may be seen as the most perfidious, mendacious, murderous military involvement so far in the 21st century, or the preceding 20th century ever undertaken by a United States administration. Even including Vietnam, but that is a close one…
A disastrous policy that has left many dead along with a huge amount of seriously disabled. And from 100,000 dead Iraqis (the low ball figure according to U.S. statistics) to one million, if you include those dead of starvation and hunger during the economic sanctions from before the war in 2003.
And it’s not over yet. The Middle East has been a tinder box for many decades, and now America’s involvement has exploded that tinder box. The Middle East is in flames. No one can paint American policy there as anything other than an unmitigated disaster; not even the high level perpetrators themselves
For the sake of argument, let’s say that the producers and directors of American Sniper tried to avoid the merits and demerits of the politics of the Iraq war. It turned out to be the elephant in the room. You can pretend to ignore it, but it’s there nonetheless.
Lest we forget to cover the movie itself, American Sniper is well told, well acted, with an incredible stand out performance by Bradley Cooper as Chris Kyle, and director Clint Eastwood somehow managed to place us in a land of death, dirt, destruction, devastation, filled with hate and violence. As a sniper, Chris Kyle dealt out death in volume, becoming the most successful sniper in U.S. military history. Still he remained more than a sympathetic character to the audience…He was beloved.
I for one don’t mind that he was beloved. Perhaps Chris Kyle is fated to join the pantheon of great soldiers and good men that fought for unworthy causes. (I for one certainly believe the Iraq war ranks up there in the unworthy, even criminal war category.) A club that may include the rebels who, many times fought unwittingly for slavery in the Civil War, The great tank commander General Erwin Rommel, the desert fox who fought for the Nazis in WW2. (A note here: At the end of the war Rommel did participate in a plot to overthrow Hitler) There are many others
Soldiers are in a way, police that have been promoted to enforce the law of force against another country, or another military, regular, or irregular, by extreme violence…Violence so extreme that innocent, or in military speak, collateral humans are sacrificed along with the enemy. This is one reason many say that war is defensible only as self defense. The Iraqi war certainly did not come close to being anything near to self defense.
Written law or treaty can affect the violence that the military does, but often what is legal is a mere detail. There is no undo button and conquerors don’t give back unless that is what the guys at the top had planned all along. The victors tend to vanquish their critics along with their enemies.
The American Sniper Chris Kyle may be a hero to some, and I have no wish to speak ill of the dead. But the foundation and justification of his actions stands on shaky grounds at best.
A deeper more plausible hero, and a man whose honor comes from a place beyond love of military, of unit, and even of country itself is the former Minnesota Governor, Jesse Ventura. Our first loyalty should be to humanity and God. Certainly not to black ops and misinformation. (A quick note here, the former governor is an atheist, as well as being a former Navy Seal).
When he saw the military and the nation going into illegal and false wars, he spoke out. Doing the right thing often brings calumny and grief down upon the patriots head. Jesse Ventura was attacked, mocked and vilified when he pointed out that the emperor had no clothes. In fact he recently won a court case against the estate of Chris Kyle for slander and libel.
People are free to choose their heroes. I choose former Navy Seal and anti-war activist Jesse Ventura. The, by far and away, greater patriot.
The American Sniper, Chris Kyle, died under unusual circumstances. As far as I am aware of there is no evidence contrary to the official story of his untimely death. But in these modern times, black ops and cover ups sometime seem to be the rule and not the exception.
Pat Tilman, the NFL star who volunteered to serve in Afghanistan was going to come home to speak out against the war and he was killed. Was he murdered? The one thing for sure is that the army lied repeatedly about the circumstances of his death. This is on record.
Celebrities and war and billions in recruitment advertising and a government with a modern foundation of lies…An unsavory mix at the least. What would have become of the American Sniper, Chris Kyle, had he been allowed to live? We will never know.
From the interviews and videos that I have seen of him, he seemed very tightly wound, a man that was fighting an internal war.
I would have hoped that he would have won that war in time; moving from a man willing to kill for his country, to die for his country, to someone that would risk his life for truth, someone willing to speak against wrong, even against the rulers of his beloved country when they have betrayed the homeland, the military and humanity.
Choose your heroes as you like, but time now for the cold hard truth…
Do not forget the Iraq war sucks and is still sucking today. Never forget.