I have a question for our readers who have seen American Sniper.

How does the movie handle the scene where he lies about beating up Jesse Ventura?

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20 thoughts on “I have a question for our readers who have seen American Sniper.

  1. hawthornecht

    The juice? I see. Will it keep him out of the Hall of Fame?

    I let my boys see a lot of violent movies–carefully selected, and with conversation to discuss the violence. I want to teach them that violence and war is the way of the world in our fallen state, the ethos of the warrior, the hero and so on…but when my youngest boy saw an ad for this movie and said “that looks stupid” I got misty eyed–that somehow, maybe, I had scored one vs the Conditioners. Drone pilots, snipers…not of the heroic and more a feminine sort of hero. I don’t doubt the artistry of the sniper, but racking up kills in Iraq is embarrassing.

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  2. T. Chan

    ” Drone pilots, snipers…not of the heroic and more a feminine sort of hero. I don’t doubt the artistry of the sniper, but racking up kills in Iraq is embarrassing.”

    Maybe everyone in infantry should abandon the rifle, then, to be heroic, and go back to swords. Not sure what the problem is since everyone associated with infantry uses a long-range weapon and the ideal is to catch the other guy off guard, not to give him a “sporting chance.”

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      1. T. Chan

        Re: the killing of combatants who were traditionally not so, it’s not my place to judge him for making that call in order to protect others. Nor am I going to put the blame that properly belongs to the politicians and maybe the military brass on him. I think he thought he was serving his country and protecting his comrades, and as a fellow-citizen I wouldn’t prosecute him for doing what he thought was his duty.

        In warfare where the use of projectile weapons is dominant, no one with reason gives the other side a sporting chance. Everyone is a hunter of humans if they can help it.

        Similarly, on the street if someone attacks me and I have better weapons available to defend myself I’m not going to disarm myself just so that it’s a “fair” fight.

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      2. hawthornecht

        The question is aesthetics, not the nature of the job hired to do. Does Kyle’s work meet the classical definition of hero? Of warrior?

        The invasion of Iraq was billed as a humanitarian project, and Kyle to his credit, shared in his book that he hated “Iraqis.” Of course this reveals he was too stupid to think about all the different kinds of tribes Saddam was holding together (extremely well in light of Iraq without him) in a made up country.

        Kyle is subject to blame because he made money–lots of money— off his stories in the Neocon/Super Patriot/PATCON circles.

        I have written before that he is (was–but apparently still is) a put up job to replace the conservative Catholic, Lon Horiuchi, another sniper who killed women and children and was billed as a conservative.

        It’s one thing to follow orders, it’s another to make shit up and demonstrate a sociopathic inability for humility, self-reflection, and study.

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  3. redphillips Post author

    The problem I have with making a hero out of a modern military member, sniper or otherwise, is that they carry out their exploits in wars we shouldn’t be in. However, I do think it is necessary to tread very carefully here, because most people aren’t where we are at yet, and you risk alienating a lot of people and doing a lot more harm for the cause than good if you just denounce all modern military members as killers as I have seen done in some Facebook threads. Everything has context, and this context has to be kept in mind when making pronouncements.

    I have heard the skepticism about drone pilots and snipers before. Both are useful in just and necessary wars and save lives and keep the shooter or pilot safer than if they were closer to the action. The concerns that I have heard, and this applies more to drone pilots than snipers, is that the distance makes the death less real to the person and hence lends itself to abuse.

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      1. redphillips Post author

        Ha ha. I read about this when there was all the controversy about Jesse Ventura winning his lawsuit. He has told some whoppers, but people just don’t want to believe anything bad about him. That is why I posted this, and made it my status on Facebook. I was just sick of all the hero worship.

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    1. weavercht

      You’re right about not wanting to alienate, but it’s amusing how it’s often ex-military who condemn the wars most strongly.

      Soldiers I’ve met have been totally disillusioned, especially about the propaganda put out by US mass media about events as they happen.

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  4. roho

    The historical evolving of snipers on the battlefield is quite interesting. It was once soooooo frowned upon, that a captured sniper was always tortured and executed. During the 1700’s you did not even shoot the officers of the enemy combatants. (The Brits hated that the American Colonialist had accepted the Indian’s way of ambush and shoot everyone.) Even during WWII, General Patton still refered to them as assasins. Battlefield conditions change, and unlike the jungle “Pray & Spray” of Vietnam, marksmanship returned in the desert warfare of Iraq and Afganistan. The hay day of open sight accuracy was WWI with the awesome bolt action battle rifles. The youthful eyes of a 14 year old Taliban shooter, with an 1891 Mossin Nagant Model 91 was a reality in the open, target rich, deserts of the ME. Dedicated enemy snipers even had the Russian made Dragonoff with PSO scopes.

    People that criticize sniping should spend some time at the shooting range to enjoy the accuracy of these rifles. A well trained sniper can stop the movement of many enemy combatants, until help arrives. (Worldwide competition takes place each year for all militaries of the world at a single location like Camp Shelby Mississippi.)……….It’s now well accepted unless your the one being sniped.

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      1. weavercht

        A marine told me a story the other day that he was shot at close range, perhaps multiple times I forget; but before he blacked out was able to kill his shooter with a knife. So he brought a knife to a gun fight and won.

        A local Afghan, elderly, carried him to a hospital afterwards. And he supposedly visited the man later to say thanks.

        Anyway, it wasn’t heroic, but it was pretty badass. The guy also speaks Chinese and Russian and other languages. I think he’s a UK marine… Anyway, great story whatever the truth of it all. The guy didn’t seem to view his government as “good” but might have looked down on those who are weak, which is a much better view imo than idolising a government. He didn’t seem a bad guy though not a thinker. He knew how to train one’s lungs as the seals do, which was neat.

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  5. roho

    Just an afterthought?………..Soldiers placed in harms way by WALL STREET, sometimes react as General Smedley Butler did……..Why not?…….Mitt Romney said that his 5 sons of combat age was serving their country by helping him get elected?……..Really?………..Raum Emanuel the existing mayor of Chicago served NO TIME IN THE US MILITARY, but found time to serve in the ISRAELI DEFENSE FORCES, then return to America to later advise the POTUS?

    The Soldiers creed is “Not to ask them why, but to serve and die”………..US Soldiers do NOT embrace politics, but simply follow orders, come home wounded, then try and sort it out. (Which sometimes results in suicide as we are now seeing.)…………………I hate US Foreign Policy!…..But, our soldiers have no control over that, and have to follow whichever crazy ass administration is in power at the time!(German soldiers had no choice as well?)

    They have no choice but to follow orders, and bond with each other, once thrown into the Hell of WAR………………We the voters, are the guilty party of putting them in that situation as a result of our stupidity at the POLLS!……..It’s our guilt!……………NOT THEIRS!

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    1. weavercht

      Roho,

      my grandfather once said “the military is the last legal form of slavery”.

      I like how so many “vets” were mere lawyers… The idea of deserving praise is you sacrifice or risk for a higher cause. I doubt the lawyers did more good in the military than they would have as a civilian.

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      1. hawthornecht

        Great Uncle won a medal on Okinawa, hated Japs, was suspicious of the Black Man…still, as a medic, he saw Nagasaki and had regret which I was honored to have shared with. He refused to his end–which is only 10 years ago–to go through with the pomp and circumstance. That’s called being a Christian.

        Kyle was a celebrity who was making millions off his persona with a bunch of questionable, if not outright fabricated stories. Classic Eastwood/Dirty Harry never actually touching the real issue.

        Alien.

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      2. weavercht

        hawthorne,

        Nagasaki sounds horrific and unnecessary to me. Your uncle sounds like a good man.

        I had actually never heard of Kyle before this thread. I rarely know any of the pop conservative news until it’s posted here.

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