Chris Kyle & American Sniper.

Just a few thoughts on the controversy surrounding the film:

– the military doesn’t exist in a vacuum and it does NOT make its own policy. If you don’t like the policies highlighted in the movie, take the matter up with your elected officials. Haven’t you ever heard of the Commander in Chief or the House Armed Services Committee? THEY create the rules of engagement. THEY are the authors of military policy. THEY choose the field of battle, the foe, and the fight. Service members have NO sway on policy or anything else.

– Hollywood has created a romantic idea that one person can change the whole military for the better by disobeying orders they don’t like during deployment. This is a gigantic lie. If any member of the military disobeys orders during deployment, their coworkers and friends could end up dead, which is why individuals choose to follow orders. Change happens when it’s initiated far from the battlefield.

– the Americans who answer the call of duty are regular humans, just like you. They have flaws, stressors, and histories. They’re doing their very best on your behalf. If you think you can do better, join and lead the way. If not, pipe down.

there are better things to be outraged about then this film. Here is a short list:
– the rise of preventable, deadly childhood illnesses in the USA and the ignorant, rabid legion of anti-vaxxers.
– our American public schools are hopelessly behind in math and science, and our inner city schools are failing. We are losing an entire generation of children.
– Boko Haram: murderers, genocidal maniacs, kidnappers, sex traffickers, and completely unchecked.
– the Islamic State (or whatever they’re calling themselves these days). Everything about them and Boko Haram should cause outrage and anger in your soul.
– Detroit and other American cities are rittled with violence. Children are murdered in drive-bys or in other acts of violence. We are doing NOTHING about this.
– racism and sexism are so prevalent in our society that we have become blind to it.
– our elected officials couldn’t give fewer fucks about the people they represent. It’s all about getting elected and winning the next election. How about governing for a change?
– big money influencing politics. “Corporations are people, my friend” and all that bs.

– I am a product of and a member of the intellectual, liberal, egalitarian, and altruistic class of folks in our country, and I am far from some kind of “sheep” or puppet follower of our military-industrial complex. However, I do not see a single conflict with supporting our service members. Like I said – if you don’t like what the military is doing, take it up with our elected officials. They create the policies that the military carries out. That’s why I LOVE to vote!

In closing, Michael Moore & Seth Rogan are fools. LLBH.

4 comments

  1. The responses to this movie have been very interesting to me. As part of the military community, there is nothing but blind support…to the point of hating on anyone who points out any critique. On the flip side, as a social worker in a liberal non-profit, many of my colleagues have actually boycotted the movie. They feel that it glorifies violence and promotes racism; it does not show equally both side of the war.

    I’m somewhat in the middle. I enjoyed the movie, and I think that it highlighted some really great things; PTSD and the brotherhood of the military. Was Chris Kyle a perfect person? No. He had flaws just like any other individual (which the movie mostly glossed over). It’s one film, it can’t hope to capture the complexities of the Iraq war, or any war for that matter. A film has to chose what message it wants to show and what issues it wants to highlight; I feel that this film did a good job of highlighting the ones that they chose to focus on.

  2. I’m not sure anyone is actually outraged because, after all, it’s only a movie. I’m not impressed by fake controversies over things celebrities say on Twitter. Celebrities aren’t historians, or even teachers. Why should we care what they have to say about anything outside of their field of expertise?

    However, Rogen was correct to note there are similarities between combat scenes in American Sniper and “Nation’s Pride” the movie-within-the-movie in Inglorious Basterds. They were framed and edited in similar ways. Movies imitate other movies. BFD.

  3. Well said. My Facebook feed has been blowing up over this. I haven’t seen it yet (four month olds don’t make for the best movie dates) so I don’t feel all that comfortable having an opinion. Still, it irritates me to high heaven when people get up-in-arms about military movies glorifying violence. That’s Hollywood. It sells tickets. None of the celebrities I’ve seen make comments about American Sniper are innocent in that sense. Personally, I hate violent movies, they make me feel sick. So throwing a uniform in there isn’t going to make me say “woohoo! war!”
    It’s still going to make my stomach turn. I don’t see this converting anyone into a densensitized American radicalist simply because it hits them in the patriotism.

  4. I like what you said about not criticizing so closely if you are not in that situation. Many people think they know quite a lot about about right, wrong, choices they would make and how things “should” be done. Arm-chair quarterbacking is something I detest when people get righteously indignant. Particularly when it comes to the military. They know little, but speak much. Decisions made on the field of battle are made way ahead of time in training and political rules of engagement.

    Soldiers have choices, but what many overlook is that most times the choices are made for them. And if they are not, the next most important factor is whether or not said choice will save you or your buddies’ lives. There is some tunnel vision involved.

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