The Man Behind the American Sniper

Clint Eastwood is a talented actor and director and I loved him for doing another version of Flags of our Fathers, from the Japanese point of view (Letters from Iwo-Jima). Retelling that famous scene where American soldiers put the flag on enemy territory. It is a great film that exposes the other side of the war. My ancestors on my mother’s maternal side were Japanese going back three generations so I appreciated that. However when I saw Clint Eastwood speak in one of the Romney/Ryan conferences, promoting them and talking to an empty chair I rolled my eyes and said “Clint, stick to acting and directing. Politics is not your thing.”

But as the years have gone by -thankfully Romney and Ryan lost and Obama won- Clint retreated from his attempt on making sense (if he ever did) on politics and stuck with directing. And while no one can argue he is a good actor and director, this recent movie in spite of the big fuzz surrounding it and the book also being talked about; I never got interested in it. To me with the recent Islamophobia it seemed like another attempt to cloud the issue. I did some digging however so I would not be left completely in the dark and what I found was utterly disgusting.

Bradley Cooper as Chris Kyle in "American  Sniper". Bradley Cooper recently defended the man he played and said he was a hero. Bradley is not at fault for defending him, he played him and the movie got nominated for it, so naturally he feels very attached to it; but story-telling clouds the issue. Many have gone so far as to defend him by threatening others who have criticized the film and book on which it is based on, with murder and rape.
Bradley Cooper as Chris Kyle in “American Sniper”. Bradley Cooper recently defended the man he played and said he was a hero. Bradley is not at fault for defending him, he played him and the movie got nominated for it, so naturally he feels very attached to it; but story-telling clouds the issue. Many have gone so far as to defend him by threatening others who have criticized the film and book on which it is based on, with murder and rape.

Yes, this man has a good military record for being so good at his job. But he was a poor excuse of a human being. Playing devil’s advocate I could look past this behavior for his duty to this country, but I won’t. What he said was disgusting and what he boasted of doing is even more disgusting. War, whatever; his actions do not merit admiration.

Bradley Cooper, who plays Kyle, seems beset by uncertainty and moral anxiety in the above scene. But anyone who has read Kyle’s autobiography of the same title knows that his bravado left no room for doubt.  (Jett, New Republic)

And I am even more disappointed at the people going so far as to defend this movie by threatening women with rape and torture and others with execution. What the fuck is their problem? Just when I thought the extreme right couldn’t get more crazy, it does.

 “Move your America hating ass to Iraq, let ISIS rape you then cut your cunt head off, fucking media whore muslim,” wrote a rather unassuming-looking mom named Donna. “Rania, maybe we to take you ass overthere and give it to ISIS … Dumb bitch,” offered a bearded man named Ronald, who enjoys either bass fishing or playing the bass (we may never know). “Waterboarding is far from torture,” explained an army pilot named Benjamin, all helpfulness. “I wouldn’t mind giving you two a demonstration.”
The patriots go on, and on and on. They cannot believe what they are reading. They are rushing to the defence of not just Kyle, but their country, what their country means. They call for the rape or death of anyone ungrateful enough to criticise American hero Chris Kyle. (West, The Guardian)

And yes it scares me. This kind of behavior and idolatry of this man and his fans do scare me. One article said we must not judge the movie because we are safer at home because of men like him. But just how safe are we really? People are gunned down by police, and yes not all the police are the same as the men who abuse their authority and deliberately kill unarmed young black men or other minorities; but in general we do live in a state of fear. It is the same for my native country where things are getting worse each day and people are disappearing and being killed. Men in duty are -and should not- be infallible.

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