American Sniper

Bill Tatro
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Posted: Feb 06, 2015 12:01 AM
American Sniper

A good war movie. Solid acting. Great direction.

Very controversial.

Most recently I saw the movie which depicts the life of Chris Kyle, Navy Seal, sharpshooter and to most, a real life American hero. The Academy Award nominated film has brought forth a heated debate over what some called the glorification of killing versus the glorification of duty and service to country.

Both miss the point of what the debate should be about. Sorry Mr. Moore, Rogen, Cain, and Hannity.

The first thing I learned from the film was that this was not a “war on” something. Most of us have become complacent to a “war on drugs”, “war on literacy”, “war on obesity”, “war on poverty” and turned off by the casual over usage of the word “war”.

Chris Kyle said pointblank to his wife that we are at war fighting against people who want to kill us. Not some undefinable “war on”.

His Commanding Officer told him that the Marines would be going house to house routing out the bad guys and his job was to protect them. Who could really argue with Kyle’s job protecting Americans?

That, however, brings me to the second thing I learned from the film, but more important, from my father.

Dad, William III, was in the Fourth Marine Division and survived the landing and battle of Iwo Jima in the Second World War. He always said that the most difficult and highest casualty rate was when troops went cave to cave or house to house which is why saturation bombing was always done before an invasion.

Putting aside the question of why our troops were and are there in the first place, it should be asked why our men and women are put in harm’s way and why there is even a need for a Chris Kyle.

The movie clearly points out that the town where Kyle was stationed was to have been evacuated and anyone left was a bad guy-man, woman or child.

The Butcher, who the Americans were chasing, was somewhere in the town. The dead American soldiers could have been saved, not by more Chris Kyles, but by a change in political attitude.

If this is War, then the town should have been blown to smithereens and everything and everyone decimated. That approach would have reduced the odds dramatically that snipers, bombers or the sought after Butcher would be left to kill or wound Americans. Thus eliminating the job Chris Kyle was forced to do.

However, if this is not War, just some politically correct blasé “war on” …well!