Why Does “American Sniper” Divide Us into “Left” and “Right”?

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Whatever the truth about Chris Kyle (and I suspect, like most, the real Chris Kyle was a complex person; and lived tall tales while fabricating others), he is an American hero.

My understanding of the film is that it’s not meant to make a political statement. But I suppose everything under the sun is political when you bring your politics with you in going to see movies.

I’ve not seen the film yet, so can’t comment on it; but I have been reading some of the reactions– and some of them are rather curious:

One of the first celebrities to show their support for the film was the uber-liberal Jane Fonda, who tweeted the following:

Fonda, of course, attracted the ire of many Americans when she took a trip to North Vietnam in 1972 and posed for several photos with NVA troops, earning her the nickname “Hanoi Jane.” She later starred in the Oscar-winning Vietnam War drama Coming Home, about a ménage-a-trois involving Vietnam War veterans suffering from PTSD. This past weekend, she apologized for her “Hanoi Jane” days, calling her trip a “huge mistake.”

Is Fonda being sincere? Or is she trying to heal her image?

While Fonda supported the film and its sympathy for PTSD-suffering military vets, other celebrities homed in on the film’s perceived jingoistic, pro-war message. Seth Rogen, whose recent film The Interview attracted the ire of North Korean despot Kim Jong Un, tweeted:

Even if this were true, and Eastwood attempted to lace a Rah-rah GO USA! message into the film, what is so wrong with being pro-American?

Documentary filmmaker Michael Moore took Rogen’s criticisms one step further. The director, who was famously booed when he denounced the Iraq War and then-President George W. Bush in his 2003 Oscar acceptance speech, claimed that snipers like Kyle were “cowards” and “aren’t heroes”:

Are snipers cowards?

I think those who think so are the ones who have the line of reasoning that police are cowards and bullies because they swarm to take down a suspect in numbers rather than confront one-on-one; or that the U.S. is a bully because it will invade a weaker country suspected of having wmd but won’t attack a country known to have wmd. As if any sane military would ever seek a “fair” fight and not suppress the enemy with superior and sustained, overwhelming firepower that minimizes risk and harm to our own people.

“If you find yourself in a fair fight, you didn’t plan your mission properly.” – David Hackworth

Here are some other comments by the nasties on the left who have a distorted, world-view:

Chris Smith: I agree with Seth Rogan and Michael Moore on both facts. Murdering for corporate greed isn’t fighting for freedom, it murdering for corporate greed! Trying to promote and celebrate the murders as heroic is propaganda! Chris Kyle is a terrorist and nothing else!

Bram Heath: I saw the movie yesterday and was thinking the same thing Seth thought. When people started clapping I knew that was the 23% that watch Fox News. Felt like I was watching a Joseph goebbles film from 1942.

Steven M Schwartz: You can no longer be critical of the military and those who serve. Thanks to almost a decade and a half of the blindly patriotic bull shit the right and the government has shoved or attempted to shove down our throats. From the pro war NFL pregame flyovers to the plastering of American flags and yellow ribbons. Fox news and the right have co-oped the word patriot and American, and now the word “American” means war loving Christian white America. If you do not kowtow to their agenda then you are the enemy. This movie is nothing more than propaganda revisionist history about a self admitted racist who chose to kill people over being with his family.

Thomas Petsa: nothing heroic about a sniper….hiding behind a bush miles away shooting someone in the head aint heroic….a bloke charging towards an enemy under fire now that’s heroic..blokes landing in dunkirk seeing their mates getting gunned down knowing they might be next..that’s either heroic or dumb..snipers have got it cushy in comparison..

Chris Smith: Chris Kyle was a terrorist pawn for a corporate military. I spit on his service!

Chris Owens: From what I’ve read, it sounds like he was a serial killer moreso than a hero.

Shannon Love: Real ‘American Sniper’ was a hate-filled killer — why are simplistic patriots treating him as a hero?

228 Responses to “Why Does “American Sniper” Divide Us into “Left” and “Right”?”

  1. 201

    Redteam

    @Rich Wheeler:

    Are you saying he wasn’t a Conservative because

    I’m saying he wasn’t a conservative because he was a liberal.

    I’m surprised you don’t believe in The American Justice System

    I don’t believe in Political decisions by the justice system. Anytime the fix is in, liberals are in sight.

  2. 202

    Rich Wheeler

    @Redteam: Ray and Sirhan were convicted in courtrooms.
    You’re saying Warren was a Repub. who supported Civil Rights. That made him a hated Lib. OK Got it.
    You go on and on blaming Obama and Libs .for everything. Like I said, you remind me of the Bush bashers
    That shtick is getting boring and tiresome. You got anything new?

  3. 203

    Redteam

    @Rich Wheeler:

    That made him a hated Lib.

    Maybe you would be better off using quotes instead of adlibbing it. Did I say ‘hated’ somewhere? Libs are more to be pityed than ‘hated’. I sometimes think Libs just need more education, which they are reluctant to get. It makes them afraid of losing all their gov benefits such as welfare and food stamps.
    If you are not familiar now with the justice system by now, you’ll never learn.

  4. 204

    Rich Wheeler

    @Redteam: Got it. Warren was a “pitied” Lib. because he supported Civil Rights. Thanks for the clarification.
    Again your conspiracy tri-fecta contention. Ray, Oswald and Sirhan were all patsies. Not a killer among them.
    C’mon now RT-More education for those elitist Ivy Leaguer Libs??
    You suggesting some good ol La. home schoolin?

  5. 205

    Redteam

    @Rich Wheeler:

    You suggesting some good ol La. home schoolin?

    I’ve never attended any school in La.

    Again your conspiracy tri-fecta contention. Ray, Oswald and Sirhan were all patsies.

    Maybe you’ll get the quotes right one day. Maybe you should get someone to show you how.

    C’mon now RT-More education for those elitist Ivy Leaguer Libs??

    Didn’t you say you went to an Ivy League school?

    Got it. Warren was a “pitied” Lib. because he supported Civil Rights.

    You obviously need some direction.

  6. 206

    Rich Wheeler

    @Redteam: Redteam You like to take parts of my statements-then make really stupid comments relating to them.
    You don’t seem to know how to have an intelligent conversation
    It gets very tiresome.

  7. 207

    Redteam

    @Rich Wheeler:

    You don’t seem to know how to have an intelligent conversation
    It gets very tiresome.

    It’s not my side of the conversation that’s having a problem. And as far as tiresome, you don’t have to participate. I rather enjoy jousting with you.

  8. 210

    Rich Wheeler

    @Redteam: As a Notre Dame fan I rooted against him when he coached USC. I like Brady and The Pats–
    Carroll threw the game. You had the Seahawks to win What’s your grudge against smiling Pete?

  9. 213

    Nanny

    Fact is, had his call worked it would have been called ”gutsy,” and ”fantastic.”
    I was just happy the game was not boring.
    The FiveThirtyEightBlog said the chances it would be dull were great.
    But it was a nail-biter.
    I really enjoyed all the interceptions.

    Our game food was terrific….
    Home-made sever-layer dip w corn chips, baby-back ribs and chewy cocoanut-pecan cookies.

  10. 214

    Redteam

    @Rich Wheeler: So now you’re admitting that I didn’t make a pick in the SB? It’s no reflection on me that some can’t follow a script. That’s why I didn’t make a pick. So you’re familiar with ‘ shucks and jives, hems and haws’, the true mark of a textbook lib.

  11. 215

    Rich Wheeler

    @Nanny: And if your aunt had balls she’d be your uncle Carroll OK’D the stupidest call in the history of pro football. If I was a Hawks fan, and a carnivore, I would have lost your ribs and pecan cookies.
    He should be pilloried. His own players can’t believe it.
    To his credit, he’s taking full responsibility for his colossal fail.

    RT ” SOME CAN’T FOLLOW A SCRIPT.” Do you think Carroll and co. threw the game?
    Can Carroll be as stupid as he appears?

  12. 216

    Nanny

    @Rich Wheeler:
    I disagree.
    The defensive team was lined up for a ground attempt.
    The element of surprise was great and it almost worked.
    It was not as monumentally dumb as you try to make it sound.
    A pass across that strong middle was dumb, it should have been passed to an outside man, then forward to the goal line.

  13. 218

    Redteam

    @Rich Wheeler:

    Stupidest call ever made.

    ? Only because it didn’t work. Had they scored, it would have been greatest call ever made.
    Everybody in the civilized world and a few in the uncivilized world was looking for a run, only problem, supposed he didn’t make it? only one TO left. call it? then? Run? Pass? Both plays were 50-50. Dumb call ONLY because he was intercepted. Greatest call ever, had he scored. Seattle was supposed to win, rookie was not supposed to make interception. (but he probably didn’t know that)

  14. 220

    Rich Wheeler

    @Redteam: Are you nuts?Feed the beast twice if need be- toughest runner in football—no brainer–Seattle wins. Carroll will never live it down.
    He outsmarted himself going against a sure thing. Obviously he’s not as smart as he thinks he is. Couldn’t have happened to a cockier guy. Love it!

  15. 221

    Redteam

    @Rich Wheeler:

    Feed the beast twice if need be- toughest runner in football—no brainer–

    you said he had 3 plays. the only combination to get off 3 plays would have to be one run, TO, 1 pass, incomplete, then one more play. without an incomplete pass, only 2 plays could have been made. Had the pass been complete, with the WHOLE WORLD looking for a run, a quickie pass was exactly right and the whole world would all be saying what a great call, NO ONE was looking for a pass. Is not ‘fooling the defense’ a large part of the strategy of football?

  16. 222

    Redteam

    @Rich Wheeler:

    He outsmarted himself going against a sure thing

    Are you saying that the ‘beast’ has never lost a yard on a play? has never had a ‘no gain’ on a play? if so, is it still a ‘sure thing’?

    3rd and 2 at SEA 24 (10:14) (Shotgun) M.Lynch up the middle to SEA 24 for no gain (J.Collins).

    what about that play? it was in 2nd qtr when game wasn’t on line and entire defense on line of scrimmage. Nope, sure things aren’t always ‘sure things’.

  17. 223

    Rich Wheeler

    @Redteam: You’re thinking too much like the geek engineer–that you are—same as the self proclaimed genius Carroll-This is football The Beast needs 1 yard on 2 carries- stop playing with yourself Pete and RT and give him the ball–A SURE THING. Beast is going to Disney World and you guys aren’t looking foolish.
    Throw a slant??–Lesser coach called that– he’d be looking for a new job.
    Actually the kid linebacker said he was looking for the slant. That’s why he jumped it.
    Sorry RT, there is no rationale for Carroll’s call .
    At least he’s owning his mistake—sign of a good leader,

  18. 224

    Rich Wheeler

    @Rich Wheeler: Correction It was the rookie strong safety that jumped the play and made the interception.
    After the Kearse immaculate reception on the 5 it seemed Carroll wanted to run clock and leave no time for Pats to come back for a tying 3. 1sr down–beast for 4 to the one. Carroll lets the clock run on a long count then throws the interception. Think he should have run beast on a short count–I yard and game over. If he’s short run him again–he’s 240 Lbs . If by some miracle he is short a 2nd time call your timeout–about 10 seconds left. 4th and goal—-you guessed it. If Pats can stop him THREE times from the one-the whole defense should travel 1st class to Disney World.

  19. 226

    Redteam

    @Rich Wheeler:

    If he’s short run him again–he’s 240 Lbs . If by some miracle he is short a 2nd time call your timeout–about 10 seconds left.

    you know damn well they can not get off one run and start another after all the unpiling and every Patriot being as slow as possible to get off a running play in less than 10 secs. To get more than 2 would require an inc pass / time out.

  20. 227

    Rich Wheeler

    @Redteam: 31-28 after the Beast TD. You’re an engineer?? If Beast goes on relative quick count on 2nd down and 3rd down play already called in huddle, plenty of time to run it if necessary and still call timeout for final play.
    He’s over 100 yds averaging over 4 yards per carry. You seriously think you can stop him short of one on two carries—-never happen. That’s why Carroll is being roasted by everyone.
    They are calling it “The guess of dishonor.” which of course it was. Carroll tried to over think it and got a loss for which he’ll always be remembered and blamed

  21. 228

    Rich Wheeler

    Here’s what Carroll was thinking on 2nd and goaL from the 1–just under a minute and one time out left.
    This game is won–run the clock down and throw–I look like the genius I am if it’s completed for the score.
    Worst thing that can happen– it falls incomplete and Beast Mode takes it in on 3rd and one. Should that miss we take the T.O. and run him again or go Wilson on rollout 4th and goal.
    Well genius—-you didn’t consider one possibility. Interception on 2nd and one with Beast Mode waiting and unused-game over

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