Sunday, February 8, 2015

Hell is War

American Sniper is the movie taking the country by storm these days. Clint Eastwood has done a fine job of movie making, and dreamy Bradley Cooper makes a strong bid for Best Actor while making a war movie palatable for the ladies. It's raking in millions, but causing controversy also.

Liberals decry the racism of the flick. Iraqis, the enemy, are called "savages". War is glorified. Conservatives laud the tale as the story of American heroes serving with honor and cold blooded, professional efficiency. This "debate" is asinine, it's only a movie, and a war movie at that.

I didn't read the book by Chris Kyle, the author of American Sniper, the basis of this adaptation. There have been some questions about the veracity of a few of the events in the book, but overall, his war record trumps any questions about these discrepancies.

It is interesting, and pathetic, that this movie is causing more controversy and debate than the reality of the war in Iraq did. In the thirteen plus years since 9/11, American soldiers have been subjected to multiple tours of duty, sky-rocketing suicide rates, lack of sufficient medical care upon returning home, and the ravages of PTSD. All these problems have caused only momentary notice when highlighted in the media. Likely, the American Sniper movie debates will fade with the echoes of Academy Award acceptance speeches.

American Sniper highlights PTSD experienced by Kyle and other soldiers. It depicts the personal wreckage so many soldiers are enduring as they return home to resume some semblance of a normal life.

Who is to blame for all this destruction? The destruction of Iraq, the destruction of American soldiers, living, dead and maimed? Who can we blame for the policy that invaded Iraq on the basis of lies about "weapons of mass destruction", when the perpetrators of the attacks of 9/11 were Saudis hiding in Afghanistan?

President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney (ex CEO of Halliburton, a major US arms contractor), Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, U.N. Ambassador Colin Powell (whose speech at the U.N. laid out the false "proof" of Iraqi WMD programs), a complicit Congress and media that questioned nothing about what was presented to them by the administration, a host of bureaucrats and lackeys that made a fortune off the war, and many, many others. But, perhaps the most to blame is the American electorate that twice voted in this gang of morally bankrupt war criminals that somehow convinced this country that "patriotism" was equal to subverting the U.S. Constitution, along with the bedrock American principles of freedom of thought, expression and dissent.

So, for those folks at the multiplex shedding a tear at the end of American Sniper, don't worry. Like anything else, the pain will be just momentary. Short attention spans are good like that.

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