Wednesday, February 4, 2015
Humanizing and Glorifying a Mass Murderer for the Empire
Larry Everest Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us February 2, 2015
I saw Clint Eastwood’s movie American Sniper the other night. It is the story of U.S. Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle, based on his autobiography. Kyle fought in Iraq between 2004 and 2009 when the U.S. was occupying the country. (In February 2013, Kyle was killed at a gun range by another former soldier, reportedly suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).)
American Sniper has been nominated for six Oscars, including best film and best leading actor; it has broken box-office records for war movies, and it’s generating heated debate.
Many who are praising the film say the movie is about him, not about the politics of the Iraq war………
This is a profoundly reactionary movie. American Sniper humanizes and glorifies Chris Kyle, an unrepentant Christian fundamentalist mass murderer who killed 160 Iraqis (supposedly the most ‘kills’ by any U.S. soldier in history). Meanwhile, the movie demonizes and dehumanizes every single Iraqi (with the possible exception of one family), portraying them as evil terrorists and ‘savages’ who deserve to die.
By telling this story through Kyle’s eyes and purported experience (and prettifying that story), American Sniper weaves a fable about the U.S. invasion of Iraq and its role in the world: America is a force for good. Whatever its mistakes, the U.S. sends its military to places like Iraq to try to protect the innocent and destroy evil. It promotes the outlook that only America and American lives count and anything goes to ‘defend’ them. This is the big lie on the big screen……….
The theme that Kyle and the U.S. military are ‘sheep dogs’ in the world runs throughout the whole movie. But sorry—the U.S. and its military aren’t sheep and they aren’t sheep dogs. They are, as Malcolm X put it, like ‘bloody-jawed wolves,’ with the blood of the people of the world dripping from their fangs……….
American Sniper is an exercise in training people to see the world through the eyes of the empire…….Read More