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As a Veteran, I See ‘American Sniper’ as Dangerous, But Not for the Reasons You’d Think


As a Veteran, I See ‘American Sniper’ as Dangerous, But Not for the Reasons You’d Think

After watching the movie “American Sniper,” I called a friend named Garett Reppenhagen who was an American sniper in Iraq. He deployed with a cavalry scout unit from 2004 to 2005 and was stationed near FOB Warhorse. I asked him if he thought this movie really mattered. “Every portrayal of a historical event should be historically accurate,” he explained. ”A movie like this is a cultural symbol that influences the way people remember history and feel about war.”


Excellent article - it deconstructs the propaganda, and shows how powerful it is. I really do not understand how Jason Hall can sleep at night. His “character study” does nothing other than ramp up the hatred and violence. Shame on him, and Eastwood too.
Veterans For Peace salutes our brothers and sisters in IVAW.


Since they won’t just let me say I agree, I agree.


The wide popularity of this ridiculous movie is part of the dumbing down of America, which plays right into the hands of the Eternal War Axis that now runs our nation and several others. The absurd justifications for our unnecessary war in Iraq were identical to those offered for our unnecessary war in Vietnam – appeals to dim-witted patriotism and juvenile machismo. The Eternal War Axis’s propaganda experts know that most Americans don’t bother to learn anything about the world, especially the hard facts about the unnecessary wars America has waged, so conning the public into supporting a new for-profit adventure abroad is always very easy. Will the Venezuelans be next to be described as evil terrorists plotting ways to storm the beaches of Miami and Santa Monica? Don’t be surprised, as long as there’s big money to be made from war and America’s money-printing presses are running 24/7 to pay for it.


Read this piece earlier today before CD launched this new forum and left a comment on the Waging Nonviolence site. The approbations directed at Cooper and Hall also apply to Eastwood for being such a tool.


“Chris Kyle was like so many soldiers who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. He believed in doing the right thing and was willing to give his life for it. That trait that drives many veterans is a truly special one I wish we all had. Was Kyle wrong that the Iraq War had anything to do with September 11, protecting Americans, seizing weapons of mass destruction, or liberating Iraqis? Without a doubt. But that’s what he was told and he genuinely believed it — an important insight into how good people are driven to work for bad causes.”

Thank you - no matter what one may think of Kyle as a person, or how “typical” he may be of soldiers, the fact is that calling all of them “war criminals” will do nothing to help stop our wars or heal the harm done by them. To tell families whose relatives have died or returned maimed physically or mentally that their loved ones are/were “evil war criminals”, or “died in vain” or in pursuit of “empire”, adding to the suffering these families already endure, will only increase the polarity we already have around these issues - While opposing the wars and the folks who order and orchestrate them, i think we should honor the impetus that causes one to be willing to give one’s life for a cause one believes in … And, ironically, if we deal with that dynamic in “our own” we might be more willing to accept that many of “the enemy” is likewise motivated and then work to educate all, on all sides, as to what is really going on … who really benefits and who really loses, who is made “safer” and who less secure …


There are other, less forgiving, interpretations of Kyle’s motives and mentality, but McIntosh’s main thrust is undeniable.

Mass culture reinforces the myths of political culture, telling the stories that infuse those myths with emotional and spiritual weight.

The myths are sold

And reality pays the price.


I’ve been expecting that for a long time. I think the end game for a lot of these Neo-Cons is Venezuela. We may never get that far, though, if their lust for going to war with Russian in the Ukraine gets satisfied.

But the propaganda is out there full tilt.


I am glad that someone is speaking out against “American Sniper”.


I did not call them “heroes” - nor did I say they were, in fact, keeping our country “safe” …, but the “reality” is in many cases they believed they were doing the latter, and the best way to expose folks to a different “reality” is not to stab and gut them with it …

They, for the most part, were neither “heroes” nor “war criminals”, but something in between - however who that is won’t fit in a tweet or on a bumper sticker - so we choose either extreme, “reality” be damned …


"…i think we should honor the impetus that causes one to be willing to give one’s life for a cause one believes in … "

With all due respect, at which point along the continuum does a person/soldier become responsible for their actions which facilitate and or become complicit in war crimes and crimes against humanity? I was in the same boat, up until the time I became self aware and went C.O.

Veterans For Peace

For those who are able, it would be good to see you at Creech AFB to join VFP, Code Pink, and others in protesting the use of drones…


There’s the key, methinks, the point at which you become “self aware” - “one is responsible for what one knows”, I think no one would question that, but then there is that gray area, “or should have known” … How do you measure that?


as long as we keep lying to the loved ones about their dead kin dying for their country, or for freedom or whatever we will never stop the madness of war. Families of troops who die for imperial adventures are the same as those whose kids were killed by drunk drivers. Mothers can mobilize against wars in the same way


[quote=“saskatchistani, post:17, topic:3508”]
"This isn’t a question of “self-awareness,”

Tell that to norskmann - it was his phrase i was referring to - simply another way of describing the process you chose to use a cruder description of …

It’s not a matter of “coddling” - it’s a matter of understanding where they are so one, hopefully, can lead them to a better place, where they won’t do it anymore - Maybe you don’t get the idea that the PTSD so many of them are suffering from is born out of the enormous cognitive dissonance that strikes when our fundamental humanity clashes with atrocities we see or realize we have committed - only after the fact …

If you don’t deal with these issues - there will always be more and more of them -

You sound a bit like Kyle - “they are all savages” - so what do you do with “savages” on whatever side of the fence? Execute them on “our” side and exterminate them on the other?


I don’t think you get what I am trying to say - do you think we should snuff out the idea that there is nothing out there, anywhere, worth fighting or dying for? And that caring for a cause or a person so much that one is willing to die for it him/her is a fool’s errand?

You may well believe that, but be careful what you wish for …

If one does not wish to squash this impulse, the question then becomes - is what i AM fighting for what i THINK i am fighting for , and that is where the battle of ideas is fought and where it must be won …


Thanks for the article about the film “American Sniper”. I will more than likely add it to my "don’t see’ list regarding movies. It would be one thing if American Sniper concentrated on displaying and emphasizing the deleterious affects that wars often have on the soldiers who’re sent out to fight them, as well as their loved ones, but this particular movie sounds like it’s merely a re-enforcement of the viewpoint of many Americans that the lies being told to them about our war on Iraq are true and are to be believed.


Methinks you illustrate more than refute my point - you, as you say, “served the empire” - should you have been prosecuted “as a war criminal” - or helped to come to grips with what your “service” actually meant -

I agree, i think the PTSD is nature’s reaction to the dystopia of war - and dealing with it in that way may permit the healing that needs to happen before folks can turn around and do what you have done …

I never said “serving the empire” was laudable - only the willingness to give oneself up to a cause or for others, as opposed to “every man for himself” - the trick lies in determining what causes are honest and really serve others as opposed to “the empire” - causes such as you mention. I don’t want to squash the energy and zeal that comes from such an impetus, but only to harness it in a truly useful honorable direction …

I don’t think we are so far apart here, but correct me if i am wrong …


I have not so much advocated treating “a US soldiers service with respect” - as "I am sorry that your willingness to serve your country was misused and abused, that you were placed in harms way for no good reason and that you were put in a position of seeing and doing things that will no doubt haunt you the rest of your lives. We must work to see that such things never happen again to anyone … on either end of the gunsights ,