Here’s What ‘American Sniper’ Says About America

Here's What 'American Sniper' Says About America

Clint Eastwood’s latest film “American Sniper” says a lot about America – there are hints of home-of-the-brave, sprinklings of let’s-show-‘em-how-its-done, and a generous helping of America-fuck-yeah! It is, after all a movie about a hero. Navy Seal Chris Kyle fought for his country in multiple tours in Iraq and was, by every measure, a great American patriot.

But what are those measures? What metrics are we using for patriotism and what does it say about us? The film itself is expertly directed – as many legit critics will tell you – but it was the experience of watching the movie, in a packed theatre, with other red-blooded Americans like myself, where the fear crept in.

READ MORE: Clint Eastwood’s ‘American Sniper’ Puts Bradley Cooper on the Battlefield

Chris Kyle was – spoiler alert – a sniper. He was very good at it and they called him “The Legend” for how well he was able to shoot. When Kyle managed to kill his last target, the audience erupted in cheers. Loud cheers. I squirmed. Cheering the death of another human being seemed…a little gross. Do I love my country less because I’m uncomfortable cheering the death of another man? I don’t, but as I write this, I worry that even questioning our construct of patriotism will get me on some kind of turncoat hit list.

The movie does a great job of giving us a running tally of exactly how many people Kyle killed. His final count – 160 confirmed kills – is repeated and lauded throughout the film by colleagues, friends, and family. There was no sugarcoating it either – no one said, “You’re a legend for how much you fight for democracy.” No, the naked language of “confirmed kills” is what produced the admiration. 

Maybe confirmed kills should not be the metric by which we define patriotism? Maybe because we celebrate these kinds of confirmed kills, we’re at a loss for how to handle the other kind of confirmed kills, the kind the police brought us in Ferguson or Staten Island?  The police, like the military, are heroes; they put themselves in danger for us. But killing people is the most grotesque part of their jobs. And sometimes, they get it wrong. We’re supposed to offer unqualified support for their valor, but now it seems that maybe that support should have some boundaries. Throughout the film, Kyle never appeared to question his kills, and in our relationship to war and criminal justice, neither do we.

After all, where have all of those confirmed kills in Iraq gotten us? What do we or the Iraqis have to show for the 202,000 (and by some estimates over 500,000) civilian and combatant deaths? The film doesn’t show American officials bumbling through the war effort without any nation-building plans. The American soldiers are infallible. It’s the “savages” on the other side that deserve to die. Oh yes, “savages,” — or alternately, “animals” — is how the people of Iraq, and any Middle Easterner, are referred to throughout the film. Though, to be fair, the savages were using guns to kill just like we were. What does that make us? At this point in our cinematic history, we shouldn’t be depicting large groups of people as two-dimensional savages. That’s “Birth of a Nation”-style ridiculousness.

Then there’s the gun issue. The movie loves guns. Guns are the answer to the savage animals, the answer to freedom. Guns are everywhere: on the battleground, around the house, in makeshift shooting ranges. Clint Eastwood himself is a huge fan of guns and like a large segment of our country, no number of mass murders has changed that. (Between 2000-2013, 486 people were killed in mass shootings.) In fact, part of Kyle’s post-war psychological and social rehabilitation is bonding over some good-natured target practice. There’s nothing like the sound of a gunshot to bring someone back to a peaceful emotional state.

Like our view of guns in the United States, guns in the movie are shown in only two ways: 1) killing horrible savages that deserve to die, and 2) recreationally. But the moment that Kyle actually loses his own life to a gun – a gun that was left in the hands of a deranged veteran who had just been released from a mental hospital – that moment is not shown onscreen. Because that would mean that guns are anything but totally awesome and necessary. That would have been an admission that guns sometimes fall in the wrong hands, that maybe we should take a closer look at who is able to get a gun in this country. Because guns didn’t make Kyle safer; they made him dead.

Thousands came to the Cowboys Stadium in Dallas for Kyle’s memorial. That makes sense for a person who sacrificed so much. But what about the people who fight Ebola? Do we give them a stadium’s worth of honor, or do we quarantine them? What about the umpteen NGOs who sweep in with food and water, left to clean up the mess of our misbegotten war. Does our patriotism extend to them?

What was scary about the movie is the number of things it gets right about America. I want to revere Kyle not because of his confirmed kills or because he wanted to get the savages, but because he believed in some kind of democratic ideal. I want to believe that our international strategic plan makes killing people the last option on the docket. “American Sniper” is a film that does ask us to consider the toll war takes on soldiers, but does not ask us to consider the fundamental destruction of unmitigated jingoism. It reflects an America whose patriotism verges on an irresponsibility that actually abuses the willingness and valor of its soldiers.

In addition to being named a TED Fellow (and giving a Talk), Negin Farsad was named one of the 50 Funniest Women by the Huffington Post. She was also named one of GOOD100 by GOOD Magazine. She has written for, created, and appeared on various shows for Comedy Central, MTV, PBS, IFC, BBC, AOL, and Nickelodeon among others. She directed and starred in her third feature film THE MUSLIMS ARE COMING! starring Jon Stewart, David Cross, Janeane Garofalo and others. Her upcoming film, 3RD STREET BLACKOUT stars Ed Weeks, Janeane Garofalo, John Hodgman and others.

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Comments

Razor

Negin: with all due respect – all those kills meant he saved our soldiers from being killed. people cheered when he shot the other SNIPER because that SNIPER was consistently killing our soldiers. I realize people who have never served in the military do not understand and that’s okay…blessings to all of you.

DadinWestchester

What a crock. Typical Lilly liver ed liberal mental illness.

Harvey Garciawicz

I see the liberal panty wastes are spewing their ignorance again. I’m sorry if you suffer from jealousy that you never had what it takes to be a real man. As George Orwell wrote: People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf. Sleep well cowards without honor, sleep well.

CJ

While I understand the point, you’re missing the perspective. How else would you measure "success" if you were a Soldier? If you were told that you had to go out and murder other human beings because that’s what protecting America looks like? How else would you justify that in your head? You can’t measure how much you "fight for democracy" on a battlefield. I think there are a lot of valid points here, but you have to consider every angle. Your comments are easy to make when you’re typing them out on your Macbook from the safety of your warm home – you’re not the one being asked to kill another human being. And those 160 that he killed? Maybe eventually it will make up for the 3,000 murdered on 9/11, and keep something like that from happening again. Or have we forgotten?

Norm

Billy, Had you seen the movie you would know that he did not consider himself a hero, but returned because his brothers were still over there, risking their lives for our country, and to him, he could not let that happen without him being there to protect them.

Also, they did not show the murder of Chris Kyle, or mention his murderer, because the case is an active criminal case set to go to court very soon and all witnesses, informants, family, friends, etc. are under a gag order.

robert

It is a cliche to say it, but that "murderer" and men like him are the reason that you are allowed free speech. Billy, you are a coward for offering such insults to people that you know aren’t actually murderers. If they were then you would be killed. Nations need a military to protect their sovereignty whether it is their own military or another nation’s, like our situation with Japan.

Gabriel

I´m amazed how little the media is discusing Clint Eastwood´s directorial guidance. This movie seemed to be directed by a drone.

Jerry

Wow, do you need to see this film again. It seems you missed the whole thing, and especially the subtle points made. Too bad.

Shane

Another BS synaspsis from an obvious left winger who neither understands or has ever been near a war, soldiers, or conflict.

Andrew R

Wonderfully written. Thank you n

Reader

But no one talks about the very obvious fake baby!!

David

"The flip side of nationalism is always racism, the dehumanization of the enemy and all who appear to question the cause." – Chris Hedges

billy http://mpmacting.com/blog/2014/7/19/truth-justice-and-the-curious- case-of-chris-kyle

and here is the link to the truth about Chris Kyle

billy

the truth is out there yet American dumb sheeples refuse to believe and instead would rather live in fantasies built on lies and believe whatever they are told. Read this full article, everything you need to know about our war "Hero" Chris Kyle. Only in America can a man like him be hailed as hero, while self-sacrificing heroes fighting out there are not even talked about or given a nod. Those brave men who don’t crave for attention and selflessly server and protect their nations are ignored and this liar is hailed as our hero, because ‘Murica.

Wes

Is it too much for you to let this movie, this story, this man, and the intentions of the film have its day? What kind of deep seeded sickness prevents you and all of those who have a negative post about the movie cro. Just simply admitting that the emotions it invoked in youwere real and powerful. There were no inaccuracies about who this man was shooting. Nor were there inaccuracies about the real life struggle this mans family and friends underwent; which, by the way, are emotions and situations shared by every single person who is connected to war through a soldier. All you need to know in order to realize your derangement about america and more importantly, the majority of its citizens whom you are disconnected from, is the box office numbers from ‘morally and politically correct’ war films which hollywood continues to make despite flopping terribly due to the hard truth that America is a force for good, and our soldiers are heroes who make unbelievable sacrifices to keep it that way.

DocEd76

Be afraid or ‘ cringe ‘ if you like. You have every right to do so. I think many people are missing a point of the Chris Kyle story. Throughout our histor we’ve had our moments of exuberant idealism and bravery and of course of bigotry and misguided behavior these are times when we aim to do good, real good and not just for us but for others in and outside the country. Sometimes, we fail. Terribly even. We are not perfect but we do try to make things right even if the countries in which we find ourselves are just so morally wrong. We do try. I’ve seen it.But, I’ve seen men who wore a military uniform who do believe that what they’re doing is right, that they do serve a higher calling and their actions are manifested into many many ways. CPO Kyle’s was through a weapon which in his hands did save many American lives and afterwards due to his service to veterans. If a man devotes his life to protect others and even though his efforts and methods are not fully understood and in CPO Kyle’s case, they’re even though of as barbaric, then doesn’t that man deserve at the very least some respect from those he tried to protect? Even if they themselves would not fully understand his actions?

Simone

I’m American and I watched American Sniper in Toronto this past weekend. I know of the scene in which Kyle makes his last kill, and thankfully, there were no cheers from my Canadian audience. American Sniper is a well made film, and is a story that needs to be told. I’m glad it’s doing well, but I too get grossed out by the USA!x10 crazy chants. Mr. Kyle did his JOB and he did it well, and we should remember that it was not him or his fellow soldiers that initiated this illegal war, they were doing what they had to do to stay alive and ensure the lives of their comrades. I hope AS does well at the Oscars, especially Bradley Cooper. He deserves his award now.

Kyle

Wasn’t the one on one fighting within the film enough to communicate what happens when a gun or any weapon is in the hands of the wrong person? How about the RPG the kid picked up? How about the grenade the mother handed to the child to run towards Americans? The enemy sniper was shown various times picking off American soldiers. Why did we need to see Chris Kyle get killed by a gun on US soil in order to communicate that guns sometimes fall into the wrong hands?

Also, not that this review made this claim, but I see comments around the internet from folks who seem to think you’re allowed to just spray bullets overseas and not answer for it? Sure there have been some horror stories and corruption, but the standard process is to file paperwork and have witnesses to confirm kills made on the battlefield…especially a kills adherence to the rules of engagement. Can a soldier get it wrong of course? SURE, but what about the kills they get right that still hurt? The best example is Chris’ first kill, a little boy of all people…and in the film he was clearly upset about it, but it was the right choice given the child’s intent on blowing up whoever he could, by his mothers prompting no less.

Ted

This is a perfect review. Thank you for writing it.

callingboy

The discussions about the nature of this film have taken comical proportions. The fact is that Clint Eastwood is an excellent film-maker who makes good films. And he occasionally makes excellent films, like Unforgiven. And he occasionally makes turkeys: The Changeling. American Sniper is a good film. It’s along the lines of Heartbreak Ridge. Worth watching possibly worth watching multiple times. But it won’t be remembered as his best: Unforgiven, Million Dollar Baby, High Plains Drifter, etc…

SGS

I have been reading and reading about this film and could not put my finger on what about it is so off-putting to me. For fear of being labeled some Anti-American turncoat, I haven’t really expressed my opinions. Thank you for such a well-written, eloquent, and fair article – I agree wholeheartedly with your sentiments.

colton

^ You all spend too much time worshipping obama it sounds like…

ron kings

Well, as a veteran I have to say why are you comparing everything to the military. Police are seen as wanna be military, but when someone is treated wrong or unfairly everyone loses their mind. In the military we do what we need to do to survive. Police can go home and never leave their home where they live. Guns are used in everyday life wither it is a first person responder, military, or the everyday person. Yes, they are made to destroy things or for personal use. As for name calling how about the names, we as Americans, are being called by the "savages". Such as infidel as well as many others. So before you start trying to compare police to military, the use of fire arms, or name calling make sure you tell both sides of the story not just one side.

Wendell Rector

You hit the nail on the head – and saved me about $20 in the bargain. As a person who lived not more than 10 miles from Newtown, CT and have a nephew who attends Sandy Hook Elementary School, I have some appreciation of what guns can do and are doing in our country. Owing to Clint Eastwood (who is a magnificent director) and his ilk who glorify America and guns as if it was still the Wild West, our country will continue to have tragedies such as Sandy Hook until Congress gets the guts and common sense to do something about it.

Truth

The entire article is a liberal bias. Its war movie what are they supposed to do glorify teddy bears. This is almost a straw man argument. Very well written article. Author needs a lessen in history. People kill people not weapons.

Daniel Henry Silver

Thank you so much for writing this. These are reasons why American Sniper is one of most disgusting films I have ever seen and one of the worst of the year. The gun control laws in the USA are ridiculous and maddening and I can tell you that over here in the UK, we laugh at it. When were not laughing, were just shocked everytime your law doesn’t prevent a 2 year old kid from accidentally killing their own mother in a supermarket. The Hurt Locker, Platoon, Lone Survivor, The Thin Red Line are all great American war films because there is no celebration about it. They are morally ambiguous films whilst American Sniper is entirely one note and in dreadfully poor taste that will only encourage "red-blooded Americans" in their defiance of gun control laws

So simple. Keep trying.

wtf ever

Ali

wtfe

Ali

wtfe

william C Wesley

Drone strikes have been shown to kill very few enemy combatants according to the military’s own analysis. Since drone strikes are usually directed against family gatherings many children are killed. Often a wedding or other social occasion is targeted for the sake of one guest suspect. Afterwards a second strike kills any who attempt to help the wounded, then a third strike is scheduled later to kill any who attend the funeral. This seems like terrorism to me, the only difference is that instead of inexpensive suicide bombers we use ultra expensive drone bombers (millions of dollars is easily worth a human life in most of the world). the other difference is that suicide bombers are directed from the lowest classes while drone bombers are directed by the highest classes. so which is more savage, terrorism carried out by the worlds most powerful nation at the behest of its leaders or terrorism carried out by the worlds most backward nations at the behest of its radicals? The United States has killed many more than were ever killed sept. 11 and with a greater percentage of children among the murdered. It is the United States that sets the tone, the more powerful party has the greater responsibility to act with honor and equity. If the leaders of the greatest nation on earth act as terrorists than whey not the most marginalized people of the least powerful nations on earth? Who then is the more Savage? We like to think this a religious conflict only for the Islamic side claiming that Islam breeds terrorism from the ground up, but the United States is a Christian nation and it breeds terrorism from the top down so I ask you, which is worse? In a court of law when a deadly altercation has led to indictments the party in a superior position, the one with more authority, greater weaponry, and superior advantage is usually judged the more culpable, is this not the case? American terrorists are machines instead of people but the consequence is the same, When Christian American leaders learn to renounce terrorism perhaps Islamic Arab insurgents will too.

Exlonghorn

Apparent’y your comments don’t get to stay here if they don’t align with or agree with the author.

Miles Ellison

I think that this film was making a different point than the author thinks it was.

Bill

U left wing nuts have no ideal what it takes to pull the trigger on someone, why because u r to busy tearing down a man willing to die for something greater than him
Self.Something u wouldn’t know about or care about.We go to war to protect cowards like yourself. Say thank you to a vet,u owe him your freedom.

Nonof Urbisinez

"he believed in some kind of democratic ideal"? Seriously? Read Kyle’s autobiograph. The man is an admitted bigot and sociopath. He admitted to loving killing. He wrote of how much he hated the Iraqis. He may have been a good soldier but he was an awful person. There are better people to lionize than this guy.

Albert j Galzarano III

I realize its hard for people to swallow the truth no one knows what went on in Kyle’s head he strongly believed what he was doing was right he went from ranch hand to Navy Seal Sniper he saw the U.S attacked and responded I only wish there were more Kyle’s out there and if it wasn’t for the U.S military those Muslim fanatics would kill every American they could,being a man ,woman or child they don’t care about human life.So I guess it’s easy to judge when it’s not you.i say god bless him and wish he was still here doing what he did best.

Annonymous

Message to the jingoistic, fascist, pathetic, self-righteous Yankee twats (Bobby, Taykor, Chip-Right, Mutt and all the other right wing Yankee bellends commenting on this article). Kindly take a gun, put the barrel in your mouth and then pull the trigger so we don’t have to listen to your hate-filled, moronic and outdated view of the world in a pathetic attempt to confirm us non-Americans correct in your stereotypes (that all yanks are a bunch of aggressive, flag-waving loons with superiority complexes).

Reading comments by those idiots just makes me say: "North Korea. Please blow this country up so we can be rid of these xenophobic hicks".

Tim V.

Absolutely spot on commentary. This is the kind of American that does not make me proud.

David E Stemple Jr.

I see several problems with this article and several more in the views expressed in the comments. The movie doesn’t show the evil savages it shows men and women who choose to fight and the struggle Chris had in eliminating each target (especially the children). Even the mention of not showing his death due to demonizing guns is in my opinion completely wrong. The simple answer is it wasn’t to not demonize guns they didn’t show it out of respect for the family. As for him looting Iraqi houses it’s been common practice for as long as wars have been fought and not many people had a problem with GI’s taking war prizes from the Nazi’s so why so much the Iraqi’s? What has changed in America isn’t an increase in it’s love affair of violence, that has stayed the same. What has changed is the social acceptance of liberal ideologies and the widely touted mass ignorance of those who think peace can be maintained or achieved without weapons and war.

Bette Streep

I lost all respect for Eastwood after he spoke to an empty chair in front of thousands of rightwing idiots. I had no intention of seeing this film and after reading this article I am definitely never going to see it. If it gets nominated for anything at the Oscars I will be violently ill. Eastwood has just taken over the pro-gun rightwing views of Charlton Heston.

David thornton

Everyone has a comment when it comes to war. Iraq did nothing Afghanistan is pointless You are like owning at these conflicts s from your own sit at home point of view. There is a major problem every says he is heartless killer that is is not it at all. He is a man who got off his ass and did something. He didn’t like what he saw so he the military. He protected his fellow soldiers from getting killed. Did he like it no did he want to do it no. The big thing here is wwII was fought over actual land we are not fighting over land or territories. We are trying to keep the world under go trip so we don’t have another WWII. If we do nothing nothing will happen

Zach A.

Dear Writer,

You do realize, writer, that sometimes rehabilitation can only happen in increments from when it became overwhelming; many cases it is reliving or inducing conditions similar to what happened and helping that person out of it in a safely guided approach. Think of it like defusing a bomb; done wrong, you just made national news but done right, you saved a life. Post Traumatic stress is not a simple see a psychiatric & psychologist combo for X-amount of days and your cured, it’s a process that takes years or even a lifetime. Having been out of the war for now 5 years, I’m glad to say that I’m in a much better state of mind than I was when I first came out but in no thanks to our VA medical facilities with the only thanks for the VA disability check that pays for the sessions I have done weekly through a private provider.

I will also hope you, the writer, do realize that it makes it easier to do the job when you make the objectives as inhuman as possible. The moment you start to let it become personal is when your mental state starts its struggle with the moral conflict, making you only become more extreme to the process and communicatively; this leads to either PTSD, anger issues, and/or wicked bouts of depression. Making it inhuman is a coping mechanism that should only be done temporarily and remediated with other mechanisms to stop prolonged affects; this is where our military members get in trouble quite often with this repression technique especially after moral conflicts start to ensue; Chris’s book is caked full of these notions if you actually read it.

Your entire article is judgemental, biased to your beliefs, and very disgraceful of any consideration of a proper informational publication. You do not look at it from the standpoint of the veterans at all, rather you, writer, look at it from a skewed point of the book, if you actually read it, and an uneducated point of the movie with little attention given to psychological affects war has on the person which is demonstrated in the movie; rather you seem to be cast a punitive outlook on this by matters of the what was said or written.

Our military has to demonstrate stoicism with a "no questions asked pursuit of mission" mentality to everyone around them. After leaving the war, it becomes very difficult to transition from that type of mentaility because we are too prideful in letting others, especially those we aren’t close to, see us suffer; even in the military most of us play it off in front of the others and it takes only one hard-ass to keep it that way. This makes it hard to heal properly and prolongs the itch of the stitches. The military really needs a program that does transitions our military members back to civilian life. I am willing to bet hard cash that if they did, it would save our country billions of dollars but more importantly the lives of our veterans, MY brothers and sisters in arms.

I am one of those that does become more relaxed after shooting off a few rounds on a range when I do get the time to go; many of our military members enjoy it as well. It is similar to how you would relax after a stressful day by going to work out in the gym or reading a book, or playing a video game. Don’t be so judgemental about this as everyone has their own ways of relieving themselves of stress.

In a lot of ways, I don’t blame Chris’s thoughts and opinions on what he felt of middle-eastern culture. When you watch those you care for either die or you can do something to prevent it, it becomes clear very quickly what you need to do to make this happen. You, writer, also don’t take the time and realize that Muslims extremists think of us as "infidels" because we don’t align with their religious beliefs and this is clearly said in the Koran to include treatment; Chris only connects the dots between how the words savage and infidel as not far off and it becomes a mutual hatred of broken trusts.

Our country has an issue with weapons. This on both sides of the debate and this being a debate only makes the extremes greater with every example made; no matter the cause, weapons are here to stay due to our overwhelming desire to have most of our country’s budget go to defense companies for new technology, defense agencies, and our military. Weapons in our country go back to its foundation and trying to eradicate weapons is like trying to eradicate the need to breathe; its bred into this country through and through.

If anyone wants to take this article I wrote on, I have no problem defending it any given day because I am willing to bet most of you have no idea what war is actually like; I will admit I personally didn’t have it as bad some of our veterans did but I respect the conditions they were put into and what they had to do to make the best of it.

Patriotism is conflicted with my simple-minded thoughts of it, writer. To me, Patriotism is defending my brothers and sisters in arms, those I hold dear back at home, and the things I believe in; none of which I will share with you. What we have to do in that defense we may not agree of or enjoy, but we do it without hesitation so people like you can express your opionions freely. You of all people should know, publications can and often are exaggerated to incite a line of thinking amongst its targeted readers.

Congratulations, writer, in letting history repeat itself yet again by helping the transition of blame go from our government to our military members. Maybe next time, you really take the time and look at the dynamics from all parties involved to provide a informative view.

Sincerely,
A Proud Veteran

Mary

I think your points are well made and well thought out. I also think they’re hypocritical. You can’t accuse Clint Eastwood of pushing a love of firearms onto the masses and then citing mass shootings as if he’s somehow responsible. Those killers were responsible for the deaths of the people they gunned down. You can’t accuse Clint Eastwood of trying to foist gun support onto movie viewers and then immediately proceed to write an article attempting to foist your support of gun control. Have you ever looked down the barrel of a gun? There actually is something relaxing and mind-clearing in target practice. At any rate, soldiers fight because they believe in something. Whether it’s a blind faith in the "glory" of America is up to them. They can educate themselves. "War must be, while we defend our lives from a destroyer who devours all; but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, not the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend." JRR Tolkien.

FO

FO

El Patriot

The only reason that the author, an Iranian-American woman can sleep soundly and peacefully at night, is because there are other American men and women, WITH GUNS, who are willing to do commit violence on her behalf. Talk about biting the hand that feeds…..

Kyle

"watching the movie.., with red-blooded Americans like myself"… Give me a break. You don’t exactly fit the part. By the way, they are savages. All of this started when Islamic "savages" flew planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Go ahead and chant "hands up, don’t shoot" don’t let forensic evidence get in the way of your narrative. If in doubt, blame America first. I guess like our President (and Hillary) says, we need to open conversation with Islamists and build understanding. I believe the quote was something like "we will reach out our hand if you unclench your fist. Ask the people in France how that’s working out..

CW

I was looking for release date/show times for American Sniper and unfortunately stumbled upon the headline of your article so I made the mistake of stopping to see what you had to say. I wish I hadn’t. I’m not a fan of violence. Or war. But they are facts of life. So is personal accountability. (which, by the intriguing tapestry of connection you weave between murderous religious extremists and poor, violent American criminals who resist arrest for their violent crimes, you choose to turn a blind eye upon) And It’s clear you like to share compelling, heart-felt pieces with the desire to "Make people think". I’m sure you mean well. You piece DID make me think. It made me think folks like you who like to sit and rip our country and people like Chris Kyle who protect your right to sit and opine about the grave injustices of our country should move to one of those gleaming oases of compassion and genteel, Kumbaya-singing countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan, et al you espouse such care and concern for. Move to Iraq to live with the misunderstood nice guys that our blood-thirsty soldiers were gleefuly killing with impunity for no good reason. Exercise your right to bitch about the state of affairs in your new country. Or, perhaps move to Afghanistan. Or, if those locales are a little rough for your taste, I’m sure you will find that life in one of the No Go zones in France will be more to your liking.
I thought it interesting how you wove together the war in Iraq and Ferguson, MO. On THAT misguided note, I don’t understand how so many purportedly educated folks such as yourself gloss over the fact that the "unarmed teenager" had just committed a violent crime and attempted to grab a police officer’s gun (and I don’t think it was to simply disarm the policeman). At what point do folks with your point of view hold an individual accountable for their own choices? For their own situation? I mean, whether you’re an infidel-hating, people-who-don’t-believe-as-I-do-so-I-must-murder-you-by-beheading Jihadi or poor widdle 300lb teenager (regardless of ethnic background so spare me the lame whining about that) who commits a violent crime "because he comes from an under-privileged neighborhood because those evil rich people won’t pay him a ‘living wage’ for pulling fried potatoes out of hot oil"??? I mean, "Hey, desperate people do desperate things, right?" I’m sure you’re a kind, caring person. And I’m sure you actually mean well. But man oh man. I couldn’t disagree with you more. And I grit my teeth listening to people who don’t know how good they have it bitch about how much the blood-thirsty, murderous people in the military and those evil, racist (they all are, right??) policemen are awful ’til you need them put out crap like this article. I’ll think about you as I cheer loudly when American Sniper makes it to a theater near me. I’m sorry, but I think your article sucked.

WW

After reading this it made me sick. He was an American Hero. USA is the best country. The 2nd amendment is our right. If you are not a supporter of our military and American way please feel free to leave.

Frantz

The movie isnt about furgeson or about america its about crhis clyle a american hero and clint eastwood is just sying it how they said if you dont tike how navy seals talk well they defend our nation and putt their life on the line so im sure you can deal with it it upsets me when you turn a biography into a political satire

Kelin

The reason why we have to have Chris Kyle (R.I.P.) and others like him is so that those that choose to do so can sit around and criticize him and the country we live in. Soon we will have another September 11th or what just happened in France and all the critics on this website will wish there had been a Chris Kyle that would have got them first. America is far from a perfect country (yes we’ve really screwed things up at times) but it’s the best experiment in the history of the world.

Anthony

I respectfully disagree with your opinion. From my stand point… he’s a hero and a patriot because he saved lives… American lives. We don’t cheer for the death of another human. Instead we cheer the end of the other snipers killing of American lives. The kills were not done for sport and in the movie he never glorifies his kills. He is there fighting for our country. War is not pretty and I believe that the movie depicts a raw emotional view of the soldier on the ground.

NAT DOW

I can’t believe this article made it past your editors. it is far from a movie review. pathetic

Chip right

Most liberal article ever.

WhyDoYouNeedMyName

I like how they have all the one sided comments by the idiots at the top, and you have to click "see all comments" to get to the majorities opinion and logical statements. This isn’t biased at all (spoken with a hint of sarcasm).

bob lionel

I have to ask…why does a pacifist hippie douche bag bother going to a movie like this?

Frank

All those people who have negative comments about America and the way we handle keeping our country free and safe. Move to another country cause our soldiers need our support.

John

This man through his actions saved hundreds to thousands of our sons, husbands, and boys lives. That is why he is honored.

Max Sullivan

"It reflects an America whose patriotism verges on an irresponsibility that actually abuses the willingness and valor of its soldiers."

I have thought that our wars in the Middle East have abused the "willingness and valor of its soldiers," but I haven’t had it articulated to me so effectively until now. Thank you.

Jake

We need this kind of kick ass, take names support for our fellow countrymen who I may remind you volunteer for their military services. A soldier can not question his orders

eric

Yes, we are blinded and kept in the dark on many issues. I served with the US Army in Afghanistan. I have seen war first hand. We need our men and women to step up and I do consider anyone who serves their country….a hero. We have many flaws, to many to count in a comment. It makes me sad when I see the direction the country, I fought for, is going. Meet your neighbors and make a change….start with yourself.

Joe

Man you guys are so right. We should just try and talk to ISIS and Al Qaeda instead of shooting them. Why hasn’t anyone thought of that before?? They seem like reasonable folks. And hey, if they don’t listen to us, we’ll just pull our soldiers out and let those silly Middle Eastern folks slaughter other less fortunate Middle Eastern folks. After all, it’s not our problem right?

daniel wagner

You are some sick sad people!

Joe

In fairness the film is shown from the American soldiers angle, and shouldn’t written off as pro war film. For every enemy killed was one less enemy of the battlefield. This is how war works and wars are won. The army’s from around the world (not just the USA) have been fighting the against this war forced on the western world by these extremists who will stop at nothing to sent the modern world to the stone age. On the other rubbish about author wrote about the Cowboys Stadium and returning Ebola carers – Seriously?? The reason Ebola cares are quarantined isn’t a punishment – its to stop the spread of the disease…

Aaron Browning

cont., confirmed bad guy kills! But we do not publicly behead and torture our captives and innocent civilians. The tactics of both sides are very different. The "savage" tactics they take is very real and very much animalistic! The scene where the "butcher" tortures and kills the boy was very different than the scene where Kyle kills the boy and his mother for trying to blow up his fellow soldiers! Other than that comparison I thought it was well written and well thought out.

Aaron Browning

Very well written. America really has become, rather has been for some time "the greatest deadly bully". Our governments reputation has unfortunately become everyone’s view of the American people. I do however disagree with your comparison to how the movie views Iraqi’s as savages, and how we are also killing people, so "What does that make us"? The comparison for me is very wrong. Yes, we are killing people with guns and so are they. We have more confirmed civilian deaths on our hands than probably the whole of the militaries

Dan

PS RIP Charlie Hebdo and GIGN FTW

Dan

It’s makes me happy when I read opinions I don’t agree with. Many in here are mad at the author but when I hear or see someone on the Internet or media speaking their opinions without fear of reprisal it makes me realize that the 15 past years of my life devoted to fighting savagery around the globe was not in vain. To all the haters- step back and understand dissent is good. Keeps both sides in check. To all the idiots writing things like this article: congrats on your freedom because you wouldn’t have it in a majority of other countries. Now if you’ll excuse me I have to go kit up and get on a bird.

Michele

What do gang rapes, indentured servitude, the the caste system, beheadings, the curse that is Islam tell us about the Muslims?

Mutt

Billy and Steve Mcquien: fuc you. The US is still the greatest force for good in the world and Kyle was a great hero.

Zac Stephens

Unfortunately the folks on the other side of our prolonged military engagements…wars… Dont give a good piss about our ideals or logic. The terrorists will attack those who do not share their se views, amd many times they even wish to destroy those who do have the same views but are of differing fiscal objectives(ISIS VS. Taliban). These things said, the US is a wonderful place which is why we are all able to jump on social forum and bump our gums. Consider that the next time that any of you decide to lambast a true patriot and the freedoms that he so vehemently protected.

Danny

Don’t forget that this movie is an adaptation of a book written by Chris Kyle himself. It’s from his viewpoint. You don’t have to support what the book and or movie is articulating to appreciate the story. Get off your high horse.

Dee

I think you went in with a negative view of the film when you saw it and are now just expressing your previous thoughts in this farce of an article. When we went into Iraq, they gave the appearance of wanting our help and intervention, then backtracked on all that by not even remotely trying to set up a proper government system that didn’t rely heavily on tribalism and theocracy. How is that our fault? When the Towers went down on 9/11 were we not supposed to try to find the perpetrators known as Al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden? Yes, we were supposed to do that. Do I agree with how everything was handled in the Iraq War? No. Do I think that there need to be MUCH BETTER checks and balances with regards to how certain situations are handled by police? Yes. Do I think we need some better gun control laws in some cases? Yes. However, I am also a realist. I understand that sometimes wars have to happen. I understand that sometimes the police shoot ACTUAL criminals doing something WRONG. I understand that sometimes a gun can be necessary to TRULY defend oneself, family, home, and country. Here is what you fail to understand, because of men and women like the late Chris Kyle, you are able to have free speech and spew this bleeding heart, “Can’t we all just get along?”, the police suck (but I need them to find my mugger), guns are bad for humans (but please protect me) point of view. Freedom is not and has never been free. The day Chris Kyle died, he was trying to help a friend by doing what they had always done. He could not have known that his trusted friend was so severely unhinged that he would shoot him in the back. He shouldn’t have his memory disrespected and maligned by your politics.

Tbone

This is a liberal page no doubt. If young Americans didn’t defend America from these heinous savages we would be in grave danger. Muslims find religious dependence by bombing, beheading, and killing Christians who go against their false religion.

Louis

Get a clue. These "savages" do not like westerners and have no tolerance; violence has been their way of tempering their society. The situation in France was a reminder of what these "savages" will do.

Jordan

I bet you wrote this on your MacBook at a Starbucks. We win wars. That’s what we do. That’s how our country has made it this far. Guns will always be a part of our amazing country.

Jim

I think the opening scene of the movie sums it up. There are sheep, there are wolves and there are sheep dogs. You sir are a sheep…Bahhhh!

John

I won’t see the film, not because I don’t think it will not be good, but because I met Chris a couple times in Iraq, shared some laughs, some coffee, and stories about growing up in Texas, just a couple of Texas boys, long ways from home, doing what we knew had to be done, although I didn’t become close friends with Chris, I will always respect him as a brother, and as a fellow Texas boy, and like him I will continue to help those in need, especially those who tasted the same sand as Chris and I , I won’t see the film because I don’t think I could handle the emotion, Chris didn’t Kill, Chris Protected, and Chris didn’t die from a gun, Chris died trying to help someone overcome a sickness, those who were there already know this, Chris and I both believe in Loyalty, Honor, and Commitment, even those who would criticize us and call us names we would protect and help, it’s in our Code

Tyler Goodrich

Maybe people should actually read his book, and learn the terrible and horrible things that the "people" Chris Kyle killed did. Talking about using children as suicide bombers, using fear and oppression to scare the populous of Iraq into living hollow and scared lives. How we got warring clan leaders after years and years of them infighting to finally agree for peace. If you don’t think war or killing solves anything remember that War kept all of Europe from being under the Nazi thumb. You think American’s want to waste our lives to help assholes who could care less if we helped or not. Well we do, because at the end of the day we saved more peoples lives by intervening read the book before you spout your anti-american hate and learn why people view this man as a hero. Killing, and murder, are two completely different things.

Justin Merica

Stop it already, has America been castrated by the weak? get over it or go live in another country, better yet work in State Prison for 10 years and then tell me about how insensitive america has become. The real fact is ISIS is training right now to kill your whole family and shit down your neck hole after they remove your head with a dull blade. This article smells of a weak sheep who is a vegetarian and will not stand up for his own rights.

Lee

It should be apparent to you, as an obviously enlightened person, that there are enemies of the United States that at some point in the not so distant future will be at our doorstep. Their intentions are driven by an ideology that will stop at nothing but to see the loss of American life. This is not ideal or pretty, but it is a fact. Will a bleeding heart stop these people? No. They don’t care about your humanity, they just want you dead. When this comes to your doorstep, I’m sure you will want to fight fire with fire.

Jeff

You Sir are a moron,and are exactly what’s wrong with this country.

Matt the matt

There is little one can say. I love my country. I respect and appreciate the men and women that fight to preserve our freedom. To celebrate another man’s death, to value one life over another is such an offense to humanity. I appreciate that the movie depicts some ambivalence toward the killing, though I’m afraid this will not register with the majority of viewers. We are not so civilized. Reading this article, I cried a bit. We have lost our way. Very well put, Negin. Perhaps too well. Thanks.

Loveitorleaveit

‘It is much better to engage our enemies in their backyard than ours, Ya think? Liberals would LOVE to give this country away, those poor people, we torture them, we oppress them, WAKE UP! These fools take for granted that we need people out there doing EVERYTHING they can to keep us safe. They sleep soundly at night and don’t realize what it takes to keep it that way. Freedom is NOT free ever hear that? These liberals want to milk everything they can from the USA and then complain about it along the way. God Bless America, God bless every service person from the revolutionary war up to those serving today. THANK YOU for your sacrifice and for being there for us. It’s not politically correct to acknowledge our military. These liberals think we should apologize for all the terrible things we have done around the world to keep America free. All I can say to that is God forbid the day comes when the wolf comes knocking on THEIR door and they call for help. Who will help them? God bless America!!!

Adam

This is quite possible the most repulsive article I have ever read about a film. You were "uncomfortable" with the audience cheering Kyle’s "last" kill…yet fail to mention that his last kill was killing US soldiers, or that his last kill was responsible for fending off US soldiers while his fellow insurgent was putting a drill through a little boy’s brain. Where you sad that he died? You talk about what this film says about gun culture and jingoism. This is a film about war…there are guns in war. You also gloss over the underlining issues of PTSD that plagues Kyle throughout his life. You also forget to mention the letter written by his fellow soldier and read at his funeral that questions the purpose of the war and the difficulty Kyle has in talking about it due to his PTSD. The film doesn’t question any of his "kills"? Where we watching the same film? Literally the first sniper kill in the movie has Kyle troubled. You say that they didn’t show Kyle being killed by a gun because it would be viewed as anti-gun. Did you ever consider that Eastwood made the decision not to show his death out of respect for his family? His kids are still young and his death only happened in 2013. This article is really disgusting as are some of the comments here, and you should really think about what this says about you as well.

Mr. Lion

Congratulations. You managed not only to miss the point of the film entirely, but to also malign the legacy of a true American hero to push a social agenda. You have raised the bar. I have never read such a pathetic bout of idiotic masochism.

Yourmotherscunt

Stop whining you pansy lipflap. The man is indeed a hero. Read the book and grow a pair.

George

I think your vision of America and the majorities vision of America are quite different. I am sure you are lamenting both a Republican House and Senate. No one likes to send our people to War. But when we do, we support them during and after the War. We may not like them…but we respect them for what they went through.

As for guns. I site the 2nd Amendment and each American’s rights therein. Certainly responsible gun ownership needs to be tought…but please don’t hide behind a "movie review" (I’m being generous here) to express your disdain for the 2nd Amendment and the people who support gun rights. Please stick to actually reviewing the movie…or as my parents taught me…"If you don’t have anything good to say, say nothing at all". FINALLY, next time, if you get a next time…stay on topic.

Sarah

Okay I would like to start first of all by saying THANK YOU to Chris Kyle for his selfless service to this country& the greater good. THANK YOU to his family for being selfless enough to allow him to serve the purpose he did. Now to respond to what this article says about how it was so horrible that everyone in the theatre began cheering when he took out the sniper, why? That man had already caused enough damage for one person. It was NOT only the fact that he was taking out Americans, it was the fact that he was willing to sacrifice families and children who he did not know all for his own agenda. That sniper had no value for others lives or well being, only his own. That’s the ENTIREpoint of our soldiers doing what they have done over there. They call these people savages for a reason. Not because they don’t agree with our beliefs but because they are willing to take out anyone in their way. Including the U.S. if we don’t stand up and stop it. They already proved that by 9/11 and other attacks on our country. They threw the first punch and we stepped in to finish the fight. Secondly, a gun did not kill Chris Kyle. The man holding it did. Yes, I’m sure some precautions should have been taken that weren’t. And maybe it should have been thought through better before putting a weapon in that mans hand, but the gun itself didn’t kill him. Agreed, those who are mentally unstable should not be put behind a gun.
For Billy, Chris Kyle never called himself a hero and he never liked being put in the spot light, much less thanked. The movie makes that clear and interviews with his family and people who he encountered can clarify that for you. He wasn’t looking for praise, he was doing what he had to do for his brothers and his country.
I personally know soliders who have been over there and made it back. It’s do or die. These people do not want to sit and talk and find a happy middle ground. They believe in what they believe in and if you don’t agree it’s their belief that you must die. If that means bombing 99% of the planet THEY WILL DO IT. THAT is the real problem here- the fact that these people are able and willing to kill whoever, whenever, wherever, however, in order to fulfill this religious belief they hold and too many people want to sit & "mediate" them, so to speak, when that’s impossible. You cannot make these people change their minds. They don’t want to listen to you so they will not. It really comes down to us or them. And you will never understand that until you are faced with it. So until you realize what these soldiers go through, you will never understand movies like this. And if you can’t understand it, if you don’t realize what it is they really go through, then leave the critiquing alone. It’s completely obvious by this article and these comments that you all do not understand.

Tom

Obviously none of You have had the privilege of serving your country!

Taykor

Another anti-gun article written by a liberal trying to push their political agendas. It’s just a movie chill out. So sensitive lol. No one here has no idea what theyre talking about but its cute seeing you guys try : ).

Todd Gakk

You all should move out of the United States you anti American ignorant morons

Graham

I personally couldn’t disagree more with this article!! Guns are a necessary part of life. If you think that guns are bad, then you obviously don’t care about the safety of our country. Chris Kyle is a hero to this country. No questions. I don’t care what points you can possibly think up about it, he’s a hero and should be honored accordingly.

Jesse

His last "target" was an enemy sniper who was killing American Soldiers. I cheered as well!!!!!

Mikaele

I have mixed reactions to this article. We need to remember that movies can be created for many different reasons, but this one is likely created for entertainment and subsequent profitability. I doubt the producers were shooting for social change, deep reflection, or political commentary. Because that would make the move about something other than the man the movie is about. So it’s a movie. About a sniper. A man. And that’s the intended focus. Not the rest of the stuff in Farsad’s blog. So any limitations in scope, or perceived failures to bring a full and balanced picture of guns in America (not the purpose of the movie), is simply Farsad’s imposition of her views, opinions, and desires on the film are both unnecessary and likely unwanted by those paying to see the film. If they wanted a social commentary, they would pay to go see Fahrenheit 9/11.

Ben

Well, it’s complicated, the author is certainly right in suggesting that the American war effort is flawwed, however I as the movie will show, there are many occasions in which the Iraqis send their children to fight and die for them, even using their children or wives as human shields, this is below the level of animal like behavior and constitutes straight up savagery, we shouldn’t nevessarily applaud their deaths and obviously we’ve only exasperated the situation in the Middle East but saying I think the vocabulary was mostly spot on, and as for guns, yes it was kind of overkill, but it want immaculate, Chris Kyle DID let out his post war stress on the shorting range and he eventually and ironically died there, it’s like some fiction that Clint Eastwood dreamed up to feed his ego like Tarantino does.

J HANSON

You morons are all loons

Dave May

Guns did not make this hero dead. A person whom I see as a coward despite his service did it. We assume he would be alive if that individual did not have a gun, but we cannot know that as the coward could have run him over, stabbed him, or used some other means to kill him. You are blaming the tool he used rather than deal with the issue of mental health in the US.

As for those killed in the mass shootings you mentioned. I was at the funerals for two of those shootings, and knew one set of victims personally. I know there are families of those who died who agree with your point. However, I also know many families from Columbine, to New Life Church, to Platte High School in Bailey and even Aurora that disagree and are always angered when people use their suffering to make political points they do not agree with. I personally lost a student whose family I remain close to and I know that it disgusts me when people use her death to make an anti-gun case. It is disgusting.

Further, there is not evidence that banning guns leads to safer societies. Look at the mass killings 2011 killings in Norway, any given weekend in Chicago, East LA, this week in Paris, a few weeks ago in Australia.

Please understand I do not question your patriotism nor your intent. I just challenge using the death of Chris Kyle or the death of my friend to make points they did not support and where in fact passionate about opposing the views you use their deaths to champion.

Your points could be made without standing on the graves of those who disagree with you and decorum would suggest that doing so is bad form.

Bobby

The writer if this article is a huge pussy. I haven’t seen the film yet, but how can you expect all the political subjects to be crammed into a movie. Maybe you’re just jealous that you could never amount to anything like Chris Kyle. All you can do is write reviews about films in a coffee shops like all the other douche bag hipsters in tight pants. Stop being a bitch nugget and grow some balls.

Jim

This article is trash. The Taliban and Al Qaeda are in fact savages whos life goals are to kill Americans. If it is going to be them or us to die, damn right I choose them. Get out of here with your gun arguments too. People like you who are scared and always looking for your "politically correct actions" are the reason this country is soft and falling behind.

Max

Wow, I find myself disappoint again with people like you that still don’t get it. The last I heard he was a solider, trained for a job that not everyone can do. I don’t remember reading anywhere that it was his idea to be involved in the war. With the 160 confirmed kills, how many American soldiers do you think he saved. If I had to choose which life I would rather see saved, the other side would come in a very poor second. Do you really believe we would have been better off without him, would his fellow soldiers have been better off?

Mark Navarro

We put our troops in harm’s way, for OUR safety-sake and then criticize them for doing their jobs …I say, unless you are willing to put your money where your mouth is and go do your time in war. You should simply thank those troops. When I was in the service, my unit recommended me for sniper school, but I turned it down because of those incredibly tough decisions Chris Kyle or any sniper would have to make in the heat of the battle. You have the luxury of sitting at your computer in your safe place and all the time in the world to decide if this is right or if this is wrong. The men and women in the military are fighting a war that was brought to them by terrorists and those that support terrorism; Criticize them, poo poo their actions and let our military do what it was trained to do. And for one second do not think that our military women and men are barbarians only interested in killing innocent women and children. We are your neighbor, your siblings, and your friends doing a very difficult task.

Alex

Well said. Pretty much all Eastwood’s films have guns as a co-star in some form. Gran Torino handled them much differently though.

steph

Did the writer read the book too though? I think there’s more to glean there than what the movie delves into. I haven’t seen the movie though and am only halfway thru the book.

I'm a Texan

I live near where Kyle was killed and people here have very mixed feelings about him. It IS frightening that someone wants to be a sniper, that he would want to kill without much thought. Were all those he killed guilty? no one will ever know. Our soldiers are brave men and women who serve to protect us, but some of them have issues we aren’t aware of. Kyle was too trusting when he was killed but he was also doing something he should not have done. He wasn’t a therapist but he was trying to give therapy to someone who needed to be in the care of a doctor, not a fellow veteran.

Otto

I swore never to watch another Clint Eastwood film after his pathetic speechifying at the 2012 GOP Convention, so no chance I’ll ever see this…

Allison

I love guns, have guns, shoot guns, and teach my childeren to shoot guns. I am grateful that I can have gun. The Law Enforcment Proffessionals in Ferguson did anything wrong. Stop blaming the police for the consequences that crimnals suffer because of their behavior. If you rob, steal, sell drugs, and commit acts of violence against others then you better expect that people are going to defend themselves. I am very appreciative of all the Police Officers and soldiers that are willing to get up everday,put their lives on the line to protect all of us.

Benxpete

This is, without a doubt, the best piece I’ve ever read on here.

Billy Bob Burgess

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the writer of this article really failed to see the underlying issues with war and killing being fully addressed. You’re exactly like a skinhead that loves American History X and the actual message went right over your head.

Terry

Wow. I was looking for a movie review but it looks like I clicked into one of those extreme leftwing, America-hating venues. But hey, enjoy the last days of the Obama reign guys. We’ll be wait’n.

Nathan Duke

It’s funny how quickly this conversation has dissolved into one centering on politics, when the article itself is about a movie. I think this film is more complex than a support-the-war or don’t-support-the-war debate. It’s a little disappointing to see this turn into the typical onslaught of name calling you’d typically see at the end of a news story on CNN. It’s a movie about contradictions and those who are saying it’s 100 percent this or that are cheapening the experience, in my opinion.

Bryan Donatz

There are many quick wits who run to sing the song that says America loves violence, that we have a love affair with violence, that the story of a soldier whos purpose was to protect the men and a country that does indeed fight to protect its own freedoms. The story of someone who sacrifices their life for a country that is more akin to a great idea is not mediocre. Some choose to only view this story as a violent cinematic Hollywood version of gun love, but when one actually thinks critically, it’s hard to ignore that all our freedoms, including you’re right to voice your own opinion (About anything) was and is protected by those willing to die on the battlefield. Our forefathers were willing to die for the great idea our country stands for. What happened to the grit and patriotism it takes to keep it that way? Instead I just hear people whining about what a bully we are. We’re at war, and it’s not one we win with the pen.

Manny

You guys are kidding right? Without our Armed Services you would be speaking German or Japanese. I was across the street on 9/11 where were you?

yoder

You communist punk

Charles Eddington

This article is even more simplistic than Hollywood storytelling. It’s also clearly the work of someone who had their opinions set and article written before evening seeing the film. Great work using it as a tool for your diatribe – you’ve certainly advanced the cause of journalistic integrity.

Patrick Yurick

"Despite being heavily associated with firearms in his Westerns and cop movies, Eastwood has publicly endorsed gun control since at least 1973. In the April 24, 1973, edition of the Washington Post, the star stated that "I’m for gun legislation myself. I don’t hunt." Washington Post

Kind of contradicts the line: "Clint Eastwood himself is a huge fan of guns."

John Anonymous

to all you bleeding harts that are crying about the term savages or animals referred to in the movie just look at the events that have been going on in the world for the last 3 years. This movie is about a man and the courage it took for him to go to war and what he had to do for his country and his team mates. Before you make another comment about guns and how cruel you have become look at the history of this people they have butchered their own since the days of Babylon and before, their are now killing more of their own then any american or western nation will ever do.
please read the history books before making comments this people are savages only savages chop heads off and then get a child to hold it up for the world to see. they are cowards that are great in numbers but individually cower like the cockroaches they really are.
this people are destroying history and humanity to force their IDEAS on others they deserve to die and go 12 feet under not six.

Nathan Duke

While I’m very sympathetic to the views in the article about the U.S.’s constant involvement in overseas conflicts, its fetishism for weaponry and the like, I think one thing was not taken into consideration here. Eastwood – despite having that strange moment when he talked t to a chair at the GOP convention a few years ago – typically does not make films that wear politics on their sleeves. His films from the past two decades have consistently focused on the topic of violence and the impact it has on those who inflict it. In this case, it happens to be Bradley Cooper’s sniper, on whom the impact is seen clearly on his face for much of the movie, despite his unconvincingly telling his shrink that he doesn’t regret his decisions. I’m not sure what Eastwood’s feelings toward the Iraq War were – but that’s not really what this film is about. It’s more about the psychological impact that killing makes on those pulling the trigger. Although the audience may have cheered during the screening (despite the -SPOILER, sort of – final battle with the rival sniper), the killings carried out by Cooper are not portrayed in your typical action movie sort of way. I thought there was a certain bluntness to them, as if they were being portrayed as any other duty being carried out by someone "doing their job." While some may argue that "American Sniper" is not an anti-war movie, it certainly didn’t strike me as a pro-war movie. If anything, it’s a "horrors of war movie," which, ultimately, I believe, speaks more to the anti- than the pro.

Deep

Pinko hippies

Greg Nixon

Oh such off-the-rails blather! It’s a movie, folks, a realistic tale of a once real human being. It’s one man’s story, and it happens to be a story about a very efficient sniper who does, as it turns out, have a conscience. The article is a political response to a personal story and is like reading an undergraduate critique of War and Peace.

ANONYMOUS

You are an idiot im sorry very well written article but you are blinded by an idea that war is avoidable and that if America leaves every country alone an take our troops home then no one will bother us and the world will have peace I understand where you are coming from but to place the blame or to insight a sense of anger at celebrating a hero is wrong he did what he did to keep americans safe not to go out and murder others these are the same men and women that if they were to stand aside there would be no home

Luis

By the way, when my colleagues go to fight Ebola, bring fresh water to Africa, save wildlife in Africa, repair cleft palates in Nicaragua, Columbia, and Ecuador, they all require protection by men and women with guns. Reality is a bummer.

LUIS

There are millions that believe Islam means "submit to Allah". Good will and turn the other cheek mean nothing to these righteous men. They see moderate muslims as deviants of the true faith to be dealt with after the infidels. Sharia is incompatible with western democracy for it is "above the constitution of the United States and all other man made laws" and "it may not be interpreted or revised” upon penalty of death in some countries. Unfortunately our weapons against this violent ideology includes rejection of political correctness, the pen, the podium, the screen, free press, the net, and yes the gun. This country was born by rebellion against oppression by the King of England with politically incorrect (treasonous) pen, ink, and gunpowder. Unfortunately the history of man has always been violent, and as a student of terrorism I am well aware that my conviction as a 60’s hippie that peace and love would save the world was naive at best.

Mike Terry

Farsad and some of you other commenters, I can appreciate you stating your opinions on America and I won’t be one of those who lumps every military engagement into they are dying for your freedom to say whatever you want. However, your views are extremely simplistic at best. Feel free to think and believe as you will but at least think deeper when coming up with your opinions. This is too small of a stage to address everything but two things: 1) A gun was used to kill Kyle but it was TRUST that got Kyle killed. It doesn’t take a gun to get the proverbial knife in the back. When you trust someone, like he trusted this fellow vet, it could have been poison, a club, a knife, etc. The people he was killing in the Middle East were people that were looking to kill his friends, our soldiers. You want to give an opinion on our government, fire away but to put it on the soldier who is doing what he is commanded to do, is irresponsible and unfair. Would you rather the soldiers disobey and be court-martialed? 2) As far as a comment above about America being a bully…Let me give you a few examples of bullies; Stalin, Hitler, Castro, Gaddafi…it goes on and on. America has her faults but America is a princess compared to the oppression that has been and continues to be in other parts of the world. I’m curious as to what you would have America do when Germany was taking over all Europe and relentlessly bombing England. Stand back and say, it doesn’t affect us? It’s a good thing we were a bully and went over to Europe and threw down with Germany. Why? Because the USSR recovered in short fashion after Germany drove into their heartland and began driving them back; not just to the German borders but all the way to the Atlantic if American forces hadn’t been there to stop them. Hence the thing known as the Cold War began. Should we be in the Middle East? I don’t know. I do know that some MFers flew planes into our buildings and they are headquartered in those "savage" countries where no one does anything about them. We could let them gain strength, take over the entire middle east, get even stronger and wait for them to come at us again. Or we can keep them weak so they can’t assemble stronger forces. Again guys, speak what you feel but just think a little further out there. We can sit back and not "bully" in the middle east but it’ll come knocking one day.

Steve ferguson

Wow…guess I saw a different movie.
I have a friend ( former Navy Seal ) that was invited to Chris Kyle’s funeral, that was shown at the end of the movie. I presume neither of you ever served. Shameful comments.

Manuel

Thank god!. Why United States (Not America, America it’s the continent) sees itself as a savior?. "We decide who lives and who dies". You’re not the saviors, in fact that’s the same reason why the people of the rest of the world despise "americans", because the see themselves as some kind of mesiah. Now, to the guns, i think Michael Moore nailed with a little cartoon about the idiosyncratic thinking on people from USA and his love for guns.

Steve Mcquien

The love affair with violence that this country has has run off it’s rails. "USA," no longer stands for a democratic ideal that the world should subscribe toward but a violent, exploitative, opportunistic, international police force that stands alone as the greatest deadly bully the contemporary world has ever known. U.S.A!!! U.S.A!!!

billy

it’s just another pro-war american mediocre film that celebrates a murderer and a guy who thinks he’s a hero and a country that worships itself as the saviour and hero of the world. nothing new, coming from a director who once was a great is now a mediocre director and once spoke to a chair. Nice article though, well observed points made here.

Wren

A very well thought out and written article. Thank you for sharing your viewpoint. I agree wholeheartedly.

Matheus

Thank you, thank you so much for expressing in beautiful word the fear that this mentality has struck upon me for years. You have no idea how good reading this article felt for me.

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