A: I saw American Sniper last night. More like American’t Sniper.
Me: I thought American Sniper was really good. I loved it. I polished my nails today. My toenails look ok but my fingernails look like crap. We also saw Silver Linings Playbook and loved that. Interstellar? Not. So. Much.
A: That’s an old movie, but ya it was good. Interstellar was fine and American Sniper is a glorification of war and murder. I’m reading the book right now.
Me: I didn’t think American Sniper glorified war. Why do you say that?
A: Because Chris Kyle is portrayed as a hero. I understand that he saved Americans but he also stated he didn’t regret killing any Iraqis who were commonly referred to in the move as “f*&%ing savages.” Enjoying killing people who do not agree with you is an act of terrorism.
Me: I see what you’re saying. On the other hand, there seems to be an effort on the part of Michael Moore types to portray Al Qaida as being on the same moral footing as the US. Killing a kid with a drill, burning a pilot alive, beheading people. That is f*&%ing savage. Killing is bad. Killing to exact maximum suffering is worse. Making women and children act as meat shields…all these are acts of f*&%ing savages, and the American military does not occupy that same moral plane.
A: Invading a country because of reasons that were false? I would want an insurgence too. America does a pretty decent amount of torturing, themselves. How about the man that was covered in water and left on a concrete slab to die? That was a case of mistaken identity. Sure, Iraqis have done terrible things but so have Americans. That doesn’t mean that the generally peaceful population of the Middle East should be considered savage terrorists. I would hope my family, my teachers and I aren’t being portrayed as merciless snipers.
Me: I never agreed with the Iraq war. You can be sure that you, your family and teachers are being portrayed as infidels who deserve death. You’d have probs been married off years ago and would not likely be allowed in school. They make movies out of their atrocities. They sell them and post them online and play them on TV. I travelled in Turkey for a month. I loved it and I loved Turks. It’s not ignorance from me. The important thing is to see evil for what it is, and if you don’t, you empower evil. Evil can’t be turned back with rainbows and Care Bears.
A: American Sniper is making money off of American propaganda. Kyle is not a hero. He is a good shot. The bottom line is he said he enjoyed killing people that had no bad intentions towards him (as well as people that did). Where you get the idea of rainbows and Care Bears is unknown to me. Iraq is protecting itself just like America. I didn’t say I wanted to live there but America is plenty f*&%ed up. I still have things to be afraid of that I shouldn’t have to be. Marriage is also a massively different cultural phenomenon that’s hard to compare with the west. Moore is a great director who argues his points with valid intellectual evidence. It seems Eastwood’s goal was making a fortune off of portraying war as a cultural triumph.
Me: I didn’t read Kyle’s book. So you know more about him than I do. America has problems, the American military has problems, but comparing them to the barbarism that happens over there is totally wrong. Michael Moore is a propagandist. If you think America is on the same moral footing with Islamic terrorists, then he has successfully propagandized you. Yet you wouldn’t want to live there… Because it’s run by bunch of woman-hating pedophile murderers perhaps? This is the problem with moral relativism: suddenly that’s an ok society. Their values are ‘just a little different.’ You have to be a LOT different to create a market for viewing videos of burning someone alive or having sex with 9 year-old girls.
A: I understand things are going wrong there. But America is not helping. Thinking it’s ok to want to kill people–any people–is sympathizing with acts of terror and in this case is extremely islamaphobic. Kyle was doing a job directed by the US Army and he happened to be very good at it. This does not make him a hero. It is not a good thing to be “the most lethal sniper in US history.” We should not be led to believe in military ‘glory.’
Me: I think he saved a lot of lives. Understand, my quarrel is not with you. Moral relativism is my target. It is evil, but believes in no evil. You can read about the context of the USA’s involvement with terrorists, but I remember it. I remember it back into the 1980s. I was very aware of what was going on and like most people I didn’t think it mattered. But they declared war on us and brought their violence to our shores. The US moved the war back out of our country and in to someone else’s. You can believe that’s wrong if you want, but they declared war on us. And with their torture, beheadings, mayhem, and movie-making thereof, you think Clint Eastwood is glorifying violence and murder? The US does everything it can to avoid hurting civilians, but the terrorists’ main target IS civilians. They have no reverence for human life at all and it is absolutely preposterous for anyone to be apologists for them. Whoever taught you to do so is badly misled. Why defend the indefensible?
A: I’m not defending terrorists. The majority of the Middle East is peaceful. The majority of the United States is peaceful and that does not include Kyle. You can’t “think” he saved a lot of lives. I am aware he was an asset to the American military. If he enjoyed killing people based on culture he is at the very least an ethnocentric asshole. The Middle East is generally full of terrible people but the USA can be forgiven for torturing innocent civilians. It’s ok because it’s the greatest country in the world!
Me: I see. They declared war on us and attacked us, but we’re the ethnocentric ones. Their main purpose is to torture and kill civilians, but because the US sometimes accidentally kills or negligently tortures a civilian, that makes us the same as them? No we are not the same. Our values are totally different. Our values are superior. You call that ethnocentric; I call that knowing right from wrong.
A: Um ok but the terrorist attack came from Al Qaida which was based in Afghanistan. We invaded Iraq under the false idea they were harboring weapons of mass distraction (which America does all the time). There are plenty of people here with the immoral goal of torturing and killing which by no means describes the majority of the Middle East.
Me: That’s a really good point. I felt even at the time that it seemed fake, and I was against it. The fact that the US was either dishonest or incorrect seems to have hampered our efforts ever since. Still, in hindsight, the USA is on the right side of history in this struggle.
You know how in the movie Chris Kyle’s dad tells him there are sheep, there are wolves, and there are sheep dogs? Well, I think you’re a sheep dog.