American Sniper-- "Maybe That Hero Shouldn't Have Shot So Many People"
This little piece is brilliant, IMO:
I'd really like to be a patriot, here. A movie just came out, and it was about this American hero. So obviously I'm trying to get behind this. We're all pulling for the same team, right?
The thing is though... evidently the guy is mostly famous for killing a lot of people.
And I do mean a lot of people. A pile. It seems like a completely unreasonable number of dead folks we're talking about. But I admit I'm not an expert on this kind of thing.
I want to support the troops, sure. Who doesn't? I just think that when the number gets up there, you have to wonder whether we should have been doing that as a nation. Killing all those people, I mean. It just doesn't seem like something to celebrate, you see?
I know what you're going to say: He had to kill them. They were bad guys. And I might believe you if we were talking about a couple dozen. But the number was -- well, the official count is 160, but the guy himself claimed it was more than 250. At that point, how are you checking? How did they really know that each one of those guys absolutely had to be...
"If you see anyone from about sixteen to sixty-five and they’re male, shoot ‘em. Kill every male you see.”
Okay, that was from the guy's autobiography. It was quoted here. So maybe you can understand my problem. Look, I get that the guy is a hero. I know I'm supposed to be impressed by his ability to end the lives of other human beings at incredibly long distances. How many people have that skill? I can't help it, though: After a certain number of kills I start wondering whether we should be applauding. Seems... I don't know. Ugly.
I hope I didn't offend anyone. I don't want to suggest that shooting people to death is somehow wrong when a soldier does it. Really. (I mean an American soldier. It's wrong when other soldiers do it, unless they're working with Americans. I know that.)
And yes, people have to fight an enemy to prevent them from doing harm to us here at home. That seems like a great argument, and my only problem is the guy killed all those people in that country we thought was a threat to us, but it turned out absolutely wasn't a threat to us. Maybe it's no biggie. It's just that all those deaths happened right after most of us realized that we'd made a mistake with the invasion. "Gosh, we really, really screwed the pooch." I remember thinking that, yes. And it seems to me the smart thing would have been somehow to not kill a bunch of people afterwards. I still don't know why we didn't consider that.
Anyway I'm sure the guy actually valued human life, and he felt torn by what he did, though, so...
(He) reportedly described killing as “fun”, something he “loved”; he was unwavering in his belief that everyone he shot was a “bad guy”. “I hate the damn savages,” he wrote. “I couldn’t give a flying fuck about the Iraqis.” He bragged about murdering looters during Hurricane Katrina, though that was never substantiated.
That was from The Guardian. It certainly raises some questions.
I don't want to seem harsh or anything. But couldn't having the ability to kill a jumbo jet's worth of people be kind of a character flaw? Okay, sorry. Forget I asked it.
I just feel like if we're trying to win an ideological struggle in the Muslim world, maybe we shouldn't treat them like extras in a game of Grand Theft Auto. I don't know everything about this, of course. But it seems that people get angry when you kill their friends or their relatives. And these guys - the incredible number of dead people we all owe to this hero, and don't think I'm not grateful! - I can't imagine they didn't have friends or relatives. Sure, the hero made us all safer. Of course he did. He's a hero. But I wonder whether those friends and relatives are going to, you know... Do something about all the people we let that guy kill.
That worries me. Doesn't it worry you?
Anyway the movie did really well. It starred that actor who might be fucking that actress.