American Sniper came out this weekend and it is set to break numerous box office records. Americans have packed tight the theaters to see this movie, much to my surprise. Last night, I uncomfortably sat in the front right row of the movie theater because my friends and I chose to walk in 5 minutes before it began (DOH!). I just assumed that the American people had moved beyond actual heroes and have glommed to Iron Man and Thor (Thor rules, by the way!). I came away from the movie feeling like I better understood Chris Kyle. I plan on buying his book. He was a definitely a hero. He was a very flawed hero, but that should not surprise anyone, even Kyle and his wife. See, heroes are flawed people who do heroic things in spite of their shortcomings of character. I think we are sold a false meme that heroes are to be perfect people only to be later brought down by stunning discoveries of some seedy past behaviors. Thank the good Lord that actual heroes do not hesitate to run into the face of danger before they get their moral house in order. The buzz of the movie soon wore off due to some Tweets from the Limousine Liberal Elite of Hollywood in regard to the film.
American Sniper is about Chris Kyle, the most lethal sniper in American history, and the story mainly centers on his experiences fighting in the second Iraq War. For the record, this is a story about Kyle’s experiences. The story does not delve into the complexities of politics, war versus just war, or any armchair musings from NPR or the New York Times. Kyle is very open about his view of the world and of his enemies and his mission is to protect his men from what he perceives are bad guys. This might be simplistic in nature, but so is standing up for Roman Polanski.
This notion fully escaped the minds of Michael Moore and Seth Rogen. With self-importance reaching maximum capacity, Moore tweeted:
Moore has since added some context to further explain himself on his Facebook Wall.
Moore gives us a personal account of his uncle being killed by a sniper’s bullet in Japan and how his father engrained it in little Mikey’s head that snipers are cowards. Okay, so snipers are cowards. Moore parrots his father’s prejudices and then backtracks by saying that he did not mention American Sniper in any of this tweets.
Fair enough – American Sniper’s release does coincide with MLK holiday weekend and Moore did not say that he was tweeting about American Sniper. Notice what also is missing from his tweets? The sniper who killed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It was not until after the fact that Moore mentions about James Earl Ray. So, upon American Sniper’s release and the approaching MLK holiday, Moore sends out this tweet saying he wasn’t speaking about American Sniper, but then this tweet shows that he was speaking about the movie.
See, Moore, we know you favor the insurgents more than the American military by your referring to the insurgents who killed innocent Iraqis and soldiers “Freedom Fighters” and the equivalent to the Minute Men.
There is a scene in the movie where a wanted terrorist (The Butcher) drills through the leg and eventually the skull of a small child in retaliation for villagers aiding the Americans. I can’t help but think that Moore smiles with joy at the sight of these “Minute Men” punishing these Iraqi traitors. Since Moore is generous with hyperbole in rhetoric and his tweets, when you see this scene in the movie, don’t picture “The Butcher” doing this to a small child; picture Michael Moore wielding the power drill. I do not actually believe that or that Moore would approve of such behavior, but he has shown in the past that he is more than willing to rationalize the acts of savages (terrorists) and quick to condemn the acts of what he calls savages (soldiers).
His follow-up tweet is about how snipers (insurgents) defending their homes against invaders (soldiers) are heroes. Based on that logic, he should have sided with the Japanese soldier who shot his dubious uncle. Was his uncle not an invader? In fact, Moore should track down the family of that Japanese sniper and cut them a portion of the profits he gets from his various debunked movies. The least he could do is invite them over for a summer visit in that enormous mansion he owns, which is probably protected by big burly men with guns.
Moore obviously has disagreements about why we invaded Iraq and this is not the time or place to get into that discussion. My initial support for the Iraq War can be found here and here. For the record, since we set up the Saddam regime back in the late 60’s and early 70’s, that gives the United States an enormous obligation to correct past errors.
Moore is the garden variety elite who champions the poor from the comforts of excess but even he did not descend to the hack middle school essayist musings like Seth Rogen.
Yes, Rogen was the first person to pull out the Nazi card. My general rule of thumb is to only play that card when I am hanging by my last thread of sanity when addressing Internet Trolls at 2 a.m. like a self-important/idealistic idiot. But I must not be too harsh. I am the fool who had such high expectations for a man in his 30’s who is still posting binge drinking pictures of himself:
Social media pictures of underage drinking might he excused as adolescent ignorance. Public postings of college-aged drinking binges could be chalked up to juvenile indiscretion and arrested development. But posting such pictures in one’s 30’s is cause for concern. Only a Hollywood elite could afford to think in such infantile terms and still afford to simultaneously pay for weed and booze and a team of financial experts to pay his mortgage and covertly hail a cab for the girls of questionable age of consent the night after the fact.
If Chris Kyle chose not to enlist to serve his country and continued in the lifestyle like Rogen’s, we would have never heard of him. Rogen is the type who parties off the excesses of the very society that is upheld by the sacrifice of others like Chris Kyle. Rogen bravely (and I do mean that) stood up the North Korean government in his latest movie The Interview, but being able to speak truth to power hinges upon people like Chris Kyle whom “Nazi Propaganda” movies are based off of.
This is not hero worship; this is hero appreciation of Chris Kyle. Kyle was definitely rough around the edges. His willingness to freely call these people savages made me feel a little uncomfortable. Then again, I have never been shot at in a war zone or seen a “Middle Eastern Michael Moore” torture a small child. There are many things about Kyle’s life that, after reading his book, I will probably find appalling and horrendous. But when the call for a soldier came, Kyle answered that call. He took with him his flawed character and protected his men from those who would seek to do harm. His mission was not to invade Iraq but to do his duty. From what I can tell, Kyle is open and honest about the good, the bad, and the ugly aspects of his life. It is in spite of these flaws that he chose to serve his country and it is in spite of his flaws that Americans admire him and thank him for his service.
So what of people like Michael Moore and Seth Rogen? Let us not ask them to apologize for their comments. That is what they believe. We should respect their opinions and engage them in the arena of ideas. No doubt this will inevitably pit the Center Left against the Center Right, but let’s keep from asking for the dreaded “Public Apology.” Attack the opinions and ideas of Moore and Rogen and respect them for having the bravery of airing such canting opinions for the public to see.