American Sniper Revisited

American SniperThough I still stand on my initial review of American Sniper, the movie has produced a rather lamentable attack on its critics. Though I have never been a big fan of Seth Rogen despite his appearances in very funny movies like Superbad (2007) and Pineapple Express (2008), he has been skewered for his comments about glorifying a soldier serving in the role of a sniper.

As a result, let me present this analogy for your thoughts. Imagine that a new movie was released entitled American Sniper 2. Imagine further that it took place during the American Revolution where it followed a British sniper who shot over 160 Americans, some women and children. Assume further that he shot the man considered one of George Washington’s best snipers.

If the movie would have followed the British sniper back to England, would you have praised a film treating him as a hero? To the contrary, wouldn’t the honest reaction in this country be to withhold praise for a soldier serving in an army that had invaded our country?

As a result, consider what took place in Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper. Clearly, the United States invaded Iraq, seeking to kill if necessary any Iraqis opposing our military force. That included a very talented Iraqi sniper.

If we would withhold praise for the British sniper in 1776, then why rush to judgment on the role played by an American sniper for killing Iraqi citizens who he openly referred to as savages? Yes, he was dedicated to serving his country and as a result came home emotionally damaged, but does he really deserve unqualified praise simply because he served as an American invader?

In concluding, please don’t lump me with both Seth Rogen and Michael Moore, both of whom made ridiculous comments about the film. I think people like Cooper’s character, Chris Kyle, deserve admiration for serving their country even when history has proven that their country was wrong in conducting the war. Though these guys didn’t ask why, it is American leaders like President Bush and Vice President Cheney, leaders who led our country into that foreign sinkhole, who deserve justified criticism.