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Jilani writes: "The film American Sniper, based on the story of the late Navy Seal Chris Kyle, is a box office hit, setting records for an R-rated film released in January."

Bradley Cooper as Chris Kyle in 'American Sniper.' (photo: Warner Bros/Rolling Stone)
Bradley Cooper as Chris Kyle in 'American Sniper.' (photo: Warner Bros/Rolling Stone)

Chris Kyle: "I Only Wish I Had Killed More"

By Zaid Jilani, Alternet

26 January 15


The Clint Eastwood film suggests Chris Kyle was haunted by his actions in Iraq. The truth is more unsettling

he film American Sniper, based on the story of the late Navy Seal Chris Kyle, is a box office hit, setting records for an R-rated film released in January. Yet the film, the autobiography of the same name, and the reputation of Chris Kyle are all built on a set of half-truths, myths and outright lies that Hollywood didn’t see fit to clear up.

Here are seven lies about Chris Kyle and the story that director Clint Eastwood is telling:

1. The Film Suggests the Iraq War Was In Response To 9/11: One way to get audiences to unambiguously support Kyle’s actions in the film is to believe he’s there to avenge the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The movie cuts from Kyle watching footage of the attacks to him serving in Iraq, implying there is some link between the two.

2. The Film Invents a Terrorist Sniper Who Works For Multiple Opposing Factions: Kyle’s primary antagonist in the film is a sniper named Mustafa. Mustafa is mentioned in a single paragraph in Kyle’s book, but the movie blows him up into an ever-present figure and Syrian Olympic medal winner who fights for both Sunni insurgents in Fallujah and the Shia Madhi army.

3. The Film Portrays Chris Kyle as Tormented By His Actions: Multiple scenes in the movie portray Kyle as haunted by his service. One of the film’s earliest reviews praised it for showing the “emotional torment of so many military men and women.” But that torment is completely absent from the book the film is based on. In the book, Kyle refers to everyone he fought as “savage, despicable” evil. He writes, “I only wish I had killed more.” He also writes, “I loved what I did. I still do. If circumstances were different – if my family didn’t need me – I’d be back in a heartbeat. I’m not lying or exaggerating to say it was fun. I had the time of my life being a SEAL.” On an appearance on Conan O’Brien’s show he laughs about accidentally shooting an Iraqi insurgent. He once told a military investigator that he doesn’t “shoot people with Korans. I’d like to, but I don’t.”

4. The Real Chris Kyle Made Up A Story About Killing Dozens of People In Post-Katrina New Orleans: Kyle claimed that he killed 30 people in the chaos of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, a story Louisiana writer Jarvis DeBerry calls “preposterous.” It shows the sort of mentality post-war Kyle had, but the claim doesn’t appear in the film.

5. The Real Chris Kyle Fabricated A Story About Killing Two Men Who Tried To Carjack Him In Texas: Kyle told numerous people a story about killing two alleged carjackers in Texas. Reporters tried repeatedly to verify this claim, but no evidence of it exists.

6. Chris Kyle Was Successfully Sued For Lying About the Former Governor of Minnesota: Kyle alleged that former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura defamed Navy SEALs and got into a fight with him at a local bar. Ventura successfully sued Kyle for the passage in his book, and a jury awarded him $1.845 million.

7. Chris Kyle’s Family Claimed He Donated His Book Proceeds To Veterans’ Charity, But He Kept Most Of The Profits: The National Review debunks the claim that all proceeds of his book went to veterans’ charities. Around 2 percent – $52,000 – went to the charities while the Kyles pocketed $3 million.

Although the movie is an initial box office hit, there is a growing backlashagainst its simplistic portrayal of the war and misleading take on Kyle’s character. This backlash has reportedly spread among members of the Academy of Motion Picture of Arts and Sciences, which could threaten the film’s shot at racking up Oscars. your social media marketing partner


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+78 # backwards_cinderella 2015-01-26 10:07
Kyle sounds like a complete douche.
+42 # Billy Bob 2015-01-26 10:47
Pretty much sums it up. "Douche" is the perfect word. I wonder how long it takes before this murderer applies his "fun" to real American citizens (and not just the ones he fantasizes about in his delusional head).

I also wonder why some of the apologists from the previous RSN article aren't commenting yet, to question our "patriotism", for mentioning what a murderous asshole this guy obviously is.

I guess they just haven't gotten around to it yet.
+19 # Brooklyn Girl 2015-01-26 12:30
Chris Kyle is dead. From wiki: "On February 2, 2013, Kyle and a companion, Chad Littlefield, were shot and killed at the Rough Creek Ranch-Lodge-Res ort shooting range in Erath County, Texas,[36] by 25-year-old U.S. Marine Corps veteran[37] Eddie Ray Routh, whom Kyle and Littlefield had reportedly taken to the gun range in an effort to help him with what they were told by his mother was post traumatic stress disorder."
+11 # Billy Bob 2015-01-26 15:35
Nope. I didn't know that. He still sounds like a complete douche, but I was unaware of the whole background story. I'm so disgusted by the whole thing, that, to be honest, it's hard to keep my attention. Sorry, if anything else I said was inaccurate, as a result.
+4 # AndreM5 2015-01-26 12:32
Billy Bob:
Have you missed the fact that Kyle was murdered by one of his fellow soldiers? I did not see the movie so I have no comment about it, but working with young Vets makes me wonder if the manufactured fantasies he espoused on his return aren't indication of his unstable mental state. I would not call him a 'douche' for that.
+60 # Linda 2015-01-26 13:20
If Clint Eastwood wanted to make a movie about a war hero he should have 1. chosen the right war 2. chosen a real hero like Angelina Jolie did !

AndreM5 from Chris Kyle's own account in his book he brags about how he enjoyed killing and wished he killed more .I think the world is a bit safer without him in it . IMO he was a bomb ready to explode on anyone and anything at any time not because of PTSD but because he was a psychopath who probably would have killed someone even if he never had gone to Iraq . Honestly I don't think you can blame his mental state all on PTSD .
I lived with a boyfriend for 6 years who served in Vietnam and was injured by shrapnel when a mine exploded killing his friend next to him . He had PTSD and had horrible nightmares where he thrashed out hitting me during the night when he relived what happened in the war. He became an alcoholic like a lot of soldiers do to numb the pain .Till this day he still suffers from PTSD only now he is on meds which only mask the problem not cure it . Don't send your kids to war !
Whenever I asked about his experience he hated talking about the war and what happened . Chris Kyle relished talking about killing people ,big difference .IMO Chris Kyle was a psychopath before he ever went to Iraq and he wanted to go so he could kill people . I see no hero in him !
+17 # Billy Bob 2015-01-26 16:27
Great comment. You hit the nail on the head.
-4 # AndreM5 2015-01-26 17:11
In the end your opinions are just that. I can't diagnose the guy from posts on this blog. That is all I said.
-4 # Rain17 2015-01-26 22:36
I guess that I'm one of those "apologists" to whom you refer. I do have a life outside of this board, including my job and my side business. They take a lot of my time, so I don't have time to post here as much as I would like.

Again, as I said in the last thread, if you wanted a debate over the decision to go to war in Iraq, a movie that examined the roles of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Congress, this isn't the film for you. It is about Kyle's career.

I don't agree with Kyle's politics or some of his views toward Iraqis, but I still stand by my original point that attacking him personally isn't going to change anything. It's not going to make people like progressives or get people to reassess their views on issues.

I will concede on some level that is somewhat hard for me because I have friends who have either served or are currently serving. And they aren't "war criminals" or the bad people some of you make them out to be.
+7 # Billy Bob 2015-01-27 01:40
Why is it so hard for you to grasp that I'm not talking about your friends? Why are you unable to carry on an argument without intentionally misrepresenting what the other person says? Do you have any ability to grasp that I ALSO know people in the military? Is it ok for you to accept that the world is filled with people whose life experience falls outside of the realm of your own thoughts? Are you so narcissistic that you actually believe you know everything other people experience? Instead of constantly harping on about the "experiences" of your war heroes, what about the rest of us poor saps - you know - ORDINARY LAW-ABIDING FUCKING AMERICAN CITIZENS? You don't seem to have any concern for anything other than making sure the rest of us fall in line with your personal viewpoints and come to an understanding that only your personal experiences matter.

I find it comical, and a bit threatening that you "don't have time to post as much as you'd like". I'd be afraid what you'd turn these threads into if you actually did have all the time you wish you had, since you're already one of the 10 most frequent commenters. You seem to spend a lot of time (for someone who doesn't have it) on lecturing the rest of us about what we should be allowed to think, feel and say, and whether we should be allowed to speak for ourselves or "for the left" as you define it (from your conservative viewpoint).
+1 # Rain17 2015-01-27 14:26
But I'm not a conservative. You just call me a conservative because I don't fall in line with your views. I'm not telling you what you should believe in.
+5 # Billy Bob 2015-01-27 14:46
The phrase "fall in line" is pretty rich coming from you.

From what I can tell, your whole philosophy for how we should all behave seems to consist of:

-Never question authority
-Keep your mouth shut
-Do what you're told

That about sums it up. You're an authoritarian, by nature. Maybe you're a bit more conservative than you realize.

By definition, "liberals", or "progressives", or "the left", ALWAYS means challenging authority and speaking our minds, often to CHANGE the dominant paradigm. The left is NEVER very good at just getting along and going along with what we're told (especially by authority figures in our government, police, and military). Yet, you seem to feel the need to spend a great amount of energy and time devoted to lecturing us all about how we "don't speak for the left", simply for doing those very things.

Democrats have NEVER been, and never will be good at just agreeing with each other about everything. We love a good fight. We speak our minds. You seem to have a HUGE problem with that, whenever what we think doesn't FALL IN LINE with what you seem to think is "best for us".

All you have to do is read your own comments on this very thread, telling us what we shouldn't say, think, or feel.
+1 # bigkahuna671 2015-01-27 22:44
Billy Bob, you and I usually agree on everything but you use the word argument and that's not what this should be about. It's a discussion of Kyle and his reaction to a lot of major stress. I'm sympathetic to a degree because of my time in Vietnam as a Marine. That constant worry changes your perception of so many things and it's obvious that Kyle went through some major transformative moments over there. He may have already had some problems psychologically , but his time there may have exacerbated them. I have trouble with some of the things he said in his book, but after my PTSD I can't judge his reaction to his.
+32 # RLF 2015-01-26 14:41
As is Eastwood for being a right wing propaganda spinner for the military and their corporate suppoters. What a dick!
+65 # fredboy 2015-01-26 10:20
Saw the streams of fervent Repugs flowing in to see the movie in Naples, FL, recently. None, you can bet, had children who served in the military in either false invasion. Guaranteed. But gung-ho, HOORAH!

If it wasn't so nauseating it would be hilarious. Reminds me of those who love boxing but would not dare step into the ring...
+55 # David Starr 2015-01-26 10:35
Kyle sounds like a sadist...and a fascist.
+40 # Billy Bob 2015-01-26 11:00
Not to mention, racist and narcissist.
+9 # Brooklyn Girl 2015-01-26 12:31
HE'S DEAD. Shot and killed by someone he was trying to train on how to shoot a gun.
+9 # Radscal 2015-01-26 13:19
He wasn't trying to train his murderer how to shoot. Kyle and Littlefield were shot to death by Marine Corp vet, Eddie Ray Routh.

Kyle had been taking vets with PTSD to the range as "therapy" for their mental/emotiona l problems.
+8 # Akeel1701 2015-01-26 18:52
is that an example of 'Karma'?
+10 # Billy Bob 2015-01-26 15:36
Still an asshole. Sorry, but it's true.
+7 # dquandle 2015-01-26 15:26
just like his government, past and present
+43 # Kootenay Coyote 2015-01-26 10:39
Ambush sniper = coward + creep; & the real one here appears worse.
+83 # Emmanuel Goldstein 2015-01-26 10:40
I forced myself to see this film and sit through it all the way to the end. As the New Yorker critic says, it's weirdly pro-war and anti-war at the same time. One can choose to view it, I suppose, through either lens. What I found especially disturbing was the one-dimensional portrayal of all the various Iraqis (men, women, children) Kyle was executing. All of them were risking their lives fighting the heavily-armed invading US military machine, yet Kyle (and Eastwood) dismiss them as mere "savages."

To me, this movie is the worst kind of propaganda. The fact that it's a huge box office hit tells me what those of us on the left are up against in this imperialistic nation of ours.
+31 # Seadog 2015-01-26 12:10
Good review. It was both a pro- and anti war movie. It all depended on the lens you saw it through. Fox news viewers saw a Hero and many others of us saw a blood thirsty killer that killed children. I saw no pt. to this movie. I think many on the right just can't wait to try and rewrite the history of this sad epoch in our history.
-9 # Rain17 2015-01-26 22:44
If your goal is to convince Americans that everyone in the military is "bad" you're just not going to win this argument. Where I think most people here are wrong is that they seem to have the expectation that this movie was going to address the merits of the Iraq war. If that is your expectation then this is just not the movie for you.

I don't agree with Kyle's politics or beliefs, but I don't think trashing him is right either. He was just one man out of many who served.

And this is somewhat hard for me because I have friends who serve or are veterans. They aren't the monsters some of you make them out to be.
0 # bigkahuna671 2015-01-27 22:49
I'm with you Rain17. This is exactly how they vilified Vietnam Vets on TV and in the movies after that war. We were all evil baby-killers who should have been sent to prison. Everyone who serves in combat reacts differently. Almost all suffer from some level of PTSD and their method of dealing with it is all so different. I knew a guy in Vietnam who cut off ears (he was a sniper) and wore them like a charm bracelet. Not a good thing but that was his problem and it probably became America's problem when he went home.
+2 # arquebus 2015-01-28 16:34
Yep.....Kyle and his buddies saw the Iraqis as savages. And, I'm sure the Iraqi fighters saw the American soldiers as savages. In war, there is only one side....the side you are on and the enemy is a savage. That is true for American soldiers as well as Iraqi fighters.
0 # elizabethblock 2015-01-29 19:24
I watched part of it. I remember the bit where Kyle shot a man carrying a weapon, and then a little boy comes along, tries to pick up the weapon - it's too heavy for him - while Kyle has his sights on him, and finally drops it and runs away. Kyle is visibly relieved that he doesn't have to kill a child.
I thought of what the Israelis say about their soldiers: "shoot and cry." Does crying make it better for the people they shoot? In any case, it doesn't take long before you don't cry anymore, you just shoot.
+49 # Dumbledorf 2015-01-26 10:42
It has been said that if Americans love anything, they love death and destruction. They love a good con job. TRuth is simply not profitable in a land of frauds. We are a nation facinated by seeing human being hurt each other. However by playing the "patriot" card you can justify any act under the sun, including nuclear war. And we did use limited nuclear weapons in Iraq. This is a fact. If Kyle was not inclined to be a mass-murderer before his enlistment, our government certainly did everything possible to make him one by creating one of the most ignoble and hideous conflicts ever done by a so-called "free nation." Not only did we create this monster murderer but now we have to glorify our creation and wallow in it lest we see how corrupted our intentions regarding Iraq really are.
+9 # Radscal 2015-01-26 13:25
I've read about the use of "special" weapons by the U.S. in Iraq. This includes microwave "Directed Energy" weapons that literally melted people, white phosphorus (which is a specifically banned weapon) and hundreds of tons of depleted uranium projectiles. But I haven't read any reliable reports of nuclear weapons.

Can you post any good links?
-1 # Aaron Tovish 2015-01-27 09:26
I think the writer is confusing nuclear weapons a Depleted Uranium weapons. There were no nuclear weapons used in Iraq. The last use was in Nagasaki, its 70th anniversary is coming up this year. See facebook/IWasHe rAge, for example.
+2 # Linda 2015-01-26 13:51
Bravo . Well said !
+37 # Misterioso 2015-01-26 10:51
Kyle is a result and symptom of one of the diseases destroying America:
Lie after lie and slaughter after slaughter. What goes around, comes around.
+11 # Misterioso 2015-01-26 10:51
Kyle is a result and symptom of one of the diseases destroying America:
Lie after lie and slaughter after slaughter. What goes around, comes around.
+24 # elkingo 2015-01-26 11:00
O the poor late Chris! 160 people killed is plenty! Of course he can't touch major industrial killers like Hitler,Stalin, Mao Tse Tung and Pol Pot. But hey, for one guy, that's pretty respectable! Me? I've never killed anybody, and as such go to bed weeping every night. Love Clint, but this is bullshit. And sniping is long range pre-meditated murder, against a defenseless (albeit often armed) person. And, O! Jesse Ventura WAS a SEAL himself- for Christ's sake!
+5 # Thomas0008 2015-01-26 19:54
u forgot to list the two industrial killers in bush 1 and 2...
-1 # arquebus 2015-01-28 16:49
Then many shots taken by an infantry man with a rifle is pre-meditated murder since it is not uncommon for soldiers to take shots at an enemy that is 200 or 300 yards away or more. Many military rifles are accurate out to a thousand yards and the army and marines have competitions at that distance with iron sights (no scopes).

So, I wonder, how close does an enemy have be before you won't consider it murder?
+37 # davidh7426 2015-01-26 11:13
Clint Eastwood's next movie project...

The story of an ageing actor, who seeing life pass him by, starts up a meaningful and close relationship with a chair.

Until one day during a political rally the actor is attending, an argument between the actor and the chair breaks out.

The chair wins the argument, moves out, taking the kids and also emptying the bank account.

The actor distraught moves into film directing, while also losing his marbles.
+31 # Seadog 2015-01-26 12:14
Eastwood seems to have to steered off into a kind of cynical ugly Dirty Harry kind of place. I hope he gets better meds. Sad pathetic movie. It reflects more on the darkness in Clint and the people like him then on anything else. Its a kind of right wing film Noir.
-23 # m... 2015-01-26 11:15
I understand the attacks on the veracity of the Film itself and Eastwood's directorial decisions. But I find it appalling that Kris Kyle has been so trounced and denigrated by media commentators over it.
He was a soldier sent by the political authority under orders to perform his DUTY and mission as a sniper in a VERY VERY DANGEROUS AND DEADLY PLACE like thousands of others ordered to perform their duty.
The War was wrong. But we are lucky to have the people we do serving in a military that obeys and is accountable to even the crappy Leadership likes of the BuSh Administration, unlike many other countries where the military, frighteningly, often acts very independently of such authority-- as its own authority that may or may not obey the orders of the Political Leadership. Americans would cower in fear under their beds if such a situation ever occurred here.
BuSh, Cheney and all the Creeps and Profiteers who drove our country and military people into that Illegal War are the ones who should be torn apart over the movie. Not ANY soldier. Not after what they went through.
There is no reason for all this denunciation of Mr. Kyle's character and emotional state of mind over comments he may have made weighed against the business/artist ic decisions to make the commercial movie-for-profi t that came out of hollywood for public 'entertainment' after his death.
Our soldiers went through levels of emotional stress most of us can't imagine, day after day, tour after tour...
+33 # Brooklyn Girl 2015-01-26 12:32
Chris Kyle was not an ordinary soldier. He was a psychopath who enjoyed killing.
+16 # Billy Bob 2015-01-26 15:37
And, he's being treated as a hero for that very fact.
-7 # m... 2015-01-26 19:49
And you have read the medical diagnosis? Performed it yourself? Or just passing along other commentators' comments?
Personally I have no idea what he was emotionally. I can believe that he was at least 'troubled'...
What I am sure of though, is that he and many thousands of mostly young men and women were sent to Iraq and told to kill kill kill while waiting to be killed, killed, killed 24/7 for tour after tour after tour in what anyone can see was/is a complete hellhole. And then, when they returned and sought help for their nightmarish physical and psychological damage, they were quite often kicked to the curb by the very people who sent them there.
So-- ' ...a psychopath who enjoyed killing'..?
If so.., I wonder why?
I wonder why there aren't MANY more wandering around in society just like how you describe Mr. Kyle after what those soldiers went through.
They went through the barely-imaginab le to me.
I am not feeling like one to jump on the 'Let's Condemn Chris Kyle' Bandwagon because we don't care for the MOVIE PORTRAYAL of him and the deadly, frightening war situation he was sent into to kill again and again while living with the thought and reality of being killed any second himself for the lengthy period of time he lived and worked in that environment.
Chris Kyle was one of many sent into the nastiness and travesty of the Iraq War and had to live with all that meant for his life and those he killed during and after… right up until the moment he died.
+7 # Billy Bob 2015-01-26 21:44
I appreciate your empathy. I wonder why that kind of empathy is never (and I mean never) applied to murderers when they commit the exact same acts at home, for pleasure, as he did. Much of the same logic could be applied. Many of them grew up in a hell-hole environment and were taught the very attitudes that wound them up in death row. In fact, much of the same logic can be applied to explain away the motives of any terrorist.

The problem with the movie portrayal of him is that it makes him out to be more of a human being than he obviously was, in his own words. You can't escape the fact that he clearly delighted in making people's heads splatter, and didn't care much if they were innocent or guilty. It was all in good fun for him. Those are his true, and documented attitudes on the subject.

It IS true that the Nazis were just following orders. Yet, we still felt the obligation to hold them responsible for their actions. Kyle went that extra step (above and beyond the call of duty) and actually got off on the killing.

By definition, that IS a psychopath - regardless, what caused him to become one.
-6 # Rain17 2015-01-26 22:47
When you bring up Hitler and the Nazis, due to Godwin's law, you've lost the argument. I don't think Kyle was a psycopath.

I don't agree with Kyle's politics, but I think calling him a psychopathic serial killer is unfair. There are many snipers in the military and they are doing their job.
+3 # Billy Bob 2015-01-27 01:28
Godwin's Law only applies when you're having a childish debate and trying to play "gotcha". This is a discussion among adults. I'm sorry to inform you, but the 1930s and '40s DID happen, and pretending that they were in a vacuum having nothing to do with a bigger picture is assinine. I'm not calling all snipers psychopaths. I'm calling THIS ONE a psychopath. Can you see the difference? Not all presidents are as bad as bush, but bush WAS. See the comparison? Not all people are assholes, but assholes ARE assholes. See where I'm going with this? Pretending the other person is saying something you know they aren't, just to attack it, involves a Law about STRAW-MAN ARGUMENTS, and it means YOU lose.
-6 # m... 2015-01-27 01:02
I think you helped make my point…
''The problem with THE MOVIE PORTRAYAL OF HIM…….''

And your assessment that 'Kyle went some extra step and got off on what he was ordered to do in a murder zone'.....also just makes the point that all of what transpired began-happened under extraordinary, incredibly stressful and bloody, daily, month after month circumstances most of us can not imagine existing in…
You know---Patton loved his job too… MANY soldiers love their job.
As far as I know, the 'murder' stories Kyle told are pretty much viewed by authorities as just that now--- stories…
And tossing the word 'Psychopath' around means nothing… Politics, Wall Street, Industry and your daily life out and about in the world is filled with psychopaths here and there. 99.9999% of Psychopaths are not murdering Hannibal Lecters…

I see many people spouting off here like experts or as if they really know much about Chris Kyle beyond Media Commentary and Soundbites… I think there is even the 'media affect' in all of this-- which side of the media spectrum says what as a source for information. Rightwing Media loves him and Eastwood. The other side of the spectrum thinks he's a symptom of murderous militarism gone too far and does not like the Conservative Republican Eastwood...

To me, he may or may not be be a great big asshole and dangerous person… None of which would surprise me about anyone who did multiple tours of duty as a combat soldier in a place like Iraq.
+2 # Billy Bob 2015-01-27 01:23
Like I said, he's responsible for his own actions and his own words. His words and his own account of his actions paint him to be "a great big asshole". Who am I to argue?
0 # arquebus 2015-01-28 17:02
Was Carlos Hathcock a psychopath? He killed 93 men is VietNam as a sniper including many who were snipers looking to collect the $30,000 bounty the NVA put on his head.

And, artillery man firing a 155 howitzer probably kills more people during a tour of duty than Kyle even thought of.
0 # elvenflow 2015-01-29 18:07
My grandfather was a sniper in WWI, and taught snipers in WWII. What I am seeing now is much more similar to returning WWI vets (for those of us who still remember them) than Vietnam.
0 # skylinefirepest 2015-01-30 20:31
Your comment, Brooklyn Girl, simply indicates that you have no idea who is protecting your sorry hide at this moment around the world, putting themselves in harm's way for a person who blames America for the ills of society. I hope you rest easy at night hating the very heroes in our country that keep you safe from fire, thugs, sickness, and foreign intrusion.
+17 # Linda 2015-01-26 14:06
quote: The War was wrong. But we are lucky to have the people we do serving in a military that obeys and is accountable to even the crappy Leadership likes of the BuSh Administration, unlike many other countries where the military, frighteningly, often acts very independently of such authority-- as its own authority that may or may not obey the orders of the Political Leadership.

No we are not lucky we had him and others like him and no they should never obey orders when those orders are morally wrong .IMO nobody should have gone to war in Iraq. I realise some came into the military while we were under peace and didn't chose to go to Iraq they had go or be tried as a deserter but they can refuse to kill using religious beliefs as their reason not to kill .
Chris Kyle never had to become a sniper in the war that was his chosen profession. Deny all you want but this guy was no hero he was a psychopath.
-3 # Rain17 2015-01-26 22:50
Linda, with all due respect, I disagree with you. What are these soldiers supposed to do? Desert and refuse to go and end up in Ft. Leavenworth to appease people like you?

I don't agree with Kyle's politics and beliefs, but I also don't believe in attacking him personally either. The ones to blame are the Bush administration, who made the decision to fight that war.

The fact is that many people joined the armed services because they don't have other options in the civilian world. Some of them join for the GI Bill and educational benefits. They aren't all the monsters you and other people here make them out to be.
-5 # m... 2015-01-27 01:07
I think you would be terrified if US Soldiers refused to obey orders and deserted en masse…

Maybe you forget the Nation's mindset right after 9/11…
And how the invasion and occupation of Iraq was driven by both parties, the media and a majority of the public at the time.
+6 # Billy Bob 2015-01-27 01:30
The nation's mindset after 9/11 was crazy and totally out of sync with reality. I'm glad that mindset is slowly fading, so we can get back to looking at the world through an honest lens.
+2 # m... 2015-01-27 01:51
I agree… :)
+12 # futhark 2015-01-26 17:28
Soldiers have a higher duty than following the orders of their superiors. This has been established in the Nuremberg trials and in various treaties after both World Wars. The real heroes are the soldiers who refuse to carry out illegal and/or unethical orders, risking their careers and even their liberty for the sake of principles. More than anyone else, military operatives need training in what constitutes legal and ethical behavior in the stress of battle.

Let us not glorify someone who enjoys cold-blooded killing of his fellow men, but laud those find other ways of resolving disputes.
-9 # m... 2015-01-26 20:30
Since when is it an illegal order for a sniper to shoot the enemy?
Many of the criticisms of my post are such la la land comments in my view.
I do not condemn our troops as an aggregate as I see many do here. I condemn the System in place that used our military people for the creepy as fuck reasons they were used in Iraq.
Mostly young, loyal and obedient and sent off to War to do a job they almost universally believed to be a necessary fight as did the majority of the country at the time BECAUSE of the POLITICAL and CORPORATE CRETINS and PATHETIC, CORPO-SHAREHOLD ER-LOYAL PRESS behind the curtain of propaganda who sold it as a necessary War.
So yes, I think we are indeed lucky to have such a powerful military filled with such capable people in a very dangerous world. And yes, I am aware, we have made it more dangerous through bad POLITICAL decisions in recent years.
But that is not due to the young men and women serving our country. Its not the Military Personnel who follow orders and put their lives on the line. Its the Corpo-Political Creeps who use the Military the way they do who should be the ones hung out for the criticism that is being heaped on this soldier who performed his duty, then wrote a book which was then turned into a movie that did not even follow the book very well.
All of this poorly focused brouhaha over the movie is probably reaping Hollywood millions more than it would have otherwise.
Not to mention that BuSh and Cheney are barely mentioned.
+6 # Billy Bob 2015-01-26 21:47
We're not "condemning our troops" either. We're admitting that THIS ONE was a delusional psychotic asshole. Just because we don't condemn them all, doesn't mean we should worship every single one of them as though they were gods.
-7 # m... 2015-01-26 23:45
Where in anything I posted can you claim I am 'worshipping Chris Kyle as some sort of god'…?
I think I have been VERY clear in my expressions on this matter.
I lent nothing 'extraordinary' to Mr. Kyle in them.
For all I know, he was the biggest asshole sniper in history.
It still does not negate the fact that he was a young man sent into a hellish situation 24/7 to kill people as often as orders dictated.
Who are we to judge what happened in this man's mind in the way that is happening now--- or any of the many thousands of minds bent by this incredibly stressful war zone world they lived in, often again and again tour after tour… situations and lengths of time even Vietnam Vets or WWII Vets never had to cope with.
Some of my son's high school friends who went into the army and marines and then to Iraq… nice, good kids.., are so changed by their lengthy experiences over there you can see it and smell it hanging all over them like a wet woolen drape even today… Thank God that my son was never sent there. He went into the Navy.
I think the entire righteous nasty assault on Chris Kyle is WAY overboard and hugely misplaced and that's that...
-7 # skylinefirepest 2015-01-26 22:14
M, you're a sensible voice amongst diehard liberals. These people will not serve their country but wait for others to serve for them. They are not willing to die for our way of life and will disparage all those who would. They don't like the military or their country. They want to do away with all firearms but when faced with thugs will hide in a closet, pee themselves, and call for men with guns...and pray to whatever deity they happen to believe in at the moment for a quick response. Chris Kyle was a hero...and these assholes are talking about a MOVIE as if it were absolutely based on real life with no artistic license. And to boot, one of their favorite idols has now put his two cents in as if he were a military expert. The no serving, fatass, anti-American Mike who claims to have SEALs as bodyguards, a claim that I find ludicrous as I don't know any SEAL that would be willing to work for this piece of shit! The whole damn group of these extreme lefties should be ashamed for anyone to know their real names.
-5 # Rain17 2015-01-26 22:52
Skylinefirepest , you have to understand that this board attracts the very far left. They think they represent what most liberals think, but they are probably the far 5-10% of the left that is out there. They think their views are mainstream, when they really aren't.
-4 # m... 2015-01-26 23:25
''They don't like the military or their country. They want to do away with all firearms but when faced with thugs will hide in a closet, pee themselves, and call for men with guns...and pray to whatever deity they happen to believe in at the moment for a quick response.''

You lost me on that broad brush nonsense spew.
Plus, I never suggested Kyle was any kind of hero.
As far as I know, he was a soldier doing his job under the most stressful 'bloody' circumstances. 'HERO' is tossed around too much in these times.
A true Hero' is someone who does something super extraordinary in relation to the 'normal' circumstances and environment within which they act.
Even I am guilty, I do not like the entire socio-political labels, Liberal and Conservative. They are tossed about the way they are in this age of Limbaugh-Fox and the GodFather of such Labels, Gingrich, where the suggestion is that America is severely divided along highly entrenched-galv anized lines of LIBERAL vs CONSERVATIVE as if all of us are 'Either-Or' according to the Media Talkingheads of Deliberate National Division who laugh all the way to the bank at the end of their daily efforts to maintain these labels, this divide and pit Americans against each other according to them for political and $$ gain.
Americans are as diverse as our numbers. Each individual, a mish mash of liberal and conservative leanings to varying degrees ranging between indifferent to extreme depending on the issue and matter at hand.
+9 # Thomas0008 2015-01-26 20:00
when I was drafted, to go to Viet Nam, I refused to go, AND, I refused to run and hide. That, is what could stop these wars of lies. Problem is, the lie machine is good,VERY GOOD, at their work. Young men (and far to many older folks), are very vulnerable to the liars.
+8 # Billy Bob 2015-01-26 21:52
You probably didn't hear this much, but what you did was very patriotic, in the truest sense of the word. Not only did you refuse to fight in a war of aggression that was against American interests, but you stood your ground and faced the music. That was a very brave act on your part.

It's too bad that technology has enabled criminal minds within our own government to engage in perpetual war for profit without even bothering to ask for help from anybody with a conscious too acute to follow orders blindly. Nowadays, they can do pretty much whatever they like with an all-volunteer military, filled with people indoctrinated into believing the lies.
-11 # ikhadduri 2015-01-26 11:47
Legal codes following the principle of Eye for an Eye (lex talionis) have one thing in common: prescribed 'fitting' counter punishment for an offence. In the famous legal code written by Hammurabi (first codified laws from ancient Iraq), the principle of exact reciprocity is very clearly used. For example, if a person caused the death of another person, the killer would be put to death.
He would get his uppance.
+25 # Saberoff 2015-01-26 11:55
"An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind."

- Mahatma Gandhi
+6 # Radscal 2015-01-26 13:28
Is your point that Kyle being shot to death was in keeping with ancient law?
-1 # Thomas0008 2015-01-26 20:04
sounds like, from your interpretation of justice, 100,000 to 1,000,000 Americans civilians need to die to settle the score... not sure I think what you say makes much sense at all...
+21 # shgo 2015-01-26 11:52
-12 # skylinefirepest 2015-01-26 22:06
Are you willing to speak arabic?? Because without wars you will be in the future. Nice to say "no wars" but it's fantasy.
0 # m... 2015-01-27 01:18
on the other hand, as a conservative who most likely does not like so called 'big government' or 'tax and spend' and believes in 'freedom and liberty'… at what point, especially with our new, highly privatized, for-profit contracted military, would you say 'perpetual (and highly profitable) war and living in a very costly (and highly profitable) Surveillance State which BOTH protects and diminishes our freedom and liberty-- all on the tax payers dime' in the name and fear of not wanting to speak Arabic (as you say) according to the desires a small but deadly minority of Jihadists Muslims, would you consider the cost too high..?
+1 # arquebus 2015-01-28 17:05
Great idea. Now all you have to do is convince ISIS or Boka Haram, etc.
+28 # progressiveguy 2015-01-26 12:01
The neocons need a hero and Clint Eastwood provided one for them. Mostly fiction I believe. Like a lot of other American military, his life ended by someone he was training. An American tragedy from beginning to end. Nothing to be proud of.
+3 # RLF 2015-01-26 14:42
I wonder how much military intelligence paid him...kind of like zero dark shitty.
+2 # countmarc 2015-01-26 16:18
Got your oxymoron "military intelligence" going on here
+12 # Archie1954 2015-01-26 12:20
Kyle's soul must be roasting in Hell! Imagine a society so brutal, so dysfunctional, so immoral that it lauds and praises mass killers! We all know which society that is and it is going to perdition also.
+8 # Radscal 2015-01-26 13:33
Seeing someone like Kyle become a multi-millionai re and cultural hero does strike some as morally reprehensible. In general, seeing how well "Crime Pays" can make us wish that such evil would be punished after death since so many of them were rewarded so well in life.

Hence... the invention of hell fulfills that urge for justice.

Unfortunately, for some it demotivates them from seeking justice in the here and now. Hence... slaves in the U.S. being taught they would be "closer to God" in heaven than their "owners" helped to reduce slave uprisings.
+1 # arquebus 2015-01-28 17:09
George McGovern....a great liberal...must have been a mass killer as he was a bomber pilot who helped level Berlin. All the 10s of thousands of men who flew bombers, served artillery pieces, fought with an M1 should not have been given parades down 5th avenue, but imprisoned in Leavenworth as mass killers.
+17 # jdd 2015-01-26 12:38
Kyle was not a soldier, but a disgusting criminal and swine, but even more disturbing is the enormous popularity of this movie, which says a lot about the American people.
+10 # Linda 2015-01-26 14:16
I gave you a thumbs up even though I thought you should have said Some American People . I don't consider myself in that group and I don't think you do either or for that matter most of the people who posted here.
0 # skylinefirepest 2015-01-30 20:35
JDD, to me it says that here was one more person who was willing to put his life on the line for undeserving trash like you. He was responsible for protecting his fellow troops, something of which you apparently know nothing.
+5 # phrixus 2015-01-26 13:07
The good news is that this sick fuck is no longer among us.
0 # dquandle 2015-01-26 15:32
psychopath, as were the people who sent him then, and those in power in the US government now, starting from drone 'em Obama, and trickling on down
+6 # dquandle 2015-01-26 15:34
but the sick fucks who sent him, including the present occupant of the White House, and the star chamber "congess" and cabinet still are, alas...
+1 # bigkahuna671 2015-01-26 15:24
I plan on seeing this movie in the near future, accepting it as the nearly complete fiction that it is. Yeah, I know, I'm sorry that I like good old BS action movies but I've never been a big fan of those mushy romance films. I'm a retired Marine who served nearly two full tours in Vietnam and had friends who served in 5th Marines with me over there...they were scout-snipers. Their targets were always high-value NVA officers or political commissars, not somebody running around in black pajamas. How he could attack a fellow Seal (Jesse Ventura graduated from BUDS class 58 in 1970 and they were still called UDT then - he was a member of Team 12) is beyond me but he did struggle with PTSD as did a lot of us from Vietnam (and we still do), so maybe that explains it. Eastwood just takes advantage of Kyle's story and paints his own picture of it, so don't blame Kyle, blame Clint. He's the right-wing fool here.
+6 # Thomas0008 2015-01-26 20:12
you want to blame the real scum of the Iraq war? send bush and his sick neo-con scum partners to the Hague. Then the world would become a bit more sane again.
+2 # arquebus 2015-01-28 17:17
I saw the movie last night. What I saw was a depiction of a young man who, when the trade centers went down, felt the same sort of anger that my parents felt when they heard about Pearl Harbor. Kyle, like many men in 1941 and 42, wanted to do something so he joined the Navy and applied for SEAL training. It was obvious in the film that Kyle saw his job as protecting his fellow marines. I suppose he could have done nothing and let those Marines be blown up by RPGs or IEDs. Much better, no doubt, to have Marines die than radical fighters. But, he didn't...and again as was obvious, he almost lost his marriage until he found a way--helping other vets--to lay his own demons to rest.
-8 # rxfxworld 2015-01-26 15:55
Whether you are on the right or left of the politics, your comments about Chris Kyle alleged "psychopathy" or his heroism based solely on a movie put you squarely in the rank with former VP Dan Quayle drawing moral lessons from "Murphy Browne".
The autobiography is one thing. It's supposed to be factual. The movie is "based on real events" but is by its nature a fiction. The autobiography in Kyle's own voice lets you infer many things, not the least that he was arrogant, loved war, loved his job as a sniper. The movie doesn't erase these traits so much as show the human side to him and the cost to him and other vets of war-and on their families. That last part--families- is where Eastwood admits his anti-war sentiment. The movie is great because of its nuance which invites these heated polar disagreements as to its intent. Eastwood's direction and Bradley Cooper's acting deserve Oscars for it. And so does the movie deserve an Oscar, instead of the flat, racist biopic "Selma" which claims to be historically accurate but which trashes LBJ's contribution and omits the sacrifice of white people--particu larly Jews (see Goodman and Schwerner) in the civil rights campaign. outrage over their deaths assisted in the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (Wikipedia). SELMA, unlike AMERICAN SNIPER is propoganda
+6 # Floridatexan 2015-01-26 15:58
Agreed that it's a sad state of affairs when a movie like this attempts to rewrite the history of a shameful war of aggression...bu t let's not forget who the real criminals are.
+3 # countmarc 2015-01-26 16:17
Note to self: NEVER take a person suffering from PTSD to a shooting range
-5 # Rain17 2015-01-26 23:07
I said this in the last thread and I know it'll be unpopular here, but here is my view on this film. I'll probably see it this upcoming weekend, but here are my views on this issue.

1. If your goal is a movie that deals with the motivations of Bush, Rumsfeld, and the civilian leadership at the Pentagon who decided to go to war with Iraq, this is not your film. I honestly think that expecting this movie to address those issues is inherently unrealistic.

2. I say it over and over again here to no avail, but individual soldiers are not the ones making the decision to go to war. It angers me a lot to see so many people denounce those who received orders to go over there as "war criminals." I have friends who served and/or have served. Calling them "war criminals", as some people in this thread have, is unfair and unreasonable.

3. As for Kyle attacking him personally for the policies of civilian leaders is unfair. Most of my friends who have served are conservative and I don't agree with their politics, but they aren't bad people either. I don't agree with Kyle's politics, but I don't think attacking him for doing his job is fair. I wasn't in favor of the Iraq and the ones to criticize are Bush et al, not those who received orders to go.
-4 # Rain17 2015-01-26 23:07
4. Inherently I think that some on the left simply are hostile to anything connected to the military or intelligence community. Although I have not really liked Michael Moore since he voted for Nader in 2000, who ironically helped make Bush President and the Iraq war happen, I did like his movies SiCKO and Capitalism. But Moore opening his mouth doesn't help progressive causes.

5. Attacking individual soldiers is not going to get Americans to listen to the left or get those on the right to reconsider their viewpoints. I get a lot of flack here; but, as I've said it before, messages that say "America sucks" or imply that "America sucks" aren't going to convince people to reevaluate their viewpoints.

6. This becomes even harder for people like me because, when my coworkers ask why I am a Democrat, they bring up stuff like this. And the ironic part is that many of them should be Democrats, but aren't, because of messages like this. They think that everyone on the left hates the military. Even though people like Moore and some of those on this board are a shrill minority, they think everyone on the left hates them or doesn't respect their service.

7. I'm not sure what those attacking Kyle hope to achieve. You're not going to convince most Americans, including many liberals, to hate the military and those who serve. And what you're going to do is alienate more Americans who might willing to support liberal causes.
-4 # Rain17 2015-01-26 23:08
8. The one point that I will say about military--and perhaps this is the one critical point that I will make--is their hostility to the government helping anyone else besides them. Those who serve receive generous housing allowances, the GI bill, VA loans, free to low-cost healthcare while in the military, and so forth; but they are often the first people to rant against the government helping others. Many of my coworkers, for example, are extremely hostile to the Affordable Care Act, yet they have no problem accepting government benefits themselves connected to the military service. Now I fully agree that they have earned those benefits, but their hostility to the government helping others always struck me as unfair.

9. This is why the far left will never truly influence public opinion or get anywhere politically in this country. Attacking the troops is not a politically wise strategy.

10. And lastly some people join the military because they don't have opportunities in their home town or in the civilian world. Or others can't afford college either. To denounce them for pursuing opportunities that would enable them to complete college or get training they couldn't get in the civilian world is unfair.
+1 # Aaron Tovish 2015-01-27 10:11
No one is talking about the military leadership. In Vietnam the military leadership conspired with the political leadership to concoct the Tonkin Bay 'incident'. Surely, before Gulf War II, the military leadership knew that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 and that the UN had Iraq well monitored regarding WMD. So, the grunt on the ground, is falsely led and it is very hard for him to know which orders are legal or illegal (although blatantly illegal orders should be disobeyed). But the military leadership should be held accountable along with the political leadership.
Regarding this sniper, perhaps he was told that each person targeted was a confirmed combatant even if they were dressed in civilian clothes. (Or he may just not have given a damn.) What is the process of determining who 'qualifies' for sniper assassination? That is an issue that needs as much attention today as ever in this Perpetual (Undeclared) War.
-4 # arquebus 2015-01-27 11:24
Was Kyle a hero? I imagine some of the men whose lives he saved might think so. But, I do know that just because he was a sniper that doesn't make him an asshole or anything else other than a soldier doing his job.

Snipers have been used in the American army since the days of the revolution. At the Battle of Saratoga, a Brit general was rallying his troops when one Tim Murphy was order to use his rifle and kill the general at a range of something like 300 yards (long ways in those days). Murphy obeyed and killed the general whose troops then broke and the Americans carried the day.

Both sides employed snipers in the Civil War. Telescopic sights were mounted on rifles and since military rifle/muskets of the day had an effective range of several hundred yards sniping was an effective tactic.

Alvin York in WWI used and Enfield Lee rifle to kill 28 Germans and capture more than a hundred more.

Snipers were used by the American armies in all theaters of combat in WWII and they have been used in every combat we have engaged in since. Which isn't surprising since both the Germans and Japanese used snipers, too.

So, Michael Moore, once again, got it wrong....sniper s aren't cowards and are often well in advance of their supporting troops.
-7 # skylinefirepest 2015-01-27 17:47
Kyle protected his fellow troops...that was his job and whether well trained or having a natural talent for shooting he did it very well. He saved American lives. I know that grates on the nerves of many of the America hating commenters here. He was not a psycho or a killer of kids or women. He did his freaking job and it saved lives. Maybe if some of you armchair heroes had ever served your country in some manner then you might understand it. We ask men and women to go in harm's way for us and for our country and they do it without complaint. Some of you would probably come out of the service as better people, if you had the nads to try it.

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