The votes are in and the decision is overwhelmingly clear. Chris Kyle—the Navy SEAL portrayed in the blockbuster movie purported killer of some 200 Iraqis during four tours of duty—is the people’s choice.
From record ticket sales to major media accolades, from the halls of Congress to the White House, the nation has spoken: “American Sniper” is all-American. Chris Kyle—the most lethal killer in U.S. military history, a true hero, a brave warrior—has been anointed as a role model for all that America has come to stand for.
“American Sniper has the look of a bona fide cultural phenomenon!” said Brandon Griggs of CNN. And as Michelle Obama contends, “… for all those folks in America who don’t have these kinds of opportunities [to meet veterans and military families personally] films and TV are often the best way to share those stories.”
Speaking at a film industry event, Ms. Obama said the movie stressed, “The complicated moral decisions they [troops] are tasked with … the balancing of love of family with love of country.”
For Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, the essence of his “love of country” lay in obeying his commander in chief and living up to Washington’s “moral decisions.” As the movie has it, when the Twin Towers were brought down on 9/11, off to war Kyle marched. This take-no-prisoners Texan dutifully followed the orders of the tough-talking faux-Texan George W. Bush to get those “evil doers.”
Bush’s simplistic and transparently shallow bravado about bringing ‘em in “dead or alive,” a comforting scenario made plausible by nearly a century of Hollywood Westerns, once again played out perfectly in Hollywood’s “American Sniper.” In a nation where politics has become show business for ugly people, the mindset of America’s first lady made perfect sense; film and TV’s dumbed-down, glossed over, whitewashed versions of hard facts served as the perfect substitutes for harsh reality and the solid truth.
Perhaps Ms. Obama had found a soft spot in her heart for Mr. Kyle because he closely reflects the words and deeds of her husband. In his book, American Sniper, Kyle wrote that killing is “fun,” something he “loved.” In the book “DoubleDown,” authors Mark Halperin and John Heilemann wrote that President Obama bragged that he’s “really good at killing people” while discussing drone strikes with his staff.
If not exactly presidential material, Kyle certainly has what it takes to be second in command. In his memoir, he wrote “We wanted people to know, we’re here and we want to f$#@ with you … we will kill you…”
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