Over the weekend, Americans in all 50 states celebrated the life and heroic achievements of the late Chris Kyle. Kyle, a member of Navy SEAL Team 3, was the most celebrated sniper in American history. He earned two Silver Stars and five Bronze Stars for his heroism through four tours of duty in Iraq. Kyle recorded over 160 confirmed kills; each one in the service of protecting fellow service men and women.
"American Sniper," the film based on Kyle's life and military heroism, opened in theaters and led all films with 90 million dollars at the box office. As anybody who's seen the film will tell you, it's a wonderfully acted and directed portrait of a stunningly patriotic, selfless man. The film is directed by Clint Eastwood, and is nominated for Best Picture at next month's Academy Awards ceremony. I saw the film on opening day, and sat with the rest of the audience in teary silence as the film closed with images of Kyle's memorial service and burial.
Early in the film, Kyle's father expresses the importance of the strong looking after the weak. Mr. Kyle explains to young Chris that the world consists of wolves, sheep, and sheepdogs. The wolves are those who prey on the sheep; the sheepdogs are those who protect the sheep. Whether this conversation actually took place or not, it's clear that Chris Kyle embraced the role of sheepdog. A sniper's job is to provide cover for his comrades, identifying and removing those enemies who would do them harm. In a war waged in part by civilians such as that in Iraq, or Viet Nam, or Somalia, the enemy often takes the form of a gentle looking old man, or a woman, or a child, lurking in some alley with grenades or improvised explosives. Regardless of age, or gender, these are actual enemies, poised and able to kill.
American Sniper doesn't in anyway celebrate war itself, and in fact isn't necessarily even "for" the war in Iraq. The movie is about Chris Kyle, and his particular brand of hero. The film is largely based on his own book, also titled American Sniper, and it shows Kyle's maturation from hard-partying rodeo cowboy to patriot, husband, and father. It's possible for a thoughtful Liberal- if one existed- to both oppose the war in Iraq and respect the service of American military men and women.
Except in Hollywood. In Hollywood, life is black and white, with no shades of gray. Hate the war? Hate the warriors!
The backlash to the film, and to Chris Kyle, began subtly, with complaints about the Academy Awards nominees. While nobody initially criticized the selection of American Sniper specifically, much has been made of the fact that not "enough" women and non-white actors and directors have been nominated. Hand-wring Leftists have pointed to better films that supposedly got the shaft, although Breitbart has a great takedown of that nonsense here.
Since the film's record opening, however, the Hollywood Left has gone apoplectic. As The Wrap reports,
Academy members seem to be paying attention to the criticism that Eastwood and star/producer Bradley Cooper shouldn’t be celebrating a man who wrote that killing hundreds of Iraqis was “fun.”
“He seems like he may be a sociopath,” one Academy member told TheWrap, adding he had not yet seen the film but had read the article, which is being passed around.
And then, there's disgraced propagandist Michael Moore. Moore, who's never served a day in uniform nor killed anything more dangerous than an extra large pepperoni pizza, had the gall to tweet that Chris Kyle was a coward.
Such is the liberal penchant for jackassery that, just weeks after American Conservatives rallied around the right of sometimes-funny idiot Seth Rogen to make an unfunny film despite terrorist threats, Rogen compared Chris Kyle to a Nazi sniper seen in the film Inglorious Basterds:
Liberals of all stripes have made similar comments, including Lindy West, who is quickly becoming the Queen of Liberal Dementia. West wrote a hatred-filled piece for The Guardian titled "The real American Sniper was a hate-filled killer. Why are simplistic patriots treating him as a hero?" I won't dignify that garbage by linking to it here, but feel free to Google it.
Kyle is being vilified for "racism" because he referred to the Iraqi insurgents he killed as "savages." Liberals ignore the fact that the called them this after seeing their savagery firsthand. They also seem confused, thinking that "Iraqi" is a race, but I digress.
The other chief Liberal complaint about Chris Kyle is that he didn't return from war full of regret for having been good at his job. Liberals will tolerate war heros, but only if they tearfully recant their heroism later. A man who kills for his country, believes in his mission, and serves honorably without regret is deemed a serial killer, psychopath, and murderer by those who sit comfortably in front of a their laptops, sipping latte and basking in unearned freedom.
It would be hopelessly optimistic to suggest that American Sniper has a snowball's chance in hell of winning Best Picture at this year's Oscar ceremony, but the glorious stupification and self-righteous anger on the part of those in attendance would be priceless.
Chris Kyle, resting in peace, won't give a damn either way. He did his job, he protected his comrades, loved his wife and children, and served his country admirably. And, judging by the millions who flocked to the box office over the weekend to see his story told, America agrees.