PJ Media posted my latest piece on American Sniper a couple days ago, and the movie had another incredible weekend and is now over the $200 million mark domestically. Because it was released in 2014, boxofficemojo.com still tracks it for that calendar year and it will likely be, before it’s run is complete, one of the top-10 movies of last year.

The left is apoplectic. It is an article of faith among the true believers that not only was the Iraq War the worst foreign policy decision of all time, but that America did absolutely nothing good in the years our soldiers were in Iraq. It stands to reason then that a film which graphically depicts an American soldier trying to save both Americans and Iraqis from horrible atrocities and genuine evil at the hands of some brown-skinned Iraqis would be, to them, anathema.
The interesting part, for me, is that the hit pieces on the film completely ignore those atrocities and evil. But I haven’t read any to date that rivalthis piece in Salon by a graduate student named Zaid Jilani, who appears to ignore the entire movie. "[Chris] Kyle’s life story," he writes, "is designed to glamorize military life during the post-9/11 era, to make it seem exciting, morally unambiguous and sexy. It is about as far away as you can get from showing the very real horrors our military men and women have endured during 14 years of war."
These two sentences are about as far from the truth of American Sniper as one can get.
I saw American Sniper in a sold-out theater in Southern Pines, NC. No one made a peep during the movie and I would venture to guess that most people were, like me, surreptitiously wiping their eyes as they quickly made their way to the bathroom afterwards. No one cheered. Not one high-five was exchanged.
Absolutely nothing about Chris Kyle’s life as portrayed on that screen was glamorous. At one point during a mission he relieves himself on the floor next to him then wallows in it until he is relieved of his post. Perhaps Mr. Jilani missed that particular part of the film.
The movie’s opening scene presents Kyle with a morally ambiguous challenge – a woman and child are approaching a group of Marines with a particularly lethal grenade. Throughout the movie Kyle is presented with moral dilemmas both in Iraq and at home. He meets someone he saved in Fallujah who lost part of his leg. He spends time in group therapy sessions with soldiers who lost multiple limbs. He’s killed by a veteran likely suffering from PTSD. This film, at one point or another, shows most of the horrors our military men and women have endured during 14 years of war.
The film also shows, in graphic detail, the evil we were fighting in Iraq, something Mr. Jilani refuses to acknowledge. He doesn’t mention the torture room, or the drill, or the innocent civilians gunned down in cold blood. He wants America to "take a good, hard look" at what we did in Iraq, but refuses to demand the same introspection from Iraqis. In my PJ Media piece I argue that this is racist. We want to judge people by the content of their character, after all, not the color of their skin. Right?
UPDATE: Here’s another column about American Sniper from someone on the left who hasn’t seen the movie. I’m pretty sure Elias Isquith will never see the film because he doesn’t want to be confronted with the question I ask at PJ Media. He wants – no, needs – to craft a narrative making the popularity of the film evidence of a deep sickness in our country, when in reality it is the opposite.
On a side note – has any movie in history ever generated this much commentary from people who have not seen, and have no intention of seeing, the film? This should tell you just how dangerous the movie is to the narrative Isquith and others have for years been crafting.
0 0 votes
Article Rating