Discussion in 'Movies and Television' started by maressa, Jan 21, 2015.
I'd have to somewhat agree, but i tend to seek the truth above all else first.
Pacifism is truth.
edit: at least as a philosophical system over and above nationalism.
Well, i should clarify, if someone makes something up to support an idea i agree with, that is less noble than someone telling someone what they saw and having their experience inadvertently support an idea i don't agree with.
Infantry, including snipers, don't have anything to do with what wars are started or why. Don't blame him for the decision of some politicians that he had no input in and no information about.
Regardless of why the war started, the insurgents fighting in Iraq were a very real threat to both American forces and the Iraqi populace. They killed thousands of our soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, many unarmed. It's not like Chris Kyle was committing the My Lai massacre here; he was fighting those insurgents.
Not blaming him, but by the same token you can't absolve him either just because he was "following orders." I'm just call in what he did by it's name. You can rationalize it all you want, murder is murder. Civilians dying as a side effect of war is still civilian death. It is less of an issue when it isn't your family member getting killed. You also can't ignore how the war was started, as that was our supposed justification for being there in the first place.
I do feel that the taking of life is sometimes warranted, but that doesn't change what it is.
There's a section in the book where he talks about how another sniper was catching up with his tally and all of a sudden his luck changed and every bad guy in Iraq was lining up to be shot. It's chilling. The guy was a psychopath
You can not blame an individual soldier for he Iraq war. You can disagree with it but it doesn't make it the soldiers fault. In a war zone soldiers can and do get charged with murder if they kill someone in an unlawful way/circumstance.
Civilians dying is a bad thing totaly but it is sometimes unavoidable. All military action needs to be weighed up according to very strict criteria (including the Geneva convention, Hague treaty etc) . If he did not act within the rules he would have been punished and so would those above him who knew what he was upto. How much proof do you have that he (or any other coalition soldier) deliberetly targeted civilians and was not punished for their actions? Because civilians died in iraq does not mean that an individual soldier is evil or committed a crime.
You clearly have a strong opinion on the Iraq war and that's fine but it doesn't mean that all coalition soldiers who fought there committed crimes and that seems to be what your saying. You can call it a pointless and/or illegal war, fine that's a valid debate but you can't say that any individual soldier who fought there was automaticaly committing a crime. Some individuals did commit crimes and where proof exists they have been punished.
And unless it's an illegal order 'just following orders' is a valid excuse for someone's actions. In the military you do not get the option to pick and choose what orders you obey, that's not how it works. If you disagree with an order by all means speak to the authority delivering it and try to help them to change their mind (lol good luck with that though) but you can't just decide not to follow it. Failure to follow orders is a crime in the military and is punished, often very severely.
Edit-this is not me supporting chris kyles actions as such but arguing that the issues people have with the Iraq war are not the fault of the individuals who fought it. The issue is a political one from the top down not an issue from boots on the ground upwards
You did read the first three words of my post you quoted right?
You do understand that none of what you wrote changes the fact that he murdered people right? If we were there unjustifiably, then the results of our actions there were unjustified. I'm not blaming any soldiers for the war, they can only be responsible for their own actions.
I'm not demonizing Kyle or anyone else, just calling his actions what they were. The premeditated and calculated taking of life when we shouldn't have been there in the first place putting the lives of our troops and civilians on the line.
I did read those words yeas and I did also read the rest of your post that goes on to do pretty much that. Starting a sentence with 'no offence but ...' And proceeding to say something offensive is still being offensive.
You have an opinion and that's fine but please don't state it as fact when you clearly do not understand how chaim of command, rank structure, military law and RoE may influence and dictate a soldiers actions.
The soldiers on the ground are not the people to blame it's the politicians and generals who started the war and gave the orders. A soldier operating within his RoE is not committing a crime even if you disagree with his actions. you can argue against that on a moral level but you can't dispute it legaly.
Edit-if Chris Kyle or any other soldier did kill civilians intentionally then they were not acting according to military law and I am not trying to defend that.
The question isn't about rules of engagement or command structure. I did not say he should've ignored orders. Him following orders and killing people was his duty, but that doesn't change the fact that he was pulling the trigger.
Us propagating a war based on a false premise is nothing new, nor is the fact that we will never be held responsible. Doesn't change facts nor absolve our politicians, military, or soldiers for what was done.
If a pilot is ordered to bomb a building that turns out later to be a church, school, mosque or whatever filled only with noncombatants, no amount of equivocating will bring the dead nor change the fact that murder was committed. One might not have to answer to the law, but we all eventually will be judged. Simple as that.
So no, once again for the cheap seats, I'm not blaming Kyle or any other serviceman for what they did, but I'm not going to sugarcoat it either. We invade a lot of countries for a lot of reasons, but just because no body can hold us accountable, doesn't mean that it's okay because the government or military says it is.
It's also much easier to be cavalier about or explain away civilian deaths when it's "their" civilians that are dying. Much different story when it's happening in your own territory.
I think we'd be having a very different conversation about an invading soldier who shot Americans and bragged about it during a dubiously justified war.
I think to be successful at a job like being a sniper in a war, you have to have a certain opinion of the people you are targeting, and this attitude shows through in the book. If you value the lives of your enemy as equally as that of your comrades, it might make you think twice before shooting them in the head or chest.
Psychopath or not, people like Kyle are exactly who you would want in your service if your goal was high tallies. You wouldn't expect to find a pacifist as a trained and successful sniper(though he might become a pacifist later). Having read his book, I didn't find myself hating him but nor did I find myself thinking, "this is an American hero!" I could see why he was successful, the toll it took on his family, and how things came full circle in the end.
The ironic part of the debate is that we supported and supplied Saddam and people like Bin Laden(if not him directly when we backed the mujahideen against the Soviets) when it was in our "national interest" to do so, only to target them later. Either we don't know how to pick them, or we know how to create monsters.
You shouldn't be aiming for high tallies, you should be aiming for the enemy, and I am not at all convinced that Chris Kyle was doing that.
From the psycho himself "I don’t shoot people with Korans. I’d like to, but I don’t."
Americans have no problems giving respect to Manfred von Richthofen even though he fought on "the other side" and few people claim Germany's cause was right in WWI. Even with WWII, I can separate the actions of Erich Hartmann (the war's highest-ranking ace) or Erwin Rommel ("the Desert Fox") from those of Hitler, the Waffen SS, and camp guards.
In Band of Brothers, Spielberg touched on both the horrors of the death camps, but also the humanity of some of the rank-and-file Wehrmacht (see the speech of a surrendering commander to his troops and how it's treated; if you haven't seen it, I'll try to find a clip).
Keeping track of "kills" (even painting the number on your plane) and being a bit arrogant is basically par for the course for a fighter pilot. Why is it a sign or being a murderer/psychopath/all the other labels in this thread when a sniper does the same thing?
100 years of history here. Do you really think that the actions of Iraqi fighters will be depicted the same way?
Sure, happy to watch.
I'm not arguing that he's a psycho, just that our interpretation of him is colored by which side of the war he's fighting on. We're willing to overlook his verbiage about killing Iraqis because, well, they're Iraqis. I'm less concerned with how we paint Kyle and more concerned about the dehumanization of the enemy.
Fact is, if there were an Iraqi who wrote a book about his experience shooting Americans, most of America would call him a terrorist without hesitation.
I'm not willing to overlook it though. Sniper's appearing callous about killing, sure. I expect it as a necessity for their job. But from what I gather Kyle went beyond the usual indifferencr and some of the disparagement I'd expect from someone towards an enemy. He seems like he was just a bit of a hick.
Chris Kyle credited Carlos Hathcock with being the best sniper of all times. Both in his book and in interviews. Kyle may have been a lot of things but arrogant wasn't one of them. That's why I question claims of him supposedly claiming to have shot looters and hijackers. Where is the recording of him claiming that?
I find the end sentence most likely
"The alternative scenario—in which some former SEAL sniper was spouting off at a bar made the whole thing up—strikes me as infinitely more plausible."
Just for the record, that wasn't the parallel I was drawing. I was saying that just because I could respect Richthofen's and Hartmann's achievements in WWI and WWII without having any sympathy for their country's cause in each of those wars, I don't condemn Chris Kyle for the Bush administration's numerous failings/misdeeds with starting the Iraq War.
[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VcMk85ZsBh0"]HBO Band of Brothers: German General's speech - YouTube[/ame]
Remember that this was produced by Steven Spielberg, who also directed and co-produced Schindler's List. Americans have more nuance than you're giving us credit for.
The people I know in the US military refer to such people as "insurgents" or "soldiers," not "terrorists." If they targeted American noncombatants, they'd be a terrorist. Others may use the term more broadly, but that's how I* use the term terrorist and that's how most people I know who use the term use it.
* (to clear up an ambiguity, I'm not in the US military and not claiming to be)
And even though there'd be a lot of hostility to such a book just a couple years after the war, because the wounds are so fresh, give it a couple decades and such a book almost certainly will be published, and American society won't freak out the way you're predicting it would. How do I know? Because the same man who made the movie American Sniper, Clint Eastwood, ALSO recently directed Letters from Iwo Jima, a movie about the Battle of Iwo Jima (where the USMC suffered 25,000 casualties in some of the bloodiest fighting of the war) told from the Japanese side and sympathetic to the Japanese soldiers involved. Not only was he not run out of town for making the movie, the film won a ton of awards, including an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, and numerous others. It wasn't hushed up and covered up as some sort of national shame or act of treason.
You don't give Americans enough credit here.
Americans don't intentionally shoot unarmed civilians like women and children in the name of a god.
Almost all "kills" by American troops has to be certifiable by superiors
Separate names with a comma.