American Sniper Chris Kyle

Despite what some people think, hero is not a synonym for competent government-hired killer.

This is neither a movie review nor a review of the late Chris Kyle’s autobiographical book on which the movie is based. My interest is solely in the popular evaluation of Kyle, America’s most prolific sniper, a title he earned through four tours in Iraq.

Let’s recall some facts, which perhaps Eastwood thought were too obvious to need mention: Kyle was part of an invasion force: Americans went to Iraq. Iraq did not invade America or attack Americans. Dictator Saddam Hussein never even threatened to attack Americans. Contrary to what the George W. Bush administration suggested, Iraq had nothing to do with the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. Before Americans invaded Iraq, al-Qaeda was not there. Nor was it in Syria, Yemen, and Libya.

The only reason Kyle went to Iraq was that Bush/Cheney & Co. launched a war of aggression against the Iraqi people. Wars of aggression, let’s remember, are illegal under international law. Nazis were executed at Nuremberg for waging wars of aggression.

With this perspective, we can ask if Kyle was a hero.

Defenders of Kyle and the Bush foreign policy will say, “Of course, he was a hero. He saved American lives.”

What American lives? The lives of American military personnel who invaded other people’s country, one that was no threat to them or their fellow Americans back home. If an invader kills someone who is trying to resist the invasion, that does not count as heroic self-defense. The invader is the aggressor. The “invadee” is the defender. If anyone’s a hero, it’s the latter.

In his book Kyle wrote he was fighting “savage, despicable evil” — and having “fun” doing it. Why did he think that about the Iraqis? Because Iraqi men — and women; his first kill was a woman — resisted the invasion and occupation he took part in.

That makes no sense. As I’ve established, resisting an invasion and occupation — yes, even when Arabs are resisting Americans — is simply not evil. If America had been invaded by Iraq (one with a powerful military, that is) would Iraqi snipers picking off American resisters be considered heroes by all those people who idolize Kyle? I don’t think so, and I don’t believe Americans would think so either. Rather, American resisters would be the heroes.

Eastwood’s movie also features an Iraqi sniper. Why isn’t he regarded as a hero for resisting an invasion of his homeland, like the Americans in my hypothetical example? (Eastwood should make a movie about the invasion from the Iraqis’ point of view, just as he made a movie about Iwo Jima from the Japanese point of view to go with his earlier movie from the American side.)

No matter how often Kyle and his admirers referred to Iraqis as “the enemy,” the basic facts did not change. They were “the enemy” — that is, they meant to do harm to Americans — only because American forces waged an unprovoked war against them. Kyle, like other Americans, never had to fear that an Iraqi sniper would kill him at home in the United States. He made the Iraqis his enemy by entering their country uninvited, armed with a sniper’s rifle. No Iraqi asked to be killed by Kyle, but it sure looks as though Kyle was asking to be killed by an Iraqi. (Instead, another American vet did the job.)

Of course, Kyle’s admirers would disagree with this analysis. Jeanine Pirro, a Fox News commentator, said,

“Chris Kyle was clear as to who the enemy was. They were the ones his government sent him to kill.”

Appalling! Kyle was a hero because he eagerly and expertly killed whomever the government told him to kill? Conservatives, supposed advocates of limited government, sure have an odd notion of heroism.

Excuse me, but I have trouble seeing an essential difference between what Kyle did in Iraq and what Adam Lanza did at Sandy Hook Elementary School. It certainly was not heroism.

  • Sp4 Jack L Walker US Army ret

    Sir, Your logic has some pretty big holes in it. You said we invaded iraq unprovoked. Is you memory so bad or is it just selective so you can weave your lies to make it seem believable to the morons who would buy it. Iraq attacked and occupied a country that was an ally to our country. Saddam was a brutal dictator and a murderer. He would have crushed any resistance by Kuwaiti resisters. We warned him to back off or else. This just fanned the flames and he pushed harder. We gave him another warning and he thumbed his nose at us. He thought he was the biggest bully on the block. If we had sent a few advisors to try to convince him to back off they would have been dragged or burned or chopped to death. We hit them hard and they ran like the chicken shits they were. And we could have destroyed them if we were the dogs you make us out to be. But we let them go back and lick their wounds. They had chemical weapons and we knew this because they had used the aginst their own citizens that they feared would revolt. They were able to send them to Syria when they knew we were coming.
    When they acted as safe haven for Al Qaeda we had to get involved and take out Saddam. The snake lived on after it’s head was chopped of and this is why we got stuck there. There are many Saddams in Iraq.

    • You’re speaking to the Gulf War, 1990-1991. Not the 2003 invasion. By your logic, we should invade just about every country on the planet. Noone is claiming Saddam was a good guy, but look at the state of affairs now. The entire Middle East is a mess because of our meddling.

    • killervmax

      Yeah and Hadji has handed us our ass for the past 12 years. The ones Hadji has not killed or mamed they have got into their cranium and served soldiers a powerful does of nightmares, day time delusions and PTSD. American soldiers went to war afraid of the boogieman and return home terrified of Hadji!

  • Pizzaman7

    What a bunch of left-wing bull. Saddam was harboring and funding many terror groups. Saddam did his best to make himself look powerful before we went into Iraq. The Russians scrambled to hide the weapons they have been providing to Iraq before we went in. How exactly did Syria get their weapons of mass destruction ? Yeah….got them when their neighbors hid them there.

    Brian Williams of NBC just got caught lying for years. Typical leftist. Oops…I wasn’t in the helicopter that got shot up after-all….he tried this lie for years…no credibility !

    Saddam was living grand off his people but somehow attacking Kadafi in Libya is totally fine. Hypocrites ! Without congressional approval no less. GW got approval and from many democrats ! Hillary voted for it ! She is a war monger ! How many countries joined us in this fight ? Our intelligence community was decimated under the Clintons so if anyone is responsible for bad Intel it’s them !

    We are dealing with barbarians…just like the Jordian pilot that was burned alive. Pretending these people don’t exist is not the solution.

    • Considering that I don’t fit into your assumed left/right paradigm, not sure what left wing bull you’re referring to. ISIS is not Iraq, but is a byproduct from our meddling in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the entire Middle East. Can you provide any data/links/facts that corroborates these claims:
      – “Saddam was harboring and funding many terror groups,”
      – “The Russians scrambled to hide the weapons they have been providing to Iraq before we went in.”
      – “How exactly did Syria get their weapons of mass destruction?” (Assuming you’re referring to Saddam.)

      • Pizzaman7

        What a load of crap. ISIS created themselves. We no less created them than we created Adolf Hitler. Total rubbish. So somehow it is ok for them to burn people alive ? It is ok to murder women and children ? It is ok to rape ? ISIS has created themselves because we let them flourish. No one is around anymore to stop these barbarians and savages. Good thing the King of Jordan is pounding these idiots. Our foreign policy is a joke now. We let these criminals go free and opps….they return to attack us again.

        the behavior of ISIS is nothing new….this has been going on for centuries…

        http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2014/05/the_greatest_murder_machine_in_history.html
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_Qpy0mXg8Y#t=111

        I will easily substantiate the truth (not “claims”) and even recent US Government reports back me up….these reports have plenty of links to other reports….

        http://www.foxnews.com/story/2006/06/11/documenting-saddam-link-to-terror/

        http://www.foxnews.com/story/2006/06/12/terror-links-to-saddam-inner-circle/

        http://bbs.clubplanet.com/topic/213725-report-saddam-harbored-terrorists-who-killed-americans/

        http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/006/550kmbzd.asp

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/inatl/longterm/iraq/stories/iraq021298.htm

        http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2003/aug/20/20030820-081256-6822r/

        http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/071912-618875-syria-chemical-weapons-came-from-iraq-.htm

        http://www.examiner.com/article/wmd-found-iraq-after-all-bush-was-right-pentagon-hid-chemical-weapons

        http://www.examiner.com/article/wikileaks-saddam-s-wmd-program-existed-iraq

        http://www.examiner.com/article/isis-seizes-saddam-s-wmd-storage-facility-british-officials

        http://www.examiner.com/article/syrian-chemical-weapons-may-shed-light-on-saddam-s-missing-wmds

        http://www.redstate.com/diary/danhellman/2012/07/24/mainstream-media-wont-ask-where-did-syria-get-wmd/

        http://www.inquisitr.com/959826/syria-chemical-weapons-iraq-wmds-taken-by-russia-to-assad-and-back-again/

        http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2012/07/14/and-where-did-syrias-chemical-weapons/

        The CIA backs up my “claims”…

        https://www.cia.gov/library/reports/general-reports-1/iraq_wmd_2004/index.html

        Look at all the people on this list who made the same “claims” that Hussein had WMDs:

        http://www.snopes.com/politics/war/wmdquotes.asp

        I am not into political correctness. The liberal media should be ashamed in trying to cover this up. We used to see daily death tolls up until Obama took office and then magically we stopped getting these reports.

        Moreover, stop apologizing for groups like ISIS. Quit trying to appease them. You remember what happened when they tried to appease Hitler ? He grew so strong and he rewarded their attempts to keep him happy by launching blitzkrieg upon the world. Neville Chamberlin, then Prime Minister of Britain, flew home proudly holding up a signed agreement with Hitler that he would stop his behaviro. Europe had given him a chunk of Czechoslovakia that just so happened to have factories, skilled workers and plenty of resources like iron and coal. This is all Hitler needed to complete his war machine. As a result 200 million people died in WWII.

        https://suite.io/michael-streich/1bg52nv
        http://www.johndclare.net/RoadtoWWII4.htm
        http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/hitler-appeased-at-munich

        Are we going to allow history to repeat itself ?

        • NCOriolesFan

          WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ISIS was the creation of former Al-Queda of Iraq supporters that GW Bush created in his fantasy mind as an excuse to invade Iraq.

          • Pizzaman7

            GW also created Adolf Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Ghingus Khan, and Alexander the Great…he is responsible for creating murderers ! I had a flat tire on the way to work today and I think he was responsible for that too !

              • Pizzaman7

                I have already seen this. Let’s go over this shall we ?

                As pointed out in this video who left behind billions upon billions of expensive weaponry for ISIS to take and use ? Odumbo.

                You mean to tell me we could not ship this stuff back or at least blow it up so no one else could use it ?

                Who telegraphed our intentions to leave Iraq well in advance ? Odumbo Anyone with any military knowledge knows this was a blunder.

                Who equipped the Free Syrian Army that we now know as ISIS ? Odumbo And…..he did this despite many of us raising objections that we should stay out of the Syrian Conflict because neither side is good for us.

                Who attacked Libya without congressional approval ? Odumbo. Are you mad about that one bro ?

                As correctly stated in this video our departure from Iraq left a vacuum…..who was in a hurry to leave Iraq to satisfy his political ambitions ? Odumbo. We DEFEATED Al Queda. You mean to tell me we could not leave behind a contingent force of say 30,000 troops (like our generals wanted to do) so that we could help stabilize the region while the new Iraq government took hold ? American lives were lost…the worst thing you could do is pull out…I guess these lives meant nothing. And yes….the surge at the end did work and we had the region stabilized.

                In part you are right….we created ISIS….but you are right for the wrong reasons. You cannot lead from behind. Every move Odumbo made in the middle east has backfired including removing Mubarak from power which ushered in the Muslim Brotherhood (You are angry about that one too right ?). We either have a wimpy president or he is very sympathetic to his Muslim friends….I think a little of both.

                Thanks to Odumbo ISIS got weapons, access to oil to sell, land, and they no longer fear us. His aerial attacks are absolutely worthless doing nothing to stop these animals. They are literally laughing at us.

                It is laughable that this video says that our torture caused ISIS. These animals have committed far worse atrocities than waterboarding. ISIS was created because of a lack of leadership. We are too focused on political correctness now. We are wimps !

                Historically, you anti-war types are the problem. Too afraid to confront evil. Always trying to explain things and unable to confront reality.

                Now in the future we will have to commit boots to the ground again. There is no other choice. ISIS is becoming a bigger problem by the day. Thank God for people like Chris Kyle. We sure can’t depend on the likes of you.

        • “…even recent US Government reports…”

          This wouldn’t be the same government that unnecessarily invaded, destroyed private property, killed and maimed hundreds of thousands on both sides of the war would it? You’re very trusting of a government, one that has proven that it will lie, cheat, kill, steal and use force against its own citizens, to tell you the absolute truth. Ok. I, however, know better.

          Who is defending ISIS? That’s not even really part of the conversation here. What you should be asking is why do we have to deal with ISIS in the first place.

          Our invasion of Iraq had absolutely no influence on the creation of ISIS, Al-Qaeda, etc? How about the Mujahideen in Afghanistan in the 80s? Really?! Destabilize an entire region by crushing their government (Iraq, Libya, etc.), dictatorship or not, and there are no repercussions. Is that your flawed argument?

          So I took the time to look over most of the links you provided and unfortunately many of them prove nothing or factually substantiate any of the claims of WMD in Iraq. Just more speculation.

          Did Iraq use WMD against our invading army to defend themselves? No, and that’s basically all you need to know about the truth behind any of the goal post shifting of the foundations for the invasion in the first place. Further, many of those articles are from years later and are simply questioning the locations and creating unsubstantiated claims that Iraq moved them somewhere else. Not sure if you bothered reading the very links you provided or their materials and just google searched, saw the title and posted the links. Honestly I could spend 10 minutes and do the same thing in the opposing direction but it’s not really worth the effort. However, I appreciate you taking the time out of your day to at least research it a bit.

          You need to go deeper to discover the truth. For me the UN inspectors finding nothing in the months preceding the invasion was proof enough for me, as they were on the ground doing the work in the first place. http://www.un.org/press/en/2003/sc7777.doc.htm

          “We know where they [Iraq’s WMD] are. They’re in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south, and north somewhat….” – Donald Rumsfeld Interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC News, March 30, 2003

          • Pizzaman7

            I am not a lover of big government but I am better equipped to handle reality than you are. So you are against our government but you quote the UN ? An even bigger corrupt government entity that supports dictatorships ? They are a useless politically driven organization that are sucking our resources.

            How many countries were involved in this action ? Quite a few. It was approved by Congress….something we don’t see with Barry at the helm anymore. All these people who approved this action were evil !

            There is heavy evidence that Russia was heavily arming Iraq and other countries. Are you disputing this ? There is equal amount of information available to show that Hussein was not only bankrolling these terror groups but allowed them to operate camps in Iraq where they could flourish. Syria got their weapons out of thin air right ?

            Russia was in Afghanistan in the 80s…not us…but what the hell the US and GW are to blame for that as well ! If anything we helped arm them against Russia. Note to self they defeated Russia and they have been governing themselves for a long time so if they are “Destabilized” it is because they want to be. Lots of tribes there and lots of different areas controlled by different tribes. That’s the way it is there.

            “Honestly I could spend 10 minutes and do the same thing in the opposing direction but it’s not really worth the effort

            ” – this is an admission by you that you have nothing to refute my articles with. You aren’t the only person I have debated with. People like you have arguments fueled by nothing but emotion. If you spent 10 minutes refuting me that would be 9 minutes longer than you took to present this farce.

            Our troops encountered chemical weapons in Iraq….but it was buried by the liberal media. Its in the articles I presented ! We also found some yellow cake in Iraq…..but let’s ask Brian Williams what he saw over there….oh wait he got caught lying for 12 years…..

            “You need to go deeper to discover the truth” and yet you offer one article from a very dubious source. I can’t make up this hypocrisy ! Let’s face it…you aren’t interested in the truth. You only BELIEVE WHAT YOU WANT TO BELIEVE.
            I asked you a question so I will pose it again. Are we responsible for creating Adolf Hitler ? How about Stalin ? Mao ? Ghingus Khan ? Alexander the Great ? After all you don’t want to anger people like this since they will go on a killing streak right ? We better tip toe around people like this ! Don’t upset them !
            Islamic terror has been going on for centuries buddy. It is nothing new. But go ahead….deny the truth and hope they go away…