Never see a horror film just before you go to sleep. I’m talking about AMERICAN SNIPER, and for people who define war as a capital crime that’s what it was….a horror film. Mass murder presented as heroism.
Navy Seal, Chris Kyle who killed 160 Iraqis of all ages…children, grandparents, whoever appeared within range….is presented as a great American hero. His passive-aggressive insanity is portrayed by Bradley Cooper as "depth, inner conflict, a passion for his country.” And since Cooper is a good actor, and a great kisser, it makes you want to make-out with him instead of what you should be doing.....running a mile in the opposite direction.
Not only is this NOT an anti-war picture, it makes anyone who doesn't own an AK .338 Lapua Magnum-chambered McMillan TAC-338 sniper rifle, feel like a sissy. This is one dangerous film. But what do we expect from Clint Eastwood, master of nastiness? He's a right wing zealot who happens to know how to put together a film and make it look even-handed. A little something for everybody sells tickets, and you just have to look at the response to AMERICAN SNIPER to know how expert he is at that. If he’d just stick to talking to empty chairs we’d all be better off. At the end Kyle is killed by a "deranged" veteran, and not a moment too soon.
A word of advice. Don’t see it.
The mystery is, why is it #1 at the box office. What is it about unbridled anger that so attracts Americans? Is it a sign of our own frustration which we are unable to articulate? Who are we really angry at? Is it the people we elect to represent us who instead represent the rich and powerful?
When you remember actively campaigning for candidates who share your convictions, when you believed their promises ….. and then they’re elected and you never hear about that agenda again, does it gall you?
You spend years watching them roll over, kissing up to the other side, withdrawing the social safety net that our taxes pay for, increasing the defense budget so you can enable the Chris Kyles of the world to kill harder and faster, developing drones to make killing more efficient and widespread. And with masses of drones and hundreds of bombing missions a week, we’re reaching the point where a single sniper will become nostalgia. That sniper’s photo will end up in a drawer next to Grandma’s cameo. We’ll soon be saying ah the good old days when we did our killing by hand. It was so much neater then.
Interesting how easily the United States bounces from war to war, keeping the number of casualties unreported. Those casualties are now apparently regarded as top secret. Are our journalists forbidden from reporting them? Are they even allowed on the ground? The silence on the extent of the dead and wounded is deafening. Recently we’ve heard the number 6000 in collateral damage. But that number came and went….fast…without any details.
In his STATE OF THE UNION address our President certainly didn’t mention that. And while he bragged about the improving economy, he didn’t mention where all the new jobs are coming from? The defense buildup perhaps? The tremendous growth spurt of drones in our country? Here we are dropping these little electronic killers with awesome regularity on Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Pakistan,Yemen, Afghanistan…wherever the spirit moves us… and not one word was said in his once a year major speech to the nation. Instead he filled it with his new bag of goodies. Free community colleges, raising the minimum wage, saving Social Security and Medicare, giving immigrants a fair shake, creating a Washington that gets out of the people’s way instead of blocking them. All worthy goals.
Yes, the first half of his speech was the feel good hour. Interesting to watch John Boehner, who for some strange reason is permitted to sit behind the President during his star moment. Like a Greek chorus, he and the Vice President commented with smirks and/or smiles on every word being said.
For Boehner the first half of the speech was the all smirk section. That was the Roosevelt-esque social programs half. But he got to his feet and applauded when the President talked about fighting Isis. He got up even faster and applauded again when Obama made a pitch for upping the ante in the war.
Apparently they both still think we can kill our way out of the world’s rise of terrorist gangs. No matter that the more troops and hardware we send in, the more these rebel bands multiply. Richard Engel MSNBC war correspondent based in Turkey, said we have been killing a thousand members of Isis a month. But they are constantly replaced by 1500.
The more bombing & drone missions we send into Syria and Iraq, the more young people flood into these rebel groups. They have nothing to lose including their own lives, which they feel they’ll lose anyway if they don't fight back. Like Chris Kyle, all they can see is a world that is hostile to them…and they are not going to let that world win.
John Boehner looked worried during Obama’s speech. He wants to rev up our military action against Iran and obviously he wasn’t satisfied by the Republican response given by Joni Ernst, the simple minded Senator from Iowa.
So now, unilaterally, Boehner has invited Netanyahu in February to speak before the Congress in exactly the same star spot as our peerless leader. What is he thinking? That Netanyahu should fill Obama’s shoes as our leader? How crazy can it get? How lawless? Since when does a foreign leader come in to replace our democratically elected President. Warts and all…we did elect him. Twice as he pointed out. So what is going on here?
And if we can’t kill our way out of the growth of these terrorist groups, how do we get rid of them?
Would that Chris Kyle were still around to advise us.
Since he’s not, let’s settle for Dennis Kucinch. Luckily he’s with us now…….
Lila Garrett is the host of "Connect the Dots" which airs on KPFK.
To access her most recent shows, click here. https://archive.kpfk.org/index.php?shokey=ctd
To hear her most recent show click this link: https://archive.kpfk.org/mp3/kpfk_150202_070004ctd.MP3