Thoughts on The Row Over American Sniper - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Thoughts on The Row Over American Sniper

Here is what I wrote last week upon learning American Sniper was one of seven movies nominated for Best Picture:

I was pleasantly surprised to see American Sniper receive a Best Picture nomination. I don’t think Hollywood would have nominated a movie about the Iraq War from the point of view of someone who viewed it as a worthy mission released during the Bush Administration. While there are criticisms that the movie is too pro-American there is probably been just enough distance from the time Chris Kyle served in Iraq to judge the film on its own merits. American Sniper received six nominations including a Best Actor nomination for Bradley Cooper who portrays Kyle. Interestingly, Clint Eastwood did not earn a Best Director nod. Maybe Hollywood still hasn’t forgiven Eastwood for his empty chair speech at the RNC in 2012.

Well, as Marlow Stern writes in The Daily Beast, “So why has American Sniper proved so divisive? It started with a chair.”

And so it goes.

Yet in the meantime, American Sniper has raked in $105 million over the MLK, Jr. Weekend, an astounding figure for this time of the year. Although it was well-attended in liberal bastions such as New York’s Upper West Side, many left-wingers hate the movie as demonstrated by reviews in The GuardianMichael Moore who called snipers cowards in a tweet and The Interview’s Seth Rogen who likened the film to Nazi propaganda (giving me even more reason to dislike Rogen than I already do even though I dutifully watched The Interview). 

It’s true that some left-wingers in Hollywood like Whoopi Goldberg gave Moore and Rogen jazz about their tweets. Yet attitudes from the likes of Moore and Rogen reflect a significant segment of left-wing thinking. Their attitudes also reflect the shallowness of the sentiment, “I don’t support the war, but I support our troops.” Like hell. If you don’t support the troops’ mission then how can you support the troops? Our troops who are placed in combat find themselves in circumstances where they must kill. If you support our troops then you must support the troops when they find themselves with no other option but to kill our enemies. In the case of Chris Kyle, he was an elite position where it was his job to kill the worst of the worst, to kill those who would kill his fellow troops or Iraqi civilians. War is a bloody business. People must do things they would not ordinarily do in civilian life and it takes its toll on the bravest and strongest among us. 

As of this writing, I have not seen American Sniper so I cannot comment on its merits one way or the other. But I plan to rectify that on the weekend. At some point, I will also get around to reading Chris Kyle’s book. 

I have no illusions that American Sniper will win Best Picture. Getting nominated by liberal Hollywood is a remarkable enough feat. If it doesn’t win, it won’t matter. Judging by the box office receipts last weekend, in the hearts and minds of millions of Americans, American Sniper already is Best Picture.


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