Many on the Left abhor one of the most genuine, poignant, and patriotic movies to come out of Hollywood in decades: American Sniper.
(Typically, most movies with the adjective “American” in its title are anti-American.)
The problem with American Sniper is that it addresses the reality of the war in which we are engaged and it does so from a patriotic perspective.
Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, with courage and self-less devotion, defended “God, country, and family.” Now, the Left irrationally and emotionally assaults Kyle as a stand-in for the Tea Party and Religious Right, whom it regards as worse than the terrorists with which we are at war.
In this biographical movie, America is not the enemy. Here, the American military is portrayed as a force for good. America – and those defending her freedom and values – should be cherished.
And Americans love it! Why don’t liberals?
Kyle explained his mission: “I had a job to do as a SEAL. I killed the enemy – an enemy I saw day in and day out plotting to kill my fellow Americans.”
American Sniper defends America in a compelling, riveting, and heart-wrenching way.
It’s a pity that the Left won’t do the same.
Rogen and Moore
Leftists in Hollywood, academia, and politics naturally were outraged at American Sniper.
Actor Seth Rogen “smear[ed] the life story of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle,” tweeting: “American Sniper kind of reminds me of the movie that’s showing in the third act of Inglorious Basterds.” But Americans were infuriated over his tweet (and similar tweets by his comrades): “Turns out people think it’s super messed up to compare a story about one of our nation’s greatest heroes to Nazi propaganda.”
Leftist filmmaker Michael Moore tweeted, “My uncle killed by sniper in WW2. We were taught snipers were cowards. Will shoot u in the back. Snipers aren’t heroes. And invaders r worse”
Moore compounded his error in extolling the enemy: “But if you’re on the roof of your home defending it from invaders who’ve come 7K miles, you are not a sniper, u are brave, u are a neighbor.”
Americans heroes, in Moore’s eyes, are cowards, and terrorists are courageous. Didn’t Bill Maher call the 9/11 hijackers brave?
Why does the Left exult in true stories which denigrate America, but challenge those that do not? Why is there such rage over views and stories which challenge their false narratives about America? Opposing views threaten their political and cultural hegemony and their ideological relevance.
As Daily Caller observed, “Hollywood is overwhelmingly left-wing, and has released a string of anti-war and anti-military movies that have been box office flops. In that world ‘American Sniper’ is an anomaly. It presents Kyle’s life without making judgment, warts and all. Audiences have been flocking to see the story of a man considered a genuine hero by most.”
Sixties Counterculturalists Are Alive and Well and Living in America
Today’s cultural and political paradigm has its origins in the turbulent Johnson and Nixon administrations. The anti-war counterculturalists of the Sixties remain unrepentant, opposing traditional values, opposing America’s Judeo-Christian heritage, and opposing America’s military.
Why don’t they oppose Islamists (whose adherents are at war with us) or militaries of those nations who would seek to destroy us?
Since the Sixties, the Left has always loved its anti-heroes – those cinematic rebels who “speak truth to power” or poke fingers in the eye of tradition and patriotism. For them, love of country is so passé, so parochial, so wrong. (We are all, after all, “citizens of the world.”)
“American exceptionalism” is a term which is anathema to many on the Left, for whom multiculturalism and moral relativism are talismans. (As citizens of the world, the Left hates nationalism. The nationalism that the Left most hates is American nationalism.)
As Ben Shapiro points out, “Rogen’s tweet let the mask slip.” Hollywood disguised its pacifism during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but on the screen, “it wasn’t enough to make films blaming politicians for mistakes over intelligence. Soldiers were routinely portrayed as human rights violators, barbarians with uniforms.”
Shapiro credits the Left with harboring “a deeper moral relativism” which contends that fighting the enemy is synonymous with becoming the enemy.
He writes: “But in the view of the Hollywood left, that’s exactly what American military power represents: evil violence in the name of jingoism. And so Michael Moore tweeted, ‘My uncle killed by sniper in WW2. We were taught snipers were cowards. Will shoot u in the back. Snipers aren’t heroes. And invaders r worse.’”
Shapiro points out the absurdity of the Left’s formulation: “All snipers are cowards – even those who take out terrorists who murder children. All invaders are evil – even those who invade Germany during World War II, presumably.”
MSNBC host Ed Schultz typifies this attitude. Schultz decries Kyle’s simplistic us vs. them, “black and white” “version of the Iraq War” because it supposedly dehumanizes the enemy. Further, Schultz asserts “To Kyle, if they weren’t Americans, they were the enemy.”
Unable to even name the enemy (Islamic jihad), Schultz laments that Americans have accepted the “jingoistic” viewpoint of Kyle (and, presumably, the entire Bush administration):
“Unfortunately, some of those feelings have spread into our culture. The public reaction to the movie American Sniper also highlights some of the most disturbing consequences of this war, the normalization of Islamophobia and being one of them [sic].”
“Islamophobia,” as defined by these pacifists, is an irrational fear of Islam. Anyone watching the unfolding of terrorist attacks around the world and here, in America, should necessarily have a rational fear of Islamic jihad. Schultz’s denial of Islamic jihad mirrors that of the Obama administration.
Americans are – Pro-America! Go Figure!
Unlike so many of the intelligentsia, most Americans actually favor America. Most Americans value our Judeo-Christian heritage and the constitutional framework designed by our Founding Fathers. And most Americans respect and admire those members of the military who risk their lives in service to their fellow countrymen.
David French calls this “an important cultural moment. This movie was striking a chord in America beyond any post 9/11 movie – beyond even the best of movies about the War on Terror, including Lone Survivor.” French says “it’s a phenomenal movie” which provides “a war hero on a truly national, cultural scale.”
According to Rich Lowry, “Clint Eastwood’s new movie, American Sniper, marks the return of the American war hero.”
Lowry notes, “American Sniper had the largest opening ever on Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, or any weekend in January. It is producing the kind of numbers – a projected $105 million weekend – usually reserved for mindless comic-book superhero movies. It has played especially well in Middle America, with its top-grossing theaters in places like San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Houston, and Albuquerque.”
Lowry adds, “[Kyle] had no doubt about the righteousness of his mission protecting American troops, or about the evil of our enemies.”
Kyle did not possess the squeamishness of the likes of Rogen, Moore, Schultz, and Obama. Kyle knew the difference between right and wrong (something his detractors do not) and he grasped the existence of evil (something his critics only see as existing in America).
Ian Tuttle paints a bulls-eye on the pacifist Left who eschew war and embrace appeasement, writing: “In his autobiography, Kyle wrote of taking the deadly shot: ‘You do it again. And again. You do it so the enemy won’t kill you or your countrymen. You do it until there’s no one left for you to kill. That’s what war is.’”
As French points out, American Sniper exposes the savagery inflicted by these jihadists:
“American Sniper goes where no movie has gone before in showing how the enemy uses children, kills children, and savagely tortures its enemies (Kyle discovers a torture room in Fallujah, and its portrayal is very close to reality). The movie isn’t excessively grisly (so wide audiences can see it), but one doesn’t need to show the close-up of a terrorist killing a young boy with a power drill to understand what just happened. When Kyle describes the enemy as ‘savages,’ you know exactly why, and you agree with him.”
Instead of confronting the enemy head on, as Kyle did time and again, the Left refuses to identify the motivation of the enemy and its barbaric nature. Rather, the Left prefers to ignore the truth, appease the enemy, and attack those who actually defend America!