New York - Utilizing the American invasion of Iraq as a source of entertainment, with US propaganda and profit as its primary underlying reasons for existing, is morally and ethically condemnable on every level.
New York – Utilizing the American invasion of Iraq as a source of entertainment, with US propaganda and profit as its primary underlying reasons for existing, is morally and ethically condemnable on every level.
American Sniper celebrates the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of defenseless civilians by the most powerful nation in the world. It glorifies a killer who repeatedly stated in his memoir that he “loved what he did,” “had the time of his life” in the war and that the “cheap thrills in Iraq were priceless.” I can hardly imagine anything more revolting than turning a cold-blooded assassin and the baseless devastation of a country into a shallow and idiotic Hollywood romance of sorts.
Chris Kyle, the film’s protagonist, was the most lethal sniper in American history. He served four tours of duty in Iraq and was commended for 160 confirmed kills out of 255 probable kills. He later served as a bodyguard for Sarah Palin. The real-life Kyle never felt remorse for what he did. He reported that he was often asked whether it bothered him to have killed so many people in Iraq: “I tell them, ‘No.’ And I mean it…. You do it again. And again…you do it until there’s no one left for you to kill…I loved what I did. I’m not lying or exaggerating to say it was fun. I had the time of my life being a SEAL…I only wish I had killed more…the world is a better place without savages.”
While the cinematic exaltation of this murderer is appalling, the deceitful portrayal of the US destruction of Iraq and subhuman depiction of Arabs is more dangerous and problematic. Historically and politically, American Sniper is senseless. It does not much deserve to be discussed or criticized, as it is too ridiculous. Except for the fact that a large number of people actually take it seriously and are sold on its propaganda. They actually believe that this murderer was a hero who was “defending” his country (defending from what, exactly?), that the American “way of life” was somehow threatened by Iraq and therefore the US was justified in invading and destroying it; and that the lives of Iraqis are worthless because they are “savages,” unlike the highly civilized mighty American snipers, drone operators and Abu Ghraib officers.
This is the monumental problem. The movie itself is laughable and would be disregarded were the public moderately educated on the issues. But the demonic dehumanizing entertainment culture that pervades our society is frighteningly efficient at eliminating people’s desire or capacity for intellectual activity, for the search of facts and truths (which may prove unbearably uncomfortable and inconvenient, besides requiring some actual mental effort, so why bother, let’s instead sedate ourselves by masticating the senseless mental fast-food Hollywood decides to feed us).
The fact that a film extolling the virtues of a “patriotic” racist murderer has received six Oscar nominations, while Selma, which shows Martin Luther King’s historical fight against racism, has been basically ignored, speaks volumes about the moral state of America and the level of spiritual degradation our society is experiencing.
It is absolutely dishonest and inherently wrong to utilize the multi-billion Hollywood industry as a propaganda machine to brainwash the public about events of such magnitude as the Iraq war. American Sniper effectively turns the perpetrators of crimes against humanity into the victims, and denies victims the right to be considered even human beings. This film is a heinous insult to the Iraqi people. It is a blatant show of contempt for the massive annihilation of Iraqi lives, and devastation of their nation, at the hands of the U.S., a fact that this country has never acknowledged or apologized for.
John Wight, of the Huffington Post, states that “over many decades the US movie industry has proved itself one of the most potent weapons in the armory of US imperialism, helping to project a myth of an America defined by…courage, freedom and democracy…values [that are] continually under threat from the forces of evil and darkness that lurk [outside] and often…within.”
Kyle, Wight continues, “was a racist killer for whom the only good Iraqi was a dead Iraqi. He killed men, women, and children, just as his comrades did during the course of a brutal and barbaric war of aggression waged by the richest country in the world against one of the poorest.”
It is inexcusable for a human being to consume such dangerous propaganda without having a notion of reality. It is disturbing to note that a large number of people do not feel the need to inform themselves yet consider it “patriotic” to watch this type of film. It is our duty as human beings to educate ourselves. We must choose to be aware of the brutal and barbaric wars that are waged by our leaders under completely false pretenses, rather than mindlessly consume the trash and propaganda those in power selectively throw at us to further their agendas and fatten their already bursting pockets in the process. We contribute to this bestial state of affairs by failing to inform ourselves, by silently accepting these evil and potent weapons disguised as entertainment that must loudly be denounced.
American Sniper’s portrayal of the carnage the US committed in Iraq bears no resemblance to reality. It includes zero mention of any historical truths. Instead, this movie’s central purpose (aside from capitalizing on this genocide) is the glorification of the murder and calculated dehumanization of Arabs. That Iraq had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11 is never mentioned in this film; the fact around 150,000 Iraqi civilians were massacred during these American invasions is also missing.
We are presented with the expected trite dramatic scene of a half-naked Kyle and his wife gasping in horror at the televised 9/11 attacks. Immediately thereafter, Kyle is in Iraq fighting al-Qaeda – as if there was some logical connection between 9/11 and Iraq.
“Which of course there had not been, until we invaded and bombed the wrong country and turned its moonscaped cities into a recruitment breeding ground for… you guessed it, al-Qaeda. They skipped that chicken-egg dilemma in the film, though, because it would detract from the ‘human story,’” writes Matt Taibi for the Rolling Stone.
There was also the convenient omission of the inexistent weapons of mass destruction, Abu Ghraib or the vast array of American atrocities committed in this war, including the bombings of villages and drone attacks that were a direct cause of the ascent of ISIS and others such organizations.
Jeffrey Sachs, the director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and a special advisor to the United Nations Secretary General, points out that the West hates to acknowledge, and does everything possible to distract the public from the fact that, “our leaders have been flagrantly wasteful of Muslim lives for a century now, in countless wars and military encounters instigated by overwhelming Western power.”
This meddling of the West in the affairs of the Middle East and its relentless desire for control of the area are the direct causes of Islamist terrorism, which is part of the war. This so-called “Islamist” terrorism is an act of war, “albeit war by the weak,” rather than the systematized mighty terrorism of organized states and their armies.
Noam Chomsky states that while Kyle referred to his first victim as a “terrorist” because she was holding a grenade while American troops attacked her village, “the United States President and his administration have actually been engaged in what would be considered terrorism if anyone but the world’s most powerful nation was carrying it out.” The fact that this butchery by the world’s superpower of weak nations that lack the capacity to defend themselves is celebrated is frightening and devastating.
It is vital to reflect and denounce the hatred and violence promoted by American Sniper. What morally depraved country are we creating? What monstrous values are we instilling in our youth? How can anybody possibly think that something good can result from butchering human beings and celebrating it on screen?
Basing one’s prosperity on the annihilation of weaker nations and believing oneself superior to other races are direct paths to evil and doom.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy
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