‘American Sniper’ an ‘endless abomination’

I saw the incredibly violent American Sniper on M.L. King’s nonviolent birthday in a Biltmore Grande theater packed with other Ashevilleans. Director Clint Eastwood succeeded in depicting how brilliantly brave sniper Chris Kyle was tragically traumatized, and then murdered, in part by America’s Middle Eastern policy.

The movie is mainly an endless abomination of kicking in the doors of the homes of Iraqi people and bloodily graphic shootouts in stairwells and rooftops — all while trying to win Iraqi hearts and minds. And of course Kyle’s genius marksmanship in the long-range killing of over 150 homicidal little boys, women and men, sometimes while talking to his hysterical, pregnant wife in America on a cell phone.

Upon leaving the theater, I dodged a long row of Ashevilleans already lined up for the next show, and feeling that the whirlwind (that) Bush and the other presidents have sown has only just begun to destroy incredibly fine American and Middle Eastern lives. Maybe it would be different if we tried ML King’s nonviolence, and the turn-the-other-cheek strategy of Jesus?

For regardless of how many relatively minor, though still monstrous terrors Islamic zealots inflict on Western civilization, we should never forget that it was the Christian zealot George Bush Jr. who destroyed a large portion of the country of Iraq while hiding behind a monstrous lie, and almost the entire country of Afghanistan, partly justified by Old Testament eye-for-an-eye.

And that that destruction would maybe be the rough equivalent of killing about everyone in Asheville, Raleigh, and Wilmington, and destroying most of the infrastructure and important buildings of the state. And then doing that again in South Carolina — all while drone-bombing a good portion of the rest of America.

Bill Branyon


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20 thoughts on “‘American Sniper’ an ‘endless abomination’

    • playful

      Please be specific Tim Peck. What doesn’t Branyon understand about the movie, and the war. Though the Paddington comment is funny?

  1. OneWhoKnows

    Surpised Branyon would spend the money to watch this epic film in a retail theatre.

  2. jim Dougherty

    Thanks Bill, was not going to see it but definitely won’t after reading your review. An unnecessary blood feast for mindless America…

    • Jin

      The only mindless Americans are those that go to colleges to be brainwashed by communists in PC speech. After all, free thought and progressive ideology clash. And I have zero issues with said bastions of stupidity being turned into kindling.

      • Jin

        Well we do need college educated baristas with sociology degrees at Starbucks. My bad.

      • james dougherty

        Please look up the word communist in your dictionary if you have one or you can find them online. You will find that communism is not taught except as part of a history course and maybe philosophy at any university. Communism also does not exist in the USA because our capitalist system is everywhere and everyone participates. So by definition your argument is ridiculous. Also, free thought IS progressive ideology. I am sure conservative ideology has free thought too. Ideology has nothing to do with brainwashing. Perhaps you shouls look up that word too! Not wanting to see any war glorified is actually an American, religious and human value! that is what separates us from the animal world and tribal cultures.

        • Dionysis

          The fuzzy-brained comments aren’t worth taking the time to refute. Just another clueless ideologue using words not fully understood (‘communism’), and suspicious of those with anything more than a high school education (or GED).

          • Jim

            When you have to defend communism, you are a communist. Say, how many people have died under the guise of communism???

      • playful

        Jin, is it mindless to question whether a war should be fought or not?

    • playful

      It seemed to be fairly accurate history. It surely showed the horror of the Iraqi war, though only once questioned whether there should be a war at all. All and all it seemed pro war, but certainly the horror and gut wrenching choices that have to be made were very much in evidence

  3. bsummers

    I look forward to the imminent release of Clint Eastwood’s next film, which surely will be about that same tale, from the point of view of the Iraqis.

    That’s what he did in 2006 with his back-to-back releases of Flags of Our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima, which told the story of that horrible battle fairly from both sides.

    Will we have to wait 60 years til we can see our opponents in the current struggle as human beings?

    Right. Sorry. We might come to seriously question the choices that led us there.

  4. Sigh

    *Sigh*. It’s a war-friendly movie. Derp. Navy Seals in Iraq movie by Clint Eastwood. What do you expect? Flower picking and tree hugging?

    • bsummers

      I haven’t seen the movie, but from everything I’ve read, I guess I expected more from Eastwood. He’s proved he can make great films, that look at tough subjects with some guts. In Unforgiven, for example, he deconstructed his own spaghetti western persona into a scared single father regretting his brutal and violent past. In Million Dollar Baby he looked unflinchingly at the horrible choice of death with dignity. That film won four Oscars including Best Picture and Best Director. Or those Iwo Jima films, where he dared to show that there were always two sides to a “war friendly” movie.

      I expected a little more depth out of him.

      • playful

        Good point bsummers. Million Dollar Baby was courageous. Again, “American Sniper” definitely showed much horror and horrible deeds, though as stated, only once did it question the war itself. Mainly it was from the educational point of view of Chris Kyle who was raised, according to the movie, to be an unquestioning warrior from birth, and one who saw the world as “sheep, wolves and sheepdogs.” He wanted to be a sheepdog protecting the unarmed sheep. That’s as deeply into issues that he got. Probably true of many Americans who view war as an away football game …. of course you root and fights for the home team.

  5. boatrocker

    Oh yea Bsummers. Agreed.

    -Mucho agreed for liking Clint’s movies. Clint for being a drafted Korean war vet and not wrapping himself in the flag like McCain. As a matter of fact a dedicated anti “American Exceptionalism” type.

    -Clint for making movies about that ‘negro thug jazz’ (‘Bird’, about Coltrane), and speaking out over the decades against the Reagan types for not dying for oil. Heaven forbid your white daughter listens to that.

    -‘Kelly’s Heroes’, about giving the finger to the military industrial complex.

    -‘Escape From Alcatraz’ (about leaving “the Man” in prison).

    -‘Pale Rider’ (about sticking up against vigilante right wing bullies)

    -‘Absolute Power’ about resisting a rampant executive branch bent on staying in power despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

    -‘Grand Torino’- a movie about a former bigot who sacrifices his own life in order to save the life of a legally ‘fresh of the boat’ family
    (name me any other Clint movie where he dies at the end to let a family live in peace).

    Clint makes good movies (ok, minus the musical with Lee Marvin and the 2 about the oranguntan), but I have the feeling he ran with the ‘hero’ theme to make a sarcastic point.

    • Ken Hanke

      A small detail perhaps, but Eastwood was just in Kelly’s Heroes, he didn’t make it. Ditto Paint Your Wagon and the two orangutan movies.

      • boatrocker

        Very true- thanks for pointing that out. For a guy that likes to act, direct, produce, etc. honestly I can’t keep up with what he did in what movie without consulting a filmography. In reading some of the comments, it might seem that some saw the movie bout a sniper and were shocked to see violence and a jingoist slant. I only wish Clint had included more about how Chris Kyle died, as that is just as important as how he lived. Themes such as treatment of vets, mental health service availability and of course gun violence in America might have ruffled a few hawk feathers sadly.

  6. Bisbob

    I guess some people are overwhelmed by the violence, but then it is a war movie. What did you expect?
    And some people seem to have missed the whole PTSD part of the story. On balance it was a biography of a family struggle. In war, and after war.
    All war movies are disturbing, as they should be. It is good that war is a horrible endeavor, or we might come to treat it lightly. Read the entire quote from Sherman that ends “War is hell.”

  7. Good on ‘ya, Bill Branyon, for pushing back against the herd mentality of today’s Uhmurrika that requires us never to question the military or above all, the motives of individual soldiers. This – rather mediocre – film never addressed the issue of how we might just be making enemies faster than we can kill them. (The Hurt Locker a WAY BETTER film) The Hero Machine is cranked up to ELEVEN. No hint of dismay that so many young men are caught in some hellish feedback loop logic of “protecting my buddies”. We occupy other countries and then are outraged when someone OVER THERE takes a shot at us. We lose one soldier, we kill 20 or 30 of THEM….sometimes with drones paid for with borrowed Chinese money. Then THEIR tribe is enraged to the point of car bomb suicide. Endless cycle. Time to hand over the keys and call it a day in that burned-out corner of this over-populated globe. Bill……Thank you for your service.

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