The criticisms of American Sniper are now well known. The Wrap provided a summary of how Hollywood is outraged with the film. Meanwhile, everyone from Ed Schultz of MSNBC to NBC News foreign correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin, to Sheldon Richman of the Future of Freedom Foundation and Reason, and Lorraine Ali of The Los Angeles Times all provide examples of how many in the legacy media hate the movie and the real-life Chris Kyle. Many in America, meanwhile, disagree with their assessment. (As do many in Iraq, apparently.)
And this reveals an interesting possibility: many people in the upper echelons of American society view war as an abstract concept. Caleb Howe touched on this when he wrote, “America The Murdering Psycho Sniper.”
I am personally surprised a rugged tough guy like Seth Rogen is not aware of this, but in war, people say mean things about the people shooting at them. And the funny thing is? They also shoot and kill them, which turns out to be a tad more bothersome for all the participants, oddly enough.
Many, although not all, of those objecting to American Sniper also condemn the U.S. over accusations that it tortured terrorists based on a specious report the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released last year. Yet at the same time, many of these same people cheered Osama Bin Laden being shot in the face, and they support the U.S. using UAS to kill terrorists.
Holding these views simultaneously is illogical—unless one views war as an abstract concept . . . or unless certain people only support war and killing under certain presidential administrations.
In other words, the only logical way someone can be offended by the killing in American Sniper and the rough treatment of terrorists even as he supports shooting someone in the face and obliterating people with missiles is if he doesn’t understand what war is until someone shows him what it actually entails—or if he only supports the same when the president he prefers is in office. Or maybe it’s a combination of both.
And when the upper echelons of American society support war (under the right presidential administration) even as they are offended by a movie such as American Sniper because war is an abstract concept to them until they actually see it, it’s no wonder American war efforts have been so poorly led by the civilian government and victory so undermined by American elites.