By the time you read this, director Clint Eastwood’s blockbuster about the late warrior Chris Kyle will have become the top-grossing war-themed film of all time in North America. And that box office success has exposed the stark contrast between an American audience starved for patriotic Hollywood fare on the one hand, and a radical left viciously trying to maintain control of their narrative on the other.
I wrote recently for FrontPage Mag about American Sniper and its leftist film critics, who don’t dispute the film’s artistic merits but are frustrated by this apolitical movie’s refusal to condemn both George Bush’s war and Chris Kyle’s role in it. As the film breaks box office records and shows little sign of slowing down (attendance dropped a mere 27% in the second weekend; it drops off at least twice that for most films), the left is ratcheting up its disgusting attacks, and a Muslim civil rights organization is joining in.
Always good for a despicable soundbite, Fahrenheit 9/11 filmmaker Michael Moore made a shameful accusation of snipers like Kyle as “cowards.” Professional provocateur Bill Maher, the man who once mistook the 9/11 hijackers’ fanaticism for courage, labeled Kyle a “psychopath patriot” for unapologetically taking out at least 160 of the enemy in Iraq. Smear merchant and Jew-hater Max Blumenthal dismissed Kyle as an “occupier [who] mows down faceless Iraqis” in Eastwood’s film.
A writer named John Wight, in a piece for Huffington Post that also ran in the Russian propagandist news network RT, where he is a regular contributor, declared the film to be American exceptionalism propaganda and evidence of our country’s “moral depravity.” Here is a sample of Wight’s own moral depravity:
Chris Kyle was not the warrior or hero portrayed in American Sniper. He was in fact 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.
To hear it from the left, you would think that we invaded Iraq simply for the fun of slaughtering impoverished Iraqi civilians. There is never any mention of al Qaeda, the international terrorism of Saddam Hussein, Iranian-backed militias, etc. – the actual barbarians with whom we were at war to secure freedom and democracy for those impoverished Iraqi civilians that the left claims we murdered by the hundreds of thousands. That’s because for the left – as usual – America is the bad guy, and thanks to the success of Eastwood’s movie, the left views Chris Kyle as the face of our racist imperialist aggression.
The BBC reported that the film has been criticized “for Kyle’s attitude towards his victims.” First, Kyle’s targets weren’t “victims”; they were terrorists who thought nothing of committing the heinous crimes which the radical left ascribes to our own soldiers instead. Second, the BBC is referring to a selective quotation from Kyle’s autobiography, on which the film was based, about Iraqis being “savages” who were better off dead. Here is a passage from an excerpt published at Huffington Post, of all places:
Savage, despicable evil. That's what we were fighting in Iraq. That’s why a lot of people, myself included, called the enemy ‘savages.’ There really was no other way to describe what we encountered there. I only wish I had killed more. Not for bragging rights, but because I believe the world is a better place without savages out there taking American lives. Everyone I shot in Iraq was trying to harm Americans or Iraqis loyal to the new government.
He clearly was not referring to innocent Iraqi civilians but to the enemy. And his description of jihadists as savagely evil is accurate. It takes a real moral perversity to distort this passage in order to paint Kyle as a murdering bigot.
The BBC also noted that the George Soros-funded American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), which describes itself as the largest Arab civil rights organization in the U.S., has complained that “a majority of the violent threats we have seen over the past few days are result of how Arab and Muslims are depicted in American Sniper.”
The ADC reportedly has collected “hundreds of violent messages targeting Arab and Muslim Americans from moviegoers,” mostly from Facebook and Twitter. “American Sniper makes me wanna go shoot some f**kin Arabs,” read one tweet, dotted with emoticons of guns. Of course, threats of violence are unacceptable, but it’s easy to find innumerable examples of stupidity and hatefulness in every corner of the intellectual slums of social media. When has that ever translated into the overhyped anti-Muslim violence we’ve been told to expect ever since 9/11/2001? Never.
The ADC, which has a history of praising Hezbollah and Hamas, wrote to Clint Eastwood and star Bradley Cooper, who played Kyle, asking them to speak out in order to help “reduce the hateful rhetoric,” but to their credit, neither gentleman has yet responded. A spokesman for American Sniper’s studio did, however, release a statement denouncing “any violent, anti-Muslim rhetoric, including that which has been attributed to viewers” of the film. “Hate and bigotry have no place in the important dialogue that this picture has generated about the veteran experience.” True, and that should include hate and bigotry from the left.
The left and its Muslim allies like the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee fear the record-breaking popularity of American Sniper because it doesn’t conform to the leftist narrative about the war or multiculturalism or America’s military imperialism. Hollywood is the pop culture tip of the spear for that narrative; if the left begins losing its monolithic grip on Hollywood – and American Sniper is evidence that it is – then their whole sham threatens to disintegrate.
(This article originally appeared here on FrontPage Mag, 1/28/15)