Thursday, January 29, 2015

American Sniper

Wow, the bullshit is running deep and from mostly people that never served a day in their lives. Im not talking only about just the military either; Im talking about any form of service. People that worked in the Peace Corps or even AmeriCorps get more respect from me than someone that has never served anyone but themselves.  What do any of you that have never served know about the motivations of the people that join? Their motivations are as varied as the people themselves. But lets get one thing very clear. Even those that served only in peacetime surrendered their rights as citizens and became the property of the US government for the length of their contracts. How dare you minimize and demean even that sacrifice, let alone the ones made by those who served in combat, especially those of you that havent even bothered to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity. Youre right in that they don't do it for any of you, they do it for their country and once down range, they do it for each other as well.

I am in full agreement that the Iraq war was a mistake, but I also dont care once soldiers are on the ground somewhere. Then, the people we all elected sent them into harms way and that is on all of us. You dont get to hide behind platitudes because it wasnt your president. Forget waving the flag or buying a bumper sticker at that point. The only way to support the troops once they are deployed is to give them a clear objective, all the gear they need and get them back home as soon as possible.

As for the other comments going around about soldiers being racist or sociopaths, make up your fucking mind. An Armys job is to kill the enemy. A soldiers job is to kill the enemy. But even with all of the training they go through, people have a problem killing. Thats normal. Killing another person is supposed to be hard. As long as soldiers have existed, they have dehumanized their enemies. They use derogatory names and think of them as targets. If they were sociopaths, they wouldnt have to do this. A sociopath feels no remorse when killing. They feel nothing whatsoever, including any connection to their fellow man or in this case, fellow soldiers. They have no need to degrade or dehumanize the enemy and no special interests in protecting anyone but themselves. Soldiers, and that includes snipers, are not sociopaths. That doesnt mean that there has never been a sociopath that became a soldier, but that isnt the accusation being thrown about. Sociopaths also never suffer from PTSD.

Heres a little test to drive home my point. You can lie to me and others, but don't lie to yourselves. Write down or type out the names you use to describe people that have opposing political views. Describe the most recent president of the party that you disagree with the most. Do you consider people with opposing viewpoints as equal to yourself? Do you respect their right to disagree with you? Or do you use inflammatory and derogatory adjectives to describe their mental state, question the legitimacy of their birth and sometimes, when no one can overhear you, question their right to breath your air?

These folks arent the enemy; they are fellow citizens if your country that you disagree with, yet you dehumanize them with thought and speech. These arent people you have to kill before they kill you, they are just people with a different political viewpoint. How then can you judge a soldier harshly for calling the enemy savages or worse? Our soldiers called the Japanese and Germans horrible names and their soldiers returned the favor.

It drives some people crazy that anyone could idolize a soldier. Thats any solider. Sure, they will make hay from any other weakness or flaw be it real or imagined, but those arguments are secondary to their main objection, which is that someone who has served their country should be admired. How dare Clint Eastwood make a movie that so many Americans watch about a sniper. If American Sniper only made $15 Million like Hurt Locker, then no one would have had a problem with it. It wouldnt be news worthy so folks like Moore wouldnt comment on it. Since it has made a lot of money and is news, they just cant stand it.

Rolling Stones reporter Matt Taibbi spewed his venom all over the movie because it failed to point out that the Iraq war was a mistake. It failed to call out the real villains within the beltway that caused the Iraq war to occur. There is a time and a place for that discussion and there are plenty of people that have the means to make a movie supporting that point of view. What Taibbi fails to understand and will likely never understand, is that for soldiers, it is irrelevant. The righteousness of any war can be debated. We were attacked in WWII by Japan, but in turn, we attacked Germany. We eventually counter attacked Japan as well, but our justification for attacking Germany was as weak as imagined WMDs. In all of US history, this is a war that has the least number of US citizens claiming we were wrong to be involved; yet the US did horrible things to the enemy.

It isnt enough that 1% of our citizens must shoulder the burden of the entire nation with their service. Now, each solider that fires a shot at an enemy on the battlefield must do so with remorse, while praising them as fellow human beings and later with deep regret. Well congratufuckinglations, people you at least got your wish. On average, 22 veterans are committing suicide every day. Many of the soldiers that have served since 9/11 have come home physically and emotionally damaged. Just keep telling yourself its just a job and these people are in no way heroic.

As for Kyle, I dont care if he was a flawed human being that made up stuff after his service. If anything, it is only an indication that what he went through damaged him more than he cared to admit. He served in harms way for multiple tours, saved a lot of soldiers lives and lost friends. If a bunch of combat vets want to get in a room and discuss Kyle either pro or con, go for it, those folks are the only ones qualified to have an opinion. The rest of you need a big cup of shut the fuck up.

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