Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Sheepdogs, redux

Here's a good look at American Sniper by an Iraq War vet.

He observes that
A movie like this is a cultural symbol that influences the way people remember history and feel about war.
and then talks about Kyle and the war they fought and the way the movie distorts it. He ends by saying
Was Kyle wrong that the Iraq War had anything to do with September 11, protecting Americans, seizing weapons of mass destruction, or liberating Iraqis? Without a doubt. But that’s what he was told and he genuinely believed it — an important insight into how good people are driven to work for bad causes. Was Kyle wrong for calling Iraqis “savages”? Of course. In one interview, he admits that Iraqis probably view him as a “savage,” but that in war he needed to dehumanize people to kill them — another important insight into how humans tolerate killing, which was left out of the movie.

So enough about Chris Kyle. Let’s talk about Cooper and Hall, and the culture industry that recycles propagandistic fiction under the guise of a “true story.” And let’s focus our anger and our organizing against the authorities and the institutions that craft the lies that the Chris Kyles of the world believe, that have created a trail of blowback leading from dumb war to dumb war, and that have sent 2.5 million veterans to fight a “war on terror” that persists in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria and Pakistan. Critics and nonviolent organizers can be sheepdogs too.

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