Ethics Quote Of The Week: Gary Sinise

gary-sinise

“With all due respect, what the hell are you talking about?”

—Actor and Wounded Warrior ally Gary Senise, in an open letter responding to Howard Dean’s statement that the audience for “American Sniper” consisted of “angry people.”

Good question. What are the vicious and anti-military critics of Clint Eastwood’s box-office busting bio-pic about Navy Seal Chris Kyle talking about?

I saw the film yesterday. It’s not pro-war, pro-Iraq invasion, or political in any way. The various critics of the film out themselves as hateful and so biased against combat, the military and, I don’t know—life? Reality?—that they can’t even keep their minds open a crack for a thought-provoking piece of popular art. Dean had said, turning his review (I’ll bet anything that he hasn’t seen the film) into a gratuitous attack on tea party supporters:

“There’s a lot of anger in this country, and the people who go see this movie are people who are very angry. And this guy basically says ‘I’m going to fight on your side.’ … I bet you if you looked at a cross-section of the Tea Party and the people who go to see this movie, there’s a lot of intersection.”

In the same forum–his weekly HBO conservative-bashing fest–Bill Maher called Kyle a “psychopath patriot” (there is nothing whatsoever in the film that supports that diagnosis). Seth Rogen compared “American Sniper” to a Nazi propaganda film. Michael Moore used the film–which he couldn’t possibly have seen–to make the ridiculous observation that snipers were “cowards.” Kyle, the most effective sniper in U.S. military history, was wounded repeatedly and awarded two Silver Stars and five Bronze stars. For him to be smeared as a coward by the likes of Michael Moore is grotesque.

The film, among other things, shows just what kind of horror our service men and women endured in Iraq, how they suffered (and suffer still), what it did to them and their families, and accords them well-deserved compassion and respect. How sad, bitter and rotten inside someone must be to resent that. As I watched the film, it occurred to me that this was probably exactly what John Wayne wanted “The Green Berets” to be during Vietnam, but had neither the discipline to avoid agitprop and sentimentality, nor Clint’s directing skills to pull it off.

After expressing his disgust at Dean’s outburst in a tweet, the stage and screen star, whose foundation works to help and recognize the soldiers and veterans he calls our “defenders,” wrote,

To Howard Dean,

I saw American Sniper and would not consider myself to be an angry person. You certainly have a right to make stupid blanket statements, suggesting that all people who see this film are angry, but how is that helpful sir? Do you also suggest that everyone at Warner Brothers is angry because they released the film? That Clint Eastwood, Jason Hall, Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller and the rest of the cast and crew are angry because they made the film? Chris Kyle’s story deserved to be told. It tells a story of the stress that multiple deployments have on one military family, a family representative of thousands of military families. It helps to communicate the toll that the war on terror has taken on our defenders. Defenders and families who need our support. I will admit that perhaps somewhere among the masses of people who are going to see the film there may be a few that might have some anger or have been angry at some point in their lives, but, with all due respect, what the hell are you talking about?

My guess is that Dean is talking about his own estrangement from basic American values, its history, and its essential role in the world, including all the sacrifices, risks and difficult choices that role demands. He’s the angry one.

 

85 thoughts on “Ethics Quote Of The Week: Gary Sinise

  1. I notice a trend amongst the central theme of several posts now.

    When will we admit that Leftism in general snubs traditional American ideals? From its values to its constitution?

      • Cycles?

        When has Leftism supported any American ideal?

        Certainly not free speech…they only “backed” free speech when their Marxist ideology was rejected on the free market, once it got political power, all other speech gets stifled.

        The only reason they support equal protection with marriage is the grab a voting bloc (the way they see the world), akin to a blind squirrel finding a nut.

        By no means do I seek to call you a right winger. Not at all. I’m merely pointing out how far the Left has strayed (or in my opinion, shown their true colors). By any objective analysis, the extreme Left is overtly anti-American, and the mainstream Left is very rapidly and quietly nodding their direction.

        • I was referring to MY cycles. Some days, I just can’t avoid looking like a cross between The Daily Caller and Instapundit. “I paint what I see.” Then I get all these hate comments calling me a Bush-loving teabagger…

          • Oh, well, I still want to clarify that your observations are neutral and unbiased. But from an unbiased reading of these situations, we can determine that the Left has gone off the deep end…

              • There is no one rational on the Left, Jack. If they were rational, they wouldn’t be where they are. In investigative work, one of the prime false steps you can make is to seek proof for a predisposed result; either consciously or unconsciously. Then you do that, subtle or overt manipulation of the data has to occur. This sums up the basis of the leftist intellect. The other way is to seek out the most pristine data, correlate and classify it, and form conclusions thereby. This requires dealing with reality and letting the chips fall where they may. It also requires one to be secure with one’s self and thus be able to deal with a result that may be viewed unfavorably by colleagues even while it’s honest. Liberals are bad at that, too, as they live in a tightly confined world where prestige and position outweigh honesty and all elements of maturity.

                They also stink…!

    • The Founders were liberals in every sense of the word.
      Read a little history and burst out of the radical right bubble.

  2. To be clear I didn’t hold one ounce of anger coming into that movie. There were several scenes that did evoke visceral reactions and one of those was associated with justifiable anger towards an enemy that DID and still DOES deserve our scorn and detestment. So?

    Sorry Lefties if Americans, at their core, flock to movies that don’t trash talk America…

    These attitudes should be an indictment on your worldview.

    I eagerly await Deery’s reliable anti-logical defense of the indefensible.

    • To be clear I didn’t hold one ounce of anger coming into that movie.
      ***********
      Well, I’m moderately angry most of the time and I am going to see this movie tomorrow night.
      I’ll report later on any unpleasant feelings (such as patriotism or pride) this story may evoke in myself, my spouse (who isn’t angry), or other theater-goers in my vicinity.

  3. I have an idea. Lets include Dean, Moore and Mahr to any future prisoner swaps with ISIS, AQAP, or the Taliban. I am sure they will feel right at home among the enemy.

  4. Gary Sinise is a good man who tells it like it is. The really angry people are the leftos who can’t bear to see a film about a Navy Seal that puts himself in harms way to save Marines. Howard Dean long made himself irrelevant and continues to prove it.

  5. I suppose I might be one of those Lefty fellas (but these days I’m a retired Lefty) who served three years in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam war. I watched the film last night and agree the film is not pro-war or pro-Iraq invasion. However, has anyone addressed the fact that the Iraq invasion was a clusterfuck of epic proportions, based on lies (or you may call it “misinformation”) put forth by the Bush administration. How many of the Iraqis portrayed in the film were simply fighting a foreign invader in whatever way they could? If our country were invaded, would Americans be viewed as the evil terrorists?

    Some have proclaimed this the finest war film ever made, or, at the least, the finest Iraq war film ever made. I disagree. At least when it comes to the Iraq war. I’m still waiting. From a film buff’s perspective, I don’t consider American Sniper Oscar worthy in any way, with the exception of Bradley Cooper’s performance.

    Anti-Muslim sentiment has jumped (as expected, does this make the film a propaganda device?) since the film’s release. According to The Guardian… http://www.theguardian.com/film/2015/jan/24/american-sniper-anti-muslim-threats-skyrocket

    • There it is: Association of “American Sniper” with “Islamophobic hate speech.” Time to expand from the college campuses to a nationwide speech code, like that one Jack put in a recent post. Wyogranny’s New Puritan “ethic,” indeed, laid bare for the world to see. Let’s ban the color pink and the little ribbons, too, because after all, cancerphobia is insidious substitutionary hate. We don’t want our cancer patients to be subjected to frustrated, angry, propagandized health care providers.

      • Clarifying: Speaking above of the “ethic” of the New Puritans, the fundamentalists of the religion of Leftism, pinpointed precisely by non-New-Puritan Wyogranny.

        • New Puritans will put you in the virtual stocks, which is much more humiliating and has a longer effect on your life. It virtually never ends, as Jack demonstrates in his posts about militant gays and feminists carrying mattresses around with them.
          Thanks for the reference luckesteeyorman. I mentally picture leftists gathered around a virtual cracker barrel whispering rumors in scandalized tones about the new witchcraft aka traditional values. Equally intolerant, equally vicious, equally unjust, and just as ignorant and intolerant as the original Puritans.

      • Not just violence, but the very visible divide between Islam and Western ideals has probably upped anti-Muslim sentiment. When the religious authorities in Egypt, Iran, Turkey, and other countries condemned the attack on Charlie Hedbo, but still condemned the publication of the pictures, they illustrated that divide. When Islamic authorities and newspapers around the world supported the attack, when Muslims gathered in the expected places like Afghanistan and Pakistan, but also places like the Phillipines to support the killings, when Muslim schoolchildren in France refused to observe a moment of silence for the victims because they either supported the killers or because the victims had insulted the prophet, they starkly illustrated the divide in ideals and values. Why shouldn’t sentiment turn against such ideals? Shouldn’t we be happy that sentiment is turning against such values? Would we rather public sentiment embrace and accept these values and ideals?

        Before the criticism comes, I didn’t say violence, I said sentiment.

    • 1. Thank you for your service. If I had served in the Vietnam war, I’d be a lot less reasonable in these issues than you. Or dead.
      2. I’d say that every previous film about Iraq has made that valid point, including my favorite, “The Fog of War.”
      3. Regarding Iraq: I feel the invasion was justifiable. I feel it was also naive and badly planned, and doing the right or justifiable thing badly so it makes a huge mess is as unethical as not doing the right thing at all.
      4. The fact that the WMD’s weren’t found was moral luck. All criticism of Bush et. al. based on that fact alone or even primarily is intellectually dishonest. They expected to find them–it would have been suicidal, politically, to go in not expecting to find them.
      5. It is one of the great confirmation bias tragedies, on all sides, ever. I can’t think of a better one. Even the ACA.
      6. People forget how bad Saddam was, and how bad his pig Latin sons were going to be. Any Iraqi who treated the US as an invader was either pro-Saddam or an idiot. They could have used the overthrow to build a strong, free and prosperous nation: they may yet. They had a chance. Was it worth what we gave up to give them that chance? No, as it turns out, and we should have known that.
      7. There is no valid or honest equivalency to be made between the US and Saddam’s Iraq. Only famous slumming linguistics professors think that way.
      8. Has a great Vietnam film been made? I don’t think so.
      9. Hollywood doesn’t know what a great war film IS. “The Longest Day,” which is almost completely factual and which my Dad felt was almost the only WWII film that didn’t make him shout at the screen, didn’t make the list of the Top 1000 films, which just means the critics are biased moron. Pompous, derivative, plodding, silly “Apocalypse Now,” however, and the mess that is M*A*S*H made it handily, as did the unwatchable “Deer Hunter.”
      10. The Oscar defines Oscar-worthy, and so many worse films than this one have been nominated or won (“Ghost”? “GHOST”???) that you are using a different standard than the Academy to say it’s not good enough to be nominated.
      11. It’s not a great film. It’s a great story, and Kyle is a hero who should be remembered. “Sargent York” wasn’t a great film, it is unlikely that York was as much of a hero as Kyle, and it’s a “classic.” “Sniper” is as good as “Sergeant York.”

  6. I saw the movie this past weekend when a friend of mine suggested it. I had not heard of it before going into the movie, other than to be vaguely aware that it was supposed to be “based on a true story”, so I had no preconceived notions about it.

    I came out thinking it was a pretty good movie, that they really should have done something about that fake plastic baby, and that Bradley Cooper seems very desperate for an Oscar. The movie itself was very “rah-rah, America, fuck yeah!”, which I don’t think removes it from being well-made. But as I said to my friend afterwards, the movie itself had a very video game perspective quality to it. There wasn’t a lot of nuance. Brown people bad, shoot them, keep shooting them until they stop coming. Winner! There was even the defeat of the “Big Boss” at the climax in the form of the opposing sniper. It’s a movie people can rally behind without any sense of conflict or equivalence, and it is certainly the most flattering of the movies that touch on the Iraq war debacle, so I can see why many of the Right feel very protective of it.

    The sniper never made a bad call, never hit the wrong target, always made the right decision on who to spare. That part seemed rather unrealistic to me, but it was something of a feel good movie, so it wasn’t unexpected, just simplistic. The movie was a flattened character study of one man, which is why I suppose they didn’t get into the ultimate overarching politics surrounding the entry into the war. Further reading on the subject informs me that they cut out a lot of the more unflattering claims and actions of the sniper that might have given people pause, but since I don’t really think they wanted to focus all that much on his post-war adventures I don’t quibble. As entertainment, a solid B/B+. As history, looks like a C. But I don’t go to movies for a history lesson, so I give more weight to the entertainment side.

    • Can someone else chop this one up? I’m trying to avoid situations where I feel compelled to display outright disrespect for ignorance.

      But I will comment on this:

      “Brown people bad, shoot them, keep shooting them until they stop coming. Winner!”

      This is a patently stupid comment. Here, let me correct it for you:

      “People coming to kill me, bad…shoot them, keep shooting them until they stop coming.”

      There you go, that one is cleaned from your insurmountable biases.

      • That was more a comment on the typical video game set up, which has a clearly identified “Other”, whether it be zombies, security guards, man-eating plants, coming in wave after wave to take a bullet, with no apparent sense of self-preservation or common sense. I found that aspect of the movie rather unbelievable, and the part I liked the least. Too easy, and no nuance, like I said before.

        • Oh good, then you didn’t need to say “brown people”, since there are all manner of villains that video gamers fight. Nazis even (and not the brown type). Except that you couldn’t help saying “brown people”.

          For movies set up with a clear “video game” vibe to them, see “Act of Valor”. For movies set up with a clear personalized attempt at reality, often confused with video game vibes, it can be hard to distinguish. Let me help you to understand the “Boss” scene in “American Sniper”. The movie is about the conflict raging inside Chris Kyle, a conflict found in most American soldiers, especially those who actually began to be tied personally with particular missions, areas, and even the ordinary people of Iraq (making your “brown people” characterization especially egregious). You see, his inner turmoil, his Hero’s Journey (one of the archetypal backbones of really great story telling), was coming to grips with having to leave the Mission (his first great adventure) incomplete to reconcile him with his other great adventure – his wife and family.

          No soldier wants to leave a mission incomplete. No professional soldier. That means failure. The enemy sniper in the story being told represented at least a partial completion of the mission, one that at least brought closure to a hope-filled-despair-added conflict he helped instigate earlier in the story. He still never got to the final completion of mission. Which is why his conflict still raged inside him when he came home to his 2nd Adventure.

          A conflict he began to resolve as he helped other soldiers.

          Lacking nuance. Please. That’s just further bias on your part.

          • Oh good, then you didn’t need to say “brown people”, since there are all manner of villains that video gamers fight. Nazis even (and not the brown type).

            In this particular movie, it was brown people, not Nazis.

            As far as your “Hero’s journey” screed, I got it. Though it was rather simple, and clichéd, I did get the typical conflict between manly-man “must complete the mission that no one else can do”, and the semi-nagging wife and kiddos that pull him in the other, safer, direction. It just wasn’t particularly compelling to watch, and had been done a million times before in fiction and non-fiction. I enjoyed watching the action, and a little of the strategy that went into someone being a sniper (choosing targets, set-up, equipment, what to do/what not to do, etc). I probably could have watched a lot more of that.

            The movie glossed over his PTSD issues, making it a little too easy I thought, though it was in line with the feel of the entire movie. The wife was a cardboard cut-out character, entirely typical, and entirely forgettable, but the movie wasn’t about her. Though of course I noted that her desire to have him home safe with his family ultimately led to his demise. Typical.

            On the whole, an enjoyable, simplistic movie which definitely hung on the performance of Cooper, not the screenplay or direction. Greater than the sum of its parts. I don’t get the deification of the movie, it was nice, but nothing to go crazy over. The problems with the movie seem mostly to stem from its viewpoint (which I get), where it lacks subtlety and nuance. The other problem seems to be its historical accuracy, where like Selma, I don’t care all that much, since it is a movie, though I realize that other people want things to adhere very closely with pinpoint accuracy to true events.

            • 1. All more or less reasonable.
              2. That “manly-man” mockery is Phil Donohue stuff, and I must say, I don’t know where it comes from. As someone with a father who was the least ostentatiously macho guy imaginable, but who 1) enlisted in the British Commandos BEFORE Pearl Harbor, because he believed Hitler had to be stopped whether Congress realized it or not 2) put himself back into action after having his foot blown half off so he he had the fun of the Battle of the Bulge for the express reason that “somebody had to do it” and because he knew “he was better at this than most,I find that kind of sneering at exactly the kind of attitude that is a prerequisite for being the ones putting their lives on the line rather than those who stay home and mock those who put the lives on the line ugly, ungracious, unfair, disrespectful, and telling. With all due respect.
              3. You can’t separate the performances of Cooper from the direction. As a director, I know most non-directors don’t get that, but it’s true.
              4. Who’s deifying the movie? This also is a jaundiced comment. People think it’s a good movie. It’s certainly worthy of Academy Award nominations, if only because it’s extremely popular, meaning it has struck a nerve.
              5. Since the story is the book’s story, the only clearly fabricated plot element is the “sniper duel,” which was a screenwriter’s invention, and one which was already used in “Enemy at the Gates,” another sniper movie.
              6. I do object, as I already wrote, to the false equivilency of comparing whatever inaccuracies exist in “American Sniper,” which is easily within artistic license boundaries and doesn’t involve major historic events, with the intentional smearing of LBJ in “Selma.” You should care about that.

              • 2. Just commenting on how incredibly common that cliché is- Man: I must do That Thing That Only I Am Capable of Doing. Wife/Girlfriend: Don’t Do That Thing, Even Though We Will Probably All Die/Be In Big Trouble If You Don’t! Find someone else to do That Thing. Man: But I Must! *steely gaze off into the distance* Woman: Ok! *Melts into Arms* *gunfire and whatnot* lol. Woman/family as obstacle, bleh.

                3. You can’t separate the performances of Cooper from the direction. Perhaps, but outside of Cooper everyone else was so flat, and the story so simplistic, I can’t think of it as a particularly great directorial movie. Just for that crappy plastic baby alone, I think we should all really question Eastwood’s choices.

                4. 4. Who’s deifying the movie? This also is a jaundiced comment. People think it’s a good movie. It’s certainly worthy of Academy Award nominations, if only because it’s extremely popular, meaning it has struck a nerve. People seem to feel very protective of this movie. I commented that I felt the movie was decent to good, and given the reaction from some commenters, you would have thought I pissed on their grandmother’s grave. It’s great that people seemed to have loved the movie, and I’m glad it struck a nerve with you and others. I thought it was good, but had some flaws that kept it from being a great movie for me. De gustibus non est disputandum shrug.

                5. Since the story is the book’s story, the only clearly fabricated plot element is the “sniper duel,” That was a pretty big element of the movie, no? The whole climax of he movie revolves around it and depends on it.
                6. I do object, as I already wrote, to the false equivilency of comparing whatever inaccuracies exist in “American Sniper,” which is easily within artistic license boundaries and doesn’t involve major historic events, with the intentional smearing of LBJ in “Selma.” You should care about that.
                I don’t. I care whether it was entertaining, first, and if the story was the story that that the filmmakers wanted to tell. I didn’t care that *spoiler alert* that Tarantino killed Hitler in Inglorious Basterds, or that LBJ was portrayed as being slightly more reluctant than some supporters claim he was in passing the civil rights bill. The focus of those movies wasn’t really about those figures. A documentary yes, it would be important, but a film, even ones where the characters are based on real life figures, I give very wide latitude to. I realize that not everyone feel the same. So be it.

                • I had read about the baby. I am embarrassed to say that I didn’t notice it during the film. I find most babies in movies fake, and when I don’t, I often think that the use of the child was abusive. I don’t think real infants should be used in movies or TV.

                • deery
                  I’m not particularly good at refuting point by point which I seldom do for that reason, but I hope you will retread your comments and recognize the complete turn around in your attitude toward how a movie is valued, based on your obvious biases and the points other commenters have made.

                • “In this particular movie, it was brown people, not Nazis.”

                  Wrong. It was insurgents, attacking American soldiers. Not “brown people”. See, if it was “brown people” Kyle was killing, then that was the qualifying characteristic of who he targetted. You see, your inability to see subtlety and nuance in the story is evident by your willful obtuseness in making the “brown people” characterization. If “brown people” were the target, then Kyle would have been killing them all, even the ones he tried to help. You are bordering on Troll.

                  “As far as your “Hero’s journey” screed, I got it.”

                  You may want to brush up on definitions. Screed it was not.

                  “Though it was rather simple, and clichéd, I did get the typical conflict…[cut for brevity]”

                  Yes, any juvenile high schooler can play this game. Every story ever written…EVERY STORY can be reduced literally to one of a handful of archetypal story lines. Got it, you paid attention in High School Freshman literature. Spouting the central theme of this movie doesn’t, however, make it “simple”. Pathetic.

                  Here is an analogous conversation of your failing:
                  Anyone: “Wow, Crime and Punishment was pretty deep”
                  Deery: “Not really, it was pretty simplistic, it had an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. Geez, how cliched”

                  “I don’t get the deification of the movie, it was nice, but nothing to go crazy over.”

                  It would make sense that you don’t get the “deification of the movie”, because there hasn’t been a deification. This is just more confirmation bias on your part. You are so far out that you see any support of a movie of this type as “deification” or when you criticize it so anti-intellectually when someone raises a simple and reasonable defense of the movie, you knee-jerk to infantilize the defense as “deification”. Another pathetic move on your part, but a very revealing one.

                  “The problems with the movie seem mostly to stem from its viewpoint (which I get), where it lacks subtlety and nuance.”

                  Shallow and pedantic. Shallow and pedantic. Repeating phrases you think make you sound like a movie reviewer won’t cut it here.

                  “The other problem seems to be its historical accuracy, where like Selma, I don’t care all that much, since it is a movie, though I realize that other people want things to adhere very closely with pinpoint accuracy to true events.”

                  Jack pretty well sunk this battleship, no need to address it.

                  “Just commenting on how incredibly common that cliché is- Man: I must do That Thing That Only I Am Capable of Doing. Wife/Girlfriend: Don’t Do That Thing, Even Though We Will Probably All Die/Be In Big Trouble If You Don’t! Find someone else to do That Thing. Man: But I Must! *steely gaze off into the distance* Woman: Ok! *Melts into Arms* *gunfire and whatnot* lol. Woman/family as obstacle, bleh.”

                  Speaking of screeds…

                  Come on, get a grip. This is just more juvenile strategies to pretend the movie is just hum drum because you quietly cannot stand it. Does it make you feel better to look at the droves of Americans going to see this movie as though they are monkeys motivated by simple and unrefined urges?

                  Does it?

                  “Just for that crappy plastic baby alone, I think we should all really question Eastwood’s choices.”

                  Dear heavens no! Not a plastic baby!!! I can’t believe what an utterly crappy movie this was.

                  “and given the reaction from some commenters, you would have thought I pissed on their grandmother’s grave.”

                  Yes, this would be further attempts to undermine the reasonable reactions to your and your people’s nonsense analysis of this movie.

                  I really need to ask, how do you take yourself and your views seriously? Or are you really just a semi-sophisticated troll?

              • 1. Less.
                2. Yup.
                3. But Jack, deery hates Clint Eastwood. He’s an evil Republican.
                4. Deery sees deification, because deery is so encumbered by wild bias that even slight enjoyment of a movie that deery quietly despises must be infantilized as “deification”. Or when someone raises a reasonable defense when deery’s ilk makes wildly baseless assertions out of irrational disgust, deery MUST see it as some sort of primitively excessive adoration. Simply put, deery can’t stand that Americans LOVE this movie. Of course, deery will certainly not say that, leftists can always be relied upon to hunker down when something is obviously popular – evidenced by the wild retractions of the utterly stupid comment’s that deery’s people have made about this movie.
                5. So? At this point, hasn’t pretty well every trope been used. I mean we can always say “Simpsons did it”.
                6. Yep.

              • I find that kind of sneering at exactly the kind of attitude that is a prerequisite for being the ones putting their lives on the line rather than those who stay home and mock those who put the lives on the line ugly, ungracious, unfair, disrespectful, and telling.
                ********************
                Exactly right!

  7. The movie is, as with all historical films, a compressed telling of the actual events, which stretch over a decade. No one has come forward with any legitimate or credible fact-checking saying that any part of it is out and out fiction or represents a significant alteration of the historical record.

    It’s one sailor’s story, not the story of the entire Iraq War or the machinations leading up to it, which, I submit, would be hard to fit into even a three hour film and really do the complex (and still unfolding) story justice. I also submit that there already has been a film saying that the whole invasion was a bad idea, and it was in fact made by Michael Moore, or have we all forgotten “Fahrenheit 9/11?” At any rate, the war has spilled and continues to spill so much ink that I don’t think a second Bush-bashfest would add a whole lot to the record. I also doubt it would be profitable, and that’s really what Hollywood is all about in the end.

    I give the movie kudos for not shying away from the dirty, grimy realism of SEAL training and combat in the desert and only resorting to stylized combat for the final battle with Mustafa, which was simply bowing to narrative film structure. I also give it kudos for accurately portraying the initial emotional high of first going to war… and the hyper-bravado that comes from staying at war too long, as well as the tough decisions that become easy when it is survival on the line.

    Most of all I salute the filmmakers for NOT going one of the two easy paths of either rah-rah jingoism or hand-wringing sorrow. If you think they did, then you didn’t watch the film or you don’t know the underlying history.

    It’s pretty evident that none of the folks Gary (one of the few major celebs I have actually had the honor of meeting) is responding to has actually seen the film, because then maybe they might have offered more substantive criticisms. There are legitimate discussions to be had about the way the story was told, what to put in vs. what to pass over, how much to compress, how accurate the battle scenes were, how much discretion to use when getting to a gory scene, etc. It’s also evident they don’t know the history. There are also legitimate discussions to be had about tactics, the ethics of sniper use, assymetrical warfare, the underlying question of going in and once there being in to win, and so on. However, all of these are substantive discussions that require knowledge, application of knowledge, analysis, and just plain THINKING. None of these critics are particularly deep thinkers and neither are those they appeal too. Howard Dean is actually a pretty good tactician when working behind the scenes, but in public he carries himself with an anger, defiance, and contempt for those who disagree with him that probably cost him the 2004 nomination and the opportunity to go higher than statewide public office. Those who follow politics closely probably remember his interview in which he pronouced the GOP evil and said it was the job of the opposition only to oppose, nothing more (which Mitch McConnell should throw back in Obama’s face, but that’s another discussion). As such, his attack here that was all venom and no substance is no surprise. Michael Moore has never dealt in substance, only in sarcasm, criticism, and cheap sneers and jeers. Oh, he has a gift for sarcastic criticism, but I submit to you that in the end that’s not really a gift, for when did a professional critic ever make, produce, or improve anything? There is zero value in those who just sit back and make fun of others, and I think Moore knows his value is about that, not having made a film in six years.

  8. It’s not worth a post, but really, Howard Dean is such an ass. On “Hardball,” Dean offered a typically obnoxious apology, saying, “I haven’t seen the movie, and I think it was wrong. I make no apologies to the thousands of right-wing nut jobs who have been Twittering me with nasty language, but I do apologize to the veterans. We owe them a lot and I think this movie was much more nuanced than I thought….To the people who tweeted me over the weekend and used a lot of bad language, they are chicken hawks and I have no respect for them…I have a lot of respect for the people who serve this country and I apologize.”

    He hasn’t seen the movie. He says everyone who’s seen it is “angry,” he equates seeing it to nutjobs without seeing it, and he only apologizes to the veterans? How does he know those taking after him “with nasty language” are “chicken hawks”? Where does he get the cheek to complain about nasty language after his gratuitous insults?

    Then Matthews—has HE seen the film? It didn’t sound like it–chimes in with
    “I don’t like the way they called the Arabs in Iraq ‘savages.’” It wasn’t “they,” it was Chris Kyle, it was what he called them in his book, and if you have to kill an enemy, it is reasonable to refer to them in derogatory fashion. Or does political correctness extend to people trying to kill you now? Does Matthews not “like” the soldiers in WWII movies talking about Krauts and Nips, or Huns in WWI films? Or “Reds,” “Ivans” or “Russkies” in Cold War movies? Such pandering to the addled dopes who watch MSNBC! How about Gooks in Vietnam—do we now have to be nice and polite in the terms we use for enemies right before we kill them, or they kill us?

    Then he says, “And somehow there’s a connection between 9/11 and Iraq? That’s something I will not accept. The Iraqis did not attack us, they had nothing to do with 9/11. That was the sales pitch to get us in that war.” The movie makes no such connection, unless that’s want you want to see to criticize the movie. It shows Kyle deciding that he wants to enlist after seeing the Twin Towers fall. That was dramatic license—he was already in the service in 1999—but the movie says nothing about an Iraq 9/11 connection. Did soldiers who volunteered after 9/11 end up being sent to Iraq? Of course. Matthews, like Dean, is just finding gratuitous fault with the film WITHOUT SEEING IT to pander to the anti-military, knee-jerk, hateful, pacifist, “Better Islamic than Dead!” base.

    Despicable, both of them.

    • Minor detail that doesn’t undermine your point displaying the ignorance of Dean, but I thought the movie showed Kyle enlisting after the 1998 Nairobi embassy bombings?

    • Actually political correctness DOES extend to enemies now, I can’t count the number of times I got glared at or admonished for referring to the Taliban and Iraqi forces, while combat was still going on, as “ragheads” or “muzzies” though in all fairness the latter is probably painting with an overly broad brush. I also can’t count the number of times I was told the soldiers aren’t the bad guys, they’re just fighting for an evil government.

      I ask, how the hell are we supposed to fight to win if we’re not even allowed to think of the enemy, fighting to defend a crazy theocracy where amputation is the punishment for theft or a fascist regime with a veneer of Islam where acid baths and rape rooms are a way of life, as bad?

      • Well, the objective is to make combat, conflict, and war psychologically impossible…which itself is deluded and irresponsible. Chris Kyle is being derided because he was a killing machine, who gave no quarter. If you are going to fight wars, and the US is ethically obligated to do so, and to win when it does so, you need people who 1) follow orders and 2) don’t empathize with the enemy.

        • The last sentence is one of the less pleasant truths of human existence. Unfortunately conflicts are going to arise, and conflicts are won or lost as much by the will to win as by technology and numbers. Lack of will is partly why Nazi Germany ran roughshod over Western Europe in 1938-40 and strong will is why Poland and Finland gave the USSR such a hard time in the Russo-Polish and Russo-Finnish wars. Eventually the British and Americans got the will to win going in WWII and the rest is history. BUT, a lot of the soldiers, sailors, and airmen who did the winning sacrificed part of their humanity to do so, else it wouldn’t have been possible to carpet-bomb enemy cities, direct naval bombardments that were sure to leave the foe buried alive, throw large numbers of troops into assaults that were going to carry the position, but result in high loss of life, or make the ultimate decision to wipe two cities off the map by atomic bomb.

          In the decades afterward the left found it very handy to trot out people like George Zabelka, the Catholic chaplain of the 509th Composite, who couldn’t reconcile his faith with what the 509th had done, and made a point of visiting with the habakusha and treating them like they were almost martyrs to an unfeeling Allied war machine, to emphasize how bad what we had done was. They found it even handier in the 1980s to treat 11-year-old Samantha Smith, who the Soviets made all sorts of propaganda out of, like she was some great angel of peace for spending a few weeks with Soviet kids. I can also bear witness that after 9/11 you could almost count 3…2…1… to the time the articles and posts started to appear online telling the readers not to blame the Islamic world, Islam means peace, my neighbor wears a headscarf and so will I if there is a backlash, and so on. It’s as though the left wanted the US to give up the fight before the fight even got started. I can’t grasp that thinking.

          • It’s as though the left wanted the US to give up the fight before the fight even got started. I can’t grasp that thinking.
            *************
            They believe that somehow there is a way to end conflict without violence.
            Without knowing anything at all about it, other than the fact that it sounds nice.
            Trust me, I spent a decade in Europe debating the very worst the peacenik left has to offer there.
            Although, the French may just be looking at things a bit differently now…

  9. I rejoice at stuff like this, because it will accelerate the well-earned demise of the left. Keep showing your true colors. Even in his grave, Chief Kyle is still accomplishing great things.

  10. Have any of you heard of the SEAL creed? This was written long after my graduation from BUD/S, but it’s now given to each candidate in their blue folder, following what is arguably the most physically and mentally demanding courses of military instruction ever devised (BUD/S and SQT) at the awards ceremony wherein their Trident is tacked on. It goes like this:

    “In times of war or uncertainty there is a special breed of warrior ready to answer our Nation’s call. A common man with uncommon desire to succeed.

    Forged by adversity, he stands alongside America’s finest special operations forces to serve his country, the American people, and protect their way of life.

    I am that man.

    My Trident is a symbol of honor and heritage. Bestowed upon me by the heroes that have gone before, it embodies the trust of those I have sworn to protect. By wearing the Trident I accept the responsibility of my chosen profession and way of life. It is a privilege that I must earn every day.

    My loyalty to Country and Team is beyond reproach. I humbly serve as a guardian to my fellow Americans always ready to defend those who are unable to defend themselves. I do not advertise the nature of my work, nor seek recognition for my actions. I voluntarily accept the inherent hazards of my profession, placing the welfare and security of others before my own.

    I serve with honor on and off the battlefield. The ability to control my emotions and my actions, regardless of circumstance, sets me apart from other men.

    Uncompromising integrity is my standard. My character and honor are steadfast. My word is my bond.

    We expect to lead and be led. In the absence of orders I will take charge, lead my teammates and accomplish the mission. I lead by example in all situations.

    I will never quit. I persevere and thrive on adversity. My Nation expects me to be physically harder and mentally stronger than my enemies. If knocked down, I will get back up, every time. I will draw on every remaining ounce of strength to protect my teammates and to accomplish our mission. I am never out of the fight.

    We demand discipline. We expect innovation. The lives of my teammates and the success of our mission depend on me – my technical skill, tactical proficiency, and attention to detail. My training is never complete.

    We train for war and fight to win. I stand ready to bring the full spectrum of combat power to bear in order to achieve my mission and the goals established by my country. The execution of my duties will be swift and violent when required yet guided by the very principles that I serve to defend.

    Brave men have fought and died building the proud tradition and feared reputation that I am bound to uphold. In the worst of conditions, the legacy of my teammates steadies my resolve and silently guides my every deed. I will not fail.

    SEALs are the physical embodiment of every word of this, and then some. Trust me when I say that words from the likes of Moore, Maher, Dean, Rogen et al mean absolutely nothing to men of this caliber.

      • Some others for you:
        Reconnaissance Creed

        Realizing it is my choice and my choice alone
        to be a Reconnaissance Marine,
        I accept all challenges involved with this profession.
        Forever shall I strive to maintain the tremendous reputation
        of those who went before me.

        Exceeding beyond the limitations
        set down by others shall be my goal.
        Sacrificing personal comforts and dedicating myself
        to the completion of the reconnaissance mission shall be my life.
        Physical fitness, mental attitude, and high ethics —

        The title of Recon Marine is my honor.

        Conquering all obstacles, both large and small,
        I shall never quit.
        To quit, to surrender, to give up is to fail.
        To be a Recon Marine is to surpass failure;
        To overcome, to adapt and to do whatever it takes
        to complete the mission.

        On the battlefield, as in all areas of life,
        I shall stand tall above the competition.
        Through professional pride, integrity, and teamwork,
        I shall be the example
        for all Marines to emulate.

        Never shall I forget the principles
        I accepted to become a Recon Marine.
        Honor, Perseverance, Spirit and Heart.

        A Recon Marine can speak without saying a word
        and achieve what others can only imagine.

      • The Chief Petty Officer’s Creed
        During the course of this day you have been caused to suffer indignities, to experience humiliation. This you have accomplished with rare good grace and, therefore, I now believe it fitting to explain to you why this was done. There was no intent, and no desire, to demean you nor to insult you. Pointless as it may have seemed to you, there was a time-honored and valid reason behind every single deed, every single barb. By experience, by performance and by testing, you have been this day advanced to Chief Petty Officer in the United States Navy-and only in the United States Navy does E-7 carry unique responsibilities no other armed force throughout the world carries, nor which grants privileges to it’s enlisted personnel comparable to the privileges and responsibilities you are now bound to observe and are expected to fulfill.

        Your entire way of life has now been changed. More will be expected of you; more will be demanded of you. Not because you are an E-7, but because you are now a Chief Petty Officer. You have not merely been promoted one pay grade. You have joined an exclusive fraternity – and, as in all fraternities, you have a responsibility to your brothers – even as they have a responsibility to you. Always bear in mind that no other armed force has rate or rank equivalent to that of the United States Navy. Granted, that all armed forces have two classes of service: enlisted and commissioned; however, the United States Navy has the distinction of having four, i.e. Enlisted, Bureau appointed CPO, Bureau appointed Warrant and Commissioned. This is why you can maintain with pride your feeling of superiority once you have attained the position of E-7 in the United States Navy.

        These privileges, these responsibilities do not appear in print. They have no official standing. They cannot be referred to by name, number or file. They exist because for over 200 years the Chiefs before you have freely accepted responsibility beyond call of printed assignment and have, by their actions and performance, commanded the respect of their seniors as well as their juniors. It is now required that you be a fountain of wisdom, the ambassador of good will, the authority in personnel relations as well as technical application. “Ask the Chief” is a household phrase, both in and out of the Navy.

        You are now the “CHIEF”! So this, then, is why you were caused to experience these things. You were subjected to humiliation to prove to you that humility is good, a great, a necessary attribute which cannot mar you – in fact, it strengthens you – and, in your future as a Chief Petty Officer, you will be caused to suffer indignities, to experience humiliation far beyond those imposed upon you today. Bear them with the dignity, and with the same good grace, which you bore them today! It is our intention to prove these facts to you. It is our intention that you will never forget this day. It is our intention to test you, to try you, and to accept you. Your performance today has assured us that you will wear your hat with aplomb, as did your brothers in arms before you. We take a deep, sincere pleasure in clasping your hand, and accepting you as a Chief Petty Officer in the United States Navy.

      • A very simple one, but unique within the navy for very important reasons:
        “Having successfully completed the rigorous professional requirements for qualification in submarines, having gained a thorough knowledge of submarine construction and operation, having demonstrated his reliability under stress, and having my full confidence and trust, I hereby certify that he is Qualified in Submarines.”

      • The Infantryman’s Creed

        I am the Infantry

        I am my country’s strength in war,

        her deterrant in peace.

        I am the heart of the fight

        whereever, whenever.

        I carry America’s faith and honor

        against her enemies.

        I am the Queen of Battle.

        I am what my country expects me to be,

        the best trained soldier in the world

        in the race for victory.

        I am swift, determined, and courageous,

        armed with a fierce will to win.

        Never will I fail my country’s trust.

        Always will I fight on

        through the foe, to the objective, to triumph over all.

        If neccessary I will fight to my death.

        By my steadfast courage I have won 200 years of freedom.

        I yeild not to weakness, to hunger, to cowardice, to fatigue, to superiour odds.

        For I am mentally tough, physically strong, and morally straight.

        I forsake not my country, my mission, my comrades, my sacred duty.

        I am relentless

        I am always there, now and forever

        I am the Infantry

        Follow me!

        • The infantry statement: “To locate, close with, and destroy the enemy by means of fire and maneuver, or repel his assault by fire, close-combat, and counterattack.”

          • To be clear, let me amend this for you –

            The infantry statement: To accidentally encounter, maneuver away to a safe distance from, call Tanks to close with and destroy the enemy.

      • The Special Forces Creed

        I am an American Special Forces soldier. A professional!

        I will do all that my nation requires of me.

        I am a volunteer, knowing well the hazards of my profession.

        I serve with the memory of those who have gone before me:

        Roger’s Rangers, Francis Marion, Mosby’s Rangers,

        the first Special Service Forces and Ranger Battalions

        of World War II, the Airborne Ranger Companies of Korea.

        I pledge to uphold the honor and integrity

        of all I am – in all I do.

        I am a professional soldier.

        I will teach and fight wherever my nation requires.

        I will strive always, to excel in every art and artifice of war.

        I know that I will be called upon to perform tasks

        in isolation, far from familiar faces and voices,

        with the help and guidance of my God.

        I will keep my mind and body clean, alert and strong,

        for this is my debt to those who depend upon me.

        I will not fail those with whom I serve.

        I will not bring shame upon myself or the forces.

        I will maintain myself, my arms, and my equipment

        in an immaculate state as befits a Special Forces soldier.

        I will never surrender though I be the last.

        If I am taken, I pray that I may have the strength

        to spit upon my enemy.

        My goal is to succeed in any mission

        – and live to succeed again.

        I am a member of my nation’s chosen soldiery.

        God grant that I may not be found wanting,

        that I will not fail this sacred trust.

        “De Oppresso Liber”

      • How could I forget the Marine Rifleman’s creed:
        This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is mine. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. Without me my rifle is useless. Without my rifle, I am useless. I must fire my rifle true. I must shoot straighter than the enemy who is trying to kill me. I must shoot him before he shoots me. I will. My rifle and I know that what counts in war is not the rounds we fire, the noise of our burst, or the smoke we make. We know that it is the hits that count. We will hit.

        My rifle is human, even as I am human, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its strengths, its parts, its accessories, its sights and its barrel. I will keep my rifle clean and ready, even as I am clean and ready. We will become part of each other.

        Before God I swear this creed. My rifle and I are the defenders of my country. We are the masters of our enemy. We are the saviors of my life.

        So be it, until victory is America’s and there is no enemy.

      • The Corpsman’s Oath

        I SOLEMNLY PLEDGE MYSELF BEFORE GOD
        AND THESE WITNESSES
        TO PRACTICE FAITHFULLY
        ALL OF MY DUTIES AS A MEMBER OF
        THE HOSPITAL CORPS.
        I HOLD THE CARE OF THE SICK AND INJURED TO BE A
        SACRED TRUST
        AND WILL ASSIST THE MEDICAL OFFICER
        WITH LOYALTY AND HONESTY.
        I WILL NOT KNOWINGLY PERMIT HARM TO COME TO
        ANY PATIENT.
        I WILL NOT PARTAKE OF NOR ADMINISTER
        ANY UNAUTHORIZED MEDICATION.
        I WILL HOLD
        ALL PERSONAL MATTERS
        PERTAINING TO THE PRIVATE LIVES OF
        PATIENTS IN STRICT CONFIDENCE.
        I DEDICATE MY
        HEART, MIND, AND STRENGTH
        TO THE WORK BEFORE ME.
        I SHALL DO ALL WITHIN MY POWER
        TO SHOW IN MYSELF AN
        EXAMPLE OF ALL THAT IS
        HONORABLE AND GOOD
        THROUGHOUT
        MY NAVAL CAREER.

        • Don’t forget the Oaths of Enlistment for each Branch:

          U.S. COAST GUARD ENLISTMENT OATH
          “I, (State your name), swear to sign away 4 years of my life to the UNITED STATES COAST GUARD because I know being in the real military scares me. However, I swear to defend our position as the fifth branch of the Armed Services, although at one point we were under the Department of Homeland Security. I understand that atleast twice a day, someone will refer to me a member of the Air Force or Navy, and when I correct them, they will question my military status. I will work on boats the size of kayaks and small yachts during the worst of natures storms, and recieve no thanks or notice form the public. I will fly in helos into the eye of the storm to rescue people dumber then rocks, and then be heckled by the same people when I bust them for transporting drugs two months later.! I will prevent thousands of gallons of pollution, but be accused of impeding the economy when I won’t allow vessels to pour oil into the ocean. I will be the red-headed step child to all of the other services, although I know I got the better deal. All of my equipment will be discarded Navy property. I will use most of my time in the Coast Guard to take college classes, and perfect my web surfing abilities, then complain that I work too much. I will perfect avoiding PT at all costs, and do my best to attend training that will give me a great competitive edge in the career field of my choice, making retention efforts of the Coast Guard pointless. I will come in contact with so many pollutants during my tenure, I will glow in the dark for the rest of my natural life and refer to myself as “salty” because of it. I will do my best to work 8 to 3, with a two hour lunch, on normal days, and have my pager and cell phone surgically attached, SO HELP ME GOD.

          ____________________
          Signature
          ____________________
          Date

          US AIR FORCE OATH OF ENLISTMENT
          “I, (State your name), swear to sign away 4 years of my life to the UNITED STATES AIR FORCE because I know I couldn’t hack it in the Army, because the Marines frighten me, and because I am afraid of water over waist-deep. I swear to sit behind a desk. I also swear not to do any form of real exercise, but promise to defend our bike-riding test as a valid form of exercise. I promise to walk around calling everyone by their first name because I find it amusing to annoy the other services. I will have a better quality of life than those around me and will, at all times, be sure to make them aware of that fact. After completion of “Basic Training”, I will be a lean, mean, donut-eating, Lazy-Boy sitting, civilian-wearing-blue-clothes, Chair-borne Ranger. I will believe I am superior to all others and will make an effort to clean the knife before stabbing the next person in the back. I will annoy those around me, and will go home early every day. So Help Me God!”

          ____________________
          Signature
          ____________________
          Date

          US ARMY OATH OF ENLISTMENT
          “I, (State your name), swear to sign away 4 years of my otherwise mediocre life to the UNITED STATES ARMY because I couldn’t score high enough on the ASVAB to get into the Air Force, I’m not tough enough for the Marines, and the Navy won’t take me because I can’t swim. I will wear camouflage every day and tuck my trousers into my boots because I can’t figure out how to use blousing straps. I promise to wear my uniform 24 hours a day even when I have a date. I will continue to tell myself that I am a fierce killing machine because my Drill Sergeant told me I am, despite the fact that the only action I will see is a court-martial for sexual harassment. I acknowledge the fact that I will make E-8 in my first year of service, and vow to maintain that it is because I scored perfect on my PT test. After completion of my Sexual…..er…..I mean “Basic Training,” I will attend a different Army school every other month and return knowing less than I did when I left. On my first trip home after Boot Camp, I will walk around like I am cool and propose to my 9th grade sweetheart. I will make my wife stay home because if I let her out she might leave me for a better-looking Air Force guy. Should she leave me twelve times, I will continue to take her back. While at work I will maintain a look of knowledge while getting absolutely nothing accomplished. I will arrive to work every day at 1000 hrs because of morning PT and leave everyday at 1300 to report back to “COMPANY.” I understand that I will undergo no training whatsoever that will help me get a job up! on separation, and will end up working construction with my friends from high school. I will brag to everyone about the Army giving me $30,000 for college, but will be unable to use it because I can’t pass a placement exam. So Help Me God!”

          _____________________
          Signature
          _____________________
          Date

          US NAVY OATH OF ENLISTMENT
          “I, Top Gun, in lieu of going to prison, swear to sign away 4 years of my life to the UNITED STATES NAVY, because I want to hang out with Marines without actually having to BE one of them, because I thought the Air Force was too “corporate,” because I didn’t want to actually live in dirt like the Army, and because I thought, “Hey, I like to swim…why not?” I promise to wear clothes that went out of style in 1976 and to have my name stenciled on the butt of every pair of pants I own. I understand that I will be mistaken for the Good Humor Man during summer,! and for Nazi Waffen SS during the winter. I will strive to use a different language than the rest of the English-speaking world, using words like “deck, bulkhead, cover, geedunk, scuttlebutt, scuttle and head,” when I really mean “floor, wall, hat, candy, water fountain, hole in wall and toilet.” I will take great pride in the fact that all Navy acronyms, rank, and insignia, and everything else for that matter, are completely different from the other services and make absolutely no sense whatsoever. I will muster, whatever that is, at 0700 every morning unless I am buddy-buddy with the Chief, in which case I will show up around 0930. I vow to hone my coffee cup-handling skills to the point that I can stand up in a kayak being tossed around in a typhoon, and still not spill a drop. I consent to being promoted and subsequently busted at least twice per fiscal year. I realize that, once selected for Chief, I am required to submit myself to the sick, and quite possibly illegal, whims of my newfound “colleagues.” So Help Me Neptune!”

          ______________________
          Signature
          ______________________
          Date

          US MARINE CORPS OATH OF ENLISTMENT
          “I, (pick a name the police won’t recognize), swear..uhhhh….high-and-tight…. grunt… cammies….kill….fix bayonets….charge….slash….dig….burn….blowup….ugh…Air Force women….beer…..sailors wives…..air strikes….yes SIR!….whiskey….liberty call….salute….Ooorah Gunny….grenades…women….OORAH! So Help Me Chesty PULLER!”

          X____________________
          Thumb Print
          XX _________________________________
          Teeth Marks
          _____________________
          Date

          • Love it !! One correction:”because I want to hang out with Marines without actually having to BE one of them”. Shit, us corpsmen had to do everything they did, while carrying twice the gear. I want some back pay!

          • Talk about getting busted, I once knew a fellow bubblehead that made MS2 FOUR TIMES !! I went on liberty with him at Holy Loch, Scotland, despite everyone warning me not to. We went to jail because he basically car-jacked a taxi. Man, I could tell you stories like this for days! The navy (14 years of it) was one of the most insane times of my life, and that is saying a lot.

          • My Air Force story: We (1/2) went to Gitmo a while back. Apparently, the army was having a hard time with about 55,000 Haitian and Cuban refugees that we were keeping in concentration camps on the beach and golf course, so we were sent for riot control. The Seabees cut down some weeds on the side of a muddy, mosquito-infested hill overrun with 8 foot long Godzilla-looking lizards that would invade our GP tents at night and scare the bejesus out of us. As it turns out, I was the only corpse-man with NEC-8432 (preventive medicine tech), so I got to inspect the cruise ships. See, the air force actually contracted 3 cruise ships to use as housing; the Mediterranean Sky, the Ivan Franko (both Russian), and the Britannia (USVI somewhere). The Russian ships were hideous; the most gaudy, garish furnishings, carpeting, etc., and they had this stench that would knock a buzzard off a shitwagon. The crew thought they were swanky, though. The Britannia was gorgeous, however. One of the perks of this collateral duty was being able to bring marines onboard with me, who were stunned to see AF people being entertained as if they were actually on a cruise. I was sitting down with our C.O., LtCol. Hejlik, eating prime rib and having a grand time, when we overheard a bunch of AF people whining about the hardships of deployment. Keep in mind, the old man had been in every skirmish big and small since Vietnam, we were just back from Somalia, and we were living in a mud bog. He went absolutely apeshit! I thought he was going to kill them, right then and there. I wish phone cameras had existed back then. Then again, I was laughing too hard to film anything.

  11. I debated with myself if I should comment or not but in the end it comes down to my reluctance to side even remotely with the leftist, so shoving my bias aside here is my take. I haven’t seen the movie, I may eventually but I have no burning desire. Where I find myself agreeing with the left is the blind and illogical “patriotic” shouting down of anyone who thinks that maybe Chief Kyle shouldn’t be held up as role model, which is happening. The sailor was honorably discharge, he received awards that record his bravery and accomplishments and he became a Navy SEAL, which is a fact that is praise worthy even if that was his only accomplishment. But Chief Kyle was also a liar, braggart, blue falcon and absolutely unethical. The movie is about him, it can’t be separated. The personal attacks about his profession, mission or duties are unfair and should be condemned, the attacks on his character are fair game even if he was tragically killed. He made himself a public figure, he defined his own narrative and he put himself forward to be judged. By blindly defending the movie, which may be great, ignores reality, the movie represents Chief Kyle. He may have been flawed, disturb and tormented but he also was unethical as hell and PTSD is not an excuse for it.

    When Mr. Despicable calls him a “psychopath patriot” is he wrong? Was Chief Kyle not aggressive? Did he not suffer from chronic abnormal or violent social behavior? He said it to demean, thus unethical, but it was not baseless.

    As for Mr. SCREAM, and this pains me to no end, he over generalized a lot but is he wrong? The October CNN poll found that 7 out of 10 voters identified themselves as angry going into the midterm. Remind me again how the Tea Party began? Is it a completely unfair to surmise that there may be a cross section of those who support the Tea party and feel patriotic that may just enjoy an American hero movie? To him that is a bad thing, but it doesn’t mean he is wrong.

    In the end Chief Kyle is a case study in “Signature Significance” and possibly “Print the Legend”

    Joed68 posted the SEAL creed, in many ways Chief Kyle in his own words and admissions met or exceeded many of those challenges but fell far short on others, his legacy is a mixed one and it is dishonest not to recognize that. It is also dishonest to ignore or shout down anyone taking issue with certain aspects of Chief Kyle ‘ s character.

    • Damn phone, my apologies for formatting and grammar mistakes. Ethics alarms is still blocked on my network so I am stuck using my phone.

    • 1. Great comment.
      2. But you should see the movie.
      3. Being a hero and being an asshole are not exclusive, and probably linked.
      4. The reason why the movie had Kyle’s own words about “savages” was to not overly sugarcoat his attitude. It was ugly-sounding and meant to be. Clint’s not an idiot.
      5. The film also shows Kyle (in a frictional encounter) defying orders out of ego and endangering his colleagues.
      6. I don’t get the “angry” argument at all: Dean was just sliming. Being “angry” is irrational and bad (ironic coming from Dean, who always seems filled with rage). It makes no more sense to say that a lot of angry people wnet to see the movie than to say a lot of bipeds, Independents, veterans, movie buffs, fans of Sergio Leone, Republicans, sons and daughters and grandchildren of WWII heroes, or Dallas Cowboy fans went to see the movie. The questions are, A) is there any reason to believe more angry than non-angry people went to see the film? and B) Does being angry over the pathetic performance of Barack Obama have one damn thing to do with wanting to see a movie that has recieved great reviews and a lot of Oscar nominations? The answers are No, and No, of course not. Dean was being an asshole. As usual.
      7. Kyle was portrayed as being a hero on the battlefield, which he was. Every flaw was not shown, and every flaw is never shown in a movie based on an autobiography. Once the film makes the source clear, no complaints about balance are fair or rational.
      8. Your complaint is like a Media Matters or Newsbusters complaint: “The media showed this about X, but didn’t mention the time he did this bad thing…”
      9. Creeds are meant to be difficult to satisfy all the time. Like all ethics.
      10. In order to train men and women to kill other men and women, mental conditions unhealthy for normal life must be nurtured and programmed by training. Maher’s comment, in his terms, could be applied to every soldier, and was meant to denigrate all of them OR was completely ignorant as applied to Kyle alone. Either way, it’s unfair. We expect soldiers to protect us, then insult them as maniacs for doing so.

      • Sent 1. Great comment.
        Thanks
        2. But you should see the movie.
        I likely will, eventually, at this point I still feel as if I would be supporting unethical behavior with my money.
        3. Being a hero and being an asshole are not exclusive, and probably linked.
        I am fine with asshole, I am not fine with the fraud, libel, lying, dishonor and breaking faith with his fellow sailors not to mention all the secondary effects, danger to family and friends, public trust….
        4. The reason why the movie had Kyle’s own words about “savages” was to not overly sugarcoat his attitude. It was ugly-sounding and meant to be. Clint’s not an idiot.
        The “savages” bit doesn’t bother me.
        5. The film also shows Kyle (in a frictional encounter) defying orders out of ego and endangering his colleagues.
        I am not sure of your point here, I am certain it isn’t the only thing fictional in the movie but if the point is that it doesn’t paint him in a good light that is fine, my overall point is that Chief Kyle is not a good role model and that those voraciously defending Kyle/the movie need to acknowledge that he was deeply flawed, not to take away from his accomplishments but because it is true and not to do so makes their defense of the defensible much harder.
        6. I don’t get the “angry” argument at all: Dean was just sliming. Being “angry” is irrational and bad (ironic coming from Dean, who always seems filled with rage). It makes no more sense to say that a lot of angry people wnet to see the movie than to say a lot of bipeds, Independents, veterans, movie buffs, fans of Sergio Leone, Republicans, sons and daughters and grandchildren of WWII heroes, or Dallas Cowboy fans went to see the movie. The questions are, A) is there any reason to believe more angry than non-angry people went to see the film? and B) Does being angry over the pathetic performance of Barack Obama have one damn thing to do with wanting to see a movie that has recieved great reviews and a lot of Oscar nominations? The answers are No, and No, of course not. Dean was being an asshole. As usual.
        He was being an asshole but I think is point is accurate nonetheless, I do think patriotic, conservative and Tea Party types are likely be a higher represented percentage of attendees than the Moore, Dean and Mahr followers, for him it is a negative, but not inaccurate. Too much of the criticism of these lefties is set up as “how dare you criticize a movie about our hero” instead of specifics, Moore is an idiot and I didn’t waste my time because he was attacking military functional area and policy, Chief Kyle is not responsible for those.
        7. Kyle was portrayed as being a hero on the battlefield, which he was. Every flaw was not shown, and every flaw is never shown in a movie based on an autobiography. Once the film makes the source clear, no complaints about balance are fair or rational.
        His awards backup his battlefield heroism, but unfortunately he is also defined by his outright lies; Ventura, Carjackers, Superdome which makes far too many other issues questionable. So the critics who believe those are intrinsic to the story I think have a legitimate complaint as it pertains to any representation of the individual.
        8. Your complaint is like a Media Matters or Newsbusters complaint: “The media showed this about X, but didn’t mention the time he did this bad thing…”
        My complaint is that events and claims that are significant and defining, such as killing carjackers in Texas, having the bodies disappeared and local cops silenced by the Pentagon or shooting looters while on leave in New Orleans rise to the level of “what the fuck” and are lies of signature significance.
        9. Creeds are meant to be difficult to satisfy all the time. Like all ethics.
        Yes but as we discussed before, I believe it was Robert O’Neill or Marcus Luttrell post, breaking the faith with fellow unit members, disclosing operational knowledge and generally being a braggart are not conducive to the Moral or good order and discipline of the Armed Forces. Nor is lying Honorable and boasting does not honor those that have come before you. I could go on but the point is you need to come close to the overall creed not just meet a few of the objectives.
        10. In order to train men and women to kill other men and women, mental conditions unhealthy for normal life must be nurtured and programmed by training. Maher’s comment, in his terms, could be applied to every soldier, and was meantto denigrate all of them OR was completely ignorant as applied to Kyle alone. Either way, it’s unfair. We expect soldiers to protect us, then insult them as maniacs for doing so.
        More than half my life has been in the military, there is conditioning and it needs to occur but you’re missing the point, does Chief Kyles own words and actions identify him as a psychopath? Was he patriotic? I am trying to look at this objectively and I have to say yes, I am not PC and most definitely a military supporter. I know plenty of psychopaths, some are natural some have developed over time, either way it doesn’t change what they are. Most understand that they have to follow laws and societal standards so not much issue, I also don’t care if Kyle was one and was un-PC, the point again is not that I personally have issue with this particular factor but Maher did, his point that this is the individual society is holding up is questionable to him, but from his starting point of Psychopath Patriot, although unpleasant sounding it is not inaccurate. Where I differ from Maher is on operational necessity, but when we get to the lying, disloyalty to his unit/creed, profiteering and character flaws these are defining traits of the overall man and should be recognized as such and condemned as unethical.

        • Which has little to do with the movie. I think you are making unwarranted leaps, particularly about the audience for the movie. The “Anger” connection is still just stereotyping. If there is a trend to the audience, its because an awful lot of bitter, military hating, pacifists are staying away.The real Chris Kyle is pretty irrelevant to the film version, and anyone who watches an admittedly fictionalized picture that uses a real person to tell a story understands that (and anyone who doesn’t is naive and irrelevant). The dialogue is not a matter of record; actors are playing the parts. The movie should not be judged outside its four corners—the incidents you describe (which are not 100% verified, but let’s a assume they are) didn’t happen to movie Chris Kyle. The Selma comparison is invalid: that’s history, and misrepresenting history to audiences who believe the film’s viewpoint as accurate is dishonest and irresponsible. This is openly fictionalized biography, like PT 109, Sunrise at Campobello, 1776, Patton, Hell is for Heroes, Young Mister Lincoln, The Ballad of Davy Crocket, The Lou Gehrig Story, My Darling Clementine, Brian’s Song…you know, the real Wyatt Earp may have been a psychopath too, but not Henry Fonda Earp, any more than Doc Holliday was a surgeon (like Ford’s movie showed him to be.) Did Kyle serve his country? Did he suffer wounds and emotional damage as a result? Did he help other veterans? Yes—that’s the movie. Criticizing the real Kyle is a gratuitous exercise—what does it prove or accomplish? I’m inspired by John Wayne’s version of the Alamo, and the way Richard Widmark as Bowie went down fighting. I know its about as true as The Lord of the Rings. So what? The movie is the issue.

          Maher and Dean are using Kyle to attack all servicemen, the Iraq invasion,and the very idea of patriotic combat, and that’s what people object to.

          • “I think you are making unwarranted leaps, particularly about the audience for the movie. The “Anger” connection is still just stereotyping. If there is a trend to the audience, it’s because an awful lot of bitter, military hating, pacifists are staying away.

            So you don’t agree but the trend suggests that the people not going are angry and not indifferent? Those in the Military are not flocking to this movie, do military members hate themselves? Rasmussen says 49 percent of America has gone and seen the film with 30 percent intending on going to see it, that’s impressive.

            The real Chris Kyle is pretty irrelevant to the film version, and anyone who watches an admittedly fictionalized picture that uses a real person to tell a story understands that (and anyone who doesn’t is naive and irrelevant). The dialogue is not a matter of record; actors are playing the parts. The movie should not be judged outside its four corners

            So your Selma post was in error? It is just art, so what if they took some liberties with the facts.

            -the incidents you describe (which are not 100% verified, but let’s a assume they are) didn’t happen to movie Chris Kyle.

            Again so the Selma post was in error? I don’t think I am nitpicking here, I agreed with the Selma post but I think here you’re ignoring that those incidents are significant and define the character, so if your point is that the Movie Chris Kyle is a lie than you shouldn’t take issue with any of the celebrities damming the movie as a type of Jingoistic propaganda. You can say the incidents aren’t “100 percent verified” but losing a defamation case against an unpopular public figure speaks to a good deal of evidence. Additionally Chief Kyle stated the Car Jacking incident was true to a reporter who was investigating. I mean how many whoppers do you have to tell before you reach signature significance and they should be part of the story? The superdome killings, the Baby killer nonsense, French WMDs, these lies bring everything into question. “Confirmed kills”? The guy put verifiable lies in his book; he is on video lying and lies during interviews with reporters. But let’s just assume they are 100% verified at what point can critics object to a movie based on individual whom they find objectionable? What does that criticism sound like and how would you state the criticism in a way in which Cognitive Dissonance doesn’t result in you being demonized as attacking all service members?

            The Selma comparison is invalid: that’s history, and misrepresenting history to audiences who believe the film’s viewpoint as accurate is dishonest and irresponsible. This is openly fictionalized biography, like PT 109, Sunrise at Campobello, 1776, Patton, Hell is for Heroes, Young Mister Lincoln, The Ballad of Davy Crocket, The Lou Gehrig Story, My Darling Clementine, Brian’s Song.you know, the real Wyatt Earp may have been a psychopath too, but not Henry Fonda Earp, any more than Doc Holliday was a surgeon (like Ford’s movie showed him to be.)

            How many of these movies were based on their autobiographies? From the Official movie site:
            From director Clint Eastwood comes “American Sniper,” starring Bradley Cooper as Chris Kyle, whose skills as a sniper made him a hero on the battlefield. But there was much more to him than his skill as a sharpshooter.
            Despite the danger, as well as the toll on his family at home, Chris serves through four harrowing tours of duty in Iraq, personifying the spirit of the SEAL creed to “leave no one behind.” But upon returning to his wife, Taya (Sienna Miller), and kids, Chris finds that it is the war he can’t leave behind.
            Oscar-winning filmmaker Clint Eastwood (“Million Dollar Baby,” “Unforgiven”) directed “American Sniper” from a screenplay written by Jason Hall, based on the book by Chris Kyle, with Scott McEwen and Jim DeFelice. The autobiography was a runaway bestseller, spending 18 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, 13 of those at number one.

            Sure it says “based” but doesn’t this lend itself to the idea the movie is from a non-fiction Autobiography? So at what point is a movie classified as “history” or openly “fictionalized biography”. Was there a disclaimer at the beginning? If there was and wasn’t one with Selma than I guess I accept your argument.

            Did Kyle serve his country? Did he suffer wounds and emotional damage as a result? Did he help other veterans? Yes-that’s the movie. Criticizing the real Kyle is a gratuitous exercise-what does it prove or accomplish?

            Let’s rephrase “Kyle serve his country? Did he suffer wounds and emotional damage as a result? Did he help other veterans? Yes”. What does it prove or accomplish?

            I am criticizing the portrayal of him being a role model because that is the take away and that appears to be what the movie is doing, which is what many who are defending the movie are putting forth, that is my objection. Put it this way, the Kyle’s said 100% proceeds from the books were going to veterans when 2% is, that is a propaganda move. I don’t care if they had kept a 100%, just don’t lie. It is the same thing with the overall (not percentage) portrayal of Chief Kyle; don’t present him as an infallible Hero when that is just not the case. He did honorable and laudable things but he was also was deeply flawed. Saying that isn’t to diminish his accomplishments but to ignore the flaws is unethical and sets up a false narrative.

            I’m inspired by John Wayne’s version of the Alamo, and the way Richard Widmark as Bowie went down fighting. I know its about as true as The Lord of the Rings. So what? The movie is the issue.

            I have read books that were inspiring as well, hell many were inspired by James Frey, so I guess it ok and ethical just so long as it is inspiring and everyone knows it is fiction.

            Maher and Dean are using Kyle to attack all servicemen, the Iraq invasion,and the very idea of patriotic combat, and that’s what people object to.

            Those who are holding up the “Movie Kyle” are setting themselves up to be attacked because the narrative is misleading. By attacking the movie or even Kyle ‘ s character is not attacking all service members. By saying they are attacking “all servicemen” is setting up a strawman.

            I hate arguing this side, it pisses me off but I think the Cognitive Dissonance and cognitive bias are driving this debate in the wrong direction. Was Chief Kyle a hero? Yes, was he a Role Model? No.

            Did the movie make this clear?

            I will say that I have seen some great conversations about veterans going on that were spawned from this film, which is a great thing and many who I know who have seen the film say it was good, some complaints, but many said there was something in it that touched them. I find those conversations and it ability to portray how combat affects veterans ethical. I am still on the fence on the rest. Am I just being too critical and cynical?

            • On the phone again apologies for mistakes, can you change “Confirmed kills” to -Even things that are not disputed such as “confirmed kills” become suspect.

              I am not sure how I deleted the rest but I am blaming it on the phone.

            • 1. I’m saying that the people who say “I won’t see that movie” are outliers, and warping the demographic a bit to the right. The only boycotters I’ve taled too–damn few—would be Maher/Moore/Dean admirers, as in, “damaged.”

              2.I have been clear about the obligations of moviemakers who are dealing with important historical events and individuals.Who is Chris Kyle? I never heard of him. He’s not going to be in any standard history texts. Distorting a personal story for dramatic effect is down the middle of the alley fair game. Selma has advertised itself is true. It’s not, at least in terms of how it portrays LBJ. That spin was not only unnecessary, it was harmful. If you want to do that, call the movie historical fiction, like 1776 or “Inglorious Bastards.” Ford’s film was his version of a legend that most people didn’t even know about the: The “Gunfight at the OK Corral;” was created BY the movies. Yes, history matters. IF the movie had stated, for example, that Iraq had bombed the twin towers, that would have been unethical. For all that it matters, Kyle is a fictional character. You can’t make LBJ a fictional character without warning the audience.

              3. “I have read books that were inspiring as well, hell many were inspired by James Frey, so I guess it ok and ethical just so long as it is inspiring and everyone knows it is fiction.”

              Are you being sarcastic? Because that’s 100% right. Frey, however, lied about his book being true.

              4. “Did the movie make this clear?” It was sure clear to me. He was portrayed as an asshole before the military, though one who could be charming. His “savage” comments were certainly not endearing (though excusable.) His (fictional) rivalry with the other sniper caused him to disobey orders and place his own ego above the safety of his colleagues. He was, for many reasons, a neglectful father and husband. As I wrote earlier, many heroes are assholes. Some film portrayals, like “Patton,” do a better job making that clear. Yup, “Patton” was a better movie (also a bigger asshole.)

              4. Hell no. They are all good questions.

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