American Sniper

It’s surprising that American Sniper is cleaning up at the box office, isn’t it? We are led to believe that Americans don’t back a war in the Middle East; that we rejected Bush’s war; that the only kind of successful war movie is one that denigrates it.

Didn’t prove true. American Sniper smashed box office expectations. It was record setting in fact. The heartland-flyover rubes liked it, especially those in Texas and we knuckledraggers in Tennessee, according to receipts. In the theater where I saw it there were only two empty seats.

Liberal Hollywood must be aghast.

This morning on his radio show Glenn Beck was speaking to one of the co-authors of the book, Jim DeFelice. He found it odd that Michael Moore objected to snipers. Moore had said snipers were cowards, complaining that one of them killed his uncle in World War II. DeFelice explained that Americans today don’t really understand what a sniper does. In previous wars, soldiers would burn a village, destroy personal property and kill innocent civilians looking for a few bad guys, he said. A sniper makes that unnecessary. One of the enemy can be killed cleanly without more collateral damage.

Beck went on to marvel at the restraint shown by Kyle in the film. He commented that when a mob carrying a dead Iraqi tried to attack Kyle and his men, especially after they had seen the man’s torture room, he’d have just killed them all. Or when Kyle hesitates to shoot a boy who picked up a gun from a jihadist, most people would have shot him. Kyle showed a restraint most of us wouldn’t have been able to command.

DeFelice lauded the film’s showcasing how difficult it is for the families of men like Kyle. “In essence Kyle gave the government a blank check on his life. That’s one thing, but he also gave one on behalf of his family.”

Beck asked why the movie portrays Kyle’s brother in the way it does (don’t want to be a spoiler). He and some of his crew know him and said he is in no way the man presented. DeFelice agreed, but allowed them some artistic license. “In fact, Kyle’s brother is Marine Recon. In similar circumstances he’d have been just like Kyle.”

DeFelice said he couldn’t comment on the Jesse Ventura matter. The story behind the tiff involves Kyle writing in his memoir that he punched Ventura in 2006 after the latter said the SEALs “deserved to lose a few” in Iraq. Ventura denied that any of that happened. The jury rule for Ventura, but it is not yet finished in the courts.

Stu Burguiere of the Beck show said part of the reason he went to see American Sniper was “to piss of Jesse Ventura.”

You don’t need just that to motivate you. It’s a great film.

When it was over, the audience kept silent as we left the theater. They understood the movie. Hollywood liberals never will.

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