Make no mistake. This film is not about recording history. It's about making money.
This film opens with two fatherly lessons being taught to a young Chris Kyle: 1) How to kill a deer. 2) The world is made up of three kinds of people; sheep (people who can't/wont' fight), wolves (evil people), and shepherds (those who slay the evil people). then 9/11 - Kyle assumes the mantle of the "shepherd" - and by default, if you are not him, or like him, you are a wolf - then Iraq...
Kyle, Bible in hand, and tens of thousands of other wrongly informed American soldiers like him, go to Iraq to fight civilians in their living rooms and on their streets, because they were told that Sadam Hussian helped Al Qaida and was going to drop a bomb on us. None of which was true and the administration knew it. Period. Even before the March 2003 invasion of Iraq their claims of "yellowcake uranium from Niger" and "the smoking gun that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud" were THOROUGHLY discredited. Yes, discredited BEFORE the invasion. Google "Nigerian embassy burglary/forged documents/Italian magazine/rocco martino".
The lack of self examination in this film regarding the war in Iraq is as disturbing as it is staggering. American citizens and soldiers were told that the necessity for this war was "nuclear weapons". That was later amended to WMD (chemical and biological weapons). All of which, the truly evil dictator denied having. We invaded anyway. And after the invasion none were found. The Bush administration conducted two exhaustive investigations (with their own hand picked investigators) into Iraq's WMD program and the results from the Kay/Duelfer report in 2004!!! were: "Saddam ended his nuclear program in 1991. ISG found no evidence of concerted efforts to restart the program. Iraq destroyed its chemical weapons stockpile in 1991, and only a small number of old, abandoned chemical munitions were discovered by the ISG." "Some" found those facts to be inconvenient, so the next reason for fighting Iraqis changed to "deposing a brutal dictator," (We should know. We armed him in the '80s) "shutting down his torture and rape rooms, and spreading European style democracy across the Middle East." Meanwhile Saudi Arabia, a dictatorial monarchy run by kings, was the breeding ground for the 19 hijackers who pulled off the worst attack, on U.S. soil, in history on 9/11. And American soldiers are sent to fight for a lie with unexamined motives surrounding religion and patriotism.
Clint Eastwood has made some bizarre public appearances in recent years. But here, with this film, he seems well past his shelf life by papering over every shred of truth surrounding the worst foreign policy disaster in American history with his giant pant load, "American Sniper". Many brave soldiers put their lives and limbs on the line and lost both. They deserve better than to be hemmed into the Iraq War fable centered on a dubious character like Chris Kyle. The sheep/wolves/shepherd, Bible, 9/11, fight 'em there, jingos all packed together create a disturbing narrative that what the U.S. did in Iraq was a good and just thing, and that Chris Kyle was an unproblematic protector. The truth is more complicated and less flattering.
Here are three statements Kyle made about the Iraqis: 1) "I wondered, how would I feel about killing someone? Now I know. It's no big deal" 2) "Savage, despicable evil. That's what we were fighting in Iraq. That's why a lot of people, myself included, called the enemy 'savages'
. I only wish I had killed more." 3) "You do it until there's no one left to kill. That's what war is. I loved what I did
I'm not lying or exaggerating to say it was fun."
Here are three lies Chris Kyle told without shame or conscience: 1) That he shot and killed two carjackers in Texas in 2009. 2) That he punched Jesse Ventura in the face at a Navy Seals reunion. 3) That he was stationed atop the Superdome during Hurricane Katrina and shot 30 American citizens to death.
Chris Kyle is not, in real life, a one dimensional character/hero. He does, however think in one dimension. We know that because he writes in his book, "It's black and white. I don't see much gray." In fact this film, who's stated message is one of shepherds, sheep, and wolves, unwittingly invites the question as to whether we really know which is which. And if "American Sniper" becomes an anthem to the Iraq war it will become one more tragedy, piled atop a greater tragedy, piled atop 9/11. It is bad enough that it happened. It would be even worse to carve this propaganda into stone. Chris Kyle is entitled to his world view even if it's divorced from reality. His world view, however, is not "the world". It's just the way he sees it.
It is unnecessary to get into the merits of a film so completely devoid of truth. The Iraq war was waged for the financial gain of the oil, gas, and defense, industries. Iraq had no WMD, was not a threat to this country, and did not become a democracy. This lie of a film was made for the same bloody money that the war was waged for. In my IMDb review of "Birth of a Nation" (an homage to the institution of slavery) I wrote, and will repeat here, "it is beside the point whether or not this film is good. It is an homage to something evil and therefore it's merits, as a film, are irrelevant." Whether "American Sniper" is a good film (In my opinion, plastic baby and all, it's no better than average) is beside the point. It is based on an unexamined life and is as big a blight on filmmaking as the invasion of Iraq was on humanity.