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February 02nd 2015 print

Peter Smith

Sniping from the Loony Left

What is it with our self-proclaimed betters, those moral and intellectual paragons who are always ready to recite, as if by Pavlovian conditioning, that war solves nothing and all soldiers are contemptible killers? Clint Eastwood's latest movie has brought them into the open, all the better for an easy shot

kyleThe movie American Sniper covers the four tours of duty in Iraq of US Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. Clint Eastwood puts you right in a war zone without any desensitising introductions. It is disquieting, and meant to be no doubt. He brings home the sheer courage of US Marines combing through Iraqi streets and buildings not knowing if and when they would be maimed or killed. Kyle had the life-saving and noble role of protecting them from ambush. At least, that is the way I feel.

Some on the left, such as Michael Moore, feel differently. Snipers are ‘cowards’ apparently; ‘shooting people in the back’. Some deadbeat commentator on MSNBC (NBC News reporter Ayman Mohyeldin) described Chris Kyle’s exploits in defending US marines as going on a ‘killing spree’ and ‘showing racist tendencies towards Iraqis and Muslims’. Nothing printable adequately describes these self-obsessed poltroons who are able to enjoy their comfortable safe lives only because of courageous people like Chris Kyle?

But let’s take it on its face. What would these doyens of the loony left say about snipers in the Second World War? What would they say they about any soldier in any war who shot someone without giving them a warning and an even chance to shoot back? Crews of bombing planes will obviously fall foul of these armchair paragons of fair play in war. I doubt First World War sharpshooter Sergeant York (played by Gary Cooper in the 1941 movie) would escape unscathed.

Before his untimely and tragic death in February, 2013, Kyle was interviewed by Bill O’Reilly. If the interview (below) is any guide, Bradley Cooper plays him to a tee in the movie. O’Reilly asked if Kyle had any regrets about his activities in Iraq. He exhibited no maudlin second-guessing. His regret was only that he hadn’t been able to save the lives of more marines – implicitly by shooting more of the enemy. Thankfully there was no puerile reflection on the futility of war.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDyAT1TVQ9Q

If you want that kind of thing you will probably get a good dose of it by tuning into this year’s Australian television drama series on Gallipoli, which has always been good for left-wing breast-beating about the awfulness of war and the incompetence of leadership. War is awful. And, as Churchill said, it is also “mainly a catalogue of blunders.” We know all of that!

It is beside the point; just wars have to be fought whatever the cost. Without them the bad guys would run the show. There are no ifs, buts or maybes. Michael Moore is just as likely to find his head stuck on a pikestaff as the rest of us.

The world is as it is. Over to Chris Kyle: people come in three varieties: sheep (who can’t defend themselves), wolves and sheepdogs.

Most of us are sheep. There are plenty of wolves. We need sheepdogs to keep us safe. Those who think otherwise are fools. If ever we let the fools hold sway we would deserve our inevitable bloody fate. Over to Churchill again (and with Islamist ‘jackboots’ marching and winning, wouldn’t it be nice if someone emerged of even half his stature and resolve):

If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.

Peter Smith, a frequent Quadrant Online contributor, is the author of Bad Economics

Comments [5]

  1. Thank you Peter, for another well written article. In a civilised society what you have written here would be regarded just as common sense, but unfortunately the ‘intellectuals’ of our society wants to close their eyes to such nasty thoughts as defending yourself and your society.
    As one of the early American statesmen said any society not prepared to defend itself will not be defended. We also must be defended intellectually as well as by force of arms via men such as Chris Kyle. Your article is appreciated because of that fact.
    Dennis

    • Peter says:

      Thanks Dennis. You make a good point about the intellectual battle. Winning it (at least to a substantial extent)is a prerequisite for committing arms when that is called for; and it seems to be getting harder to win even in the face of the overt threats we face today. Heads being cut off and young girls kidnapped en masse gets people excited one day but is largely forgotten the next. Peter

  2. en passant says:

    Peter,
    Ask Roger Franklin to forward to you the articles I sent to him (for reading, not publication) on “Billy Sing: the Gallipoli Sniper” with 250 kills, “The Disaster at the Nek: the Massacre of the 3ALH” and the subject of Peter Weir’s historically inaccurate film ‘Gallipoli’. I think you will enjoy reading them.

  3. en passant says:

    Last night I accepted Michael “The Blob” Moore’s recommendation and paid the entry fee to a cinema to watch ‘American Sniper’. Thank you, Blob. I rarely watch cinema these days and would not have done so on this occasion without your encouragement as I wanted to see what a ‘cowardly sniper’ looked like in your blobby view . I must say that I had a little difficulty coming to the same conclusion as you as the Olympic Gold Medallist Iraqi sniper Kyle duelled with, who killed two of Kyle’s partners just a metre from him seemed to have a fair chance. Also shooting from cover he killed probably 80 – 100 American soldiers, but in your view no doubt that is ‘courageous’. Having your No. 2 killed next to you is close, but then no doubt you would just have pushed the body aside and coolly carried on. Armchair blobs are almost as courageous as armchair academics. What I saw was a dedicated soldier doing the job his government asked of him, without your whining or complaining. It was a pleasure to see.
    To make your statement, no doubt you have been really, really close to actions that put your life on the line, so you are qualified to make your courageous slander. Then again, maybe not as my personal experience is that blobs just don’t have what it takes to serve, but have what it takes to denigrate those who do. That is the uncrossable line that divides you from worthwhile people of courage and integrity.
    Kyle, his courage, and that of all soldiers will be remembered long after you are forgotten
    Lest we forget!

  4. en passant says:

    Apologies for hogging the replies, but this just got too good to be true:

    “At a Local Theatre, Iraqis were Watching ‘American Sniper’… And they YELLED THIS…

    Editor
    The Political Insider
    02 Feb 2015

    ‘American Sniper’ continues to blast through American box office records, especially after being nominated for Academy Awards. It’s story about our brave Navy SEALS- especially Chris Kyle – shows us just how tough war is and how evil in this world must be confronted.
    But to the Hollywood left, it is a polarizing film. Apparently, Chris Kyle shouldn’t have killed 160 enemies, according to Michael Moore and Seth Rogen. However, what do Iraqis themselves think? The answer might surprise you…
    While some are howling that American Sniper is a racist film, Iraqis themselves have a surprising view of the movie, which played to sold-out theatres in Baghdad during its first week.
    “When [Chris Kyle] was hesitating to shoot [the child holding the RPG] everyone [in the theatre] was yelling ‘Just shoot him!’” said Gaith Mohammed, an Iraqi in his 20s interviewed by the Global Post.
    “Some people watching were just concentrating, but others were screaming ‘Shoot him! He has an IED, don’t wait for permission!!’” Mohammed laughed, recounting the film’s many tense scenes when US Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle, played by Bradley Cooper, radios in for authorization to take out a potential threat in his crosshairs.
    The Global Post reporter asked Mohammed if he thought the movie was “racist or anti-Arab,” and his answer is telling:
    “No, why? The sniper was killing terrorists! The only thing that bothered me was when he said he didn’t know anything about the Quran!”
    And here is the best part…
    The 20-something Mohammed sheds light on why the movie might be so popular: “I love watching war movies because, especially now, they give me the strength to face ISIS.”
    via MRCTV
    Incredible! Iraqis have even more reason to hate terrorists than Americans do, and were actually excited to see the movie. The movie sold out during its first week in Baghdad, and it’s obvious as to why: They need all the inspiration they can find to confront ISIS terrorists.
    Maybe Michael Moore should talk to these patriotic Iraqis?”