Matthew Braun: ‘Unlike the War Films of Generations Past, ‘American Sniper’ Actually Has to Explain Onscreen That al Qaeda Insurgents Were (and Still Are) Bad’Posted: January 29, 2015
What ‘American Sniper’ Tells You About Its Critics
A veteran reviews ‘American Sniper’
Matthew Braun writes: I am not at all surprised that Michael Moore and Seth Rogen don’t like American Sniper . For them, the idea of military sacrifice is absurd. We get an idea of how badly they understand the motivation of the modern American fighting man and woman when they can’t tell the difference between someone like me, with 15 years of experience in law enforcement, military intelligence, and counterterrorism, and a Nazi. No. Seriously.
American Sniper kind of reminds me of the movie that’s showing in the third act of Inglorious Basterds.
— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) January 18, 2015
My uncle killed by sniper in WW2. We were taught snipers were cowards. Will shoot u in the back. Snipers aren’t heroes. And invaders r worse
— Michael Moore (@MMFlint) January 18, 2015
“The American Left has never been able to find the line between patriotism and jingoism.”
He later said, implausibly, he just happened to tweet this while “American Sniper ” was pulling in a massive $105 million opening weekend box-office haul and wasn’t talking at all about “American Sniper .”
“Where John Ford and Frank Capra once did propaganda films during World War II, Hollywood today is irredeemably corrupted by a worldview that blames America for all the ills of the world.”
Moore’s experience with martial matters is exactly zero, and his understanding of snipers is based on a tragic anecdote from World War II. Moore never allows for the possibility that Nazi snipers might have been cowards, and that American snipers might be saving lives.
Newsflash: Like the Nazis, Al Qaeda Is Bad
War movies have changed a lot since the 1940s. War movies in the 1940s didn’t have to explain that the Nazis were bad. We take Nazis as evil for granted now; with 65 years of hindsight there are far more people around now who were never alive for Hitler’s Reich, but all of us understand that Nazis are bad.
“The American Left can’t imagine a person who actually fights to protect other Americans, who actually believes America is the greatest country on Earth, and who does it all with a Bible in his pocket. That’s a farce to them.”
Film has been, perhaps, the best teacher of this simple truth. Nazis were just Nazis in movies, even when their evil was supernatural or no longer based in reality.
“…It’s too far off from the people they have known and deal with every day to be real, so they think it’s propaganda for the Right, for America, for war.”
Unlike the war films of generations past, ‘American Sniper’ actually has to explain onscreen that al Qaeda insurgents were (and still are) bad.
The Left continues to think of the American military and foreign illegal fighters as basically being two sides of the same coin. Worse, they can’t seem to tell the difference between American service members and al Qaeda. Unlike the war films of generations past, “American Sniper” actually has to explain onscreen that al Qaeda insurgents were (and still are) bad. In explaining, and in depicting, Kyle’s firm and unflinching lack of remorse or understanding for the plight of the torturing, ambushing, child-murdering insurgent, we see a fun word on Twitter: Jingoistic.
The American Left has never been able to find the line between patriotism and jingoism. They were so proud of the campaign to humiliate and vilify U.S. soldiers and Marines during the late 1960s and early 1970s. They were proud it scared American politicians out of significant military action until the Gulf War. They wanted Iraq and Afghanistan to be just like Vietnam. They are unwilling to consider anything that might portray the American military in a positive light. The Left did their long march through all of America’s beloved institutions, and Hollywood was no exception. Where John Ford and Frank Capra once did propaganda films during World War II, Hollywood today is irredeemably corrupted by a worldview that blames America for all the ills of the world.
Certainly, the bulk of War on Terror films to date are a testament to this—see “In the Valley of Ellah,” “Stop Loss,” “Grace Is Gone,” “Lions for Lambs,” “Redacted,” “Fair Game,” “Rendition,” “Home of the Brave,” or “Green Zone.” Or rather, don’t see any of these films. They are by turns terrible, dishonest, and manipulative. They are also uninteresting films that add nothing to anyone’s understanding of the complexities of threats America faces in the world. The few non-insulting films to tackle the subject, such as “The Hurt Locker” and “Zero Dark Thirty,” are ambiguous about America’s mission at best. Note that the latter film was subject to a crusade to snub it at Oscar time simply because it acknowledged the historical fact that enhanced interrogation techniques yielded intelligence that helped us capture Bin Laden.
Matthew Braun is a veteran of the The Finest Army in the History of Humanity, a husband, and a sheepdog. Follow him on Twitter @freiherrbraun….(read more)
Matthew Braun is a veteran of the The Finest Army in the History of Humanity, a husband, and a sheepdog. Follow him on Twitter @freiherrbraun.