The newly released action thriller American Sniper though a high grosser at box office, the movie depicts the story of Kyle, a US marine with the highest kill rate in history. Immediately after completing his training, Kyle is sent off to war in Iraq.
Once there and forced to commit acts against his conscious including killing a women and a child; his conscious forces him to succumb to constant guilt and even after returning home he remains unable to lead a normal life, finally being killed at the hands of a fellow US marine.
On the face of it, the American Sniper might just be another action thriller in the long list of such content that Hollywood has produced. But the manner in which Kyle is portrayed as a hero and the senseless killing of innocent Iraqis shown as a thrill and as an adventure is sure to stir up the conscious of many.
But the question is how can snipers ever be our heroes? How can those so called manly murderers like Kyle responsible for the suffering of so many others be praised? Most importantly how can those accountable for transgressing human dignity with such brutality, ever be role models?
In his life Kyle was responsible for not one but over a hundred and fifty people. The problem of depression and suicide by US marines like Kyle has increased due to America’s own waging of unnecessary wars against defenseless states like Iraq which do not possess sufficient weaponry to guard themselves.
Throughout the movie Kyle and his fellow marines refer to the Iraqi people as savages, clearly forgetting that it was them, the Yankees who initiated aggression against a peaceful and prosperous Iraq in 2003 and the prewar Iraq had never ever caused any harm to US.
Perhaps such movies represent the voice of thousands of other voiceless US soldiers, silently suffering due to their country’s senseless wars of imperialism but in no way are they ideals and under no circumstances should such values as held by marines, which include treating Iraqis like animals, be portrayed heroically.
It’s a shame that such a movie has managed to be a hit and what’s even more alarming is that the American people still buy such propaganda which is no doubt a recruitment drive to portray gun slinging murderers used to wage America’s dirty imperialistic wars in a heroic manner. Nevertheless for now one can only pray for the American public to rediscover it’s conscious.