I spent a Saturday evening watching the American Sniper. Media reports had created a buzz that reached my ears and I had to watch the movie. I enjoy watching movies, reviewing them on a sister blog I write. This movie however is different. I chose not to comment on what I took away from the movie philosophically. This is what I am going to try and do here.
The movie is based on the life of Chris Kyle, a sniper with the Seals who is credited with the most kills on record for any sniper. Who became a legend within the military establishment. For me the most poignant part of the movie was when after his first tour of duty, he was back State side and driving in the car with his wife and he points out that they are headed to a mall, while there is a war going on in Iraq!
Now I am not in the military, but I have had this same thought a few times. We go about our lives every day. Waking up in the morning, reading our news, getting our coffee and driving to our workplace. We drop our kids to school, we shop for groceries and we plan our weekend getaways. Life is very normal, yet our country is at war. A war where our politicians have sent our fellow countrymen to fight. Yet, back home there is no war.
There is no enemy here that we are fighting. No country has waged war on us, we are not defending ourselves. So then why are we sending our bravest halfway across the world to fight battles that really aren’t ours? I think it is now proven without a doubt that going into Iraq was not just a mistake, but a racket. There were no weapons of mass destruction and what we have ended up doing is creating an entire generation of people who will hate America, and its allies for as long as they will live. A few rich people have gotten richer and lives have been lost.
I salute the brave soldiers who take on the responsibility to serve so that the rest of us may enjoy freedom, prosperity and a normal life. Today, we owe people like Chris Kyle a debt we cannot possibly repay without putting our own lives on the line. The real problem is, they should not have been sent out so frivolously in the first place.