Posts Tagged ‘clint eastwood’

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“The truth is unspeakable”: A real American sniper unloads on “American Sniper”

“I stopped telling war stories at these events because no matter how bad and awful it sounds, you can still see the look in kids’ eyes that say, ‘That is the rite of passage, that is how I become a man. I have to go there and live through that horrible shit to know that I am an adult.’”

“A lot of people were fighting us because they did not want to be occupied or because they had family members who were hurt or killed and they wanted to get some sort of vengeance. By the end of my tour, it was really hard to justify killing them. We should not have been there in the first place.”

“I think about all of these soldiers coming out of the U.S. military and helping them get jobs and education and hearing about what they aspire to do and be in the world. And I wonder about all of the Iraqis, Syrians and others that we killed in that country and what they aspired to be.”

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‘Getting aid past US snipers is impossible’

 April 16, 2004

We are hearing that the death toll is around 880 civilians, and that within the first few days 86 children were killed.


…Food and medical aid is now arriving but the problem is getting the aid around the city. A lot of it is delivered to the mosque, but then getting it to the hospitals, past the American snipers, is proving to be impossible.


…The main hospital apparently has been destroyed by bombing and the second largest is covered by US snipers – the Iraqis call it sniper alley.


We saw two kids arriving with their grandmother, they had all been wounded by gunfire, they said by American snipers, while they were trying to leave their house to flee to Baghdad. An elderly woman with a wound to the head was still carrying the white flag she had been holding when she was shot. They were all saying it was American snipers shooting – and we know that the US is using armed marines on rooftops to hold the parts of city they are controlling.


At the checkpoint leaving Falluja towards Baghdad, women and children have been trying to leave, but in cars driven by men (women don’t drive here) so they weren’t allowed out. They are not letting men aged 14 to 45 – of “fighting age” – leave the city.

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Media Coverage Fails on Iraq: Fallujah and the Civilian Deathtoll

The 50,000 citizens who either chose to remain in [Fallujah] or who were unable to leave were trapped by Coalition forces and were cut off from food, water and medical supplies. The United States military claimed that there were a few thousand enemy insurgents remaining among those who stayed in the city and conducted the invasion as if all the people remaining were enemy combatants.

Burhan Fasa’a, an Iraqi journalist, said Americans grew easily frustrated with Iraqis who could not speak English. “Americans did not have interpreters with them, so they entered houses and killed people because they didn’t speak English. They entered the house where I was with 26 people, and shot people because [the people] didn’t obey [the soldiers’] orders, even just because the people couldn’t understand a word of English.” Abu Hammad, a resident of Fallujah, told the Inter Press Service that he saw people attempt to swim across the Euphrates to escape the siege. “The Americans shot them with rifles from the shore. Even if some of them were holding a white flag or white clothes over their head to show they are not fighters, they were all shot.” Furthermore, “even the wound[ed] people were killed. The Americans made announcements for people to come to one mosque if they wanted to leave Fallujah, and even the people who went there carrying white flags were killed.” Former residents of Fallujah recall other tragic methods of killing the wounded. “I watched them [U.S. Forces] roll over wounded people in the street with tanks… …This happened so many times.”

Preliminary estimates as of December of 2004 revealed that at least 6,000 Iraqi citizens in Fallujah had been killed, and one-third of the city had been destroyed.


…The International Committee for the Red Cross reported on December 23, 2004 that three of the city’s water purification plants had been destroyed and the fourth badly damaged. Civilians are running short on food and are unable to receive help from those who are willing to make a positive difference. Aid organizations have been repeatedly denied access to the city, hospitals, and refugee populations in the surrounding areas.


…In late October, 2004, a peer reviewed study was published in The Lancet, a British medical journal, concluding that at least 100,000 civilians have been killed in Iraq since it was invaded by a United States-led coalition in March 2003.

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Fallujah, the Information War, and U.S. Propaganda

An ambulance with two neat, precise bullet-holes in the windshield on the driver’s side, pointing down at an angle that indicated they would have hit the driver’s chest (the snipers were on rooftops, and are trained to aim for the chest). Another ambulance again with a single, neat bullet-hole in the windshield. There’s no way this was due to panicked spraying of fire. These were deliberate shots to kill people driving the ambulances.


The young marine tells us that men of fighting age can’t leave. What’s fighting age, I want to know. He contemplates. Anything under forty five. No lower limit.”


…”‘The logic is: You flatten Fallujah, hold up the head of Fallujah, and say “Do our bidding, or you’re next,”‘ says Toby Dodge, an Iraq analyst at the International Institute of Strategic Studies in London.”

In other words the American assault on the Iraqi city of Fallujah was the greatest act of terrorism perpetrated so far in this millennium.

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 Testimonies of Crimes Against Humanity in Fallujah

http://wp.me/pwAWe-4Hr

All Articles Tagged “American Sniper”

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Max Blumenthal:

Chris Hedges:

Killing Ragheads for Jesus

“American Sniper,” like the big-budget feature films pumped out in Germany during the Nazi era to exalt deformed values of militarism, racial self-glorification and state violence, is a piece of propaganda, a tawdry commercial for the crimes of empire.

Michael Moore:

Michael Moore pours gas on his ‘American Sniper’ firestorm

“Well, who would know better about hating our troops than those who supported sending them into a senseless war Iraq in the first place? And, for 4,482 of them, a senseless, unnecessary and regrettable death,” he wrote.

“If you supported that invasion, if you voted for George W. Bush and the Republicans and Democrats who backed this war, then you are the ones who have some ‘splainin’ to do. Not me. You.”

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Rolling Stone:

‘American Sniper’ Is Almost Too Dumb to Criticize

Sniper is a movie whose politics are so ludicrous and idiotic that under normal circumstances it would be beneath criticism.

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American Sniper and the Savage Problem

Allan Wayne says:

The book begins with Kyle shooting a woman who was holding a grenade. He saw her “blinded by evil” because she wanted to kill marines and did not care if she injured nearby people, or maybe her child. It was his duty to shoot her. So he did. He would not shoot a child, he says.

But for Eastwood, that was not good enough. In the movie, he decides to have the mother give the grenade to her child, and send him on a suicide mission. A mother that hands her child a live grenade must be unspeakably evil. In a split second, Kyle kills them both.

Eastwood magnifies the mother’s evil, and shows that Iraqi are not just textbook or paperback evil; but really really evil. Evil enough to justify the wordsavage.

I would add that there is nothing “evil” about resisting an occupying army. The entire Iraq fiasco is drenched in this ridiculous imperial myth that resisting invaders is the same thing as “terrorism,” which no stretch of the definition can support. Terrorism is political violence directed at CIVILIANS (most of what the US did in Iraq and Afghanistan, by the way), not at an invading army.

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By Chris Driscoll |  Stranger in a Strange Land 

A Tale of Two Snipers

“Eastwood does not fit that mould; his specialty, at least in the area of military flicks, is to produce pseudo-serious melodramas that leave out as much of the truth as necessary to end up with a hagiographic image of the chosen heroes.”

Chris Kyle, the sniper upon whose life the new Clint Eastwood movie, “American Sniper” is based, worked for a while as Sarah Palin’s body guard. Enough said? Well, yes, probably for most of you, that one fact tells you all you need to know about this dubious American hero being glorified in Eastwood’s latest cinematic endeavor. But there’s more, much much more, to tell.

First though, allow me to introduce the other hero of this contrast and comparison in sniper films, the other famous sniper upon whose life a movie was based: Vasily Grigoryevich Zaitsev.

Vasily was a sharpshooter in the Battle of Stalingrad, the most horrendous conflagration during the entire Second World War. He was played by Jude Law in the 2001 movie “Enemy at the Gates.”

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These sniper movies make for a stark contrast between two wars, one a desperate defensive struggle against Nazi occupation and genocide, the other, an aggressive war of imperial plunder based on hypocrisy,  taking the lives of literally hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians, and turning to rubble a whole  ancient civilization. I guess we should not be surprised that the morals or lack of morals in the two men neatly reflect the morality or lack of morality in the two wars, the Soviets’ Great Patriotic War (World War II) and the U.S. War on the People of Iraq.

After the war, Zaitsev, unlike Kyle, did not go into politics–or reality TV shows–but rather, he settled in Kiev where he took correspondence courses to become an engineer, and worked his way up to become the director in a textile factory. During the war, after being wounded, he wrote two books on sniper tactics which militaries around the world, including the U.S. military, still use today in sniper training.

Kyle, who tragically lost his life in Dec. 2013 when a post-traumatically stressed Iraq War vet went berserk on him at a shooting range in West Texas, was a notorious and well-exposed public liar. So, little about Eastwood’s movie—based on Kyle’s book, “American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History“—can be relied upon.

Gov. Jesse Ventura at the podium. (2008). Via Cory Barnes/flickr.

A couple of specific post-war events in Kyle’s life reveal his penchant for tall tales. At a fundraiser for Navy SEALs the former Minnesota Governor, Jesse Ventura, like Kyle, a veteran of the elite Navy special forces group now called the SEALs, had a fainting spell due to some medications he was on. But in Kyle’s book, Ventura’s faint turned into a confrontation that never happened, and ended with Kyle decking the older man.

But at the end of the day such shams could be inconsequential when weighed against other aspects of his personality. For if true, the acts that Kyle lays claim to would cast him at least in the role of a monumental jerk,  or, at worst, a mass murdering criminal. Still, one wonders what kind of person actually would risk being identified with these deceptions? Ventura, to his credit, when the lie was brought to his attention sued Kyle and won a Minnesota court award of $1.8 million. Kyle claimed that Ventura had said he thought the SEALs should lose a few in Iraq because the war was wrong. To anyone who’s followed Ventura over the years, it’s hard to believe he would ever say anything like that; for one thing, he’s too damn intelligent to say something so dumb. It’s more likely that Ventura’s political opposition to the U.S. War on Iraq was behind Kyle’s lie aimed at discrediting Ventura to fellow SEALs. Kyle’s widow is appealing the $1.8 million award.

After the court ruling, on the Sarah Palin Channel, Palin came to Kyle’s defense and slammed Ventura: So you turn around and sue, expecting $2 million from a military widow and her fatherless children? Yeah, like that is going to help your reputation, jackass.”

“Chris Kyle was a true American patriot–the soldier who stood up for his country and saved so many lives by doing the job his Commander-in-chief gave him, taking out the bad guys. For his extraordinary work, Chris was known as “The American Sniper.” He was senselessly murdered on our own soil while helping a military brother. His widow and young children will forever feel a lot more “hurt” than you will, Jesse, after a sad verdict in your ridiculous lawsuit against Chris. . .”

In another adventure of dubious validity, a profile in the June 2013 issue of “The New Yorker” has Kyle claim he went to New Orleans in the aftermath of Katrina and he and a friend stationed themselves on top of the Superdome where they proceeded to “take out” about 30 armed looters. A U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) spokesman told The New Yorker, “To the best of anyone’s knowledge at SOCOM, there were no West Coast SEALs deployed to Katrina.” He said Kyle’s story, “defies the imagination.” And, of course, there were no reports at the time of 30-some extra dead bodies laying around New Orleans with sniper bullets in their bodies.

As a New Republic headline proclaimed in the magazine’s obituary of the fallen sniper, “If Chris Kyle Had Been a Muslim, We’d Call him an Extremist.” After all, the New Republic opined, he had a “crusader’s cross” tattooed on his arm. In his book, Kyle wrote, “On the front of my arm, I had a crusader cross inked in. . . I wanted everyone to know I was a Christian. I had it put in red, for blood. I hated the damned savages I’d been fighting. I always will. They’ve taken so much from me.”

Kyle also liked to regale his friends with a story about being attacked at a gas station at gunpoint by two assailants, whom he claimed to have shot dead. But again, there were no witnesses, police say they found no bodies, and in general, the story sounds about as accurate as the New Orleans tale.

Reality show star

In 2012 Kyle co-starred in the reality TV show, Stars Earn Stripes, produced by Mark Burnett, in which celebrities supposedly competed in war games on behalf of charities.