In photo: Ross Caputi, former Marine who participated in the 2nd Siege of Fallujah.
Chris Kyle built his reputation as a sniper during one of the most criminal operations of the entire occupation of Iraq, the 2nd siege of Fallujah.
What American Sniper offers us — more than a heart-wrenching tale about Chris Kyle’s struggle to be a soldier, a husband, and a father; more than an action packed story about America’s most lethal sniper — is an exposure of the often hidden side of American war culture. The criminality that has characterized American military engagements since the American Indian Wars, and most recently in Iraq and Afghanistan, is hardly noticeable in this film. And that’s exactly my point.
Your average American viewer might be surprised to find out that Chris Kyle built his reputation as a sniper during one of the most criminal operations of the entire occupation of Iraq, the 2nd siege of Fallujah. He or she certainly won’t learn this by watching American Sniper, which doesn’t even hint that Chris Kyle ever did anything in Iraq except kill bad guys and defend America. And this speaks volumes about how little we understand the wars that our country fights around the world.
Perhaps my argument seems strange — that the most insightful part of this film is what is not in it. However, I believe that these omissions reflect more than just what the director decided to be irrelevant to the plot. These omissions reveal an unconscious psychological process that shields our ideas about who we are as individuals and as a nation. <Share>
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