Author, Mike Hastie is a VFP veteran member of Chapter 72 in Portland Oregon.
I slept pretty well last night when I found out that
the film, " American Sniper " did not win best picture
at the Academy Awards.
I also believe that 58,000 American soldiers who were
killed in Vietnam also slept well.
A Vietnam veteran poet friend of mine by the name
of Nicholas James Weber, had this to say about the
Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.,
otherwise known as, " The Wall. "
He wrote these words shortly after the U.S. Government
started bombing Iraq in March of 2003:
As God walks atop this wall and weeps,
I hear him say, " These were my sons."
The sound of his tears fall silenced, as
hands are washed in the Potomac, and
it runs red with waste.
The Pontius Pilates of the new Rome,
repeat history on full automatic.
This is why the film, " American Sniper "
was such a lie, and always will be.
I saw the film, because I wanted to know
what the American people were seeing.
It is probably one of the best propaganda
films Hollywood has ever made.
It is all about God and Country,
and the myth that America is spreading
freedom and democracy in Iraq, and
throughout the Middle East.
The audience is duped into believing that
Chris Kyle was an American hero, who
saved the lives of countless Marines with
his expert marksmanship in killing the
bad guys before they killed Americans.
And, Arabs are always portrayed as
savages throughout the film.
The only good Indian is a dead Indian.
The film never explores why the U.S.
was ever in Iraq in the first place.
This is always left out in propaganda.
" For the love of money is the root of all evil."
America has a War Economy, and unless
select Americans are dying for this cause,
the " American Way Of Life " falls apart.
Since the end of WWII, the U.S. Government
has bombed 29 countries.
In his documentary, " Fear Not The Path of Truth "
( A Veteran's Journey After Fallujah ), Ross Caputi,
a combat soldier in the 2nd siege of Fallujah in
November of 2004, interviewed Noam Chomsky.
Chomsky stated in this interview:
" By every standard, Fallujah was a crime."
Chomsky also had this to say about the Vietnam War
during the same interview.
" The entire Vietnam War was an atrocity. The My Lai
Massacre was just an afterthought."
This is the great truth that has great silence,
as far as what really happened in Vietnam and Iraq.
This is what the American people cannot face,
because it would dismantle their belief system.
Whenever the truth threatens one's core beliefs,
there is an urgent instinct to deny its reality.
Clint Eastwood's film, is a continuous betrayal
of all I felt when I came back from Vietnam.
Lying is the most powerful weapon in war.
This is the internal hemorrhage that almost killed me.
It so often reminds me of the words of Malcolm X:
" The only thing worse than death is betrayal."
More Vietnam veterans have committed suicide
than were killed in Vietnam.
Many of my friends did not die in Vietnam,
but as a result of being there.
A very close vet friend of mine hung himself in
a motel room several years ago.
One of the last things I experienced before I left
Vietnam, was trying to save the life of an American
soldier who blew his brains out with his M-16.
Or, the day I unzipped a body bag to look at the
face of an American soldier who shot himself in
the head with a pistol.
22 American veterans commit suicide everyday
across this country.
I believe the suicide rate among Iraq and Afghanistan
veterans will be extremely high as the years go by.
I have read many reviews about the film,
" American Sniper," most of them critical.
As a Vietnam veteran, I want to focus on the
vast majority of the iceberg that is under water.
I can think of no better way to end this writing,
than to quote one of the greatest antiwar novels
ever written. The book was written about WWI.
It is titled: "Johnny Got His Gun," and its author
is Dalton Trumbo.
" If the thing they were fighting for was important enough
to die for then it was also important enough for them to
be thinking about it in the last minutes of their lives. That
stood to reason. Life is awfully important so if you've given
it away you'd ought to think with all your mind in the last
moments of your life about the thing you traded it for. So,
did all those kids die thinking of democracy and freedom and
liberty and honor and the safety of the home and the stars and
You're goddamn right they didn't."