Bradley Cooper American SniperWhen it was first announced that Navy SEAL Chris Kyle’s life would be made into a movie by Steven Spielberg, my first thought was, “Ummm, how is that going to work? Did Spielberg even read the book? Knowing his politics, I’m pretty sure that it’s going to be a horrible movie.”

Interestingly enough, Mr. Spielberg dropped the project and Clint Eastwood was there to pick it up. “That makes much more sense,” I thought. Now that the trailer is out, it appears as though the world will get the Chris Kyle story it deserves.

“They fry you if you’re wrong.”

How do you win a war when the men responsible for securing victory are paranoid that any mistake they make will land them in prison for the rest of their lives? The answer: You probably don’t win. You lose. Or you wind up pulling out of that country for political reasons and then having to go back in when things spiral out of control…

Chris Kyle wrote in American Sniper:

 “You cannot be afraid to take your shot. When you see someone with an IED or a rifle maneuvering toward your men, you have clear reason to fire. (The fact that an Iraqi had a gun would not necessarily mean he could be shot.) The ROEs were specific, and in most cases the danger was obvious.

But there were times when it wasn’t exactly clear, when a person almost surely was an insurgent, probably was doing evil, but there was still some doubt because of the circumstances or the surroundings —the way he moved, for example, wasn’t toward an area where troops were. A lot of times a guy seemed to be acting macho for friends, completely unaware that I was watching him, or that there were American troops nearby.

Those shots I didn’t take.

You couldn’t — you had to worry about your own ass. Make an unjustified shot and you could be charged with murder.

I often would sit there and think, “I know this motherfucker is bad; I saw him doing such and such down the street the other day, but here he’s not doing anything, and if I shoot him, I won’t be able to justify it for the lawyers. I’ll fry.” Like I said, there is paperwork for everything. Every confirmed kill had documentation, supporting evidence, and a witness.

So I wouldn’t shoot.” — Chris Kyle, American Sniper. (Harper Collins, 2012), 149-150.

If you’re not familiar with Chris Kyle’s life, then check out American Sniper — the book. And then make sure to see Clint Eastwood’s cinematic take on the Navy SEAL’s life. I’d recommend seeing Angelina Jolie’s take on ‘Unbroken,’ but she apparently gutted one of the most crucial aspect’s of World War II hero Louie Zamperini’s life — his conversion to Christianity that kept his world from falling to pieces and allowed him to personally forgive the men who tortured him in Japanese POW camps. If you’re wondering why I feared Spielberg’s take on Chris Kyle’s life, just think about Ms. Jolie’s “Unbroken” for a few moments, but I digress.

I’m looking forward to seeing “American Sniper” when it opens in theaters December 25. If you are as well, then stop by here shortly after its release, check out my review, and let me know what you thought.

Related: American Sniper: Chris Kyle, Guardian Angel who doesn’t know it

Related: American Sniper: More Dead Terrorists Than Sales By Occupiers?

Related: In remembrance: Navy SEAL Chris Kyle

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About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

14 comments

  1. The above post reads like a phoney.

    EASTWOOD is continuing to recycle PC controversy.

    EASTWOOD is also continuing to BALK any treatment
    of the 30th –40th –50th and now 60th annivesary
    of the 21st century defining ——-KOREAN WAR.

    1. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen someone in the comments section write three succinct sentences with each one being so laughable or transparently wrong. Kudos!

    2. At first I thought it was spam, since sometimes weird replies often link to pornographic websites or companies selling purses, etc., but no – it was just a really weird comment. Maybe Warner Bros. hired me to give Clint Eastwood good press. That would be funny, since earlier in the week I was accused of being part of a secret NSA program to get gun rights advocates to expose themselves via clicks on my employer’s website. I’m a secret agent for Hollywood and the NSA. Cool.

    3. Wow. Who said you were an NSA Agent?! That’s crazy. I’ve been accused of similar things in the past. Once on Facebook, back in 2009 or 2010, a moron I went to high school with accused me of being a pawn of the Koch Brothers, the GOP, the CIA and the New World Order whenever I expressed a political opinion. Nah, can’t be that I have my own conservative opinions. I must be a “pawn” of whatever boogeyman the left has created. Another accused me of being an agent for reptilian aliens from Alpha Centauri. I kid you not. I just laughed at that conspiracy gibberish.

    4. I wrote a story on a machine that will create the lower receiver for AR-15s, but without a serial number. On my employer’s Facebook page a guy wrote “Nice try, NSA,” as if the agency was somehow in on the story. I have no clue what he was getting at. I generally try and avoid the comments on the stories I write because you get some strange reactions and I have work to do. I don’t have time to get involved in that sort of thing. However, that one showed up in my Facebook feed and I made the mistake of actually clicking the comments section. 🙂

      Just wait, Carl. On a long enough timeline someone will accuse you of being controlled by the Jeeeeeeeeeeeeews! I had that one happen a couple times while I was at Heritage and once on this blog in the early days.

    5. “Just wait, Carl. On a long enough timeline someone will accuse you of being controlled by the Jeeeeeeeeeeeeews! I had that one happen a couple times while I was at Heritage and once on this blog in the early days.”

      That’s happened to me before, too. One of the morons I mentioned earlier also claimed my opinions were being telepathically ransmitted into my head by my “Jewish masters.”

    6. “Score! Welcome to the club.”

      I thought it was a really bizarre comment. I also was called a “neocon” as well. And “privileged.” Not to mention, this moron’s comments were blatantly anti-Semitic. It’s ironic, because this same clown would call me a “bigot” and an “Islamophobe” whenever I posted about radical Islam. I called him an anti-Semite, and his response was “Yes, I am. I hate Jews with every fiber of my being. I want Israel destroyed. I really do not care what privileged white neocons such as you think. They are using telepathy to broadcast conservative propaganda into your head via Gwen towers. Braindead neocons like you are useful to them and their plan to take over the world.” I removed and blocked this idiot right after that comments.

    7. I know this reply is indecipherable garbage, but what’s so important about the Korean War that Eastwood HAS to direct/be involved in a film about it?

      A movie about that period would be interesting even without his input.

      And I’m not getting how Chris Kyle’s story is “PC controversy”. So far as I know most who talk about him are on the right.

    8. Yeah, I thought it was rather bizarre that he brought up the Korean War. What does that have to with the post? Nothing.

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