I linked earlier to a thorough and thoughtful piece about “American Sniper,” A Tale of Two Snipers: Killing in war through different moral lenses (alternative title: “Why Iris Won’t Be Seeing the New Bradley Cooper/Clint Eastwood War Propaganda Extravaganza”). My friend Steve Jonas has a more succinct post up at Buzzflash, “American Sniper” Takes a Shot at History and Turns It Into Deadly Jingoism. He methodically takes apart the reflexive and simplistic views of right-wing supporters of endless war and more “boots on the ground” in the Middle East, and ends the piece by directing some pointed questions at them. Of course his point is that they have no good answers—but it’s worth noting that they do have answers nonetheless.
Where is the money going to come from?
That’s easy: from us rubes. Where it always comes from. It’s not like we need that money for education, transportation infrastructure, anti-poverty programs, veterans health care, clean energy investment, a living wage or anything like that.
How are you going to convince the majority of U.S. people that it is in the U.S. national interest to go to war on the ground in the Middle East once again?
Simple, really. Just keep us all in perpetual fear of OMG! terrorism! at the hands of the Scary Monsters™ we ourselves created and continue to spawn, like ISIS. Or, you know, keep us distracted and focused on more important stuff, like deflated footballs or Bruce Jenner’s gender.
And how many more Kyles and their murderers at home, how many more tragedies do you want to create?
Tragedies among us rubes are not really a big consideration for those fine folks with the power, desire and financial incentive to keep us in a state of permanent war, what with their remote fortresses and gated enclaves and 24/7 private security. And in any event—as we see with the sniper film—such tragedies are readily spun into even more pro-war propaganda! WIN-WIN.
Have a nice day.