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Tuesday, February 03, 2015

USA divided over imperialist wars and their heroes

Our news media is starting to notice the buzz around military issues such as with the new movie “American Sniper.” This film, along with other military topics has brought all the rightwing political pundits, as well as celebrity hacks such as Kid Rock, out from under their rocks.
Many news anchors are noticing the "culture war" around the release of that new film. As stated in the (UK) Daily Mail:
"Clint Eastwood's hit film "American Sniper" has reignited a bitter debate about the US invasion of Iraq and one of its most famous warriors, with conservatives hailing the movie as a long overdue tribute to veterans.
Critics on the left have slammed the popular film as an attempt to whitewash the history of the American occupation of Iraq and say the subject of the movie, former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, deserves no hero treatment for his handiwork as a deadly sniper."
Also MSN News said:
‘American Sniper’ Fuels a War on the Home Front
As “American Sniper” continues to spawn think pieces, internecine celebrity squabbles and diatribes from hand-wringing lefties and chest-thumping righties, it’s interesting to remember the naysaying about the film’s prospects that swirled just last month."
Perhaps this is a good time for this film and maybe this gives the country a chance to open debate on how much this country should glamorize war and just how much should we whitewash the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, which many of us feel are purely imperialist wars.
Just recently former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura came out dead against this movie because he said that former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle was a liar, no hero and the film glosses over Iraq. According to MSN News:
"A hero must be honorable, must have honor. And you can't have honor if you're a liar. There is no honor in lying," Ventura told The Associated Press from his winter home in Baja California, Mexico....
...Ventura also dismissed the movie as propaganda because it conveys the false idea that Iraq had something to do with the 9/11 attacks. "It's as authentic as 'Dirty Harry,'" he said, referring to fictional movie series starring Clint Eastwood, the director of "American Sniper."
Ventura also denies a claim by Kyle that he had an altercation with him in a bar.
I haven't seen the movie yet. I may see it, but not because I sympathies with it. I have always opposed imperialist wars for any reason. The wars of the last two decades are purely imperialist.
Then there is the question of how much gratuitous violence this country needs to fight any war regardless of what the war is for.

MSN News provided some comments from celebrities who may have the same concerns:
"On Jan. 18, the liberal documentarian Michael Moore posted on Twitter twice about the film, first to say that snipers were once considered cowards and that one had killed his uncle and then to say that defending one’s home from foreign invaders was heroic."
He has never condemned the film and yet conservatives have blasted him for saying anything bad at all against US veterans. From CBS News:
"And Hollywood actor Dean Cain, who's also Kyle's friend, had a response for Moore, too: "Disparage Chris Kyle to my face and we'll see who is a coward."
"Blake Shelton said on Twitter that he was sickened “to see celebrities or anybody slam the very people who protect their right” to, roughly paraphrasing, free speech."
The one thing I notice for sure is that right-wing supporters of war bask in violent intentions. Most of them seem to like to threaten to punch out those who criticize their wars or their warrior heroes.
"F— you Michael Moore, you’re a piece of s— and your uncle would be ashamed of you. Seth Rogen, your uncle probably molested you. I hope both of you catch a fist to the face soon."
Perhaps they believe they can intimidate the other side as if anyone who opposes war also avoids violence or even runs from it. But I can guarantee that those of us who oppose imperialist wars are not necessarily pacifists nor or we opposed to all violence. I would be more than happy to punch Kid Rock in the face. In fact I would love to do that.
Just recently Senator John McCain made his feelings clear about those who don't share his fascist and pro-military feelings during a Senate Armed Services hearing that featured former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. McCain said of some protesters:
“I've been a member of this committee for many years, and I have never seen anything as disgraceful and outrageous and despicable as the last demonstration that just took place.”....
...“You know, you're going to have to shut up, or I'm going to have you arrested,” McCain said as Capitol Hill Police tried to remove the protesters. “Get out of here you low-life scum.”
McCain made it clear he was not about to tolerate any opposition to his militaristic hero Kissinger.
The important thing is that this public debate gives us an opening on the nature of imperialism. This is an opportunity to educate the public on the real reasons for these wars. This is not about fighting for freedom or making us is about stealing from people in the third world and taking their resources. It is more about cheap gas than democracy.
And that needs to be our message. Stop fighting for the empire and stop claiming that these wars are about our freedom or safety. THEY ARE NOT!!!

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