by Kathie Costos
Wounded Times Blog
February 7, 2013
I'll admit I am very tired right now since my day started 12 hours ago and I've probably read about a 100 articles but this one I had to read twice. It just didn't make sense. Sure, it was well written as most articles on Salon are but when good reporters decide to take on something they just don't understand, it is frustrating to waste my time.
In this case, it just got to me too much to let it go.
Death of an American sniper
Did Chris Kyle's uncritical thinking in life — revealed in his bestselling memoir — contribute to his death?
By Laura Miller
“I am not a fan of politics,” wrote Chris Kyle, the 38-year-old former Navy SEAL sniper who was shot and killed with a friend at a Texas firing range on Saturday. Yet, in his best-selling memoir, “American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History” — originally published last year and currently experiencing a sales bump in the aftermath of Kyle’s death — the commando also wrote, “I like war.” The problem, as Kyle would have known if he’d read his Carl von Clausewitz, is that the two aren’t separable; war, as Clauswitz wrote, is the continuation of politics by other means.
Chances are, though, that Kyle never heard of Clausewitz; certainly there’s nothing in “American Sniper” to suggest that he ever thought very deeply about his service, or wanted to. The red-blooded superficiality of his memoir is surely the quality that made it appealing to so many readers. Well, that and Kyle’s proficiency at his chosen specialty: He boasted of having killed over 250 people during his four deployments as a sniper in Iraq. While Kyle’s physical courage and fidelity to his fellow servicemen were unquestionable, his steadfast imperviousness to any nuance, subtlety or ambiguity, and his lack of imagination and curiosity, seem particularly notable in light of the circumstances of his death. They were also all-too-emblematic of the blustering, tragically misguided self-confidence of the George W. Bush years.
read more here
I had to leave this comment.
Fascinating how much this did not meet the title of the article.
Is it war you have a problem with or the people we send to fight them? Do you know any snipers? Do you know what the men and women go through when we send them do to the "dirty" work of this nations decisions?
They get trained to kill. Average citizens willing to lay down their lives are trained to put up a hell of a fight to make sure others don't die. What they are not trained to do is adapt back to being a citizen again. That is why they are "veterans" for the rest of their lives. They have to live with what we send them to do and get slammed for doing it by too many.
The problem is, I know too many of these men and women. They are all trained to kill. That is what war is all about. Both sides trying to stop the other side with lethal force. The other side has no problem at all blowing up their own civilians as long as most of the IEDs take out the troops we sent. Ask any serviceman or woman if they would be happy when the other side just surrenders and they'd tell you hell yes they are because that means they get to go home.
They are cheered when they are sent to go into combat but forgotten about when they come home. When troops were sent into Afghanistan in response to the attacks of 9-11 the vast majority of the country was all for it.
This should give you a reminder of that from Gallup.
Thinking now about U.S. military action in Afghanistan that began in October 2001, do you think the United States made a mistake in sending military forces to Afghanistan, or not?
2001 Nov 8-11 89% approved but by January of 2002 93% approved.
But then again, the point that keeps getting missed is just because the public stopped supporting what was done, the troops couldn't just stop serving and doing what they were sent to do. They couldn't do that anymore than they could actually expect the American public to pay any attention to them at all. Amazing how that works. We send them and then ignore them. We blame them when they come home and get into trouble, find excuses as to why they manage to survive combat but cannot survive being back home and commit suicide, allow the VA and the DOD to treat them as if they should just suffer waiting to have their wounds cared for and compensated for not being able to work and pay their bills, allow their families to fall apart because we didn't give a shit about them either and the list goes on while we spend our days complaining about them.
So now we're seeing a sniper being attacked, not just for doing his job protecting the troops he was sent to protect, but being attacked for trying to help another veteran suffering from what he came home with, combat PTSD.
We should only offer these men and women the support and help they paid for but instead we complain about what they need from us in return. We can't send them an then take it all back in time, undoing what we supported when we sent them.
Strange how we always seem to say we have the best military in the world when we need them to go but never say we are any good at paying attention to them when they are gone or taking care of them when they come back.
As for politics, they don't get to go home just because someone they disagree with politically wins and election any more than they stop risking their lives for someone from a different party. All they care about is the men they are with and doing their best to get as many home as possible.