Vice Magazine has posted a long, fawning interview with limousine leftist documentary maker Michael Moore, infamous for his recent Twitter attack on U.S. Navy Seal Chris Kyle.
Kyle, the deadliest sharpshooter in U.S. military history, is having his biography told in Clint Eastwood's film American Sniper, which has dominated the box office and received several Academy Award nominations. Even many liberal critics have raved about actor Bradley Cooper's performance as Kyle, who served several heroic tours in Iraq before coming home, only to be killed by a soldier he was trying to help overcome posttraumatic stress disorder.
But Moore found the film a racist "mess" and discredited the heroism of marksmen like Kyle. In his interview and in an earlier Facebook post, Moore called snipers "chicken-shit," said the U.S. was the bad guy in Iraq attacking people who were just "defending their homes," and compared his conservative critics to the Islamic terrorists of ISIS.
Moore tweeted on January 18: "My uncle killed by sniper in WW2. We were taught snipers were cowards. Will shoot u in the back. Snipers aren't heroes. And invaders r worse."
Moore followed up with a tweet portraying Iraqis who shot U.S. soldiers as heroic: "But if you're on the roof of your home defending it from invaders who've come 7K miles, you are not a sniper, u are brave, u are a neighbor."
Offered a chance to clarify his position by Vice's Eddy Moretti, Moore refused:
Well the first thing I would say is that I feel really no need to clarify or defend what I wrote. I'm proud of what I wrote. I take nothing back, and in fact I've only added more to it. I am not bullied by these people who bullied a whole nation into a senseless, illegal war. So really, in terms of impact, this has none on me. I say what I say. Of course if I were wrong, or made an error, I would certainly correct it, but that's not the case here. And it really kind of grinds me when I see on TV or hear from other people, you know, Michael Moore, he walked that back, and it's just like, well, that hasn't happened. I have no apologies for my very strong beliefs in how I want the warmongering in this country to stop.
More of Moore's offensive anti-American meandering:
And that's the confusion of course when you watch FOX News. I mean, talking about American Sniper -- they're talking about American soldiers as the liberators of Iraq! We didn't liberate anything. In fact we made it worse, and we lost the war! Write that in the loss column. And people should practice saying it. We will be better off in the future when we say we lost Vietnam, we lost Iraq, we lost Afghanistan. Why do we invent this fairy tale about ourselves? It does no good, and it is only going to get us into more trouble in the future.
Asked why sniper stories fail to "resonate in the American consciousness," Moore responded with a vulgarity to describe snipers.
We grew up with stories like that. Our dads told us -- at least the boys -- that to cold-clock somebody was a chicken-shit thing to do. To hit somebody without them seeing you, to come up from behind, is just considered wrong. The word sniper itself -- have you ever heard the word sniping used in a good way?
Then Moore tarred Chris Kyle:
I get all these emails from people going, Chris Kyle, he protected our troops and he saved lives. Well, what does that mean, "he saved lives"? The lives of our soldiers shouldn't have been there in jeopardy in the first place. We were the ones in the wrong; we were the invading force and eventually we lost. We were there under false pretenses, and we left the place much worse off than when we got there.
Moore admitted that "American Sniper" wasn't a rah-rah pro-war movie (Eastwood has said as much). When asked about the filmmaking itself, he praised Bradley Cooper's performance as Kyle as well as some of the technical aspects of the film, but couldn't refrain from snottiness:
Clint basically just wants to make an old-style western -- you know, keep things really simple and don't complicate matters. For instance the Twin Towers were hit, they get called up, and suddenly they're in Iraq...It was just dumb in the old-school western way. It was like a B-movie in that way. And then of course there's all the historical things that are wrong, but we don't really want to get into that. It's a movie; I'm not watching it as a documentary.
Moore pointed the finger at Texas gun culture and blamed the war for spousal abuse by returning soldiers:
....Clint doesn't show us the scene where he picks the guy up and they go to the gun range, and show the scene at the gun range, and show that after all he goes through in Iraq, he dies this way from a fellow Army guy. Not from some liberal, some protester, but from one of his own. The whole thing is wrong, the whole war was wrong. It was immoral; it was illegal. The Pope said this was not a just war, and it is completely -- look at the statistics of the guys who have come back in terms of spousal abuse.
Moore knows what Eastwood should have said: That Americans were the real bad guys in Iraq (emphasis from Moore):
.... if they go away from the film thinking, Can't wait for that next war so we can get more of those bad guys, well, I'm sorry folks, but we're not going to learn our lesson until we're willing to say, We were the bad guys we were the guys who did the wrong thing here. People were defending their homes, and that's why they were killing us. As we would kill them! If a group of Iranians or Iraqis or Canadians were coming down your Main Street in the town you're in, tell me you'd act any different.
I have to say before we close that the portrayal of Iraqis, Arab, and Muslim people in this film is really offensive....
Moore posted his opinion of "American Sniper" on stronger terms on his Facebook page January 29, including a hefty heap of his trademark pompous, whiny victimhood.
After relaying a 10-year-old story about Clint Eastwood saying at an awards dinner that he would kill Moore if he showed up at Clint's house with a camera, then praising Eastwood's earlier directorial efforts, he attacked Eastwood both personally and professionally:
But something started to go haywire with Clint in the last decade. Sophia McClennen in the Salon article wrote that she believes the first sign of his loopiness began that night at the awards dinner at Tavern on the Green in Central Park where he randomly went after me. Then came the (IMHO) awful (and weirdly racist) "Gran Torino" where he got to cast himself as a bigoted retired autoworker in Detroit. Two years later he was on the stage at the Republican National Convention carrying on a berating and confused conversation with an invisible Obama in an empty chair.
And now 'American Sniper' -- a mess of a film that rewrites history (we invade Iraq as revenge for 9/11), perpetuates a racist sentiment to Arabs (Iraqis are "savages"), has a simplistic Hollywood storyline of the good sniper in white vs. the bad sniper in black), and (in a rare moment of honesty) shows the main characters in the film, the American soldiers, either returning home all messed-up by the war (and with some of them turning anti-war) or in a box. The lead character becomes a victim of both the PTSD epidemic AND the violent American/Texan gun culture that eventually takes his life.
(Sniper Chris Kyle didn't refer to all Iraqis as "savages," just the ones trying to kill American soldiers.)
In the days to come I will post some thoughtful pieces here by others about 'American Sniper', and later this weekend one of my own. After all, I probably should share my real thoughts about this film now that Fox News and everyone on the Right has made up my review for me and told their Kool-Aid drinking audience what "Michael Moore" thinks of the movie.
Lastly, Moore compared his conservative critics to....the murderous terrorists of ISIS.
This past week or so of hysterical attacks on me only proves that the American lovers of violence and the issuers of fatwas in OUR society haven't gone away. They are our American Isis -- "Criticize or mock those whom we deify, like our sainted sniper, and we will harm you most assuredly."