Quote Posted on
I hate the damn savages. I couldn’t give a flying fuck about the Iraqis.
Chris Kyle, US Navy Seal from Texas who bragged about killing 255 Iraqis in his memoir.
(AKA the “hero” of the movie American Sniper)
Chris Kyle, a US navy Seal from Texas, was deployed to Iraq in 2003 and claimed to have killed more than 255 people during his six-year military career. In his memoir, Kyle reportedly described killing as “fun”, something he “loved”; he was unwavering in his belief that everyone he shot was a “bad guy”. “I hate the damn savages,” he wrote. “I couldn’t give a flying fuck about the Iraqis.” He bragged about murdering looters during Hurricane Katrina, though that was never substantiated.
What tends to happen when you’re good at your job is that you also come to enjoy it. In Kyle’s book, he admitted, “I love war.” He described killing as “fun.” He noted that “I couldn’t give a flying fuck about the Iraqis,” going on to explain that “I hate the damn savages.” But are the sacrifices of war still sacrifices when you enjoy them? Is heroism still heroism when you’re motivated by hatred?
The moral element of war’s theater—in Kyle’s book, and again as Cooper portrays Kyle in the film—is populated in his mind by good guys and bad guys, by superheroes and villains, by, essentially, cowboys and Indians. (At the Washington, D.C. premiere of the film this week, Bradley Cooper described the film not just as a character study, but also as a classic Western.) Just as foxholes have no atheists, battlefields are not places that tend to afford moral ambiguity.
“I don’t shoot people with Korans,” Kyle retorted to an Army investigator when he was accused of killing an Iraqi civilian. “I’d like to, but I don’t.”
–Death of an American Sniper, Salon