This weekend and into Monday morning, the usual cast of characters and character assassins have been spouting nonsense about America and Islam and war and soldiers, all in the wake of the record-smashing opening for the movie American Sniper. Michael Moore weighed in, as did Seth Rogen, to name two of many.
Among the words thrown around were “Nazi”, “mass murderer”, “coward” and even that most damning of epithets, Republican. That’s what they have to say about a soldier. (Remember, as we go on through this story, that liberals love the troops. You’ll have to keep reminding yourself because it will become increasingly difficult to believe.)
The material objection we are supposed to share comes in three parts.
Part One: he is not as close to people when he shoots them as other people are when they shoot. The blessed virtue of proximity, I suppose. By that reasoning, it is safe to conclude that Michael Moore finds the up close and personal beheading of a journalist to be far preferable to the long distance shooting of the beheader.
It is an addendum to this point that the reason it matters is that the sniper isn’t as much at risk of being killed as maybe he ought to be. If you’re going to war, expose your position and for heaven’s sake don’t wear body armor, or you might get a tsk tsk for not taking enough risk. Never you mind that these exact same people played moral scold over insufficient body armor not that long ago. Anything that might reduce your risk is “cowardly. All future military engagements, please take place in the nude using only staplers as weapons. For bravery.
Part Two: The sniper says negative or derogatory things about his targets. This is very important, because as you know, to all things there is an etiquette, and etiquette in all things. “I say, lovely chap I’ve got to shoot this morning. Smashing fellow. Real shame about the blowing people up thing, sad bit that. Still I daresay I’ll be sad to see him off. Dashing good looking too.” I am personally surprised a rugged tough guy like Seth Rogen is not aware of this, but in war, people say mean things about the people shooting at them. And the funny thing is? They also shoot and kill them, which turns out to be a tad more bothersome for all the participants, oddly enough. At least, though, we can say they are consistent and are equally as outraged at any use of the word infidel. Right? Riiiiight.
Soldiers and Marines, especially those who have to pull a trigger, trash talk. Sometimes way more than that, they dehumanize. Is it pretty? No. But it’s real and it works. And selective hyperventilation from the knitting circle left isn’t going to change that.