By Hope Titchbourne
Growing up in a small suburb of Dallas,Texas, my parents raised me to take pride in my country. Chris Kyle took that to the next level: he defended it, with 160 confirmed kills in his four tours in Iraq.
This, however, has raised many questions about whether or not Kyle is a hero or a murderer. After the terrorist attacks on New York City, what he is to me is very clear. Many say that he is a murderer, but I don’t think they fully understand the sacrifices our soldiers make for our country’s freedom and protection. They willingly put themselves in a line of fire to keep us alive, safe and with our rights.
A common misconception that people who don’t serve have is that Kyle was killing innocent people. However this is not the case.
After talking to current soldiers and also veterans, I learned that before our military moves into a city, it is evacuated. The people who stay are nine times out 10 affiliated with the Taliban or more currently al Qaeda, the infamous terrorist organization. Obviously that’s not easy for the Iraqis: being involved in a war isn’t easy.
Many people would say that this an attack on Muslims, but the fact of the matter is, it’s not. It is attack on the people associated with the group of terrorists that have killed thousands of our people and their own.
Not only does American Sniper show this, but other movies like Lone Survivor (based on a true story) show how these radical groups are killing innocent humans. Members of the Taliban, al Qaeda and ISIS, all raid cities in their own countries and massacre them.
A scene in American Sniper shows an extremist, drilling a hole in an innocent child’s head. Those things happen. Our troops aren’t just over there protecting us; they’re protecting innocent Iraqis who choose not to follow radical practices.
Yes, there are radical groups in our own country, but they’re not responsible for the deaths of thousands of people. These humans cannot possibly be accurately related or even put in the same category as radical feminists, radicals on either side of the political spectrum or even radical Christians. Have you heard of any of these groups murdering their own people or even their enemies in the past 300 years? Me neither.
Even then, for Kyle to shoot someone, they must be armed and endangering his men. Not only that, all of Kyle’s kills were documented and strategically mapped out. If they weren’t he would be in prison at Leavenworth for the murder of guiltless civilians.
Multiple scenes in the movie American Sniper makes this point very clear, in which Kyle asks for verification whether or not it is okay to make the shoot.
The Iraq War began in 2003 with the invasion of Iraq under the rule of Saddam Hussein, in our attempt to end a brutal dictatorship and help bring democracy to their country. We weren’t going to war on Iraq or Muslims, we were going to war with the people who have killed thousands of our own innocent civilians and their own.
Think of the freedoms we have, such as, speech, religion, and even the freedom for girls to go to school. Now imagine life without them. We as a country see these things as normalities.
We have numerous amounts of men and women just like Kyle protecting those rights overseas and in our country itself. This war isn’t an attack on Islam or even Iraq, it’s a war on the people responsible for killing guiltless humans who put our lives, and the lives of others on the line.
As a former Officer in the USAF from 1970-74 I would like to comment on the excellent and well-written “Head to Head—The Debate over American Sniper: Hero or Propaganda?”
First of all, I think that both writers conveyed the important point that soldiers do not get a vote as to where they go, and that our military is to be honored for their courage and dedication on behalf of our country.
I thought that Hannah Lang completely hit the ball out of the park with her column. I really don’t have anything constructive to add to it.
The column by Hope Titchbourne was also very good, but it did fall short in a couple of areas. First, the statement, “We weren’t going to war on Iraq or Muslims, we were going to war with the people who have killed thousands of our own innocent civilians and their own.” While the part about innocent civilians being killed by the Saddam regime is certainly true, what is meant by “killed thousands of our own innocent civilians..?” This is part of the problem with American Sniper, because Iraq and Saddam had NOTHING to do with 9-11. The terrorists who attacked us on 9-11 were NOT from Iraq, were NOT supported by Saddam Hussein, and in fact, were mostly from Saudi Arabia. Of course having pointed this out, thanks to entertainment networks like “Fox News,” and the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, MOST Americans DID believe that Saddam and Iraq were behind 9-11, just as most Americans who get their “news” from “Fox News” still believe that Barrack Obama was born in Kenya and is a practicing Muslim.
The other part of Hope’s story that falls short is the statement that we invaded Iraq to “..help bring democracy to their country.” While it is indeed true that there were some rather naïve and poorly informed politicians, such as President Bush, Vice-President Cheney, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, etc. who probably believed that we could march in, take out Saddam Hussein, and the entire Iraqi nation would love us and immediately start up a functioning democracy, most experts familiar with the region knew a democracy in Iraq was all but impossible. Even the conservative Wall Street Journal contained an excellent feature story about Iraq prior to our invasion, that pointed out that Iraq was basically an “artificial country,” consisting of political boundaries drawn up by past conquerors that forced three tribes of people who HATED each other to live within those boundaries.
Saddam Hussein may have been a brutal dictator, but it was his hateful boot on the neck of all three of those tribes that forced them to all coexist within the boundaries of Iraq. The idea that removing Hussein would suddenly create a functioning democracy was ludicrous.
Thanks for the outstanding feature and again, I appreciate the admiration that you shower on our brave military. Again, it does not matter what Chris Kyle believed regarding who was responsible for 9-11, he was a brave and courageous member of our military following orders to the best of his ability.
I appreciate your interest in our newspaper. Your comments are factually sound, and I agree with them. Unfortunately, Hope is no longer with our paper. If I see her I will let her know. Hannah greatly appreciates the compliment. Thank you for reading Hawk Tawk, and keep an eye our for future issues.
David Gaskill, Hawk Tawk media editor.