HBO’s “Real Time” host Bill Maher continued his criticism of the movie “American Sniper,” saying the movie is centered around “psychopathic patriot” Chris Kyle, on Friday.
Maher began by contrasting “American Sniper” to “Hurt Locker,” saying that while “Hurt Locker” had ambiguity, “American Sniper” was “just, American hero, he’s a psychopath patriot and we love him.” He then read quotations by Kyle, such”I hated the damn savages” and Kyle saying he loved to kill bad guys. And then said Kyle wasn’t “in the same league” as Dwight Eisenhower, who said “”I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can.”
He also said that Kyle’s lines didn’t seem “very Christian.” Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean added that “there’s a lot of anger in this country, and the people who go see this movie are people who are very angry…I bet you if you looked at a cross-section of the Tea Party and people who go to see this movie, there’s a lot of intersection.”
Wall Street Journal Foreign Affairs Columnist Bret Stephens defended the film, stating that it “treats what veterans and soldiers go through in a way that was subtle, it was not just about war, it was about PTSD, it was about what the wives of soldiers go through” pointing out that the “savages” Kyle was referring to were terrorists, not normal Iraqis.
Maher rebutted that Kyle didn’t know whether he was shooting at terrorists from a distance, and the opening scene of the film involves Kyle “about to shoot a kid.”
Comedian Bill Burr jumped to Kyle’s defense stating “you can’t sum up a man by one quote taken out of context” and that anyone who had just been through war would probably say provocative and controversial things as well.”
Maher then concluded “the idea that Americans cannot see any ambiguity, that somebody has to either be pure hero or pure traitor is ridiculous.” Dean did defend Americans on that point, declaring that everyone is that way that ordinary people’s lives usually don’t have a lot of ambiguity or subtlety.
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