I am watching Charlie Rose talking to the screen writer of American Sniper, with two veterans and Robert McDonald, Secretary of the Veterans Administration. One of the veterans is a former sniper. He talked about growing up a Lutheran and learning about evil. Then he related a story about seeing evil in Iraq, when Iraqi “insurgents” used children to run messages on the battlefield. Once a little girl picked up a RPG and one of his fellow soldiers had to decide whether or not to shoot her. Fortunately the decision was made not to kill her. I took from this story that he saw the use of the children as evil. However, I believe sending U.S. troops to Iraq which created the situation where the Iraqi insurgents felt the need to use their children and U.S. troops had to make the decision to kill or not to kill the child is the evil. The people who use the patriotism of young minds to further personal interest to gain more power and influence is evil.
In the opening to the show, Rose claimed that the issue of soldiers’ and their families’ sacrifices are lost in the controversy that is dominating the national discussion about American Sniper. I believe it is the exact opposite. It is the center piece of the controversy. It is why some demand the morality of the war depicted in the movie be examined. Others want simple moral clarity and the obvious recognition of the evil of the enemy. Why? Because most need the sacrifices to be acceptable and justified while others of us want to lay bare the lie. Laying bare the lie moves us towards a day when all of the evil around us is recognized by everyone on the so called sides, and the majority of us will then understand, we have our differences, but we do not need to follow the evil that says we must kill each other.