The recent movie, American Sniper, based on the autobiography of Chris Kyle, has sparked quite a bit of heated discussion. I’ve previously reviewed the movie, but in this post, I’d like to take on some of the politics, praise, and condemnation that’s been the result of the movie.
I use this category when posting about the military or military actions.
Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle’s pinpoint accuracy saves countless lives on the battlefield and turns him into a legend. Back home to his wife and kids after four tours of duty, however, Chris finds that it is the war he can’t leave behind. We watched this one in the theater a couple of weekends ago. I’m sorry to just now be getting around to writing my review. Me and Lay both thought this movie was OK. I suspect he liked it a bit more. I had some trouble separating the politics, the biography, and the movie.
As part of the first wave in the War on Terror, First Lieutenant Mike Scotti (awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with Combat “V”) served on the front lines during the 21 day advance to Baghdad. His experiences in Afghanistan as well as Iraq put him face to face with the sobering realities of war on a daily basis. Severe Clear offers an unflinching look at life on the battlefield through the eyes of someone who was there.
I’ve been torn about the action against Bin Laden and how the situation has been handled. My attitude is that every reasonable effort should have been taken to capture him alive and try him in a U.S. Court. Of course, I realize a lot of people don’t think we should give fair trials anymore, and I understand there would be risks. Also, I wasn’t on the ground at the compound.
An examination of the unintended consequences of the Iraqi war with a focus on events at Abu Ghraib prison which began to appear in global media in 2004. The prison quickly became notorious for the shocking photos of the abuse and torture of terror suspects by military men and women. Ultimately, it is the story of soldiers who believed they were defending democracy but found themselves plunged into an unimagined nightmare.
I continue to be baffled by the arguments in favor of torture, and the justifications that are made for America’s use of torture. I have heard one justification after another, and each falls with daily revelations of what really happened. Most disturbing though is a recent Pew Survey finding that the more people attend church, the more accepting they are of these torture justifications. That, my friends, causes me crisis of faith. I fear for what is to become of us as a people and a Republic.
The Youtube clip includes a statement from Senator Leahy about his proposal to have a commission look into the possible crimes of the Bush Administration. It continues with a statement by Senator Whitehouse. Whitehouse, as a member of both the Intelligence and Judiciary Committees is in a position to have some idea of what has gone on in regards to our torture and rendition activities. In light of a stern and direct warning that when the details of what Amerikkah did under the Bush Administration comes out, it’s not going to be pretty, I am set back on my heels.
Last Tuesday night/Wednesday morning was certainly a bittersweet time. As I’ve said before, I’m not one of the millions of Obama-maniacs, but I was glad he won. I think America will soon be in far better hands than she is now. I was even more pleased to see a good number of hateful and bigoted Republicans kicked to curb, and their nasty campaign rhetoric repudiated. Obviously though, the passage of the three anti-marriage amendments was a great disappointment. In this post, I’ll provide my observations on where we are now relative to the election.
I’ve been trying to see how (or if) the dust would settle around Sarah Palin prior to writing a post about my feelings on the subject. It doesn’t appear the dust is settling, as John McCain hides behind her skirt. So I’m going to offer up my two-cents on the nomination. (Did you think I’d do otherwise?) I’ve been unable to discern Palin’s motivation for her move into politics, and her acceptance of this nomination, but I’m feeling like she’s a great fit on the Republican ticket. I really do not get the sense that Palin is truly interested in public service, but in having power and taking what she can from it. She has definitely shown herself to be pushy and arrogant when holding public office.
I am certain I have previously discussed the idea that the President of the United States does NOT have the power to take the United States to war. That authority was reserved expressly for the Congress by the founders of this country. The Constitution is quite clear on this point, but that authority has been usurped by several Presidents in their over-reach. I usually find it best to defer to the founders in these matters, and when checking we find that James Madison once observed, “In no part of the constitution is more wisdom to be found than in the clause which confides the question of war or peace to the legislature, and not to the executive department… [T]he temptation would be too great for any one man.”
Glenn Greenwald has an excellent article up at Salon.com discussing the unresolved issues around the 2001 anthrax incident. As everyone knows Bruce Ivins committed suicide earlier this week as a Grand Jury prepared to indict him in connection with the anthrax incident. Ivins had been a top anthrax researcher at a U.S. Government research facility for 18 years. So seven years after the incident, and after having to pay a settlement to one falsely accused researcher, we’re to believe the government had an airtight case against Ivins witnessed by his apparent suicide.