Zack Beauchamp has written on Vox.com that the film “American Sniper” whitewashes the U.S. invasion of Iraq in March 2003, suggesting that it was in response to the 9/11 attacks.
I think I’ll chime in with one more comment about the film. Then I’ll let it rest.
“American Sniper” is the story of one young man, Chris Kyle, and deployment through four tours of duty during the Iraq War. He was a Navy SEAL sniper, and he reportedly set some kind of kill record for U.S. military personnel while doing his duty.
The film tells the most riveting story possible about Kyle’s emotional struggles with being away from his young family, the post-traumatic stress he suffered and the extreme danger to which he was exposed during all those tours of duty.
I sat through the film and never once considered whether it told the complete story of the Iraq War and put the policy decisions under any kind of microscope. I do not believe that was director/producer Clint Eastwood’s intention. I believe Eastwood wanted to tell Chris Kyle’s story as accurately and completely as possible and from what I’ve read from those who knew Kyle the best — including his wife Taya — Eastwood accomplished his goal.
Zack Beauchamp’s assertion about the historical inaccuracy of “American Sniper” misses the essential point of the film.
One young man did his duty, placed himself in harm’s way, came home, and sought to return to a normal life as a husband and father.
Then his life ended in tragedy.
That was the story I saw.