American Sniper: Hero, Psychopath or Mass Murderer?

If Chris Kyle and Clint Eastwood Are Your Heroes, Tip a Toast to Occupiers Everywhere.  Especially That Mexican Guy at the Alamo.

Column by Douglas Herman.

Exclusive to STR

Chris Kyle is gonna win an Oscar later this month. Or the actor playing his part, Bradley Cooper. More than just a film about a misunderstood warrior, coward, killing machine or patriot (pick one), “American Sniper” has polarized America. And the American people and the mainstream media love it.


Hollywood documentary maker Michael Moore dared to refer to snipers as “cowards” and was blasted on Twitter. Bill Maher called Chris Kyle a “psychopath patriot” and was predictably blasted. Rapper Kid Rock quickly blasted both critics, in his flag-waving, clever disguise as some sort of singer super patriot. Naturally, none of that trio of celebs ever served in any military, or protected our freedoms by killing a bunch of brown people so tough guys could tweet their support.


Like movie tough guy, Clint Eastwood. In his nearly 60 year Hollywood career, Eastwood has pocketed hundreds of millions of dollars as a violent avenger. US veteran Eastwood actually served in the US Army. He served in sunny SoCal as a lifeguard during the Korean War. A lifeguard. So naturally, tough guy Eastwood made a movie about a guy who claimed to have killed 255 people – in a fit of violent, self-righteous vengeance masquerading as patriotism, spread over a ten year span.


Hollywood rarely realizes, and Eastwod is a prime example, that it takes a lot more quiet courage to make a real hero. Like the kind typified by Vietnam veteran Ron Ridenhour. Ron tried to bring the world’s attention to the My Lai massacre long before Seymour Hersh.


As a US veteran and a Hollywood scriptwriter, I know there are many hundreds, if not thousands, of worthy subjects like Ron Ridenhour for movies. Instead we get a movie about a braggart Texan who took delight in shooting “savages” in an embattled mud brick city. Texan Chris Kyle, like most Americans, must never have heard about the real Alamo.


Alamo Parallel Too Ironic to Overlook


Imagine what the Alamo must have looked like after the battle. Bodies strewn everywhere; the stench overpowering in the Texas heat. Same for the City of Mosques (Fallujah) where Kyle tallied some of his score of corpses. Dogs and vultures chewing on the mangled carcasses before they were buried or burned. Smashed adobe walls; wreckage and rubble smoldering while scavengers picked through the ruins in both places.


The pitiful, lightly armed insurgents hardly had a chance in either place. They were outgunned and outnumbered--and just about to become martyrs in the mythical legend that passes for history. Wiped out by overpowering forces, while opposing superior firepower.


According to American history, which every TEXAN knows, except perhaps Chris Kyle and his apologists, the fighters at the Alamo died brave men in the pursuit of self-determination. But in all fairness to Mexican General Santa Anna, the legal claims of the upstart Texans--terrorists or patriots, depending on your viewpoint - had less legitimacy to the Alamo than the embattled Iraqis at Ramadi or Fallujah. Most of the Alamo defenders were foreigners, new immigrants to the West. Arguably, the Mexican army had every right to smash the insurgents under the boot heel of superior firepower and prior ownership claims. Santa Anna did not need phony intelligence reports or fake propaganda, or inflammatory sound bites. Santa Ana had far more right to destroy so-called Texans in the Alamo than the US had to destroy Iraq or the Union Army had to destroy the South.


Ambition As Satan


All these acts will be punished by death, if the perpetrators can be found. And if they cannot, I will destroy the property of all who sympathize with the southern rebellion.” So wrote Union General Ormsby MacKnight Mitchel as he occupied Huntsville, Alabama in 1862.


And the Union Army scorched earth and destroyed lives throughout the South as they did in Iraq only recently. Legalized Smash & Grab.


Ambition as Satan rides through our camps and takes possession of our generals and colonels and majors,” wrote Emil Frey, a Swiss citizen serving with the Union Army in occupied Huntsville. “Each wants to perform a feat, and be it only the capture of one man or taking of one flintlock gun. It is considered an act of bravery to have shot a Southern gentleman off his horse or off a locomotive.*”


An Act of Bravery. Somewhere at this moment, teenage boys are playing single-shooter video games, programmed, propagandized and being prepared to become the next Chris Kyle.


More Oscars For War on Terror?


Certainly Chris Kyle will earn Clint Eastwood another couple of Oscars. And as the American empire wanes, moviegoers can ponder their demise at warp speed. Those who pay no mind as their country goes down will pay a far heavier price when it finally falls. Influential artists like Eastwood are not the problem, not even the symptom, but more exactly a reflection of our “exceptional” Smash & Grab system.


When people like Chris Kyle are honored as a hero for killing 255 foreigners, this country is closer to complete moral demise, and perhaps deservedly so. “Americans are a dead people that history is about to run over,” wrote former US Assistant Treasury official, Paul Craig Roberts.


The truth is he was a bad guy told to do bad things by other bad guys,” wrote Ian Bell of Chris Kyle. “By his own admission, he enjoyed doing bad things and the only confusion lies in why some people think the bad guys who told him to do bad things are good guys.”


Meanwhile, Hollywood power brokers plan to make not one but TWO possible Bowe Bergdahl movies in the near future. You know Bowe, right? The US Army deserter who walked away in Afghanistan and allegedly got several of his buddies killed looking for him. Judging from the box office success of “American Sniper,” a cinema slaughterfest certain to surpass a half billion in gross worldwide, more war movies are on the way!


Think “Call of Duty” meets “Taken.”


The above quotes from the Civil War were taken from the book Incidents of the War/The Civil War Journal of Mary Jane Chadick.

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Douglas Herman's picture
Columns on STR: 149

Award winning artist, photographer and freelance journalist, Douglas Herman can be found wandering the back roads of America. Doug authored the political crime thriller, The Guns of Dallas  and wrote and directed the Independent feature film,Throwing Caution to the Windnaturally a "road movie," and credits STR for giving him the impetus to write well, both provocatively and entertainingly. A longtime gypsy, Doug completed a 10,000 mile circumnavigation of North America, by bicycle, at the age of 35, and still wanders between Bullhead City, Arizona and Kodiak, Alaska with forays frequently into the so-called civilized world of Greater LA. Write him at Roadmovie2 @


Kevin M. Patten's picture

Nice article Douglas. Right - no big Hollywood movies will ever be made about Ridenhour or Smedley Butler or Edward Snowden or any other high profile anti-warrior. But a mass slaughterer like Kyle? No problem. Who cares that he LOVED killing those despicable savages, as he callled them in his book? Total psychopath - but then what else to expect from America.....
As far as im concerned, Eddie Routh did us all a favor. How many others signing up for the Empire were getting trained and counseled by that guy? 

Douglas Herman's picture

Thanks Kevin,
   Eddie seems like a James Holmes type. Not sure what to make of him. Kyle? Too many of them, sadly.

Mark Davis's picture

The Alamo is a great analogy and you weave a wonderful narrative around it.  Hope you are well, Douglas. 

Douglas Herman's picture

Thanks Mark, And yes, I am pretty good these days. I served in San Anton for 4 years and got to see the Alamo. Was much smaller than I imagined.
According to a Dahr Jamail post years ago, men aged 20-60 were refused exit Fallujah just before the US attack, when refugees started streaming out. By contrast, according to accounts of the attack on the Alamo, Santa Ana allowed people inside several days to get out. They did not.
Hope life is good for you, Mark, my friend. Fight the good fight, with what few weapons we have.

Ten Years Later, U.S. Has Left Iraq with Mass Displacement ...

Fallujah during the Iraq War -


Samarami's picture

Douglas Herman:

    " takes a lot more quiet courage to make a real hero..."

Your observation regarding Santa Anna and the episode in history of the attack on The Alamo substantiates my ongoing mantra that all borders are fictitious lines in the sand. All came about about by psychopaths' forcing of "citizens" to murder and to encroach upon others' deranged claims to "jurisdiction".

Keep up the good work. Sam

Paul's picture

"When people like Chris Kyle are honored as a hero for killing 255 patriots..."

There, I fixed it for you.

Good article, right on target. But I have to admit that I like Eastwood. "Unforgiven", "Letters from Iwo Jima" and "Gran Torino" are favorites of mine. There are a lot worse directors in Hollywood (maybe he is a bit schizophrenic, to have made a movie about Kyle).

Douglas Herman's picture

Paul - I would have said Iraqi patriots but didnt want Kid Rock tweeting me to death.
Seriously, I fully expect  a bunch of Oscars for AS. And yeah, I agree, Clint has made some unexpected gems. Tried to get him interested in  cameo role in my movie, "Caution To The Wind" but he was too busy with a GranTorino. At least I had my actors actually drive my classic car.

Douglas Herman's picture

Sam, thanks.  God made the spaces and gave them all for free. Man made the places and charged us all a fee. And back up their ownership with guns and armies and document checkers.

Spartacus Rex's picture


I love you like a brother of another mother, however I think your writing talents and criticism would be better spent being directed at the true culprits behind the clusterf**ks in Iraq and/or Afghanistan, rather than posthumously denigrating and disparaging the service of a multiple decorated deceased individual.

Would you even remotely feel somewhat better had Chief Petty Officer Christopher Kyle USN Retired not served (repeatedly) saving countless lives of front-line Grunts, many of which had simply joined the Reserves, and even after their contract was up, were “stopped lossed” and compelled into numerous deployments?

Who in hell do you otherwise imagine signs off on these clusterf**ks, and is responsible for raising the revenue to fund same, ergo are held accountable to their constituents every two years?

Where the hell were all of these constituents, and why were they not decrying their public servant congress critters abdicating their sworn duty, with their “separation of powers” purpose for even existing?

Where were all of the protests in the streets, and on America's campuses (similar to Vietnam) when it became clear years ago that George the Shrub Jr. had blatantly lied in order to violate Int'l law, and invade Iraq to begin with?

This damnable crap started with the Korean Conflict, and continued, compounded in Vietnam, claiming the unheralded lives of tens of thousands of America's young, who had never even reached the age of majority so as to have a vote and any say in the matter, naively trusting that the “adults” in this Republic would hold their elected public servants accountable so that lives would not needlessly be squandered simply for the benefit of the M.I.C., their shareholders, and burying the rest of the Country with unimaginable debt.

Now whether or not you actually served “In Country” Douglas, how many of your peers can you actually name that lost limbs, or otherwise never made it back alive to the real world, because I can personally name dozens until the sun comes up, and therefore will always honor and respect the service of Christopher Kyle, not for the amount of “Kills”, but for the amount of Grunts' lives that he saved, and would not have otherwise made it home to their families.

Therefore, I respectfully suggest that should anyone of us ever feel an urge to cast either scorn or stones, we had all better first look in the mirror, perform a little soul searching and ask ourselves if we truly have done all that we can to pressure Congress to bring ALL of our Troops Home and Now!

Nevertheless Zoomie,

Cheers & Semper Fi Little “Wild Blue Yonder” Brother
(& God Bless Forever those USAF Pilots who risked their lives performing LAPEs when Grunts lives depended on same)

S. Rex