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  • American Sniper

    I am currently reading this new release authored by Chris Kyle. Kyle describes his SEAL training briefly as a lead in to his combat. The autobiographical account of the author's service in Iraq is very easy to read, Kyle has a simple tell it like it is manner to his writing. I like it as a change from what I read normally, tank stuff, campaign descriptions, etc. My major objection is that Kyle on more than one occasion describes what he was doing in Iraq as fun. I find it pretty upsetting to read that anyone, SEAL or otherwise, would describe the job of killing in war to be fun. He should take pride in the fact that he is a good soldier, a well trained soldier, a patriot...but I terribly dislike the notion of killing as fun. I think he has some growing up to do.
    John

    Play La Marseillaise. Play it!

  • #2
    Just a quibble, he isn't a soldier, he's a sailor.

    Sounds like a good book, one I'll probably get. I don't find it upsetting though that he finds his work fun. Keep in mind that the job of the military is to kill people and blow stuff up. The happier you are in your work, the better you are.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Naffenea View Post
      Just a quibble, he isn't a soldier, he's a sailor.
      I will not quibble either. I have used the word correctly.

      Originally posted by Naffenea View Post
      Sounds like a good book, one I'll probably get. I don't find it upsetting though that he finds his work fun. Keep in mind that the job of the military is to kill people and blow stuff up. The happier you are in your work, the better you are.
      Yes, I remember the job of the military. One can enjoy the training and reaching a level of expertise, enjoy the knowledge that they are extremely well trained and capable, enjoy the comraderie, take pride in serving ones country and (in this case) the support and protection given to other men in the filed. All these things are acceptable to me, enjoying killing, loving it (as he states later in the book) is not healthy. Men like this will come home and seek out the high of combat and killing in some form here stateside. Think about what that means.
      John

      Play La Marseillaise. Play it!

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      • #4
        Sailors aren't soldiers.

        Perhaps you have some studies or reports that support your claim that service members who found enjoyment in killing came home and continued to prey on civilians?

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        • #5
          He can snipe me all night in Battlefield 3 but expect me to shoot back. I am alright with soldiers who love the high of combat, the adrenaline, the sound and smell of it, the way time moves in battle, but to hear a sailor say he loves to kill people is disturbing. He may find that he is in the cross-hairs of a SWAT or FBI sniper team.
          The Europa Barbarorum II team [M2TW] needs YOUR HELP NOW HERE!

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          • #6
            Hardly. The guy loves his work. Good for him.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Naffenea View Post
              Sailors aren't soldiers.
              According to the dictionary I checked they are.

              Originally posted by Naffenea View Post
              Perhaps you have some studies or reports that support your claim that service members who found enjoyment in killing came home and continued to prey on civilians?
              I'm not sure how to respond to this. Are you intentionally trying to misrepresent what I wrote? Silly since anyone reading this thread will simply look up and see what I wrote. Here it is:
              "Men like this will come home and seek out the high of combat and killing in some form here stateside."
              We clearly see that I did not say anything about preying on civilians. Did I?

              As for studies you can pick from a host of work done on the effects of combat and other stresses on people to see what researchers have found. All the PTSS stuff is probably very abundant. I've never looked at any myself as it is pretty obvious to me how the human body works and what the result can be to someone experiencing combat or the like. Please note that I emphasized the word "can" and am now pointing it out to you because I want you to understand that there is no guarantee Chris Kyle or anyone else will act in a predictable way. An individuals past and physiology will determine how they react and whether there will be a resulting compulsive/obsessive/addictive lifestyle. I pointed it out in this case because someone that enjoyed and loved killing, who went to Iraq for four tours and experienced an intense psycho-physiological reaction to leaving combat I think will probably be dealing in some way with his experiences for many years. Hopefully it does not pan out badly, certainly not the picture you painted...who knows?
              John

              Play La Marseillaise. Play it!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by JBark View Post
                According to the dictionary I checked they are.
                Which dictionary is that, because a Soldier is a person who serves in the ARMY, not NAVY.



                I'm not sure how to respond to this. Are you intentionally trying to misrepresent what I wrote? Silly since anyone reading this thread will simply look up and see what I wrote. Here it is:
                "Men like this will come home and seek out the high of combat and killing in some form here stateside."
                We clearly see that I did not say anything about preying on civilians. Did I?
                Well then I'm confused. What else is there to kill other than hunting animals, which is acceptable. Or perhaps working in a slaughterhouse, which is acceptable. Surely you don't think he'' turn on his fellow service members and try to kill them?

                ... I pointed it out in this case because someone that enjoyed and loved killing, who went to Iraq for four tours and experienced an intense psycho-physiological reaction to leaving combat I think will probably be dealing in some way with his experiences for many years. Hopefully it does not pan out badly, certainly not the picture you painted...who knows?
                Of course he is dealing with his deployments and what has happened. All of us that served over there have our issues to deal with. What was the picture I painted again, because all I am seeing is that I am saying he enjoyed his work. You're the one saying he is "going to come home and seek out the high of combat and killing in some form here"

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Naffenea View Post
                  Which dictionary is that, because a Soldier is a person who serves in the ARMY, not NAVY.

                  I'll tell you what rather than use a dictionary let's go to Chris Kyle himself. He writes: "But I also witnessed the evil my targets committed and wanted to commit, and by killing them, I protected the lives of many fellow soldiers." (p379) That do it for you or do you need more proof?


                  Originally posted by Naffenea View Post
                  Well then I'm confused. What else is there to kill other than hunting animals, which is acceptable. Or perhaps working in a slaughterhouse, which is acceptable. Surely you don't think he'' turn on his fellow service members and try to kill them?

                  I'd say you are confused in a number of ways. I reposted the quote for you and you still don't understand it. "Men like this will come home and seek out the high of combat and killing in some form here stateside."
                  Seek the high of combat and killing does not specifically say he will kill anything or anybody. That is why I say "in some form." You are obviously also confused if you think killing of animals is universally acceptable. If I walk outside and shoot my neighbors dog I hope someone will take notice of this as a strange act...and illegal...and report it to the authorities. The killing of game animals is acceptable depending on where you live and the time of year.


                  Originally posted by Naffenea View Post
                  Of course he is dealing with his deployments and what has happened. All of us that served over there have our issues to deal with. What was the picture I painted again, because all I am seeing is that I am saying he enjoyed his work. You're the one saying he is "going to come home and seek out the high of combat and killing in some form here"
                  I am offering an opinion and expressing a concern. Yes, I think he will deal with his experiences, that is exactly my concern. Everything I have read in this book indicates to me that he will seek out repition of the physiological response his body has to being in combat. If he is lucky he will find a way to do this legally and without harm to himself or others. He might go rock climbing, bungee jumping or ride roller coasters. It is my hope that he does not use drugs excessively (he admits to high alcohol use during his enlistment)gamble excessively or do things which are illegal (he mentions a number of arrests during his enlistment for fighting.) Perhaps when you have more life experience you will understand what it is I am talking about.
                  I also am expressing a sincere distaste for any soldier that says they have fun killing and love it. I don't often read memoir accounts by soldiers but this is the first time I have ever read of anyone saying that. I find it extremely upsetting. I would have found a different way of expressing this if I were Kyle.

                  Thank you for your service to our country. I hope your transition to civilian life was or will be smooth.

                  To avoid confusion the page number I cited is from a pre release copy of the book. I was loaned this book by an employee of a bookstore and the book differs from the hardcover copies now on the shelves. There are differences between the content of the pre release copy and the hardcover.
                  John

                  Play La Marseillaise. Play it!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by JBark View Post
                    I'll tell you what rather than use a dictionary let's go to Chris Kyle himself. He writes: "But I also witnessed the evil my targets committed and wanted to commit, and by killing them, I protected the lives of many fellow soldiers." (p379) That do it for you or do you need more proof?
                    Have you ever heard the quote that when you are right it doesn't matter if everyone else is saying you're wrong, but when you're wrong, it doesn't matter if everyone else is saying you're right. Guess what. He's wrong. But I'll just disagree with you.

                    I'd say you are confused in a number of ways. I reposted the quote for you and you still don't understand it. "Men like this will come home and seek out the high of combat and killing in some form here stateside."
                    Seek the high of combat and killing does not specifically say he will kill anything or anybody. That is why I say "in some form." You are obviously also confused if you think killing of animals is universally acceptable. If I walk outside and shoot my neighbors dog I hope someone will take notice of this as a strange act...and illegal...and report it to the authorities. The killing of game animals is acceptable depending on where you live and the time of year.
                    Believe me, I understood your position very well. You are saying he and everyone else who has enjoyed killing is going to come home and be a danger to society. Again, I'm going to ask for a study that shows this will happen.

                    Everything I have read in this book indicates to me that he will seek out repition of the physiological response his body has to being in combat. If he is lucky he will find a way to do this legally and without harm to himself or others. He might go rock climbing, bungee jumping or ride roller coasters. It is my hope that he does not use drugs excessively (he admits to high alcohol use during his enlistment)gamble excessively or do things which are illegal (he mentions a number of arrests during his enlistment for fighting.) Perhaps when you have more life experience you will understand what it is I am talking about.
                    I like to think that having lived in 6 countries over the past 37 years and having been both a soldier and a missionary, has given me an introduction to some of the various ways humans have sought adrenalin highs. I hope that I can continue to keep gaining wisdom and life experience to reach your level of understanding.
                    I also am expressing a sincere distaste for any soldier that says they have fun killing and love it. I don't often read memoir accounts by soldiers but this is the first time I have ever read of anyone saying that. I find it extremely upsetting. I would have found a different way of expressing this if I were Kyle.
                    This isn't the first time I have read it in either an autobiography or a biography, so perhaps that is why it isn't as shocking to me.

                    I have known people who hated taking life to those that were indifferent to enjoying their work because it meant more Americans came home.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Naffenea View Post
                      Have you ever heard the quote that when you are right it doesn't matter if everyone else is saying you're wrong, but when you're wrong, it doesn't matter if everyone else is saying you're right. Guess what. He's wrong. But I'll just disagree with you.

                      He's wrong? His editors are wrong? His publisher is wrong? His co-authors are wrong? But you are right? That's how it works? Really? How about Oxford dictionary? They say a soldier is "a person who serves in an army." (Some definitions say anyone who serves in the military.) So what is an army we need to ask. The same dictionary say an army is "an organized military force equipped for fighting on land." My guess here is that you have some problem admitting you are wrong no matter how much hard evidence is stacked in front of you. You go on pretending you are right.

                      Originally posted by Naffenea View Post
                      Believe me, I understood your position very well. You are saying he and everyone else who has enjoyed killing is going to come home and be a danger to society. Again, I'm going to ask for a study that shows this will happen.
                      This time I am going to politely ak if you were injured to the head at any time in your life? I went out of my way to point out to you that I was not saying anything definite, that there were many ways he might seek to repeat the combat high in a healthy manner. Did you read that and choose to ignore it? Did you not understand it? I'm done copying and pasting my words to you...that seems to be ineffective. I know you can read, that is obvious. Is comprehension the issue? Fear?

                      Originally posted by Naffenea View Post
                      I like to think that having lived in 6 countries over the past 37 years and having been both a soldier and a missionary, has given me an introduction to some of the various ways humans have sought adrenalin highs. I hope that I can continue to keep gaining wisdom and life experience to reach your level of understanding.
                      Maybe you will but if the way you read my posts is any indication you have a lot of work to do. I live with someone your age so I know it is easy to believe you are experienced and worldly but there are many things which put blinders on ones ability to accept what they see in life. Organized religion can do this, in some cases. (Should I emphasize that or would that be a waste of key strokes.)

                      I sat and thought for a couple of seconds about whether I should try one last time to explain what I was trying to express in the first post of this thread. I think it would be a waste of time since you have had no luck at comprehending me so far nor can you even admit when you are clearly wrong. Perhaps you will be able to some day...20 years maybe?
                      John

                      Play La Marseillaise. Play it!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by JBark View Post
                        He's wrong? His editors are wrong? His publisher is wrong? His co-authors are wrong? But you are right? That's how it works? Really? How about Oxford dictionary? They say a soldier is "a person who serves in an army." (Some definitions say anyone who serves in the military.) So what is an army we need to ask. The same dictionary say an army is "an organized military force equipped for fighting on land." My guess here is that you have some problem admitting you are wrong no matter how much hard evidence is stacked in front of you. You go on pretending you are right.
                        Yes. He is wrong, as are his Editors and publisher. They aren't fact checkers, I don't know why you expect them to be. I don't know why you are arguing with me as to what the definition of a soldier is. You posted it yourself. Someone who serves in an Army. An Army isn't a Navy. SEAL>Sailor>Navy(or Coast Guard now that I think about it). Seems pretty obvious to me, but then again, as an actual soldier, I guess I have a clue as to who would and who wouldn't be properly labeled a soldier.



                        This time I am going to politely ak if you were injured to the head at any time in your life? I went out of my way to point out to you that I was not saying anything definite, that there were many ways he might seek to repeat the combat high in a healthy manner. Did you read that and choose to ignore it? Did you not understand it? I'm done copying and pasting my words to you...that seems to be ineffective. I know you can read, that is obvious. Is comprehension the issue? Fear?
                        Well, you see here in post #3 you are being very specific and definite as to what people like the author do. "Men like this will come home and seek out the high of combat and killing in some form here stateside."Clearly you have NOT said he will come home and kill civilians., But, you aren't saying possible something else. You aren't saying maybe something else. You aren't being vague or giving leeway. You are talking the high from combat (which can be duplicated) and from killing (which do you really think can be duplicated without taking lives?). And you finish that with a dark statement, "Think about what that means." See, I'm trying to figure out what that means, but you keep changing what it can possibly mean.

                        (and a quibble, since you took a jab at me by insinuating I'm retarded or something. Spell check will make you look better. )


                        Maybe you will but if the way you read my posts is any indication you have a lot of work to do. I live with someone your age so I know it is easy to believe you are experienced and worldly but there are many things which put blinders on ones ability to accept what they see in life. Organized religion can do this, in some cases. (Should I emphasize that or would that be a waste of key strokes.)
                        I know I haven't seen and experienced it all. I haven't said otherwise. I'm curious why you remark about organized religion putting blinders on me. My posts haven't been the ones saying he will seek to replicate his physiological experiences, haven't reproved his prior alcohol use or hope he doesn't gamble or do illegal activities. It would seem that you perhaps aren't as open as your unorganized religious self would like to believe?

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                        • #13
                          The word "soldier" is often used as a generic term. I have also heard "Special Forces" used generically which it shouldn't in my opinion.
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                          As recorded on my DA Form 1307 Individual Jump Log.
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Naffenea View Post
                            Yes. He is wrong, as are his Editors and publisher. They aren't fact checkers, I don't know why you expect them to be. I don't know why you are arguing with me as to what the definition of a soldier is. You posted it yourself. Someone who serves in an Army. An Army isn't a Navy. SEAL>Sailor>Navy(or Coast Guard now that I think about it). Seems pretty obvious to me, but then again, as an actual soldier, I guess I have a clue as to who would and who wouldn't be properly labeled a soldier.
                            Editors and publishers employ fact checkers before endorsing a book. You, of course are not a fact checker either and have made no attempt to offer any proof of your assertion. Yes, I posted the definition, someone who serves in an army (not capitalized) and I went on to define an army by the same dictionary; "an organized military force equipped for fighting on land." What don't you understand about this? You are wrong. As for being a soldier I didn't know that this gave you training in word definitions and usage. Is your job in the army to write?



                            Originally posted by Naffenea View Post
                            Well, you see here in post #3 you are being very specific and definite as to what people like the author do. "Men like this will come home and seek out the high of combat and killing in some form here stateside."Clearly you have NOT said he will come home and kill civilians., But, you aren't saying possible something else. You aren't saying maybe something else. You aren't being vague or giving leeway. You are talking the high from combat (which can be duplicated) and from killing (which do you really think can be duplicated without taking lives?). And you finish that with a dark statement, "Think about what that means." See, I'm trying to figure out what that means, but you keep changing what it can possibly mean.
                            This is a bit hard to understand. You say I am specific in what I think Kyle will do but I don't recall ever giving specifics about what I thought he would do. Please give me an example of what I specifically said he would do. You jumped to conclusions a number of times and I pointed out that I never said he would kill people (one example). Please, do tell me what you are trying to say here because it makes little sense.

                            Originally posted by Naffenea View Post
                            (and a quibble, since you took a jab at me by insinuating I'm retarded or something. Spell check will make you look better. )
                            Are you really going to go there? I am not going to get this childish; I will leave that to you. (You might check your own spelling before casting the first stone.)

                            Originally posted by Naffenea View Post
                            I know I haven't seen and experienced it all. I haven't said otherwise. I'm curious why you remark about organized religion putting blinders on me. My posts haven't been the ones saying he will seek to replicate his physiological experiences, haven't reproved his prior alcohol use or hope he doesn't gamble or do illegal activities. It would seem that you perhaps aren't as open as your unorganized religious self would like to believe?
                            Once again I don't know what you are trying to say here. It is a struggle trying to understand you. I don't know why you are trying to argue this point unless you think you have to defend Kyle and other G.I.'s from attack. Do you see this as an attack...is that why you are trying to argue whatever it is you are trying to argue. From what I read I don't think you really know what you are trying to say so please work on it. If you continue along this babbling pointless path I will not waste my time responding.

                            I mentioned organized religion because there are many cases where those involved in organized religions, missionaries for example, are sheltered and naive about the realities of the world.
                            John

                            Play La Marseillaise. Play it!

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                            • #15
                              Sailor? Soldier? Killer fair enough?!

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