American Sniper

I saw American Sniper last night. I left the theatre feeling slightly sick to my stomach; most likely from the non-stop computer-enhanced violence in every pre-view before the movie. This followed by the all too realistic portrayal of the current conflicts in the Middle East. It’s not that I don’t want to know. Rather, I don’t want our young people to have to go. Nor do I want the civilians there to eke out a living amid the rubble.

My husband asked me what I thought of it. My gut reaction? “I HATE WAR! It destroys people, families, communities and countries.” I realize there are thousands of men and women who have fought and died to ensure my right to write such opinions. This is in no way meant to minimize their sacrifices. What I truly hate is that we keep having situations that call for such sacrifices.

I hate war because I don’t believe it ultimately resolves anything. Yes, Hitler was stopped. But war hasn’t ended ignorant hateful, lethal attitudes and actions toward groups who are misunderstood and persecuted. We would get closer to world peace if we invested more money in cross-cultural opportunities to know one another and less money in war machinery to kill each other. Yes, slavery finally ended. Too many slave descendants today are enslaved in vicious cycles of poverty and prisons. The money spent on wars would be better invested in books and jobs instead of combat boots and weapons.

I hate war because it does so much damage to our young – who too often come home minus one or more limbs and/or their mental stability and tranquility. No one really wins in war. I hate war because it soaks up resources needed for infrastructure, education, health care, and decent housing.

The tragic ending to Chris Kyle’s life pretty sums up the horrific toll war takes on everyone associated with it – often for generations.

I get why Chris Kyle is a national hero and why his story made it to the big screen. I don’t get why we continue to think war will ever lead anywhere but to more death, destruction, and despair.

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