Man, where do I even start with this whole idiocy over Michael Moore’s ridiculous comments on snipers? First off, I am ignoring Seth Rogen’s comments. Yea, yea, American war films are like Nazi propaganda. Yawn. It is dumb when those on the right equate something President Obama does with Nazi Germany, and it is equally as dumb when those on the left try to equate something patriotic with being Nazi-like. I will once again add my voice to the “let the Nazi comparisons die” chorus.
Now, let’s stipulate that Michael Moore says provocative stuff on a semi-regular basis, and is like that contrarian we all know who cannot help but be an asshole and throw the proverbial urine on everyone else’s wedding cake. He is one of those people who thinks that saying something against the grain (i.e., “snipers are cowards,” when most of America is celebrating the life of one such sniper) makes him sound insightful, intelligent, or admirably counter-culture. Oh bravo, sir!
Mr. Moore illustrates a complete lack of understanding of how a sniper operates if he thinks they lack bravery. Snipers – American snipers, anyway – usually operate in two-man teams, along with a spotter, in precariously solitary surroundings, usually in hostile territory. They have nothing but their rifles and spotters to protect them, typically, and are removed to some degree from friendly forces.
I would venture to guess that Mr. Moore would equate his “courage” in firing off a contrarian Tweet with a sniper’s role in combat, because men like him actually somehow believe they are brave. To think that someone who operates as a sniper lacks courage is simply uneducated, at best, and willfully ignorant, at worst. You can be a pacifist and think war is wrong, but that does not make you an expert on war, nor on those who fight it. It especially does not make you an expert on the constitution of those who step up to serve. I would guess Mr. Moore has very little understanding of that realm of the human condition.
And yet, there often is bravery in words, and in challenging accepted ideas and/or norms, and standing up for difficult truths. One need only look at the true courage shown by the artists and writers at Charlie Hebdo, who continued to publish their (usually offensive and crass) caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, even after receiving death threats for doing so. Whatever else you might think of them, that is courage in the face of danger, and in defense of free speech. It is admirable.
So, what did the “hero” Michael Moore do when challenged over his tasteless and smarmy innuendo directed against SEAL sniper Chris Kyle? He tried to pretend his Tweet did not refer to the movie currently showing in theaters, and being talked about all over America. Rather, Moore claimed his was merely a comment on Japanese snipers in World War II, who killed his uncle.
Moore wrote that his father always claimed that snipers are cowards and do not believe in a fair fight; that they will coldcock you from behind. Well, at least we know from where Mr. Moore received his penchant for stupidity. Do not get me wrong, I am sorry that Mr. Moore’s uncle was killed by a Japanese sniper in World War II, and I salute his father’s service. However, I am sure Mr. Moore’s father called the Japanese sniper who killed his bother worse things than “coward” and “savage” for doing so. And yet, Mr. Moore strenuously objects to the film “American Sniper” showing American fighting men calling Iraqis such things while engaged with them in combat.
Again, does the ignorance and hypocrisy not slap you in the face? Snipers do what they do to win wars and save their brother and sister soldiers’ lives. If Mr. Moore had a son fighting for America in a war – admittedly, a ludicrous proposition, no doubt – would he not want those cowardly snipers watching out for his child?
If you are going to play the loner, standing up bravely against popular sentiment, and questioning society’s views of its heroes, at least have the courage to stand behind your remarks. Do not hide behind your flimsy fig leaf and pretend you were just making an offhand remark about a family member. Be brave, and fight, even rhetorically, for what you think is right.
Who is truly the coward here? To even ask the question is ridiculous in the extreme. Mr. Moore should thank his God, or whatever he believes in, that men like Chris Kyle exist, so that men like him get to continue to, as well.
(Featured Image Courtesy: Associated Press)