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SEAL sniper killed--not exactly an eulogy

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Kyle: An undistrurbed conscience. by CNN

Chris Kyle: "No regrets".

Like most of today's Death Star troopers serving the American juggernaut, Chris Kyle, "America's deadliest sniper," never understood what he was doing overseas. Soaked from the cradle in the chauvinist Texas cultural DNA, he was thoroughly indoctrinated to believe in all the dense mythologies comprising the self-righteous national  propaganda canon, especially as it relates to foreign adventures (er, I mean crusades) to save the world or protect the homeland, no questions asked.

Obviously a gun enthusiast, war lover, upright Christian, G.W. Bush supporter, and a committed hunter, he was proud of his skill as a precision killer, and morally undisturbed by his mission in Iraq and elsewhere. Macho to caricature dimensions, by his own reckoning he killed upwards of 160 people, perhaps more. His first kill was a woman cradling a toddler, supposedly about to toss a grenade into a nest of Marines. Apparently the incident never haunted Kyle too much. Suffering from serious empathy deficiency and zero political knowledge, it never occurred to him that a mother with a toddler and a grenade only occur under very desperate circumstances, when a citizens' irregular and vastly outgunned army is forced to repel a superpower's mighty invading force. Wars are ugly by definition but colonialist wars even more so, since the disproportion in firepower is beyond grotesque.  Such things never bothered Kyle, either, a poster boy for wingnuts everywhere.

Yes, he was a "natural warrior"--the sort of specimen that the ruling orders have cultivated and adulated down the ages. They use such massively ignorant yet narrowly skilled people for their own ends. Now Kyle is dead, victim of a bizarre incident probably triggered by PTSD (see below). Karmic justice? Maybe. If you believe such notions. The sad thing is that he will never know what he really contributed to. Not that such clarity would have arrived for sure if he had lived longer. Still, it would have been nice to see Kyle struggling with his conscience after he finally figured it all out. Too bad that ingested propaganda (especially when moored in a conservative upbringing) is a very hard thing to overcome.

Kyle is now being remembered as a hero, but in reality he belongs to a much more morally equivocal category, those legions who serve evil as a result of misguided patriotism. Many (you know who) will argue he was brave and loyal "to his country." But bravery is no excuse, as the thousands who died fighting in an SS uniform ought to reminds us.  And "loyalty to country" --always an ethically slippery construct-- cannot apply to  wars of aggression waged behind a curtain of lies. That much was settled by the Nuremberg Tribunal and later ratified by the United Nations and the US Congress.

One thing now seems certain. With America's military involvements around the world extending into the indefinite future, with a wobbly economy that offers little solace to a growing sector of the lower (and middle) middle class, with a constant demand for well-trained, dull-witted killers, Dante's Seventh Ring will surely become a pretty crowded place before long.

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Chris Kyle, America's deadliest sniper, offered no regrets
By Alan Duke, CNN

CNN) -- Chris Kyle had no regrets about any of the 160 people he killed as a Navy SEAL sniper during his five combat tours in Iraq. His first kill was a woman who cradled a toddler with one hand and held a grenade in the other. "I had to do it to protect the Marines," Kyle told Time magazine a year ago. "You want to lose your own guys, or would you rather take one of them out?"

Standing 6 feet, 2 inches tall and weighing a muscular 220 pounds, Kyle developed a deadly reputation in Iraq, prompting insurgents to put a bounty on his head, according to his autobiography. "I'm a better husband and father than I was a killer," he told Time. "I'm pretty comfortable with not having to kill anyone. Now, don't take deer hunting away from me."

When Kyle's military career ended after a decade, he joined other former SEALs to start Craft International, a security company with the motto "Despite what your momma told you, Violence does solve problems."

Friend: Kyle 'a guardian of Marines' SEAL: Insurgents knew how to identify me. He also became a best-selling author, a reality TV personality, a supporter of fellow vets suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome, an avid hunter and an outspoken opponent of gun control.

Kyle, 38, was shot to death Saturday -- by a former Marine, police say -- while shooting for fun on a Texas gun range. Another veteran was also fatally shot.

A west Texas native, Kyle studied agriculture at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas, after graduating from high school in 1992. He left college after two years to work as a ranch hand until he joined the Navy in 1999.

He left the Navy as a chief petty officer in 2009 with a chest full of medals, including two Silver Stars and five Bronze Stars, according to his service record released by the Pentagon.

It was another distinction accumulated during Kyle's five tours of Iraq that has brought him the most attention. He wrote about it in a best-selling book published a year ago, titled "American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History."

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Media critic and former economist P. Greanville is The Greanville Post's founding editor ( He also serves as publisher for Cyrano's Journal Today. He has a lifelong interest in the triumph of justice and (more...)
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