July 13, 2024

The sanctity of dissent against war


This archived article was written by: Nathaniel Woodward

I wasn’t going to write this article. I was afraid of what the repercussions may be, and that’s exactly why it must be written. As a country, have we become so star spangled awesome that it is now entirely intolerable to think war is a terrible thing? Recently, comments were made by several prominent Hollywood activists that incited the full blown “patriotic” fury of many impassioned admirers of the biopic “American Sniper” based on the real life experience of former Navy Seal sniper, the late Chris Kyle.
The American lifestyle forged a new attitude of international elitism which makes it obscene to even suggest that this film was anything but “amazing.” Heaven forbid someone dislike its message. War is a fundamental failure of the human race. Resorting to putting bullets and shrapnel into the bodies of the citizens of other nations when we feel no other option is necessary is a tragedy of unequalled proportions. Eighty million people died as a result of World War II. Think on that. If every one of those people were only five feet tall, laid end to end, they would wrap around the earth more than three times. Countless lives have been destroyed by war, and that should never be celebrated.
Each and every death is a tragedy. At one point, that human in the crosshairs was a toddler learning their ABC’s, sitting on their mother’s lap, learning to drive or having a first kiss. Regardless of life choices, each human life has meaning to someone and celebrating the loss of that life shows how intellectually un-evolved we can be. War has not been avoidable in the past and in the defense of the lives of others, it may have even been required. However, a certain melancholy should arise from the act of killing.
“American Sniper” is no more than a propaganda film manufactured to make money, period. To disagree with that opinion is perfectly understandable, but to call for the boycott and silence of those who hold these views is a form of fascism propagated by ignorance and then sheltered under the user’s interpretation of patriotism.
To claim one doesn’t understand or get to have that opinion because they did not serve in the military is unjustified and inconsistent with the Constitution they reference so often when it behooves them.
It is a dishonor to the memory of soldiers who have sacrificed their lives to glory in the bloodshed of battle. Kyle wasn’t a hero for the lives he took, he was a hero for his work when he came home, for the lives he saved. Debate has and will wage on over the concept and actions of war, but this article is intended to demonstrate that it is reasonable to dissent from the loud and hateful speech of those who would wish or threaten to silence you. “American Sniper” is a movie in poor taste, designed to prey upon the wallets of the patriotic eagerness of a nation so absorbed with its own awesomeness that it calls for the figurative heads of those who dare to dissent to it.
I love where I live, I enjoy the freedoms it affords me and am devastated that men and woman gave their lives for me to enjoy those things, and I am grateful to them. Grateful that they answered the call of the moral failings of the human race, sent to war when the leaders of nations failed to lead. When planes attacked a sleepy naval installation and when a narcissistic dictator put 10’s of millions of civilians to death, for those who rose up when those actions were necessary to put an end to the bloodshed. Killing should never be celebrated, life is precious and fleeting. Remember there is a sanctity to dissent, an admired holiness to speaking out against what you think is wrong. Consequences be damned.