[Kyle's] views on his deadly work in Iraq have caused less comment than perhaps they should. I don’t doubt for a second that a lot of those 255 dead people were clean shots, taken out to save American lives; some people just need killin’ as they say, often accurately, in Texas. Yet Kyle himself admitted that the first person he took out was a woman who was armed with a hand grenade. Knowing something about how the insurgents in Iraq not infrequently corralled people into acts of war not altogether voluntarily, I wonder: was she a wife, a mother? Did she want to be there?
Kyle assured us that the enemy in Iraq was “a savage” – meaning, one supposes, that woman and the 254 others he felled. He professed zero regrets about any of it, indeed he believed that he was doing the Lord’s work with his rifle and scope. About one of his most remarkable shots, he professed his faith: “God blew that bullet and hit him.” Interestingly I have heard jihadists say exactly the same thing, verbatim, about their combat exploits. There’s a very good chance that many of those 255 dead Iraqis felt that they, too, like the Blues Brothers, were on a mission from God.[...]The needless death of our deadliest sniper ought to be a moment of reflection about our warriors and what we ask them to do for us – also, where and why and how. My own faith tradition, while far from pacifist, embraces a view of war which is a good deal more introspective than many Americans seem inclined to today. Traditionally, Orthodox warriors, even those who had defended their homes against pagan invaders, were instructed to pray and ask for forgiveness, and to abstain from communion for months, sometimes years – since even a just war means killing other humans who, like all of us, are made in God’s image. Chris Kyle stated confidently about his sniping, “I can stand before God with a clear conscience about doing my job,” and perhaps he was right; he’s finding out now.
Friday, February 15, 2013
A Naval War College Professor on Sniper Chris Kyle
John R. Schindler, professor of national security affairs at the U.S. Naval War College, writes: