Chris Kyle’s story is now enshrined in celluloid, taking over $300 million at the box office, but the Islamic Army in Iraq also had its legend, “Juba” — the Baghdad Sniper.
A Texas jury found former Marine Eddie Ray Routh guilty of capital murder; in 2013 he shot to death former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, the man behind American Sniper — the book later turned into a blockbuster movie directed by Hollywood icon Clint Eastwood. Texas Governor Greg Abbott also made his mark, post-verdict, by tweeting “JUSTICE!”
It didn’t matter that Routh’s attorneys — and his family — insisted he suffered from psychosis, caused by post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Texas prosecutors easily brushed it off — “proving” Routh’s episodes of PTSD were provoked by alcohol and marijuana.
American Sniper — the movie — could not but become a pop culture phenomenon in the US. Kyle, played by Bradley Cooper, is Dirty Harry in combat gear — a specialist in dehumanizing the faceless “enemy” as he eviscerates them one by one. The “enemy” happened to be defending the homeland against an invading/occupying force.
Poetic justice does intervene, and the Ultimate Sniper also becomes dehumanized himself. He is diagnosed with PTSD.
In a cruel twist of fate, he ends up eviscerated back home, on a firing range, by someone he was trying to help; a serviceman with — you guessed it — PTSD.
For every US soldier killed in 2014, no less than 25 veterans committed suicide. For the second year in a row, the Pentagon has lost more troops to suicide than to combat. Ah, but in Texas, this stuff is for sissies.