HOLLYWOOD, CA — Snacking in his office, director, writer and actor Clint Eastwood was asked over the weekend about his film “American Sniper” getting six Oscar nominations. He was also asked how he felt portraying the life of sniper Chris Kyle, who served four tours in the Iraq War and was nicknamed “The Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. History,” whether he felt Kyle’s history of embellishing the truth, if not outright fabricating it gave him any pause. He was also asked by our reporter how he felt about glorifying a man who said he had absolutely zero regrets about the alleged 255 kills Kyle racked up in Iraq, despite the fact that most people not living underneath a rock or employed by any member of the Bush-Cheney Administration feel the Iraq War was one of the most unjustified wars in history.
Eastwood — a devout Conservative who gave a rip-roaringly hilarious performance (for octogenarians who are afraid of modernity) with an empty chair at the 2012 Republican National Convention in support of Mitt Romney had a few things to say to our reporter.
“Look, pal,” Eastwood said, “I served in the Army, okay. I know. I was drafted in 1951, and I served. So I know, okay, pal? I know.” It wasn’t exactly clear what Eastwood was meant to “know” so we asked him what war was like for him. “Oh, war? I never actually went to war. Even though the Korean War was still going at the time I was drafted, I met a sweet lass that was sweet on me, and her daddy just so happened to be an officer where I was stationed. So I have zero actual experience in combat. Doesn’t mean I can’t do my part for America though, chum.”
We asked the Hollywood veteran what he thought about the fact that many of the claims Kyle made about his life after his tours in Iraq have been regarded as highly suspect, even to the point that Jesse Ventura successfully sued Kyle’s estate and won, a court and a jury deciding that Ventura was entitled to over a million dollars because Kyle had lied about a fight he got into with the former Minnesota governor and wrestler. We asked him if these dubious stories after his return from the war should cast any doubt on the veracity of the stories Eastwood based his film on. “Oh hell, son, you can’t come to me with that kind of bullcrap. Maybe he lied about that stuff. Maybe that makes him less a hero and more a person addicted to violence and unable to break the cycle at home. Maybe those stories show a man every much so in love with himself and creating a legacy no matter how untrue for his name to live on forever, but that’s not why I mad this film, Sonny Jim!”
So we asked Clint why, exactly, did he create this film. “Because, America, that’s why, chap.” Pressed for more details, the creative genius behind such classics of art and cinema like “Space Cowboys” and “Bronco Billy” told us “I’m just happy I was able to make a film that could make a difference. This war on terror we’re fighting is so very important. I mean, look at all the terrorist attacks that have been thwarted since 9/11. Clearly this is because we fought and won the Iraq War. That’s what all that destabilization that Chris Kyle helped to create was about — ensuring we’re not attacked by fundamentalists who are angry and upset over our wars. Wait. What?”
We then asked Clint why he left out passages from Kyle’s book that don’t paint him as quite so sympathetic. For instance, when Kyle said in the novel form of “American Sniper” that he didn’t “shoot people with Korans,” though he admitted that he’d “like to, but I don’t.” Or when he writes that he “couldn’t give a flying fuck about the Iraqis,” presumably because he “hate[d] the damn savages.” Mr. Eastwood just pretended not to hear our questions instead.
Mr. Eastwood says that he sees no irony in a film like his juxtaposed against people on the right side of the political spectrum calling out all entirety of Islam for the violence of a select group within them. “No, I don’t think the way we glorified violence against humanity is the same as when they do it. We’re like, American and stuff, and even if I were to believe that the Iraq War was so built on lies and outright deception that just about every kill from the war should be considered some kind of war crime, that doesn’t mean we’re the same as them.”
“The bottom line to me is a simple one, Squirt,” said Eastwood as he chewed up his BLT and swallowed. “We clearly can’t keep this country safe unless every generation or so we send a butt-load of young men and women to die in a needless, illegal war. That’s what America has always, and will always, be about. From Vietnam to the two-and-a-half decades of bombing and bloodshed in Iraq. We need these young people to be cut down in the prime of their lives, or the terrorists? They’re gonna win, little guy. So, to me, it’s just an honor do my part to help young boys and girls die needlessly!”