I’m willing to admit that once upon a time I was a pretty big fan of Michael Moore. I liked his work and his passion, even if I didn’t always agree with everything he said or did. And for the most part, I still think he does a decent amount of good. That being said, I also think he has a real problem with not knowing when to just shut up.
As many have already probably heard, Moore made comments recently where he essentially called snipers “cowards”:
My uncle killed by sniper in WW2. We were taught snipers were cowards. Will shoot u in the back. Snipers aren’t heroes. And invaders r worse — Michael Moore (@MMFlint) January 18, 2015
But if you’re on the roof of your home defending it from invaders who’ve come 7K miles, you are not a sniper, u are brave, u are a neighbor. — Michael Moore (@MMFlint) January 19, 2015
His comments are idiotic on several levels. First, his uncle being killed by a sniper in WWII has nothing to do with the “courage” of a sniper. A sniper is a position found in every form of organized military on the planet. They have a specialization and a job that’s specifically assigned to them. His uncle’s life, until it was taken, was quite possibly saved by American snipers with whom he was fighting alongside several times during WWII.
And what’s Moore saying, that unless you’re killing the enemy in face to face combat you’re a coward? Does he then think that every pilot who’s dropped a bomb, or service member on a naval ship who’s fired a missile, are cowards as well? You know, since they didn’t even “have the courage” to see who they might have killed? Because if a sniper shooting someone with a sniper rifle is “cowardly, ” then what does he think of someone who killed someone with a tomahawk missile from miles away?
Then we can’t ignore the overwhelmingly obvious fact that snipers have saved countless American lives. How many men and women are alive and with their families right now because they were saved by a sniper? And how many of these “cowards” have died serving this country, fighting for our freedom?
Let’s use WWII for an example. If an American sniper would have had a clear shot at Hitler, would they have been a “coward” for taking the shot, ending the war and saving millions of lives? How many Jews would have been saved had a “cowardly sniper” took Hitler out well before he slaughtered millions of them?
This isn’t about debating the ethics behind going to war in Iraq, Afghanistan or anywhere else. Members of our military don’t have a choice. When they’re ordered by our government to do their duty, they’re expected to follow orders. If you want to criticize the people who sent our troops into war, go right ahead. But don’t sit there and call members of our military “cowards” for doing their job.
And while I understand Chris Kyle is a bit controversial because of some of the things he’s said, Moore’s comments weren’t directed at one individual – though it’s clear the debut of American Sniper was what triggered him to post such idiocy. His comments were blanket statements clearly derived from his disagreement with our involvement in Iraq that essentially become him publicly admitting that he has disdain for our men and women in uniform.
If you want to disagree with war, go right ahead. While I’m not anti-war, I’m also not pro-war. It’s my belief that some wars are justified while others are not. But supporting the brave men and women of our military who risk everything to defend this country whenever they’re called upon to do so should never be attacked by anyone. They’re called upon to do a job and if they don’t do it, people can die. They’re put into situations where they’re making decisions that are often so difficult that many of them suffer from PTSD for the rest of their lives because of what they see and have to go through while serving in our military.
If Moore wants to debate the merits of whether or not we should have gone to war, go right ahead. But that’s not what he did. He publicly bashed members of our military as “cowards” because they do a job that he clearly doesn’t understand. And by doing so, his ignorance was on full display.
And while I’ll fully admit that I’ve enjoyed of a lot of what Moore has done, there are times when he just needs to know when to be quiet. And in my opinion, this was one of those times.