Sunday, February 1, 2015


Many Americans like to live in a "Disneyland" reality. You can't them because seeing the real world we live in is enough to make your head explode. Dirty Harry (Clint Eastwood) made everybody's day with American Sniper; a fantasy about how we want to believe war is like. 

The shameful atrocities of Vietnam are slowly fading into history as are those that lived through it, so the time is ripe to start rewriting the history of the disastrous war(s) we do remember.

Garett Reppenhagen served as a Cavalry Scout Sniper with the 1st Infantry Division in the US Army and deployed on a peacekeeping mission in Kosovo and a combat tour in the Diyala Province, Iraq in 2004. Garett works as a Regional Director for Vet Voice Foundation and is a veterans advocate and social justice organizer.

"When I heard of the bigoted reaction some Americans had after watching the film, I was disgusted, but not surprised. Audience members are mistaking Chris Kyle’s view of the war as “the” story about the war. No wonder someone tweeted that the movie made them “want to go kill some ragheads.” It’s sad that such a nearsighted portrayal of Iraqis has caused more people to fear Arabs and glorify violence against them."

"It would be refreshing if a big Hollywood movie would take on the task of creating a less dramatized, more nuanced version of warfare. There are some incredible documentaries on the subject. “Occupation: Dreamland” and “Restrepo” capture the life of a service member in a modern deployment without sugarcoating the hard political environment that is a backdrop to the conflicts."