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The Pseudo-Courage of Chris Kyle

That kind of courage, which is conspicuous in danger and enterprise, if devoid of justice, is absolutely undeserving of the name of valor. It should rather be considered as a brutal fierceness outraging every principle of humanity.
Cicero, The Offices, Book I Chapter XIX

As a sniper with the Navy SEALs in Iraq, Chris Kyle was shot twice and wounded on several other occasions. He is credited with 160 confirmed kills. He received several commendations. Of his fierceness there is no reasonable doubt. Whether his exploits display courage is an entirely separate question.

American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History, the ghost-written memoir for which Kyle claims primary authorship, offers convincing testimony that Kyle not only failed to display genuine courage in Iraq, but was incapable of recognizing it when it was exhibited by desperate patriots seeking to evict the armed foreigners who had invaded and occupied their country.

The insurgents who fought the American invasion (and the few “allied” troops representing governments that had been bribed or brow-beaten into collaborating in that crime) were sub-human “savages” and “cowards,” according to Kyle.

“Savage, despicable evil,” writes Kyle. “That’s what we were fighting in Iraq…. People ask me all the time, `How many people have you killed?’... The number is not important to me. I only wish I had killed more. Not for bragging rights, but because I believe the world is a better place without savages out there taking American lives.”

None of the American military personnel whose lives were wasted in Iraq had to die there, because none of them had any legitimate reason to be there. From Kyle’s perspective, however, only incorrigibly “evil” people would object once their country had been designated the target of one of Washington’s frequent outbursts of murderous humanitarianism.

The insensate savagery of the Iraqi population was supposedly illustrated by the first kill Kyle recorded as a sniper, while covering a Marine advance near Nasiriyah in March, 2003.

“I looked through the scope,” Kyle recalls. “The only people who were moving were [a] woman and maybe a child or two nearby. I watched the troops pull up. Ten young, proud Marines in uniform got out of their vehicles and gathered for a foot patrol. As the Americans organized, the woman took something from beneath her clothes, and yanked at it. She’d set a grenade.”

Kyle shot the woman twice.

“It was my duty to shoot, and I don’t regret it,” Kyle attests. “The woman was already dead. I was just making sure she didn’t take any Marines with her. It was clear that not only did she want to kill them, but she didn’t care about anybody else nearby who would have been blown up by the grenade or killed in the firefight. Children on the street, people in the houses, maybe her child….”

Of course, if the Marines hadn’t invaded that woman’s neighborhood, she wouldn’t have been driven to take such desperate action – but Kyle either cannot or will not understand the motives of an Iraqi patriot.

“She was … blinded by evil,” Kyle writes of the woman he murdered from a safe distance. “She just wanted Americans dead, no matter what. My shots saved several Americans, whose lives were clearly worth more than that woman’s twisted soul.”

Were Kyle just a touch more literate, he might recognize the term untermenschen, a German expression that encapsulates his view of the Iraqis who took up arms to repel foreign invaders. From his perspective, they were incurably inferior to their “liberators” and possessed of an inexplicable hatred toward their natural betters.

For some reason many Iraqis resented the armed emissaries of the distant government that had installed Saddam in power, built up his arsenal and apparatus of domestic repression, and then conferred upon the inhabitants of that nation the unmatched blessing of several decades of wars, embargoes, airstrikes, disease, and the early, avoidable deaths of hundreds of thousands of children.

“The people we were fighting in Iraq, after Saddam’s army fled or was defeated, were fanatics,” Kyle insists. “They hated us because we weren’t Muslim. They wanted to kill us, even though we’d just booted out their dictator, because we practiced a different religion than they did.”

Actually, most of them probably wanted to kill Kyle and his comrades because they had invaded and occupied their country. They were prepared to use lethal force to protect their homes against armed intruders who had no right to be there. Ironically, Kyle’s book offers evidence that he understands that principle; he simply doesn’t believe that it applies to Iraqis.

In one incident described by Kyle, he and several other U.S. personnel raid an Iraqi home, in the basement of which they discover a mass grave containing the bodies of several soldiers and Marines. For several panic-stricken moments, Kyle is understandably terrified by the thought that he might find the lifeless body of his younger brother, a Marine who had also been deployed to Iraq.

With obvious and vehement disgust, Kyle cites the “murdered young men whose bodies we had pulled out” of that basement grave as evidence of the bestial nature of the enemy. He exhibits no interest at all in the fact that tens of millions of Iraqis have seen friends and family meet violent, avoidable deaths as a result of the wars and sanctions imposed on their country by Washington. Untermenschen, apparently, aren’t entitled to experience grief and rage – much less the right to defend their homes and families against aggressive violence.

After returning from his first combat tour in Iraq, Kyle recalls, he was rudely roused from slumber one morning when the burglar alarm went off. Although this was a malfunction rather than a real emergency, Kyle’s reaction was revealing.

“I grabbed my pistol and went to confront the criminal,” he recalls. “No son of a bitch was breaking into my house and living to tell about it.”

Why was it “evil” for Iraqis to feel exactly the same way about the foreign sons of bitches who broke into their country and wrecked the place?

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Alvin York He Ain't

The man who said that his uniform wasn't for sale and that killing wasn't something to profit upon would be disgusted at the view presented by Mr. Kyle.

I'm not sure what happened with his death, but this unChristian attitude of viewing people as less than human among "Christians" needs to die.

Good post Jefferson

I think your last line is the sound bite people need to take away when trying to enlighten others.

It is the hypocracy of the majority of Americans these days.

disgusting of course but

it comes down from the top. civilian deaths in iraq were labeled bugsplat.

Yeah And They Are Coming After Us

I guess we will be bugsplat too.


Chris killed 143 more people

Chris killed 143 more people than Jeffery Dahmer.

Well written and pertinent

Here's another case where even though fellow soldiers
wanted an Army sniper prosecuted for killing non-combatant
kids and lying about it - and Army investigators recommended
prosecution for murder - no prosecution ever occurred..

Unit was 82nd Airborne:


Kyle' company website:


Kyle lacked courage because instead

of walking away from these immoral wars, he caved and embraced them. He murdered individuals and made up a fairytale about them so he could sleep at night. Pathetic.

Point taken

However, you assume that he innately had the perspective that you and I have but at some point rejected that perspective. Maybe he did but I think it more likely that he was just a product of our culture, our society, our government. I do not presume that he ever even thought to question the state narrative at all. Brainwashing is real. And powerful. Think of all the chicken hawk republican neocons you know. Do you think they are capable of being truly introspective about what we do overseas? How much less so this man who was groomed from early adulthood in the most rigorous of martial programs to be a state tool. A very capable and fearsome tool. But a tool nonetheless.

A few short years ago I would have been more inclined to be of Mr. Kyles perspective. So I am not unable to sympathize with his lost condition. But this is Ron Paul's legacy. He is a truth teller. He is an educator. He is a deprogrammer. Telling the truth is powerful also. Truth telling, coupled with a life of integrity, will get people's attention. He got mine. He woke me up.

I don't assume that Mr. Kyle was ever fortunate enough to benefit from any of the truth that Dr. Paul was dispensing. That is why it is incumbent on us, if we care about these things, to try to reach as many as we can. Otherwise we as a nation will continue to be defined by men the likes of Chris Kyle.


what a great article. thanks for sharing.

Chris Kyle "loved it & missed it"

Start at the 1:05 mark:

Interesting how the seals nicknamed him "legend" and the Iraqis dubbed him "The Devil". All depends on perspective. Excellent post!

Here's a post I made:

Notice the different perspectives?

Great post

I hope everyone read the full piece at Mr. Grigg's blog. I do take issue with the title though. I think it is misguided to comment on the man's courage. I see no evidence that Mr Kyle lacked courage. I don't think you become that level of operative without possessing a significant measure of real courage.

Besides that the piece is spot on and extremely important. This should be required reading for all that clamor for a war with our federal government, believing that the military and police will come to the side of liberty and resist tyranny with the American patriots. I used to naively imagine this would be the case also. Then I heard about what happened in New Orleans with Katrina. Then I thought more about the caliber of the average American citizen, that put George Bush and Barack Obama in power (twice each!) and I realized that our military and police are just a cross section of that American citizenry. Then I read the words of men like Chris Kyle, and I realize just how depraved this society is. How brainwashed. How psychotic. How perverse. Chris Kyle presents himself as the poster child for tyranny enforcement. These are the men that will delightedly turn their advanced skills and weapons on American patriots. And after they have killed all they could, they will only regret they couldn't kill more. These are the men that America produces.

Jefferson's picture


much courage does it take for an adult to beat up a kid with a wooden leg? That's about how lopsided the battle was. It' s easy to be courageous when you have stealth bombers, tomahawk missiles, Apache gun ships, and a host of other advanced weaponry backing you up.

TRUE courage is exhibited by people like SGT. Zak Carter
(DP member/friend), who went to Iraq as part of the "tip of the spear," but later came back and put their career at risk by publicly speaking out about what a sham the whole thing was. THAT'S true courage.

Sure, it takes determination, as well as immense physical and mental capability to "become an operative at that level," but it takes "courage" to speak truth to power and not just say "I was doing my duty" and these people were just "evil savages."

It takes true courage to examine one's own heart and PUBLICLY say, "you know what, I was over there and I realized these people were defending their country just like I would if it happened here."

Sorry, but this guy was a psychopath and the world is a better place without him. The last thing we needed was someone like him training our police.

Oh so Kyle was working for Homeland Security training

for domestic military action. Didn't know this was another ghost written book acredited to a navy seal. Questions to ask: Why were both Iraq and New Orlenas during Katrina referred to as "Labs"? Good post.

govt workers in uniform

are all heros according to rand paul.

Jefferson's picture


domestic law enforcement agencies."

Isn't that comforting?

"During Kyle’s last deployment to Iraq, his unit – Charlie Company of SEAL Team 3 – assigned themselves the nickname “The Punishers,” appropriating as their insignia the Death’s Head logo used by the psychotic comic book character of the same name.

Interestingly, a group of police officers in Milwaukee had exactly the same idea. They also adopted the “Punisher” logo, which they displayed on their police vehicles and wore on knitted caps as they prowled the street in search of asses to kick.

The most memorable exhibition of what they regarded as valor came in October 2004, when a thugscrum of “Punishers” beset a male dancer named Frank Jude, who was nearly beaten to death because he was suspected of stealing a badge.

After throwing Jude to the ground, the Punishers severely beat, kicked, and choked him – then put a knife to his throat and jammed a pen into one of his ears. The victim survived the assault, but was left with permanent brain damage. The officers later claimed that this amount of violence was necessary to “subdue” Jude – who was never charged in connection with the incident. The jury in the criminal trial accepted that claim and acquitted the officers – who were later found guilty of criminal civil rights violations. "

Fantastic article.

I read it earlier. MUST read!

Jefferson's picture


a bit of a long read but worth it. (imo)

When I read about Glennadict ArnoldBeck attacking Dr. Paul on his radio show for merely quoting the Bible, I felt this was a proper response.

Great article.

Anyone who has a knee jerk reaction to praise killers like this, should read this article.

The only courage in the story of Chris Kyle, is the courage of his victims to resist with what little they had against incredible odds.

Kyle refers to cowardice on the part of his victims, but the only cowardice to be found is his own.

Check out the Laissez-Faire Journal at LFJournal.com

"The State is a gang of thieves writ large." - Murray Rothbard

Jefferson's picture


was the least that could be written in defense of the recent supposed tweet from Ron Paul.

This whole "sheepdog" mentality where we think we have to turn over the responsibility for our freedoms and protection to the police and military is part of the reason this country is in the shape it is in.

Men have become pussified, and no longer understand their responsibilities as citizens of this country. They live vicariously through overpaid athletes, and this "hero" worship of the military.

I have a great deal of respect for someone who is willing to put it all on the line in defense of THIS Nation and the principles it was founded on, and I am even willing to cut some slack to those who have been deceived. (as we all were on 9/11) But, those who celebrate their actions by categorizing people who are defending their own country as "savages" and "evil" is at best a terrible misunderstanding.


As per usual Ron Paul is about a full track's length ahead of the curve on this one. And as per usual he comes off looking like a kook to the utterly lost masses simply because the truth he tells is so utterly foreign to them. But posts like this go a long way to bring people up to speed with Dr. Paul. Pity almost no one will see it.

Jefferson's picture


occasionally pop in over at Glenn Beck's site to see what the mouth breathers are up to and take a temp. (I know.... I'm a glutton for punishment) Apparently GB went on a rampage attacking RP on his radio show, but then stopped to relay how much he agreed with RP on. I REALLY don't like that guy..Seems like there was at least a small bit of support in the few comments I read. I wish I could post this article over there.