if you've ever been to r/atheism then there's no reason to bother visiting his facebook because you've already seen it all before. this guy considers himself an anti-theist, whatever that means. this is probably going to be all over the news unless there's some other explanation or the wrong facebook page is circulating around early on but the mug shot looks awful close to this guy.
happy posting everyone and please don't forget to cast blame on the entire atheist community for the actions of 1(?) man. or, if you'd rather, be sure to portray this apparent murderer and bigot as a poor innocent lone wolf victim of mental illness who is not at all representative of a much larger problem
“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.
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?
Later in the book, describing a stalking exercise during his training to become a sniper, Kyle recounts how he “heard the distinct rattle of a snake nearby.”
“A rattler had taken a particular liking to the piece of real estate I had to cross,” Kyle recalls. “Willing it away didn’t work…. I crept slowly to the side, altering my course. Some enemies aren’t worth fighting.”
Exactly: The only enemies worth “fighting,” apparently, are those who aren’t capable of hurting you when you trespass on their turf.
“They may have been cowards, but they could certainly kill people,” observes Kyle of the guerrillas. “The insurgents didn’t worry about ROEs [Rules of Engagement] or court-martials [sic]. If they had the advantage, they would kill any Westerner they could find, whether they were soldiers or not.”
If that charge (made on page 87 of Kyle’s book) is accurate, it might reflect the fact that the Iraqi resistance (as well as the tactics of foreign guerrillas who joined the fight) was playing according to ground rules established by the U.S. early in the war.
On page 79, Kyle describes the Rules of Engagement that his unit followed when they were deployed to Shatt al-Arab, a river on the Iraq-Iran border: “Our ROEs when the war kicked off were pretty simple: If you see anyone from about sixteen to sixty-five and they’re male, shoot ‘em. Kill every male you see. That wasn’t the official language, but that was the idea.”
In one of her occasional contributions to Kyle’s book, his wife Taya rebukes people who criticize the bloodshed wrought in Iraq by her husband and his colleagues: “As far as I can see it, anyone who has a problem with what guys do over there is incapable of empathy.” The trait she describes isn’t empathy; it’s a variation on the kind of pre-emptive self-pity described by Hannah Arendt in her study Eichmann in Jerusalem.
Referring to those who killed on behalf of the Third Reich, Arendt observed:
“What stuck in the minds of these men who had become murderers was simply the notion of being involved in something historic, grandiose, unique (`a great task that occurs once in two thousand years’), which must therefore be difficult to bear. This was important, because the murderers were not sadists or killers by nature; on the contrary, a systematic effort was made to weed out all those who derived physical pleasure from what they did....”
This was true even of those who belonged to the SS: Even those in the Reich’s killer elite were not able to suppress their conscience entirely. Thus the “trick used by Himmler — who apparently was rather strongly afflicted by these instinctive reactions himself — was very simple and probably very effective; it consisted in turning these instincts around, as it were, in directing them toward the self. So that instead of saying: `What horrible things I did to people!,’ the murderers would be able to say: `What horrible things I had to watch in the pursuance of my duties, how heavily the task weighed upon my shoulders!’"
Kyle’s memoir is remarkable chiefly for the complete absence of the kind of moral anguish Arendt describes among the SS. Kyle eagerly participated in a patently illegal and entirely unnecessary war of aggression against a country that never attacked, harmed, or threatened the United States. He killed scores of people, terrorized thousands more. As Kyle tells the story, he reveled in the experience, and regrets only that he wasn’t able to slaughter more of the “savages” who surrounded him.
“He made a run at me,” Kyle continues. “Pretty stupid. First of all, I’m not only bigger than him, but I was wearing full body armor. Not to mention the fact that I had a submachine gun in my hand. I took the muzzle of my gun and struck the idiot in the chest. He went right down.”
If Kyle had been a warrior, rather than a bully, he would have admired the authentic courage displayed by the smaller, unarmed man who fought to protect the ship and cargo entrusted to him.
How would he act if the roles were reversed – if he were the over-matched man trying to defend private property from a group of state-licensed pirates claiming “authority” from a UN mandate? We’ll never know the answer to that question, because Kyle’s “courage” is of the sort that only manifests itself in the service of power, and in the company of those enjoying a prohibitive advantage over their victims.
Consider these two astounding facts: “The United States incarcerates a higher proportion of blacks than apartheid South Africa did. In America, the black-white wealth gap today is greater than it was in South Africa in 1970 at the peak of apartheid.”
This quote comes from Nicholas Kristof, who has been publishing a series in The New York Times under the title “When Whites Just Don’t Get It.” In an earlier column in the series, Kristof points out that whites in South Africa owned 15 times more than blacks in 1970s, while the current ratio for the United States is 18 to 1.
In the context of the last 50 years, the statistics look even starker. According to a set of charts the Washington Post published last year on the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s“I Have a Dream” speech, the gap between whites and blacks has either remained the same or has gotten worse over the last half century. The gap in household income, the ratio of unemployment, and the number of children going to segregated schools have all remained roughly the same. The disparity in incarceration rates has gotten worse.
South Africa got rid of apartheid. Although it remains more sharply divided economically than virtually any other major country, the end of apartheid did spur the growth of the black middle class, which expanded from 300,000 people to 3 million, with blacks rising from 11 percent to 41 percent of the overall middle class in 20 years.
But in the United States, very little has changed in five decades. The higher echelons of the African American community have done reasonably well, but not the middle class or the working poor. Since 1970, the percentage of African Americans in the middle class has actually declined. And the depression that hit the country after 2007 wiped out whatever gains this middle class might have achieved.
The media is full of pictures of Obama and Oprah, of Condoleezza and Susan Rice, of Serena Williams and Will Smith. Their omnipresence suggests that America is far from an apartheid society. And yet, for all their power and prominence, they are the outliers.
i would first like to head off any semantic arguments by saying i understand that apartheid may not be the best way to describe the type of segregation seen in america due to both the divisiveness of the term as well as a few fundamental differences in american society and american law.
that being said, the debate over the presence of an institutionally segregated society in the US seems to center on presence of equal opportunity (or lack thereof) and the idea of social darwinism. this is a thread in which we can discuss how segregation is or isn't codified into law today. how poor minorities simply choose to lead lives with poor outcomes. how self segregation explains poor minority neighborhoods and rich white neighborhoods. how a cultural commitment to crime explains incarceration disparities. this is of course not unlike many other threads, so i am going to add a degree of difficulty by asking contributors to provide foundational evidence for their claims. statements like "all politicians are actually in the klan" and "people want to be with people they look like" are totally worthless without some sort of support. take me through the process that allowed you to reach the conclusions you have reached. thank you for your time and god bless