Why don't heroes accept villain escapes

Tilmann Moser
Amercan sniper, the record killer

Psychoanalytic and social psychological considerations

The fact that the film breaks all performance records with six Academy Awards in the USA and has already grossed several hundred million dollars is astonishing, astonishing, appalling, frightening and yet seems to be a hypernationalist phenomenon, which in the USA is enthusiastically welcomed and commented on by the right Europe received rather ambivalent to horrified reviews, despite recognized cinematic qualities. The early destruction of childlike empathy as well as the immature superego of the later hero is shown at the beginning: the boy is trained by the father to be a four-year-old hunter at an age when children usually grow in their love for animals. The father, a businessman and also a devout deacon, divides people into sheep, wolves and herding dogs. The first fatal shooting scene in the film creates an overwhelmingly overwhelming and perfidious justification for the shot for the viewer who is not yet morally oriented. She instructs us and warns: The Iraqi "beasts", the first a woman, abused a naturally, so it is suggested, cruelly abused child, it should throw the missile given to him by the mother out of her robes into a group of unsuspecting G sharp, which of course according to her death. Of course, the hero has to kill the child at the very last, saving moment. Then the mother wants to take over the job, and she does the second shot immediately. The ethical attunement: rescue of the G sharp at the last second is done, all further killings with the telescopic sight from high above are no longer a problem.

Soldier Kyfe, the record-breaking sniper, allegedly did not want to be a hero at all, only wanted to do his dedicated service for the fatherland, but with record-breaking ambition for killer and masterly craftsmanship. Only the film by Clint Esastwood as director and the sometimes hymnal comments of nationalistic Americans make him a hero.

I first examine the autograph of Christ Kyle, which he wrote with two literary assistants, published in 2012 under the title “American Sniper. The Autobiography of the Most Letal Sniper in U.S. Military History ", also in German in 2012, already in its sixth edition in 2015, as" Sniper. 160 fatal hits - the best sniper in the US military unpacks ”. Then the two and a half hour film, which also filled the big halls of German cinemas for weeks.

Which national wounds should the film, recorded as a comfort of soul, heal?

The USA is in a serious crisis of self-worth: humiliating withdrawal from Afghanistan,

Government paralyzed by irreconcilable party quarrels, helplessness in the Middle East,

in Ukraine, in Israel, against Iran, ongoing racism, etc.

If you follow the almost 400-page long text of the praising self-portrayal, you can follow the gradual unfolding of the later “legend”, i.e. the completion of the record killer, who continuously emphasized his pride, a member of the Seals, i.e. the top elite troop being in the Navy: "I had spent almost three years training to be a warrior." (p.12) It grows with the increasing demonization of the enemies to be fought, which developed from the former army of Saddam Hussein. “It was the sheer, indescribable evil that we declared war on in Iraq.” It was the “savages,” the villains, the darklings, the scum, who for him do nothing but kill as many American soldiers as possible . And vice versa about yourself: “You do it so that the enemy cannot kill you and your compatriots. You do it until there is no one left to shoot. ”…“ I have no problem saying that I liked what I did. Even today "(16)

If someone is identified as the "bad guy", there is no mercy, he has to be eliminated, prisoners are not taken. “For me there is only black and white. Shades of gray practically do not exist for me. ”(17) The basic background for the“ believing Christian ”is…“ God, fatherland, family. ”(17) The captivating thing about the story is that in the long years of successful killing you don't have any The development and maturation of the prohibitive or the protective superego discovered, but, depending on the father's upbringing or military indoctrination, only the development of an equally oppressive, guiding, even demanding or even terrorist ideal that hardly necessitates conflicts between the usual authorities. The functioning ego lives predominantly in harmony with a hero-ego ideal, which was first developed through family confirmation, later through recognition and orders from the army, and even more drastically through the norms of the elite unit of the SEALs.

Father, who loves hunting and weapons, teaches him his primitive doctrine of the species of humanity as a preaching deacon: "Sheep, wolves and herding dogs". Kyle adheres to this classification, the Iraqi villains are the wolves, he is a herding dog himself and does nothing but keep the herd of comrades together and protect them. His officially counted and officially confirmed and awarded 160 kills are subject to the principle of "justice", the villains deserve it no differently. Kyle's fantasies of size were made early on, even in his time as rodeo champion he said: “I thought I was the ruler of the world back then.” (21) Practice early: “I got my first gun when I was seven or eight years old was. ”(21) When he was accepted for training by the“ Seals ”after humiliating refusals, it became clear that he not only survived the brutal grinding, but justified and enjoyed it. It is shown in detail in the film and corresponds exactly to what Kurt R. Eissler inimitably analyzed in his essay "The Recruit's Soul - On the Psychopathology of the US Army" (1945, German 1982)) about the preparation of soldiers' obedience machines that are ready to kill (In: K. Zinnecker-Mallmann, ed. "This loving veneration ...", Frankfurt 2013). “I thought it was great. I hated, loathed and cursed it ... but still thought it was great. ”(34), and he proudly emphasizes: the failure rate was“ over 90 percent. ”(35) Even“ waterboarding ”was already part of the passive learning program. He and his wife met the “radically evil” on screen when the two towers of the World Trade Center collapsed in flames under the terrorist air raids. Since then, revenge has been his fiery principle of life, which he allegedly indulges in "cool" when he pulls the trigger, "with surgical precision", which excludes all possible braking factors for the cruelty that has never been questioned again. In addition, the following applies: “The training was determined by relentless competition”. (62) and this is all the more true in an emergency, where the number of officially confirmed kills is at stake. Even more so, it determines the final battle of the two sniper giants on both sides of the front, portrayed demoningly in the film, of good and evil: The “just” hero takes care of the villain with his greater accuracy of aiming and the coolness of pulling the trigger. In the run-up to the fighting it was said: “Why do SEALS fight so often? … I go

assume that this is due to suppressed aggression. We are trained to go into battle and kill people ... at the same time we are persuaded that we are invincible devils. "(66) In his riot, Kyle falls into the same inviolability myth as Ernst Jünger with" In "steel thunderstorms" when it comes to Assault goes ahead. It is the prerequisite for any kind of recklessness that always counts on a personal "guardian angel".

Kyle unearths another justification for his extreme killing passion: “The American taxpayers had invested a considerable amount of money in my training as a SEAL. And now I really wanted to serve my country, do my duty and do my job. ... More than anything, however, I wanted to experience the thrill of battle. "(85) Of course the" insurgents "are cowards and they" regularly use drugs ... to encourage themselves. "(100), and therefore Kyle can write proudly : "I killed a lot of Iraqis that day - we all did that", but by we are meant the "normal" elite soldiers, not the sniper on the roof who disdains to be shot in the head: body hits are easy more effective and easier to achieve because they instantly tear the opponent apart.

As with Jünger, the most dangerous enemy of the desired rush is "boredom", which can inevitably occur during the breaks in the battle. The threatening word pervades the whole text and helps to regain the murderous doggedness, even when “stalking” marked with a hunting expression to the place “which is perfectly suited for the respective assignment.” (111) The reader is informed in detail about the four branches of service for the sniper and their effectiveness and accuracy at different distances. Here, too, there is an iron record hunt for distances from the "game" overcome by the shot.

A very rudimentary superego, or rather the ego ideal again, wants to compel him to think of the wife and her baby, abandoned four times for very long months for combat missions, who repeatedly, often in a dramatic voice, tries to convince him to return home or to do without a new one To force a message into war. He repeatedly emphasizes that he feels much more connected to his comrades than to his "family", for whom he nevertheless raves and which he allegedly holds sacred. But babies, he says, don't need a father yet, and it becomes clear that from the first phases of his own life he has no tender and binding ideas left. What his mother probably did for him as a baby and toddler has obviously been lost under the pressure of his father's early takeover of the upbringing. In addition to elevating himself to the "legend" of the 160 fatal encounters, he also elevates many letters and phone calls from the desperate woman, including his thoughts and empty confessions about her, to Taya, her name, as an exemplary heroine who helped the millions of GI- Women and widows can serve as an example. Because she remains loyal in spite of bad thoughts and reproaches and receives him every time he returns from the war as a dutifully loving wife, who does not hold anything even to urgent blackmail until she changes him, even finally welcomes him again, broken down. Again typical: “I had a guilty conscience leaving Taya alone. She was still recovering from the birth of our son. But at the same time I felt that my duty as a SEAL had priority. I wanted to take part in missions again. I wanted to go to war again. (He will certainly get leave for the birth of his first child, tm) “At that point in time (he lies) I loved my son, I had not yet established an intensive relationship with him. I was never the kind of fathers who put hands on their wives belly when the baby is kicking. I have always found it a little difficult with this kind of expressions of intimacy ... "(131) It is always painfully grotesque to watch in the film when she catches him killing and he writhes out with the words that everything is okay, it goes him fine. When the children then presentably reach educative age, he gives the son the appropriate military instruction. After all, he has so much introspection in the fight that he can say:

“I was full of adrenaline and ready to throw myself into battle.” (137) When the battle was about to begin, “I was excited about the battle. I wanted a goal. I wanted to shoot someone. ”(156)…“ After I had fired the first shot, the next one was easier for me. ”When he wanted to tell the woman gruesome fighting stories while on vacation in an urge to communicate, she wrote:“ To find out whether I was doing it got along, "and says:" I assured him that I really didn't care what he did in the war. I supported him unreservedly. ”And she is fully supportive on his side, in the language he has adopted:“ To put every single act of a soldier on the gold scale, who competes against an insidious, sick and unrestrained enemy, is more than ridiculous; it is despicable. ”(171):“ My goal fell over. I was looking for a new one. And a new one. And so it went on and on. ”(180), still delusional:“ I guess at that point in time I was really convinced that I could meet everything on God's green earth. ”(193) So that one could look at it while reading can imagine the film, he is shown in the book several times next to photos of young people in combat positions, including one with a telescopic rifle at the ready, with the text: "Another hiding place that I used in the same battle."

The mission to the US Army in Iraq was to fight for a new democratic state. But he writes: “I never fought for the Iraqis. I didn't give a shit about you. "Unfortunately, Taya has to write:" He was convinced that it was the greatest thing to die on the battlefield.I tried to talk him out of it, but he remained stubborn. ”(210) He says about his home leave:“ But the transition from war to everyday life at home was something of a shock every time. ”She does not understand the changes, experienced threatens marriage, because "when he is there, it doesn't even begin to run smoothly.", also sexually, (although or because)) he first says: "I want to rip your clothes off." (219) ... "When he extended, I thought being a SEAL was more important to him than being a father or a husband." (228)

“During my stay at home, Taya became pregnant for the second time. ... We talked about it ... but I was a SEAL ... My country was at war and needed me. Besides that, I missed the war. ... I loved killing villains. "He is still experiencing the premature emergency birth, and something new dawns on him:" I was mortally afraid for my wife. ... And finally I got an idea of ​​what she went through every day while I was at war. It was a terrible hopelessness and despair that I experienced in that operating room. ... Two days later I left. "He was afraid of being late for the fight:" I was on one of the roofs when the fighting began. Within a few moments we fired everything we had ... For better or worse, we left the mosque to rubble and ashes. ”(251) As you read it, it becomes more and more understandable why the non-cooperating Iraqis hated the Americans like the plague. But he throws himself into a swarm about all effective weapons "with which one can eliminate the enemy." (254) "We had a lot of fun." (255) In the 400-page book he and his men are always the winners. "We (the NEALS, tm) are an elite force within the elite force." (260) The whole contempt of the Iraqi army to be trained by the USA applies to the new companies and shows the American monopoly on effective combat: "I think the whole The idea of ​​giving the war an Iraqi face was nonsense. ”Prayer is still prayed“ before every operation ”, but“ not before every operation ”.

A recording of Taya, when she reluctantly watches a video on which the father reads to the son, about her feelings: "Let's call it my anger at Chris - you are gone, have left us, you can stay away because of me." (291 At the same time, he proudly reports: “The insurgents allegedly even put a bounty on me. They had also given me a name: al-Shaitan Ramadi, 'the devil of Ramadi' ”(293) When he killed two moped drivers with one shot, it coolly said:“ Two birds with one stone. ”(311) Independent combat observers saw exactly on the so-called "rules of engagement", shots at non-combatants should be punished. But he knows: "I was always sure that I shot the right people for the right reasons." But his comrades seem to have known better: "No wonder that everyone you see is an enemy." ) They knocked him out anyway, because “that you shouldn't tie your hands to warriors if you are already sending them into battle.” (316) Taya: “Not every SEAL goes from one foreign assignment to the next, and that several times in a row. "(330) But the fatherland wants it:" We went into the city and killed all the bad people we could find there. "(335) When Taya once again desperately warned at least the father for the growing children, he notices:" Now something is crumbling ... my marriage. That was the biggest construction site. ”(338) But:“ I was trained to kill; and I was very good at it. ... and I enjoyed it. Very much. ”…“ The next day I shot a total of seven insurgents, the next day even more. ”The text cannot fully portray the breathless intoxication of events, the film then drowns into a paralyzing boredom in an almost three-hour battle frenzy that deals with filmic Means can be increased to excess. To the jury, the film was worth six Oscars, including certainly with patriotic voices from US members.

Kyle later becomes a higher commander, chief, as an award without the usual examination. When he became seriously ill with his heart, he was sent home early a little later, much to his sorrow. His reward: “I often hear that I have saved hundreds of lives.” (376) Of course, he does not remain idle, plans with a friend “to found a sniper academy.” (382) “And so nothing came to me, you nothing Craft International. ", Again" the absolute elite. "(383)" When he was two years old, I began to teach my son to shoot with a simple air rifle. "A little later:" He already has his own rifle, a lever arm Repeater in caliber .22, he gets quite decent shot patterns. "(385) Taya reports:" Chris and I have already talked several times about what it would be like if our children would join the military. "(386) But then the descent begins: “I drank more and more beer. From today's perspective, I would say that I was depressed back then and sank into self-pity. ... After a while I switched to hard alcoholic beverages and started taking them in the morning. ”(387) A serious car accident becomes a“ wake-up call ”. He joins a self-help organization that wants to help “as many war invalids as possible” with their return to civilian life. He even goes hunting and shooting with war invalids. “I am primarily a husband and father now. ... I have rediscovered my love for my wife. "(391) Both partners sing a common chant of the new love:" Perhaps our relationship has become more tolerant and mature, but perhaps it is just different. She is still wonderful. "(393) Now that he can finally no longer fight, she says, apparently exemplary happy again," that I feel loved. And I feel that the children are important to him. ”(393) And he sums up with satisfaction:“ I have no regrets. I would always act exactly as I did. ”… Therefore“ I have a clear conscience. ”(394)“ Everyone I shot was angry. Every shot was justified. You deserve to die, ”he said, almost in the voice of the Chief Justice.

Many new benefits for God, fatherland and family were no longer granted to him.

Another, more distraught veteran, ended his life on a shooting range.

The film epic.

Woe to the country that needs such heroes. (freely based on Brecht)

The strip ended after almost three hours with a kind of state funeral for him. The streets through which the caravan drives to the cemetery are lined with enthusiastic cheering fans waving US flags and admiring, grieving citizens. A bridge over the street forms an astonished gallery of admirers. An honor guard gives him the last escort, the flag on his coffin is folded up in devotion, a trumpet sounds to say goodbye and a comrade pinned the 160tieth launch bonus to the others on the coffin made of the finest tropical wood.

Clint Eastwood can't get enough of the endless repetition of hostilities, typically house-to-house fighting with doors kicked or blown open. Frightened residents beg for mercy and fleeing villains are taken down after wild chases. In the midst of destroyed slums and entire streets, armed elite GIs, waving their assault rifles after sharp commands, stalk their way to the next door, always looking for cover from the villainous Iraqi snipers. They fire and, if necessary, bring down enemy-contaminated houses with grenades, which destroys the whole nasty population of residents. Mountains of corpses that have to be climbed testify to the success of the street fight, most of the dead were of course killed by the heroes in their camouflage uniforms. While one hopes for an end after one and a half hours, the long final turmoil begins with immense noise and in a wild, all-darkening and covering sandstorm, an allusion to what is called the apocalypse in other places and other films, from which the righteous and God-pleasing ones come out almost undamaged.

The viewer is visually and acoustically and ideologically overwhelmed, but he is spared the final scene of the shooting of the glamorous “Crusader”, the picture could damage the gloss of the pictures. Chatting loudly, the mostly young visitors leave the dense rows of the larger, often sold out halls of the cinema. The age-old Clint Eastwood has enthroned a new hero-identification figure for the self-doubting USA with pomp, broken all box office records and created a national path to a better future.

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