Last night AFA’s Cinema Gateway hosted “The Making of American Sniper” at a lovely private home in Beverly Hills. There was a cocktail hour followed by a sumptuous dinner with the evening’s speaker Andrew McLaren.
Andrew McLaren served with and became a close friend of Chris Kyle. He was a member of the Marine Corps Security Force Company Europe. He was deployed to more than ten countries during his service and his unit had been deployed to rescue our Libyan Ambassador when they were mysteriously told to stand down.
After Andrews service in the Marines he joined BlackwaterUSA, a civilian company contracted by the State Department and the CIA to provide security for politicians and diplomats visiting war zones.
Andrew and Chris Kyle starred in NBC’s “Stars Earn Stripes”, a show where “stars” went through war games in teams with former military members. Anti-war, anti-military activists and Muslims boycotted and protested the show until, even though the ratings were good, NBC caved into the pressure and cancelled the show.
We were shown clips from “American Sniper” and “Stars Earn Stripes”. After the clips Andrew explained how “American Sniper” was made. Bradley Cooper contacted Chris Kyle saying he wanted to make a movie based on Chris’s book. Stephen Spielberg was attached as director, but he wanted a much bigger budget and he wanted the story to be about Chris and the Iraqi sniper (the one Chris shot from more than 2000 feet away). He wanted the movie to have no good guys or bad guys. He wanted the Americans to be morally equivalent to the Iraqis. Eventually, Spielberg dropped out because the studio wouldn’t increase the budget. When Chris was killed and the studio saw the public reaction, people standing along the freeway and on the over passes in the rain, that they had to use the Dallas Stadium to hold all the mourners, they changed direction. Clint Eastwood came on board and wanted to make a patriotic movie about an American hero. The rest is history. “American Sniper” broke all records. The majority of Americans are not anti-military. We respect our military and love our heroes.
Andrew spoke about our military. Contrary to John Kerry’s portrayal of our military as being savages indiscriminately killing people for fun, he said, except for a few bad apples that you’ll find in any organization, our military men just want to serve their country honorably. They want to protect our country and their brothers in combat. He said there is no moral equivalence between American soldiers and the Iraqis or ISIS. He said ISIS is as barbaric as depicted in “American Sniper”. They are perfectly willing to use women, children and disabled as suicide bombers. They are happy to use a drill on a child’s head. He said Chris Kyle was a true hero, who saved countless American soldiers. Chris was also a wonderful father and family man. Andrew gave an example from shortly before Chris was killed. He called Chris and told him he was going to do another series and he could get Chris on it. Chris told him his brother had just had a baby and he wanted to be with family during this time.
Andrew also explained how our military has been weakened by this administration. He said they are not allowed to be involved in any offensive actions. They can only be defensive. They also can’t shoot on any buildings where civilians “might” be located. Our enemy doesn’t play by the rules. They are terrorists not soldiers. They fire on our troops from public buildings knowing our troops can’t fire back. We aren’t fighting to win. Strong, fit military men like Chris and Andrew are being replaced with gays and women. The standards for combat have been seriously lowered.
Andrew has started a company, Black Globe and is trying to raise money to build a private army. There are plenty of former military men willing to fight ISIS. All this administration is willing to do against ISIS is drop a few bombs near them a few times a day. ISIS troops only need to go into a building to avoid the bombs.
ISIS is growing, recruiting more and more young people. America’s weakness is empowering them not appeasing them. They say they are at war with America. If we don’t stop them in the Middle East, they will come here.