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‘American Sniper’ popularity shows ‘dehumanized mentality’: Chomsky

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US President Barack Obama’s global drone campaign is the “most extreme terrorist campaign” in history and yet it is “ignored” by Americans due to a widespread sniper mentality, according to leading American linguist and philosopher Noam Chomsky.

Chomsky, who is also a cognitive scientist and political commentator, made the comments last week at an event hosted by The Baffler magazine in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he was discussing the “appalling” film, American Sniper, which he contended “dehumanizes” Muslims and Arabs.

Released earlier this month, the movie is based on the autobiography of Chris Kyle, a notorious US Navy SEAL who was deployed to Iraq and is known for being the most lethal sniper in American history.

Chomsky drew comparisons of Kyle, who was shot dead in 2013 in Texas, to that of US drone operators and the American public for ignoring the Obama administration’s drone assassination program.

Kyle “regarded his first kill as a terrorist, this woman who walked in the street with a grenade when [US] Marines were attacking her village, but we can’t really attribute that to the mentality of a psychopathic killer, because we’re all tarred by the same brush insofar as we tolerate or keep silent about official policy,” said Chomsky, a leading critic of US foreign policy, capitalism, and the mainstream news media.

“Now, that mentality helps explain why it’s so easy [for Americans] to ignore what is most clearly the most extreme terrorist campaign of modern history, if not ever — Obama’s global assassination campaign, the drone campaign, which officially is aimed at murdering people who are suspected of maybe someday planning to harm us,” he added.

“I’d advise you to read some of the transcripts with drone operators,” Chomsky said. “They’re hair raising, the guys who are sitting in front of computers in Las Vegas or somewhere, I can’t repeat it,” drawing a comparison to the manner in which Kyle dehumanized his targets.

Kyle is the most lethal sniper in US military history, accumulating 160 confirmed kills out of 255 probable kills.

In his autobiography titled American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in US Military History, Kyle writes about killing 60 “savage” Iraqis. “Savage, despicable evil. That’s what we were fighting in Iraq,” he writes.

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