A former U.S. Marine Corps sniper says Michael Moore, the liberal documentary filmmaker who called American-trained snipers "cowards," has unjustly insulted young American soldiers who selflessly put their lives on the line.
"These comments we all know, they're designed to inflame and they've done just that," Chris Mark said Tuesday on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
"They have the opportunity and the right to say what they like, as objectionable as it is, and thank God many brave men and women have sacrificed to give them that right."
Last weekend, Moore, director of "Fahrenheit 9/11" and "Bowling for Columbine," tweeted:
"My uncle killed by sniper in WW2. We were taught snipers were cowards. Will shoot u in the back. Snipers aren’t heroes. And invaders r worse."
That was perceived as a blast at Clint Eastwood's acclaimed film, "American Sniper," which is based on the true story of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, and is nominated for six Academy Awards. Moore later insisted he was not criticizing the Eastwood movie.
But Mark — who served in Somalia and now serves as a principal of the Mark Consulting Group and a manager at Global Risk — said snipers who serve their country have long been trashed.
"We’re maligned and really if you look at what Hollywood has done before this movie, it's really cast snipers as these men struggling through a lonely life that enjoy killing — and that's not the case at all," he said.
"In fact, there's almost an inside joke that a lot of the snipers are really the more analytic and geeky of the folks because we like to sit down and do calculations and things like that."
Mark said that while he never knew Kyle, he understood him to be "generous, humble, [and] courageous."
"What I did like about the movie is it really portrayed a man first with the same struggles that we all have doing a very, very difficult job in a very dangerous situation," he said.
"He was troubled at times, certainly like we all are and he always put his country first and the movie really did justice by Chris Kyle and by the sniper community."
Criticism by Moore and others present a "pretty uninformed view" of combat and warfare in general.
"It's apparent [Moore has] never had the privilege of serving in any capacity in combat, but guess what? People get shot in the back all the time by a lot of people. They get blown up. They get horrifically injured and wounded," he said.
"So yes, it really just comes from a place of ignorance and just again, [it's] an uninformed position or opinion on combat. Unless you've been there you don't really know and apparently some of these folks have not taken the opportunity to educate themselves."
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