Michael Moore has clarified that he wasn’t blasting box office hit American Sniper when he said that snipers are cowards.’
The liberal filmmaker and activist has been under fire since Sunday evening after he posted the following tweets:
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.
But if you’re on the roof of your home defending it from invaders who’ve come 7K miles, you are not a sniper, u are brave, u are a neighbor.
Some media outlets who picked up his tweets speculated that he was cryptically referring to American Sniper, a Clint Eastwood-directed movie based on the military life of the late Navy SEAL Chris Kyle (played by Bradley Cooper). The movie currently tops the box office weekend earnings and has secured several Oscar nominations.
Basing on the movie, many online commentators accused Moore of not supporting the efforts of the US military and even being anti-American. But on Monday, the filmmaker tweeted, ‘Hmm. I never tweeted 1word bout AmericanSniper/ChrisKyle. I said my uncle killed by sniper in WWII; only cowards would do that 2 him, others.’
He then linked to a long Facebook post he wrote about the issue, which reads:
Lots of talk about snipers this weekend (the holiday weekend of a great man, killed by a sniper), so I thought I’d weigh in with what I was raised to believe about snipers. My dad was in the First Marine Division in the South Pacific in World War II. His brother, my uncle, Lawrence Moore, was an Army paratrooper and was killed by a Japanese sniper 70 years ago next month. My dad always said, “Snipers are cowards. They don’t believe in a fair fight. Like someone coming up from behind you and coldcocking you. Just isn’t right. It’s cowardly to shoot a person in the back. Only a coward will shoot someone who can’t shoot back.”
Deadline Hollywood and the Hollywood Reporter turned [my tweets] into stories about how I don’t like Clint Eastwood’s new film, “American Sniper.” I didn’t say a word about “American Sniper” in my tweets… If they wanted to know my opinion of “American Sniper” (and I have one), why not ask me?
So here’s what I think about “American Sniper”: Awesome performance from Bradley Cooper. One of the best of the year. Great editing. Costumes, hair, makeup superb! Oh… and too bad Clint gets Vietnam and Iraq confused in his storytelling. And that he has his characters calling Iraqis “savages” throughout the film. But there is also anti-war sentiment expressed in the movie. And there’s a touching ending as the main character is remembered after being gunned down by a fellow American vet with PTSD who was given a gun at a gun range back home in Texas — and then used it to kill the man who called himself the ‘American Sniper’. Also, best movie trailer and TV ads of the year.
Most of us were taught the story of Jesse James and that the scoundrel wasn’t James (who was a criminal who killed people) but rather the sniper who shot him in the back. I think most Americans don’t think snipers are heroes. Hopefully not on this weekend when we remember that man in Memphis, Tennessee, who was killed by a sniper’s bullet.
Finishing up on Twitter, Moore wrote, ‘Sorry to have to state the obvious again: Invading a country that hasn’t attacked you is illegal & immoral. History will judge us harshly.’