“Savage, Despicable, Evil,” he writes in the book, “That’s what we were fighting in Iraq. That’s why a lot of people, myself included, called the enemy savages. There was no other way to describe what we encountered there.”
One way would be to call them the enemy, but not Kyle: Savages. He repeats it over and over. Savages is a word our forefathers used for Native Americans. Surely, a patriotic Navy Seal would care enough about history, and have the judgment, if not moral compass, to know that the word savage is more than a derogatory term; it carries a lot of painful baggage and has been used with genocidal success to demonize and kill America’s original inhabitants, as well as destroy their culture. That seems to pass Kyle by.
One might think that he suffered from a bout of racial insensitivity, his brain waves boosted by four tours of brutality. Surely, savages could only mean enemies in Iraq or Afghanistan, a case of post traumatic prejudice, unrelated to the other savages; you know the Indians?–the ones we refer to as Native Americans? Kyle is not capable of a banal coup such as that, is he?