Clint Eastwood is anti-war, he was always against the wars in Iraq & Afghanistan


When Clint Eastwood yelled at a chair at the 2012 RNC convention, many people were too uncomfortable/stunned to really pay attention to what he was saying. I mean, the whole bit where he was yelling at the invisible Pres. Obama was what got the attention, but Clint also had some interesting/dovish things to say about war. He was not on-message with the Republican platform, to say the least. Clint has always been a “California Republican” which would make him a “communist” in South Carolina. So, given all of the controversy surrounding Clint’s new film, American Sniper, Clint decided to chime in with his real thoughts about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and violence in general. Some highlights from Clint’s new Daily Beast interview:

Clint is actually anti-war: “I was against going into the war in Iraq since I figured we would probably trip over ourselves in some way. I had a big question when we went into Afghanistan. Did anybody ever study the history of Afghanistan, not only with the British, but the Russians?…Contrary to public opinion, I abhor violence.”

His real political outlook: The Oscar-winning filmmaker has described his own politics as a blend of Milton Friedman and the famously anti-war intellectual Noam Chomsky. He identifies as a libertarian, and supports gay marriage and believes climate change is a problem.

The draft: “I was a child growing up during World War II. That was supposed to be the one to end all wars. And four years later, I was standing at the draft board being drafted during the Korean conflict, and then after that there was Vietnam, and it goes on and on forever…I just wonder…does this ever stop? And no, it doesn’t.”

[From The Daily Beast]

Sarah Palin isn’t going to like this one bit. She might even have to write another word salad about it. I mean, NOAM CHOMSKY?!!? As for Clint’s general thoughts on violence and war… eh. I mean, I believe that he’s evolved into a more libertarian political outlook. I believe that he would love it if America had a more non-interventionist stance in the world. But I always hate it when actors or directors famous for making really violent films claim that they’ve been secretly against violence of any sort.


Photos courtesy of WENN.

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72 Responses to “Clint Eastwood is anti-war, he was always against the wars in Iraq & Afghanistan”

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  1. mia girl says:

    Sarah Palin and her fellow real Americuns are not going to be happy.

    • Jules says:

      Like she really knows who Chomsky is. She has just heard of him.

      • AntiSocialButterfly says:

        Yes- I just came to say that Tundra Twit and the rest of her “rill ‘Mericuns” have no idea who Noam Chomsky is.

      • Addie says:

        I would doubt she could place the name – like he might be a hockey player

      • laura in LA says:

        (Long-time reader, first-time commenter…hello, everyone!)

        I’m proud to say Noam Chomsky lives in my hometown of Lexington, MA. And I doubt Sarah Palin has any idea who he is or where on Earth she was when she visited the area – because it’s hard to see Russia from there.

        And as for Clint Eastwood, he can tell it to the chair because I doubt he has any idea what’s going on either.

    • Say What!? says:

      Sarah Palin will completely ignore the fact that Eastwood is anti war. It doesn’t fit into her storyline of “libs are a bunch of communist pansies”. Just like she’ll ignore the fact that this film stars a Hollywood liberal and was financed by a bunch of liberals.

      I saw American Sniper over the weekend and it really has something for everyone to complain about depending on how you interpret it. It was made about a real life person who was actually a racist sociopath and all of that is completely removed from the film, which is something many liberals are complaining about. And they make a good point, just like they think it celebrates violence. But to me this film is very much an anti war film and weirdly anti violence.

      Coop’s character is essentially a man who likes to fight in bars and needs another outlet for his love of violence. His Patriotism feels almost secondary to that. When he heads to war he becomes a killing machine who is completely dehumanized. Almost all of his targets are dehumanized. It seems like a conscious choice to present the film almost as if it were a video game, where everyone involved in the war is a dehumanized one-dimensional character. His wife keeps reminding him that he seems checked out and barely human.

      There is barely a drop of music in it, no epic “We are the Champions of the World” or America kicks ass!!!! kind of musical build up of any kind, even though Red Staters probably see it that way. That’s not the film I saw. When Coop’s character finally does come home he seems as if the war has destroyed him. He is not highflying anyone or celebrating his kills. Anything pretty much sets him off, including a dog.

      It’s not until he starts caring for Veterans that have lost limbs, that he finds his soul again. As for our Veterans, people like Palin talk a lot about the sacrifices they have made. What has she ever done to help them in anyway? Isn’t it the “lame stream media” and people like Michele Obama who have put a human face on our veterans and their sacrifices, one by shiny a light in their individual stories and uncovering the deplorable conditions at Walter Reede and the other by making Veterans and their families a large part of her role as First Lady.

      Has Palin been too busy making a career out of being a tweeter and Facebook poster to honor their sacrifice by actually lifting a finger to do something for them? Wrapping yourself in a flag on the cover of a Runners World and showing off your red, white and blue rhinestone heels and endlessly whining every time someone criticizes your fake freedom loving bullshit does not make you an actual patriot.

      • JenniferJustice says:

        I love everything you said here. I, too, see the movie as anti-war. It is the fact that he is killing humans he does not know, that shows how horrible war and violence is. We can’t understand how horrific it is without seeing it.

        I find it sad that the only means by which modern-day veterans are acknowledged and actually HELPED is “Disable American Veterans” commercials that run on T.V. I take it a step further in recognizing country music artists for making wounded vets a priority of their philanthropy, especially Trace Adkins. It’s a sad world when a mere country music singer (and not even a super popular one) are whom our war vets must rely on v. our national government and legislature.

        Wrapping herself in a flag in tacky heels isn’t anything to do with patriotism. That is nothing more than Palin’s continued need to feed her vanity. She beleives she is the sexiest most beautiful woman in Alaska and politics in general. She has no idea how embarrassing and disgusting she is to this nation – specifically women. She is everything most of us have tried to get away from and she is a complete contradiction in terms. For someone to proclaim their complete and utter devotion to the republican party, but flaunt themselves more than any liberal politician I have ever seen, would be funny if it weren’t so real and frankly…scary. (because she was a breath away from being VP and in the event that something happened to McCain, I can’t even think about it. It seriously is that upsetting to me.)

      • mayamae says:

        @Say What, I love your comment, and I wish that’s what the movie said. In the movie, Chris clearly said what tormented him wasn’t killing the Iraqis, it was not killing enough to keep his friends safe.

      • Danskins says:

        @Say What, great comment.

        At first I refused to see American Sniper because some said it glorifies war. But your eloquent comment about it actually being anti-war has renewed my interest and think about it in a new light. I definitely plan to see it.

      • Kiyoshigirl says:

        Thank you for your recap and explanation of the movie. I didn’t see it, but based on the previews and what I already knew about Eastwood, I assumed he was making it to make a statement about the personal damage war puts upon those who partake in it on the front lines, not a rah, rah America goes to war to protect our freedoms propaganda piece. Palin is too stupid to see the movie the way you did. She doesn’t just drink bull shit politician Kool Aid, she main lines it morning, noon and night. After all, isn’t that why the McCain campaign knocked on her door not too long ago?

  2. Sarah says:

    Read what he said. He didn’t say he was “against violence of any sort” or even against war all the time. He was talking about the idiots like Michael Moore and Seth Rogan talking about American Sniper being pro-war. It is not. It is a character study and like most character studies of soldiers in war – it is hard to come away from it being pro-war. He said he abhors violence. Most people do.

    • Dońt kill me i'm french says:

      Rogen wrote AS reminded him the movie in the 3rd act of Inglorious Bastards .

    • JenniferJustice says:

      Agreed. He may be against war, but he is all for a one-on-one gun fight with revolvers! Sorry, I couldn’t resist. Pale Rider was the best!

  3. Tiffany says:

    I remember watching the convention and they bought out Eastwood and I was thinking why he would agree to that.

    When he was done I was thinking that this is the man that bought ‘Unforgiven’ into my life.

  4. Sixer says:

    Guffaw @ Chomsky name-check. He can be that, though, right? You can be left or right wing, which is predominately an economic view. And you can be authoritarian or libertarian, which are views on social issues and the size of government. It’s a quadrant not a bisection.

    This film sure is generating conversation, ain’t it?

    • Kiddo says:

      I don’t think his POV was clear in this film, if he IS anti-war, it seems as though the message is more ambivalent. *except for the star-quality of fake baby.

      But yes, there are all combinations of political persuasions on economics, social issues and so on.

    • Sixer says:

      I wonder if it’s just as simple as $$$? I mean, he’s got extreme reactions from every side – which I’m sure was pretty predictable. And I’m sure he’s far from unaware of the patriotic fervour in a large demographic of his country. I don’t know why people are surprised it’s making money, you know? I’m entirely sure he knew it would.

      Whatever I think of the themes or the politics ofany of his individual films, I think the guy can direct. Perhaps he just thought he could make a good (technically, I’m not talking motivation) film that would easily make good money?

      • Kiddo says:

        Follow the money…

      • Sixer says:

        Yep. Fraid so.

        It’s all very different this side of the Pond, where this week’s news isn’t a film eulogising a damaged soldier, but another delay into the publication of the Chilcott Report into Iraq and the sexed up dossier. Here, the media narrative is “And the poor parents of the dead British soldiers have to wait even longer to find out whose fault it was that they were sent to a clearly illegal war and probable crime against humanity”. I don’t think even the government-deferential BBC would dare to tell them that they were heroic martyrs to our freedoms. Mad how two very similar societies have such different public narratives.

  5. UltraViolet says:

    If he abhors violence, he shouldn’t make such violent movies.

    He’s just angry that he didn’t get nominated for Best Director, although apparently this is quite common for Best Picture Nominees.

    • Shijel says:

      You can be anti-violence and make studies on violence and the reasons why violence exists. You can do studies on the psyche of a violent character. Being anti-violence doesn’t mean you’re going to ignore it. Being anti-violence can mean understanding violence and untangling that ball of prickly yarn one knot at the time. There’s a huge difference between showing gratuitous violence for people to get off on, or you can show lurid violence and its effects on a human mind. Gran Torino and American Sniper are neither about glorifying violence. They are artistic studies on what such violence does to people.

      I hate cilantro and coriander. Absolutely disgusting. Doesn’t mean I can’t find interesting ways to put it in my dishes to make it enjoyable for others, and to make it an understandable ingredient for myself, no matter how unsavoury it might be to me.

    • FingerBinger says:

      Clint’s been nominated several times for best director. He’s also won an oscar for best director before. I don’t believe he’s angry about not being nominated.

      • Dońt kill me i'm french says:


      • Luce says:

        +100 and add to that this film will probaby gross around $300 million, and he is 84-years-old and still A-List as hell.

        It’s so easy for keyboard warriors (and I count myself in that) to sit around and pontificate on the complexities of war and lob cliched phrases like “‘Murica” at a huge portion of the country. I am full out liberal in all my beliefs and have quite frankly been pretty disgusted that some in the name of liberalism are so virulently ready to blame America that they will get up and arms before they have even seen the film or read more than a blurb or tweet about it.

        Jason Hall, the screenwriter, is a really stand-up guy who gave a thorough Q and A on how this film came to be last night at a screening. He spent three years with this man, and he will tell you that the man he knew in the first few years — the one who wrote the book — was highly disturbed and emotionally detached from the trauma of back-to-back deployments. Some of the quotes being attributed from his book are grossly out of context, even so. He said Kyle’s family said he was just beginning to return to himself while working with the vets shortly before died because he was channeling the trauma in that way. War is horrible, but it is a reality that has always been and will always be there, and Americans are certainly not even close to the most barbaric people on Earth. As a liberal pro-choice woman, I would certainly rather live in a country where I can debate with right wing assholes over policy versus being stoned to death for being too sexual by showing my leg or neck or hair.

        Kyle was disturbed, but that story should be told and illustrates ALL of the complexities of war. Very little in the film is pro-anything. It’s a character study, and I can’t even begin to think anyone would walk out after seeing those scenes and not think it is just hell for everyone in war zones. This film touched a spiritual cord with many, not just right-wingers.

  6. Talie says:

    I read a piece this morning on NY Mag about the guy in the movie — not flattering at all. He seems whackadoo.

  7. kri says:

    My father was a Green Beret in Vietnam. He lived wiith the montagnards for two years, and was there for a total of 3.5 years. I am the 2nd girl of three. I remember my dad screaming at night, or sometimes not talking for a couple days. As time went on, he got better. But when they say war is hell, I believe them. It’s a hell made on earth by men. And we all suffer. I am torn on this, Anyone who has been in war is torn. Any family who has a loved one is torn. I am grateful and pray for our people in uniform and their families. I wish there was never another war, ever. I sound like a child, I know.

    • Renee says:

      No you don’t sound like a child. You sound like someone who is being earnest about something that they have firsthand knowledge of. I also wish that there would never, ever be another war.

    • Jules says:

      Awesome post. You don’t sound like a child. You sound like a daughter that loves her father.

    • Jayna says:

      No, you don’t. And you are absolutely correct.

    • LAK says:

      When I was a child, we lived in a country that was going through a civil war.

      I will never, ever choose a war or violent intervention over peace.

      I hate all the intellectual arguments put forward to justify their war positions no matter how awful the designated ‘bad’ guys.

      And I never watch war films. The reality was worse than anything Hollywood can come up with. I don’t need the reminder.

    • Sixer says:

      Kri, if that’s being a child then children warm my crusty old peacenik heart.

    • Ravenscurls says:

      You sound like a child who loves her father.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      You sound like the thoughtful, mature, loving woman we know. Great post.

    • nilber says:

      As a daughter of a Vietnam veteran, a military spouse and a retired veteran due to medical reasons I can honestly say I am against war. Does that sound unreasonable and odd coming out of my mouth? Sure. I can also tell you that most of the men and women I worked with hate it too.
      It is such a Gray area that I can’t explain. The only I can say for certain is I don’t want the things I saw, felt and heard over there to happen over here.

      • laura in LA says:

        Not at all, nilber. Makes total sense. While I oppose war, I support our military and veterans for doing what most of us fear doing. You put your life on hold and risked it for us, so thank you.

    • PunkyMomma says:

      You don’t sound like a child. You sound like a loving daughter.

    • Kiddo says:

      If only everyone retained some of the wisdom through innocence that children have.

    • doofus says:

      nothing to add that hasn’t already been said.

      you don’t sound like a child. you sound like a person who’s experienced what war can do to people and knows of what she speaks.

      I hope your father has been able to find a peace in his life.

    • mimif says:

      +41 Bubbles the Kid puppy breath licks

  8. scout says:

    Liam Neeson comes to mind, hates guns but stars in violent movies.
    Regardless of Clint Eastwood’s personal political opinions and choices, I love him as actor and now as a director. Sometimes his behavior in public is laughable like when he was talking to a chair (to imaginary Obama), remember? Whatever…I love the old guy. Hope he lives another 20yrs and makes great movies.

  9. Kelly says:

    **Just asked in another thread but whichever one gets answered first**

    Could someone please clear something up for me?

    Why are so many people ANGRY/somewhat annoyed that reports are coming out that Chris fabricated or embellished parts of his story? I was looking at the comments that were left for NY Mag when it posted its report on Facebook, and most of the comments said, “How dare you?! He was a hero! He’s not here to defend him! Who cares what he did or didn’t do?”

    Umm..shouldn’t we all care what he did or didn’t do, otherwise why are we taking the time to praise someone who might not be worthy of it??

  10. minx says:

    I can’t stand this old horndog.

    • Dońt kill me i'm french says:

      For what reasons?

      • minx says:

        For having, what, 9 kids by a variety of women? I know, his choice, but I just find that irritating.
        He was supposedly nasty to Sondra Locke when they were together, forcing her to get an abortion.
        Mostly for his idiotic stunt at the 2012 Republican convention, where he addressed an empty chair that he talked to as if it were President Obama. Fortunately it backfired and made him look like a doddering fool.

        (Added): I see you mentioned the chair thing above in a comment.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        For his love of the NRA as well. I used to like him, but his politics and demeanor have just turned me off, too, minx.

      • mayamae says:

        Ditto. He’s also not so bright. The war to end all wars was WWI – I’m surprised he didn’t know that.

  11. Kiddo says:

    “I was against going into the war in Iraq since I figured we would probably trip over ourselves in some way.”

    This does not sound profoundly anti-war to me. There were reports from SOLID SOURCES that no weapons of mass destruction existed, even while Judith Miller was playing stenographer/propagandist for the war hawks.
    No one from Iraq attacked the US or threatened to attack the US, George Dubyah had a score to settle for his father’s vendetta.

    It sounds like Clint was more concerned about tactical issues rather than the ETHICAL consideration of invading a country, putting soldiers at risk, and killing people with flimsy cause.

    And if he intended to be a voice that cared to demonstrate through art that he was against this war, then he missed that mark since the takeaway of the film’s message seems to vary so greatly amongst viewers.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      Yes, it sounds like his opposition to the war was based on a fear we would lose, not opposition to war in general.

    • Elle Kaye says:

      There are many ways people can “trip over themselves” It is how you choose to read his message. Tactical mistakes. Unethical choices. He has been around for a very long time, and knows ALL about the horrors of war.

      • Kiddo says:

        I never read or heard a speech from MLK where he mentioned ‘tripping over ourselves’ in terms of racism and war. I’m not saying Clint is a leader in that way, but it’s an odd way to advocate against causalities, catastrophic injury and maiming, deaths of soldiers, deaths of civilians, destruction of buildings and neighborhoods, and so on.

      • Elle Kaye says:

        Comparing Clint Eastwood to MLK is a stretch, don’t you think? Unless we are all mind readers, it really isn’t appropriate to assume we know what he is really thinking from one interview. If you want to think he is pro-war, it is your choice. I prefer to not assume he is a bold-faced liar.

    • siri says:

      That is my impression, too. He was rather doubtful, that this war would be successful- from there comes his caution. And the fear of the Russians supporting Afghanistan…it’s tactics&strategy, not anti-war. Makes him sort of an opportunist.

      • LAK says:

        The Russians didn’t support Afghanistan. They waged a ten year war in the 80s and lost.

        It’s not stupid to look at the history of a country you are proposing to invade and see that no invading army has conquered it. Ever.

        One might look at it as opportunity cost, but the sensible thing to conclude is that it is highly unlikely to turn out a different result where centuries of invaders have failed. Including the Russians.

        As the saying goes, those who ignore history are destined to repeat it.

  12. serena says:

    He’s still handsome.

  13. Misprnounced Name Dropper says:

    “Clint has always been a “California Republican” which would make him a “communist” in South Carolina.’

    Ha. You’re funny. What are you doing on Friday night?

  14. Just Me (and my Bobby McGee) says:

    I just wish entitled, ignorant celebrities would STFU about war. Like they would know the first damn thing about it, other than what they see on TV. Shut up, already. What do you know?

    I also don’t think supporting the troops and being against war are mutually exclusive. I’m very anti-war, but I support the troops with every ounce of my being. I’ve mentioned before on this site that my life has revolved around war and rumours of war for the past many, many years. That’s because my hubby was a boots on the ground soldier and deployed over and over and over again until his recent retirement. Destroyed him mentally. Destroyed him physically. Nearly destroyed our family. We will live for the rest of our lives with the repercussions of these recent wars. Neither of us can watch the trailers for this movie without having flashbacks of things we’d rather forget. So yes – I’m very anti-war. The price is far too high a price to pay. Particularly since when these men and women come home, our government likes to give them the shaft.

    I respect Clint for his clarification. I wish more people would think about the causes they claim to support instead of blindly voting for this guy or that, simply because they’re in the right party. Maybe then, we’d have a little more tolerance and understanding of the other side and we’d get a lot more done in our government. I am so sick and tired of all this petty back and forth from both sides. And the name calling. And fear mongering. It’s ridiculous. And it’s stupid. And we, as a country, are much better than that.

    • Misprnounced Name Dropper says:

      But the profits of the top one percent continue to grow and that’s what it’s all about. The politicians in Washington couldn’t give a shit about America. They’re not there to represent ordinary Americans. They’re there to represent big business.

    • Jayna says:

      Great post. I’m so sorry about your husband and all he’s been through and your family. The cost of these wars has been far too high of a price financially for this country and, most importantly, for our soldiers and their families. The back-to-back-to-back deployments are inhumane. The PTSD rate is so high, as are the suicide rates, and the closed head injuries, as are the catastrophic injuries. They should never start full-scale wars that last for years unless they bring back the draft, and then we’ll see how quickly we jump into wars .

      • Mispronounced Name Dropper says:

        They should have a draft AND have a referendum to let the people decide if they want to commit troops to war.

    • laura in LA says:

      Yeah, I kind of also wish celebrities and people in general would stop comparing whatever hardships they’ve faced in life to war. This is not just in reference to Goopy but a few others I’ve heard recently.

      Although I’m not in the military myself, I do have family in the Marines, and I’m pretty sure that no matter how bad a situation may be here at home, it’s still nothing like war.

      After Iraq and Afghanistan, I hope most anyone will agree that we can support the troops while being against the war itself. Yet it’s sad to me that those coming home from Vietnam never got this understanding. And so many of them really didn’t have any choice.

  15. Abby_J says:

    My husband is a 5th generation soldier and I am a 6th generation military wife. I’d say that we are pretty well indoctrinated into the military lifestyle. I was raised and taught on bases my whole life and have met and known many different people from all walks of life in the military. That said, I have NEVER met a single person who was ‘pro war.’ I also don’t believe that there are many people who are anti-war. Sure, you can be 100% against an action that the Government has the US Military take (because, let’s be clear, all action the military takes comes from the Government. They aren’t doing this stuff in a vacuum), but if some country was landing on our shores with weapons, threatening our way of life, and killing our citizens, there isn’t one ‘anti-war’ person who wouldn’t be supporting military action to save us, unless they were a fool. In the same vein, I have never known a service person to be gung ho and rah rah about going into war. They have a job to do and they do it. In movies and TV, there is always that crazy nut-job who is super excited about getting overseas to kill people, but we call those people crazy and they usually don’t last long in the service.

    These words are thrown around too much with no real meaning. They are code words used to insult people more than anything. Clint had misgivings about the current war, that seems perfectly reasonable. He makes a good point, though, maybe without even realizing it. One war after the other. That pretty much sums up the history of the world. Wars happen and will continue happening because that is human nature. Sure, we’ve gotten more modern and wars are fought differently, but war is war. Whether we believe a war is legit is always going to be up to people to decide for themselves, and people are always going to disagree. Not sure that makes any of us pro or anti war. I’m no great orator here, so I hope I’ve made sense.

    BTW… husband and some of his friends went to see American Sniper last night. Apparently the group was mixed on their personal opinions of Chris Kyle (although every one of them respected him as a soldier who did his duty), but every one of them said that they thought the story was well told and evenly told as far as what it is like to be in battle.

    As a side note, I warned my husband about the fake baby and he said that one of the guys sitting next to him actually had to punch him in the arm because he was laughing so much through that scene. Thanks Celebitchy!

  16. Tony Z says:

    Chomsky would S#ht on her face and go back and do it again.