From “American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. History” (2012), by the late Chris Kyle, with Jim DeFelice and Scott McEwen :
Savage, despicable evil. 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.
People ask me all the time, “How many people have you killed?” My standard response is, “Does the answer make me less, or more, of a man?”
The number is not important to me. I only wish I had killed more. Not for bragging rights, but because I believe the world is a better place without savages out there taking American lives. Everyone I shot in Iraq was trying to harm Americans or Iraqis loyal to the new government.
I had a job to do as a SEAL. I killed the enemy—an enemy I saw day in and day out plotting to kill my fellow Americans. I’m haunted by the enemy’s successes. They were few, but even a single American life is one too many lost.
I don’t worry about what other people think of me. It’s one of the things I most admired about my dad growing up. He didn’t give a hoot what others thought. He was who he was. It’s one of the qualities that has kept me most sane.