To the anti-war Left’s chagrin, Chris Kyle is a cultural phenomenon.

Clint Eastwood’s new movie, American Sniper, marks the return of the American war hero.

Heroism on the battlefield had never gone away, of course, far from it (witness the Medals of Honor awarded for acts of extraordinary valor in Iraq and Afghanistan). But the classic war hero is more than just brave or fierce. He is famous and almost universally acclaimed. On top of his battlefield exploits, he is a cultural phenomenon.