Krauthammer is having a conniption, but at least it isn't about
I guess somebody explained \”Brokeback\” to the
Bush bunch and they finally understand that one of the main characters getting
killed through a hate crime, while the other man ends up alone in a trailer,
isn't exactly spreading a pro-homo message. The love angle escapes them. If these guys were any denser they'd
need the script in advance. So they had to come up with another angle.
Krauthammer has chosen the old and used idea that George Clooney
and Hollywood are anti-American and worse. He's just too weak to do it openly.
Mr. K. missed that it was Cher who gave the final $300,000 to the
Intrepid (Fallen) Soldiers Fund, making them fully solvent and keeping the project on target
to open in January. Can't talk about that because it doesn't support Mr. K's theory.
The real question is, why do conservatives hate movies? I'm serious.
Or maybe the question should be asked this way: Why do Republicans hate one
of our biggest money makers and global exports? Because without Hollywood, our
trade deficit would be even more of a disaster than it is under Bush.
Why are Republicans scared of movies, their messages and the idea
that the fantasies the Republicans Party have been putting out since George
W. Bush got into office should be challenged?
Even Fukuyama says neoconservatism is DEAD.
… …What is grotesque about this moment of plot clarity
is that the overwhelmingly obvious critique of actual U.S. policy in the real
Middle East today concerns America's excess of Wilsonian idealism in trying
to find and promote — against a tide of tyranny, intolerance and fanaticism
— local leaders like the Good Prince. Who in the greater Middle East is closest
to the modernizing, democratizing paragon of \”Syriana\”? Without
a doubt, President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan, a man of exemplary — and
quite nonfictional — personal integrity, physical courage and democratic
temperament. Hundreds of brave American (and allied NATO) soldiers have died
protecting him and the democratic system they established to allow him to
govern. On the very night the Oscars will be honoring \”Syriana,\”
American soldiers will be fighting, some perhaps dying, in defense of precisely
the kind of tolerant, modernizing Muslim leader that \”Syriana\” shows
It gets worse. The most pernicious element in the movie
is the character at the moral heart of the film: the beautiful, modest, caring,
generous Pakistani who becomes a beautiful, modest, caring, generous . . .
suicide bomber. In his final act, the Pure One, dressed in the purest white
robes, takes his explosives-laden little motorboat headfirst into his target.
It is a replay of the real-life boat that plunged into the USS Cole in 2000,
killing 17 American sailors, except that in the \”Syriana\” version,
the target is another symbol of American imperialism in the Persian Gulf:
a newly opened liquefied natural gas terminal.
Most liberalism is angst- and guilt-ridden, seeing
moral equivalence everywhere. \”Syriana\” is of a different species
entirely — a pathological variety that burns with the certainty of its malign
anti-Americanism. Osama bin Laden could not have scripted this film with more
Notice Mr. Krauthammer's title? American movies are treasonous
is his message, but he doesn't have the courage to use the \”t\” word,
so he comes up with what he believes is a clever turn of title, \”Oscars
for Osama.\” I get it, but it's laughable, though Mr. K's humor is unintentional.
But the last paragraph gives Mr. K. and the neocon crowd away.
Because \”liberalism\” is the only thing that can save Iraq from the conservative
clerics who want to align the country with Iran. It is liberal ideas that make
the U.S. a democratic republic. But Mr. K. doesn't want to have a serious discussion,
because he's too busy cowering in the corner over Clooney's movie.
As for fighting for President Karzai, Afghanistan is now a heroin
state, something Mr. K. neglects to mention. Details aren't their strong suit.
As for American soldiers fighting and dying, Mr. K. also doesn't
want to admit that Hollywood, left and right, do USO shows and give to the troops
in huge numbers, as well as efforts through shows. \”Rockin the Corp,\”
to which my name was even generously attached in the DVD, was put together by
Democrats and Republicans, in order to honor the Marines of Camp Pendleton.
Mr. K. also doesn't want to mention that 72% of the troops want out of Iraq in the next year. Again, another one of those damnable details.
Movies are made to inspire us to think, to challenge that thinking
and maybe even give us an alternative viewpoint.
It's not surprising that Republicans reject anything that challenges
the status quo politics of their party, because more evidence of their failures
is not something that goes down very well right now. Republicans are falling
But Mr. K. and his bunch are actually afraid of movies. It's just so silly, so spineless, so utterly vacuous a stance. \”Oscars for Osama,\” puh-leaze.
Movies are our biggest export, or close to it. Movies provide a release of mind and spirit that
help engage our dreams and visions. Movies are all American. They represent
free thought and independence, and the people who make them add more to this country's prestige
and bottom line than almost any other industry in the country. Movies inspire, but they also have the power to turn people towards America and our way of life without killing a soul.
But there's something else that really scares the Mr. K. crowd.
In the end, the free market is what makes a mountainous success out of any movie, some on the bottom line, others through critical praise that spreads the word. If
a movie is a hit, however you define it, the people have spoken. That's what Mr. K. and his crowd