The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Naming the Villain

Over the past few months, there has been a stream of Hollywood movies that have, to put it delicately, criticized our efforts to prosecute the war of terror. These movies have characterized government officials as thoughtless, evil fools, the CIA and other intelligence agencies as malevolent and intent only on violating the rights of American citizens, and the military as bloodthirsty baby killers who have neither the brains nor the discipline to fight a “just war.”

This theme is mother’s milk for the angry Left and apparently is a story line much loved by Hollywood execs, writers, directors, and talent. The fact that the story line is generally overwrought and factually incorrect is of no consequence.

But there’s something much more interesting about all of these movies—the true villain is us—never the Islamofascist terrorists. In fact, in some movies (an older example is The Sum of All Fears, the studios go out of their way to change the original Islamist villain (in this case, Islamic terrorists in the story line of Tom Clancy’s book) to (incredibly) neo-Nazi Austrians. After all, it was Neo-Nazi Austrians who were responsible for 9/11, the London and Madrid bombings and the thousands of suicide bomb attacks in Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel, Bali, Saudi Arabia, … Right?

The Hollywood elites suggest that they don’t want to demonize Islam, but nobody is suggesting that they do that. Simply look at the world objectively, define who is responsible for the vast majority of all terrorist attacks, and be honest. After all, Islamofascists brutally kill far more Moslems than Westerners. Placing them in the role of villains would help moderate Moslems to defeat them. Or am I missing something?

Michael Fumento comments:
… it’s hardly the case that Islamists don’t make believable villains, much less more believable and captivating than evil cyber-geniuses and neo-Nazis. Islamists have killed about three thousand American civilians on 9/11, killed almost 200 people in the Madrid Train Bombings, and 52 more in the London subway bombings.

Islamic terrorists routinely explode bombs in markets and launch chlorine gas attacks. They build torture chambers and make and display videos of beheadings in which the victim screams in agony as his head is sawed off with a dull knife.

An editorial in The Australian echos this sentiment when it considers our inability to name our enemy:
… we have been unable even to name our enemy. It is not terrorism as such we are fighting but Islamist terrorists. We have been unable to say so because we believe those who claim that merely by identifying our enemies as Islamists we are demonising Muslims. Yet as Sally Neighbour recently said, it is not naming our enemies that makes Muslims look bad. Terrorists who kill civilians while shouting "Allah Akhbar" make Muslims look bad.

All of this would be meaningless if the general public thought about matters critically and dismissed Hollywood’s output for what is is—Fiction. But the continuing drumbeat of anti-American cinema coming not from our enemies but from America itself, has a cumulative effect. It is, in its own way, blatant propaganda that influences public attitudes domestically and foments the hatred of Americans internationally.

Nice job, Tinseltown.