Cultural Marxism • History • Hollywood • Movies • Post • The Culture • The Left • The Media

‘American Made’: Leftist Conspiracy Cinema

overlay_color=”” spacing=”yes” hover_type=”none” undefined=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” border_position=”all” padding=”50 0px 50px 0px” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″

The great Tom Cruise (“Top Gun”) has his name above the title of “American Made,” which hit theaters on Friday. Cruise plays Barry Seal, a TWA pilot recruited by the CIA to provide reconnaissance on Communists in Central America. As one online summary has it, Seal “soon finds himself in charge of one of the biggest covert CIA operations in the history of the United States. The operation spawns the birth of the Medellin cartel and almost brings down the Reagan White House.”

Director Doug Liman, who teamed with Cruise in “Edge of Tomorrow,” has another interesting connection. He is the son of Arthur Liman, lead attorney for the U.S. Senate’s Iran-Contra investigation. As they say in entertainment and politics, it’s all relative. On the other hand, the real star of “American Made” is embedded in the story.

In this tale, the cocaine trade is a creation of the United States, which used the proceeds to fight Communism. That was the contention of the Christic Institute, a “nonprofit, interfaith center for law and national policy in the public interest” that launched in the early 1980s.

As the Christics had it, U.S. policy from the late 1950s was a massive anti-Communist plot, funded by profits from drug dealing. President Daniel Sheehan and executive director Sara Nelson believed Marxist dictatorships liberate oppressed people and establish social justice. So the Christics helped Nicaragua’s Sandinista junta by attacking the “Contras,” whom they called Nazis and fascists.

The Christics’ prime target was U.S. Army General John Singlaub, who actually fought Nazis in World War II and helped supply the French Resistance. A decorated hero of three wars, Singlaub found himself under attack in U.S. courts.  

In May 1986, Sheehan filed a RICO lawsuit charging that a “secret team” of former military and CIA officers were running U.S. foreign policy. The same omnipresent secret team, the Christics charged, was financing the Contras by trafficking in cocaine.

Sheehan quickly became a national figure courted by liberal Democrats, such as Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.). The Christics boasted offices in Washington, Los Angeles, Portland, San Francisco, and North Carolina. Their lawsuit and conspiracy theory both played well in Hollywood.

Sheehan got face time with Ed Asner, Mike Farrell, Martin Sheen, Darryl Hannah, Jane Fonda, and others, who helped him stuff his war chest with an estimated $3 million—much of it raised at a $100-a-plate fundraisers and benefit concerts with Kris Kristofferson, David Crosby, Graham Nash, Bonnie Raitt, Bruce Springsteen, and Jackson Browne. The Christic conspiracy also provided stories for episodes of “Miami Vice” and “Wiseguy.”

Taxpayer-funded Pacifica radio stations broadcast a weekly Christic report. Former presidential aide Bill Moyers championed the Christic cause in “The Secret Government,” a PBS special later turned into a book the Christics peddled for $9.95 in their “Tools for Truth” catalog.

On the other hand, the Christics deployed fabricated testimony and deceptive affidavits. On June 23, 1988, U.S. District Court Judge James King dismissed the Christics’ lawsuit and all charges. The Institute soon found itself under fire, even on the Left.

The Boston Globe blasted the Institute as a “far-left, celebrity-fueled conspiracy boutique” and The Nation and Mother Jones saw fit to unload on Sheehan. Likewise, a congressional subcommittee headed by John Kerry concluded there was no evidence the CIA participated in the cocaine trade.

On January 13, 1992, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Christic Institute had to pay more than $1 million in compensation to the victims of its bogus lawsuit. That pretty much took down the Christics, but their conspiracy theory lives on. It was the basis for Gary Webb’s 1996 discredited “Dark Alliance” series in the San Jose Mercury News, which charged that the CIA was behind the flow of crack cocaine into America’s inner cities. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) was Webb’s biggest fan and even wrote a foreword to the book version.

Meanwhile, the Christic Institute was reborn in the Santa Cruz-based Romero Institute, headed by Sheehan and Nelson and touting “justice by sacred means.” As the new Institute explains, “The Christic Institute inspired all of us with their dedication and unrelenting pursuit for (sic) the truth.”

Daniel Sheehan even teaches classes at UC Santa Cruz, including “The Trajectory of Justice” and “Alternative Theories of the JFK Assassination.” UC Santa Cruz is the same school that hired Angela Davis, who in 1980 and 1984 ran for vice-president on the Communist Party ticket with white Stalinist Gus Hall. To paraphrase Louise in “Being There,” in America all you have to be is a Leftist to get anything you want.

Now comes “American Made,” starring Tom Cruise and the Christics’ totally discredited story. With assets like that, the film is certain to bag many awards.

background_color=”” border_position=”all” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hover_type=”none” element_content=””]

America • Cultural Marxism • History • Hollywood • Movies • The Culture

Robert E. Lee: Saladin of the South

overlay_color=”” spacing=”yes” hover_type=”none” undefined=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” border_position=”all” padding=”50 0px 50px 0px” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″

Here’s a little anecdote from Hollywood’s Golden Age that contains a lesson for us today. This is how the Egyptian scholar Amro Ali tells it:

Film titan Cecil DeMille opened up negotiations with King Farouk for permission to film in Egypt the epic story of Moses in “The Ten Commandments.” The King agreed but was then deposed in July 1952. DeMille had to engage in furious renegotiations with the new rulers, as the filming was set to start in the autumn of 1954.

A few months before that deadline, DeMille and his colleagues were taken in a state car to a military encampment where Col. Gamal Abdel Nasser himself “strode in, filling the tent with a blinding charisma that was all dark burning eyes, flashing white teeth, and impeccable English.”

DeMille was telling Nasser and Hakim Amer (Minister for War) why the film will be good, and they started to laugh uncontrollably. Nasser got hold of himself, and then burst out laughing again. To the incredulous look of DeMille.

“You tell them what you are laughing about!” Nasser ordered Amer.

After Amer caught his breath, he began: “Mr. DeMille … we grew up on your film ‘The Crusades,’ and we saw how you treated us and our religion. Our country is your country.”

The slightly longer version of what Amer said: “‘the Crusades’ was immensely popular here in Egypt. It ran for three years in the same theater in Cairo, and Col. Nasser and I saw it no less than twenty times. It was our favourite picture when we were attending military school. And Col. Nasser was called ‘Henry Wilcoxon’ by the other students because he would grow up to be a great military leader someday, just like Coeur-de-Lion.”

With that the deal was sealed, and Nasser’s army even acted as Pharaoh’s soldiers in the film. 

DeMille’s stalwart star (and later associate producer) Henry Wilcoxon had played “Coeur-de-Lion” (Richard the Lionheart) in “The Crusades” (1935). But the thing that so impressed the Egyptian officers that they would welcome DeMille with open arms did not involve the star. It involved Wilcoxon’s co-star, Ian Keith.

Keith had portrayed “Saladin, Sultan of Islam” in the film, playing him as a noble, generous, and honorable adversary to the crusaders led by Richard. At one point, Richard’s bride, Berengaria (portrayed by Loretta Young), calls Saladin “magnificent.” In the finale, Saladin, having fought Richard to a standstill, grants a truce and an exchange of prisoners, and he allows the crusaders to enter Jerusalem as unarmed pilgrims. And, having captured Berengaria, Saladin releases her, because (as she tells the overjoyed Richard) “Saladin bade me tell you: ‘All captives shall be freed.’ He will not hold me without love.”

Ian Keith as “Saladin”

DeMille didn’t invent the legend of Saladin’s nobility, which had been part of European lore since the events “The Crusades” depicts. But neither did he sugarcoat the Muslims’ conquest of the Holy Land. “The Crusades” shows crosses toppled, icons and scriptures burned, and Christian women sold into sexual slavery. The Egyptians who saw DeMille’s film did not object to any of that. What they loved was the way Saladin himself shines through.

What does any of this have to do with current events? Three words: Robert Edward Lee.

General Lee may fairly be considered the Saladin of the South: a noble adversary honored even by those who fought him. And, just as any Christian who refuses to honor what is honorable in Saladin may fairly be said to hate Muslims, any Social Justice Warrior who today refuses to so honor Robert E. Lee may fairly be said to hate Southerners. The Lee statues that dot the American landscape are not symbols of hatred; they are objects of it.

Yet. back in the day, or I should say, in the night they drove old Dixie down, hatred was not the spirit that prevailed. Ulysses S. Grant would write in his memoirs that upon receiving Lee’s surrender, “I felt like anything rather than rejoicing at the downfall of a foe who had fought so long and valiantly, and had suffered so much for a cause, though that cause was, I believe, one of the worst for which a people ever fought, and one for which there was the least excuse.” And Grant silenced his army’s guns, which had begun firing a salute in exultation on the event, saying, “The war is over. The rebels are our countrymen again.”

The feeling in the victorious North came to be, “You fought a good fight, Reb.” Not that the Rebellion’s cause was good, but that the valor, prowess, and self-sacrifice of the rebels themselves was worthy of admiration. Such remained the prevailing sentiment in all of America, all the way through to my childhood, which coincided with the Civil War’s centennial. And if you stop to think about it, doing honor to the South does honor to the North as well. What glory is there, after all, in vanquishing a contemptible foe?

When the U.S. Army decided to turn Lee’s home in Arlington, Virginia, into a cemetery for Union war dead, the idea may have been conceived spitefully. But the move became a tribute to Lee in spite of itself. There stands Lee’s mansion, surrounded by Union graves like so many scalps around a tepee. It’s a testament not only to the courage and dedication of those who fought to preserve the Union, but also to the fearsome price that must be paid by anyone who thinks to conquer Americans, even when the conqueror is American himself.

So, do any of today’s Antifa thugs view today’s Lee-lovers as fellow Americans? Would any Social Justice Warrior today say, as Grant did, “The rebels are our countrymen again?” The question answers itself.

Consider another example, one especially appropriate in light of those other Live Action Role Players, the ones who marched around in Charlottesville with torches, as if they were extras in “Triumph of the Will.” Antifa is good at beating up people in the street, as good at it as any stormtrooper ever was. But beating real Nazis takes something more, something Winston Churchill had and Antifa doesn’t.

In all this world, Adolf Hitler had no deadlier enemy than that great British war leader. Had Churchill not become prime minister in 1940, Britain might well have made peace with Nazi Germany. Hitler then would have been free to achieve his dream of conquering Eurasia from Calais to Vladivostok. And when America’s turn came to go toe-to-toe with him, then even with every Lee-loving Southerner pitching in to whip the Axis, we might not have prevailed against such a behemoth. Had Churchill not lived, we all might be speaking German today.

Here’s what Churchill said about Hitler: “Nothing is more certain than that every trace of Hitler’s footsteps, every stain of his infected and corroding fingers will be sponged and purged and, if need be, blasted from the surface of the earth.”

Erwin Rommel

But here’s what Churchill said about Hitler’s favorite general, Erwin Rommel: “His ardor and daring inflicted grievous disasters upon us, but he deserves the salute which I made him—and not without some reproaches from the public—in the House of Commons in January 1942, when I said of him, ‘We have a very daring and skillful opponent against us, and, may I say across the havoc of war, a great general.’ He also deserves our respect because, although a loyal German soldier, he came to hate Hitler and all his works, and took part in the conspiracy to rescue Germany by displacing the maniac and tyrant. For this, he paid the forfeit of his life.”

Today’s SJW statue-defacers claim that honoring Lee is the same as favoring slavery. If so, Churchill must be a crypto-Nazi, for what else can explain his honoring Rommel?

Maybe the real explanation is that the Social Justice Warriors are liars as well as haters.

 

background_color=”” border_position=”all” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hover_type=”none” element_content=””]

America • Americanism • Immigration • Movies • Terrorism • The Culture • The Media

“Patriot’s Day” Is Not a Patriot’s Way

overlay_color=”” spacing=”yes” hover_type=”none” undefined=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” border_position=”all” padding=”50 0px 50px 0px” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″

Please don’t misunderstand. If you haven’t already seen the movie, my intention is not to persuade you to watch it. It is not even to warn you if you do decide to watch it that you had better be on the alert for the astonishing distortions inflicted on it by political correctness.

My point is this: what makes the movie “Patriots Day” worthy of comment is how its political correctness perfectly portrays the political correctness that is the stock-in-trade of our ruling elite, in Hollywood, in the news media, and in government.

The film depicts the events of the terrorist bombings of the 2013 Boston Marathon and the ensuing hunt for the terrorists. Toward the end of the film, we learn, as is nearly always the case, Tamerlan Tsarnaev had been on the terrorist watch list. This raises in the mind of the viewer the obvious question: if he was known, why wasn’t he stopped? At this point, in the midst of a desperate city-wide hunt for the terrorist who was still alive, there is a pause in the action so the film can make the film’s “Profound Comment.” One cop asks the protagonist, Officer Tommy Saunders played by Mark Wahlberg, “You think this s**t is preventable?”

Imagine this scene for yourself. One tough Boston cop asks another this question. Do you believe a real cop would have some very practical commonsense ideas about preventing terrorist attacks? Sure you do.

Of course, these aren’t real cops; they’re movie cops. “Tommy Saunders” is a composite character and his job is to deflect the question—which he proceeds to do. His answer is a prolonged monologue about the terrible day seven years ago when he and his wife learned she could not have children. His emotional monologue is intercut with even more emotional scenes of the wounded and the traumatized being reunited after the horrors of the day. “Devil hits you like that only one weapon you have to fight back with—love.”

Love is the answer, but of course this answer ignores the question: what can we do to prevent terrorist attacks?

After this monologue, the film returns to the action, portraying the capture of the second terrorist, and then returns to, and ends on, the love theme introduced by the Saunders character. The focus is on the caring of the first responders and on the courage shown by those who were horribly wounded, interspersed with repeated references to patriotism. The urgent question of what could be done to prevent terrorist attacks has been pushed aside by scenes dripping with emotion.

The message is clear: our response to terrorism is to congratulate ourselves on how magnificently we respond to acts of terrorism, not to ask what we need to do to protect ourselves.

One of the maimed, speaking of all the other victims of terrorist attacks, has this to say: “I think it is important we think of these people around the world not as victims of violence but as ambassadors for peace.” Simply astonishing. Can you imagine a movie made during World War II presenting a sailor who lost his leg at Pearl Harbor saying, “I think it is important we think of these people around the world not as victims of Japanese and Nazi aggression but as ambassadors for peace”?

So “love is the answer” boils down to ever greater numbers of victims sacrificed to terrorism providing ever more ambassadors of peace.

The film has nothing to say about the fact that we keep bringing in more and more Muslims and putting more and more of them on watch lists, or that officials go on announcing after every atrocity that the latest jihadi, just like the previous one, was known to authorities beforehand. As for us, the targets of the terrorists, we are told we must meet the inevitable coming attacks with love.

In the real, as opposed to the film version of this story, you and I were later to learn in news reports that Tsarnaev had repeatedly visited the al-Qaida online magazine Inspire to learn how to “Build a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom.” We also learned that Tsarnaev was on the watch list because the Russians had warned U.S. intelligence agencies that he was a threat. However, any idea that we urgently need to do the completely obvious—to take the commonsense steps to prevent the next terror attack—is nowhere to be found in “Patriots Day.”

This version of patriotism is an astonishing aberration. The film’s value is that it makes perfectly clear how the elite in Hollywood, in the media, and inside the Beltway wants us to think—or rather not think—about Islamic terrorism.

 

background_color=”” border_position=”all” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hover_type=”none” element_content=””]