Brian De Palma is making a big splash with his $5M “documentary” about the Iraq war. According to some reviews, the movie is more violent than the atrocity it documents.
Apparently De Palma believes and hopes his violence will stop that violence. (And they say war never solves anything.)
De Palma says his film is about Americans at war, about “what we do, and we need to stomach it.”
And he is just the man to make us stomach it: a propagandist of notable accomplishment, not far afield from the jihad propagandists, people schooled in atrocity.
In a recent statement, De Palma declared: “When I read about the Mahmudiya incident in Iraq 2006 — five US soldiers raped a local girl, killed her and her family and later tried to disguise it as an insurgent attack — I knew I had a story.”
Trolling for a story upon which to focus his documentary lens, the celebrated director selected a fringe incident, urging us to believe it characterizes the American soul, using this terrible, unusual event to condemn the entire U.S. military and mission.
This is Hollywood. It’s not about reason, rational analysis, sober judgment or balanced inquiry. It’s about sensation, and profits: kissing cousins.
Lest we forget, the soldiers involved were arrested, tried, and convicted. They are serving very long prison sentences, as is the Marine who killed a grandfather, and tried to cover it up.
We police our own, unlike our enemies.
These are rare, insolated incidents, addressed justly, officially, just as the Haditha Marines were justly exonerated, Marines who fell victim to propaganda floated by our enemies, propaganda promoted by our own media, Marines held up to public ridicule and contempt for months, convicted in the media before they were found innocent of all charges in military court.
De Palma could have spent $5M producing a documentary about how the Haditha Marines were railroaded, or about all the good the American military has done in Iraq. He could have spent the money producing a film about all the millions of private dollars donated to Katrina victims. He might have made a movie about what the Iraqis want, or how America is the only force sufficient to confront evil in the world. But no. None of these uplifting projects sell as well as riding the crest of anti-Americanism held dear and close to the bosoms of Hollywood elites. (And besides, it’s very hard to get a date in Hollywood unless you give full, dramatic voice to your hatred of all things Bush and Republican.)
De Palma might have taken the trouble to document atrocities committed by Islamic psychopaths starting in 1972, atrocities occurring with increasing frequency to the present day where we daily witness murder of women and children, torture and rape, committed globally. He might have focused on real enemies, real threats and pervasive atrocity, but it’s just not cool and PC enough to attract sufficient box office, you see.
[Here's a list of terror incidents in 2007 alone, and this list does not include all the bombings of civilians by al Qaeda and other terrorists in Iraq.]
Rather than focus on real threats to civilization, De Palma spends $5M in an exercise attempting to shame his own countrymen world wide, joining the all-out effort to defeat America in this, WW IV. He would have us believe the real friend of freedom, the real defender of women and children, is actually the foe. Yes, folks, the real scoundrel is the American soldier unleashed on an innocent world by a nefarious President, evil to the core.
Predictably De Palma, the arch propagandist, plays the first card in the PR game, making himself a victim even before his critics are heard. Claiming censorship (undocumented of course) he paints a self-portrait of the director as victim, a victim of the madness of war, a victim of the Administration, a victim of abuse and criticism from people who do not care
as much as he does.
Fearing lawsuits, he contends he had to fictionalize things “that were actually real.” He says the real footage he acquired from cowed media sources had to be edited to avoid legal action, expecting us to believe this tripe. (Source)
Furthermore, in other statements in recent interviews, the sensitive artist, feeling more deeply than the average mortal, expresses surprise at the discovery war is hell. A 66-year-old man who claims to know more than anyone is incredulous in the face of brutality, a brutality central to human existence from the Garden of Eden forward.
Assuming the mantle of a morally superior being, De Palma goes on to cry wolf, and Peace! and Stop the Madness! The narrative reaches climax as De
Palma, the victim artist, the suffering servant, makes himself hero and villain, all in one swoop, insisting, “I feel helpless to stop these horrible things.this horrible war,” and in the next breath, “I feel like one of the characters in my film that goes along with the rape in spite of his moral objection to it.”
Charging forward on his cinematic steed, he levels his lance at “the media,” saying it has sold out to corporate interests, thus making it necessary for him to mount the quest for truth, to bring the pictures, the sounds bites, the truth of war to our attention, as he did long after Vietnam was over in another public service, “Casualties of War,” 1989.
The truth? Our son spent many months in Iraq, two tours. He never discharged his weapon one time. He and his comrades witnessed many incidents of atrocity and propaganda. One night, a car filled with people approached their checkpoint at high speed. According to the rules of engagement, they shot a flare, warned the vehicle by bullhorn, flashed lights, all to no effect. Again, according to procedure, they fired warning shots over the vehicle. It did not slow or change direction. They fired at the tires, and the grill, trying to stop the vehicle, to preserve life on both sides. Finally, in desperation, according to procedure, in the face of lethal threat, they unloaded on the occupants. Inspecting the vehicle in the aftermath, survivors testified an insurgent had kidnapped a family, forcing them to run the check point in hopes of drawing fire, intentionally killing fellow Iraqis to score propaganda points.
Brian De Palma appears oblivious to realities on the ground, enemy atrocities happening almost daily, events routinely ignored by American reporters and filmmakers, events happening with far greater frequency than the sad, few and regrettable instances of criminal conduct by our military personnel. [Concerning the conduct of our military: a balanced, academic and insightful work authored by someone who has visited Iraq 22 times, pre and post invasion, can be found in the book "The Faith of the American Soldier," by Stephen Mansfield. Unlike De Palma, Mansfield has actually set foot in Iraq, recently spending extended time embedded with the troops. Available from Amazon.]
Finally, the high hypocrisy flowing from people like Brian De Palma is especially stark when you consider he has spent much of his career glorifying violence on screen, influencing an entire generation to view brutality as matter of course. De Palma would create violence, dramatize it, profit from it, then condemn it in others, all the way to the bank, and on the way, preach to the rest of us about morality. There are none so blind…
People like De Palma have drunk deep from the cup of violence, lining their pockets at the altar of cinematic savagery. Now, they have the audacity to rub our noses in it, condemning our sons and daughters volunteering on the front lines, sons and daughters having nothing to do with misbehavior in this war on terror.
In De Palma’s case it is especially grievous considering his hypocrisy, when it’s likely the soldiers who participated in the Mahmudiya atrocities were compelled somewhere deep in their subconscious minds through the viewing of movies like “Scarface,” “Carlito’s Way,” nd “Carrie,” all De Palma movies, all noted for “pushing the envelope of violence and depravity,” according to one reviewer.
How does De Palma’s violence against children during the course of decades differ from the violence perpetrated by the Mahmudiya soldiers?
The war waged by Hollywood against our youth, and Hollywood’s atrocities, should be made into a documentary.
Stop the War, Mr. De Palma. Stop the Violence.
Update: Apparently Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has accepted a proposal by movie director Oliver Stone to produce a documentary about his life. Thanks again Hollywood. Shall we charter a tour as well to visit Castro, Chavez and Kim Jung Il? Let’s send engraved invitations to Danny Glover, Harry Belafonte, Sean Penn and the gang. We’ll have quite a time! Perhaps Hillary and Barack can underwrite the trip?