Friday, September 29, 2006

The Stoning of America

Yesterday I invoked the memory of my freshman comp 102 class. The teacher of that class was a really huge Oliver Stone fan. And after the class was over, so was I. He called the course "The Stoning of America." We watched some of Stone's biggest movies from Platoon to JFK to Natural Born Killers. The point of the class was to show how Stone was portraying America in his work. And I learned that Oliver Stone's view of America was not very pleasant.
In a recent interview at the San Sebastian International Film Festival, Stone made it pretty clear how he feels about the current direction of the country. And for the most part, I think he is right on target. Stone was at the festival to promote his recent movie "World Trade Center." I must say, that of Stone's movies, this one was not one I cared to see. It was not thought provoking and made no real statement about American society. In fact, Stone made more of a statement in this interview than any one of his movies ever could.
Speaking of the current administration's reaction to 9-11 Stone said, "From September 12 on, the incident (the attacks) was politicized and it has polarized the entire world." I agree with what Stone is saying. The attacks have been used as a vehicle for the Bush political agenda. Anyone who doesn't see that is out of their mind. Just today, it was disclosed that Henry Kissinger has been advising Bush on Iraq the whole time. That tells me that this has been in the works before the man ever got into office. He has now used our country's greatest tragedy to his own ends. It was convenient that we were attacked. It made him look good if he acted and so he acted using politics and mismanaged war.
Another good point made by Stone was that, "if there had been a better sense of preparation, if we had a leadership that was more mature," we wouldn't be in the state we are in now. We are trapped in a never-ending war against an enemy that will not give up or die off. This entire war has been screwed out from the start. The Bush administration has clearly made some very bad choices. And I don't care what the idiots will say, things are worse in Iraq than they were before we went in. Iraq is making more terrorists for us to fight.
Stone will no doubt draw sharp criticism for saying he is "ashamed of his country." The right will tell him to leave the country if he is so upset. They will ignore the fact that he has present an opinion that makes a lot of sense. The state of the union is screwed up. We are in a tangled mess that can only lead to the downfall of our country if it is not corrected. Oliver Stone and I may both be labeled traitors by conservatives, but if more people would stand up to the government and act against it, that label would change. Maybe then the true meaning of patriot would shine through.

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