The schedules of our nation’s leaders are greatly booked, but it would be beneficial if they could get out once in a while and go to the local cinema. They might just learn something that can be applied to their line of work.
One thing is for sure – Vice President Dick Cheney has not seen Stephen Spielberg’s Munich. The Best Picture nominee touts the theme that there will never be peace if the method of vengeance and violence is applied. This moral did not shine through Cheney’s comments on Osama bin Laden’s latest video release over three weeks ago.
In reaction to the video message where bin Laden warned of impending attacks on the United States, Cheney thick-headedly stated, “We don’t negotiate with terrorists.” Furthermore, the vice president said, “I think you have to destroy them. It’s the only way to deal with them.”
The only way to deal with them is to destroy them? It is (and perhaps, has been) horrifyingly clear that this administration is not focused on peace, but merely carnage. Cheney is proposing that the United States obliterate any problem that enters its path instead of working to get around it. He said that it was “the only way” to deal with them. Incorrect. Demolition is not the only way to contend with a problem and even the mention of such a notion is disgraceful.
Bin Laden offered a truce with the U.S. government, and they rashly rejected it. There should have at least been some peace talks and correspondence. Yet now we may have to face the tragic fact that our country has entered a period where we no longer recognize the practice of peace talks.
We deal with problems by destroying them and we suddenly think ourselves too good for mediation. It sounds like the United States has become an imperialist nation. But no, that couldn’t be the good ol’ U.S. of A.
That’s what Eugene Jarecki says in his documentary Why We Fight, just released in New York and Los Angeles. The film sets out to prove how battle-obsessed the country has become and how profitable war has been for the United States. The film has received substantial criticism for its bias and manipulative editing to prove their point. A review in The New Yorker magazine condemned Jarecki’s film by making the valid point that the role of a documentarian should be to “discover something,” not to substantiate a previous belief. Despite Why We Fight’s obvious slant, it does have valuable messages. The film’s tagline is “It is nowhere written that the American empire goes on forever.”
The president and vice president should keep these two movies’ morals in mind. Watching them might provide valuable insight to the feelings of the American people. Yet maybe it’s the inflated ticket prices that are keeping these politicians away from the theaters.