Monday, September 03, 2007

Integrity Redacted: Brian De Palma's New Film

Cross-posted from The Oxford Medievalist:

It is fitting that an anti-war propagandist would
first showcase his latest portrayal of U.S. soldiers as heinous savages to a foreign audience:

A new film about the real-life rape and killing of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl by U.S. soldiers who also murdered her family stunned the Venice festival, with shocking images that left some viewers in tears.

"Redacted", by U.S. director Brian De Palma, is one of at least eight American films on the war in Iraq due for release in the next few months and the first of two movies on the conflict screening in Venice's main competition.

Inspired by one of the most serious crimes committed by American soldiers in Iraq since the 2003 invasion, it is a harrowing indictment of the conflict and spares the audience no brutality to get its message across.
I said not too long ago that TNR's Scott Thomas Beauchamp debacle signified the opening salvo of the anti-war left's strategy to discredit the Iraq war by attacking our troops. De Palma's effort is simply a continuation of that theme: attack the war by attacking the military. Clearly, the rape, torture and murder of an Iraqi family by U.S. soldiers is a horrible, horrible thing - words can hardly describe my disgust. But De Palma, using this terrible incident (his own fictionalized account, no less), tries to make it representative of our military, in order to indict American involvement in Iraq. Make no mistake: this isn't about illuminating a tragedy in order to hold our soldiers to a higher standard. People like De Palma could care less whether our soldiers perform admirably or horribly; with bravery and valor, or with malice and hate. And it's certainly not about illustrating the plight of the Iraqi people. If it were, we'd have seen a movie highlighting the cutting off of faces with piano wire, the cooking of children, and the strapping of a suicide vest to a handicapped boy, among the many other atrocities that have been perpetrated by al Qaeda terrorists and insurgents - atrocities that will only be committed on a larger scale should De Palma's propaganda succeed. Oh, BTW, De Palma does, apparently, include footage of al Qaeda beheadings, but disgracefully implies the U.S. is to blame for them.

Really - ask yourself, is it about ignorance, or arrogance? Is the vanguard of the anti-war left really ignorant about the Iraq War, or are they simply arrogant, agenda-driven propagandists? What De Palma really cares about is ending the war, a war, any and every war. Because for him and the rest of the irrational anti-war left, military force is never justified, but it's especially egregious when it's an American war. All you need to know about De Palma, his film, and the anti-war left comes from De Palma's own mouth:

"The movie is an attempt to bring the reality of what is happening in Iraq to the American people," he told reporters after a press screening.

"The pictures are what will stop the war. One only hopes that these images will get the public incensed enough to motivate their Congressmen to vote against this war," he said.
De Palma's goal is to end the war, despite the atrocities that will occur at this point after a U.S. withdrawal. How can he say in the same breath that he cares about the plight of the Iraqi people and that he wants to motivate an end to the war because of this plight? Understand that the plight of the Iraqis is just a convenient vehicle with which to push his anti-war agenda. That U.S. soldiers tragically committed a rape and murder just make De Palma and the anti-war crowd lick their chops. As De Palma himself said, "I knew I had a story."

De Palma's an old hand at this sort of propaganda: he made the 1989 film Casualties of War, which also sought to portray American soldiers as bloodthirsty rapists.

Cross-posted from The Oxford Medievalist.

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