Jewish World Review Jan. 6, 2004 / 12 Teves, 5764
JIMMY CARTER: COMPASSION FOR MORDOR
OSLO, Norway (Prager News Service, Jan. 5, 2004) In a just-published interview with
the Norwegian Society for Universal Neutrality (NSUN), former U.S. President Jimmy Carter said
that the blockbuster trilogy "Lord of the Rings" is sending dangerous messages to the world's
"For three hours in this latest installment of 'Lord of the Rings,' young people the
world over watch my work in the United States and your work here in Europe to get nations to
disarm, not to make moral judgments about any nation other than America or Israel undone.
"We who love peace," the Nobel Peace Prize laureate continued, "have to initiate a
campaign to jolt people back to our view of the world. Let's be clear about the dangers. What
if young people start identifying George W. Bush with Aragorn or Gandalf, and Saddam Hussein or
Osama bin Laden with Saruman? Even worse, impressionable moviegoers might identify the American
war against Iraq and so-called 'Islamic terror' with the war against the Orcs and Mordor.
"Who knows what might happen if enough young people start thinking that war is an
option, or that some people or countries can be labeled 'evil,' or that there is something
noble about a soldier who kills for a 'just' cause?"
The former president continued, "I hope that the European community, enlightened
Democrats and progressives in America begin to realize the potential consequences of this film.
There may even be a demand among American college students to allow the return of ROTC (Reserve
Officers Training Corps) recruiters to campuses. People might start regarding war as an option.
"When I saw the audience in the movie theater cheer when Orcs were killed, I
shuddered," Mr. Carter said, visibly pained. "The message of 'Lord of the Rings' is just plain
"We must do something to counteract this celebration of violence," Mr. Carter said
emphatically. "To see even trees fight and kill is enough to make any right-thinking person
sick to his or her stomach.
"You Europeans, and we in America who identify with your beautiful values of moral
neutrality and pacifism, must create a major public relations campaign against these films. We
have to use our access to people's hearts and minds to counter that of Hollywood, which is
almost always on our side, but for the sake of profits has produced this reactionary
"We have to publicize our vision of what the movie should have portrayed. We have to
make it clear, for example, that the proper response to Saruman and the Orcs was for Gandalf
and his followers to go to the negotiating table, not the battlefield. And if only the Middle
Earth had a United Nations and a World Court, no unilateral war against Mordor would ever have
Mr. Carter went on to offer suggestions about how to wage a public relations campaign
to turn people against the martial messages of "Lord of the Rings."
"Let us get the academic community to sign ads in the New York Times and other
journals that identify with our pro-peace vision of the world. These ads would declare Gandalf
a war monger and imperialist, and emphasize that the Orcs were not evil, but rather suffered
from poverty and hopelessness.
"We also need," the former American president continued, "a major bumper sticker
campaign. Every progressive must get a 'War is not the answer' or 'Visualize world peace'
sticker to proudly respond to 'Lord of the Rings.'
"The stakes are enormous," the distinguished former president said with great emotion.
"If enough people start thinking in terms of good and evil, all our years of cultivating moral
and cultural relativism, anti-military thinking, pacifism and internationalism will be
jeopardized. And college students, our greatest hope, may no longer accept their professors'
view of America as an imperialist war monger."
At the conclusion of the interview, Mr. Carter was asked if his campaign against "Lord
of the Rings" had a name. The peace activist thought for a moment, and replied, "Compassion for
This story is fictional, but not false.
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