Jewish World Review Feb. 11, 2003 / 9 Adar I, 5763
Hollywood loves dictators
At least it didn't until Oliver Stone spent some time in Cuba, hanging with Fidel.
Coming this May on HBO, is Stone's documentary "Commandante," about the life of Fidel Castro. Jake Tapper of Salon.com reported on Stone's softball session with reporters recently at the Sundance Film Festival. "I thought he was warm and bright," said Stone of his amigo nuevo Castro, "He's a very driven man, a very moral man. He's very concerned about his country. He's selfless in that way."
Yet does Stone, for a moment, ever think about what would happen to a Cuban filmmaker who tried to produce a glowing film about President Bush? Does he think about Castro's jails teeming with prisoners whose crime was not thinking properly? Of course not. That would divert energy from a more important task-savaging American foreign policy.
It's easy to write off much of what comes out of the mouths of Hollywood leftists. They repay the country that made their wealth and privilege possible by trashing her traditions and institutions. They side with countries that resent us, and trust dictators like Saddam or Fidel more than the American voters or the President they elected.
The school-girl crushes that so many among our cultural elite have on dictators is nothing new. Stalin was a favorite of many New York intellectuals in the '20s. Jane Fonda cuddled up to Ho Chi Mihn. American liberals pushing unilateral disarmament 25 years ago thought the Soviet Union's didn't have the intentions of an "evil empire," but worried about what Reagan might do. Now these same people are taking field-trips to Baghdad and Havana so that they may come home and educate us.
Hollywood's more vocal anti-war crusaders--Susan Sarandon, Martin Sheen, Sean Penn, George Clooney, Sheryl Crow, Madonna and Dave Matthews--want America to know that they are concerned for "the children." But what about the children of Iraqi dissidents who are routinely flogged and beheaded by Sadam's secret police? These same celebrities rally around slogans such as "girl power." Yet Iraq's women are treated like property, not partners. These celebrities are for gay rights. But gay pride in Iraq is punishable by death. These stars say they're for the environment. But a retreating Saddam set fire to the Kuwaiti oil wells at the end of the Gulf War.
All that, of course, is America's fault.
Being hopelessly liberal and out of touch with the rest of the country isn't anything new for the entertainment industry, but this new strain of anti-Americanism is. Essentially, they believe that in our "interdependent world," America should start acting, well, less American. We should stop playing the "superpower" role. (Leave that to Tobey McGuire or Keanu Reeves.) We should start taking on "more mature" roles, and model ourselves after the sensible countries in Europe.
Stone's deification of Castro is especially sickening, even by his
standards. Yet so far Hollywood is silent on Stone's glossing over
decades of Castro's bloody repression.
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