Jewish World Review March 31, 2003 / 27 Adar II, 5763
Yes, you're entitled to your uninformed opinion
Although it was the least-watched Oscar telecast of all time,
there was a great irony in Roman Polanski winning the Best Director Award
for "The Pianist." Mr. Polanski could not have won this award without the
dastardly deeds of Adolph Hitler, and one wonders whether 'ol Roman would
have thanked The Evil One had a long-standing child rape charge not
prevented his Oscar appearance.
"The Pianist" is the heartbreaking story of a musician who
survived the Holocaust, which of course was brought on by a psychopathic
dictator and his fanatical followers, who imposed a reign of homicidal
terror that ultimately resulted in the deaths of 55 million people. That
dictator, Hitler, could have been stopped if the world had united against
him in the 1930s. But as this column has pointed out, the world did not
unite. It appeased. And look what happened.
Since Hollywood liked "The Pianist," so much, and since many
actors are so outspoken about current historical events, I would like to
give Susan Sarandon, Julianne Moore, Martin Sheen and all the other anti-war
stars a short historical quiz. I want to ask them what they know about the
Treaty of Versailles, the appeasement conference at Munich and the structure
of the German police state as it compares to Saddam's organizational
Also, I want to discuss Saddam's human rights record with
Richard Gere, who for years has been chanting with the Dalai Lama about
freeing Tibet. Gere is right about Tibet; the people there are being
spiritually crushed by the totalitarian Chinese. However, chanting may not
be the most effective way to change that. But then again, Richard Gere lives
in Los Angeles.
If the Hollywood crowd could pass my quiz and answer my rather
boorish questions, I would apologize to them and listen intently as they
told me that Hans Blix should have had more time to find anthrax in an
uncooperative country the size of California. I would sit enraptured as Sean
Penn explained the benefits of living under Saddam, Uday and Qusay Hussein.
I would gladly pin the dove on Meryl Streep's lavish gown as she regaled me
with her vision of peace and understanding in the age of Al Qaeda.
But most anti-war stars are not real big on confronting
complicated historical questions. It is much easier to flash peace signs to
like-minded compatriots at award programs and then retire to eat lavish
dinners paid for by fawning sycophants.
In the midst of the verbal insanity streaming out of Hollywood,
came one very cogent comment that passed virtually unnoticed. Renee
Zellweger, an excellent actress, admitted that the war unsettled her but
told one reporter that she wasn't going to speak out because she didn't know
enough about the big picture.
Renee, thank you. You are exempt from the quiz, and I will tutor
you free of charge.
All I am asking is that all Americans study up before bloviating
about the Iraqi situation and the war on terror. Is that too much to wish
for? Hey, Adrien Brody, glad you won the Best Actor statuette, but do you
really understand the true nature of evil, the force that enveloped your
character in "The Pianist"? If you do, I'm glad. If you don't, you might
want to rethink that dove on your lapel.
I wonder if any pianists in Iraq are wearing dove pins? I
suspect that there isn't too much dissent against the Saddam government by
musicians and actors in Baghdad. Hey, Hollywood, those artists are people,
too. And soon, they'll be free. Unfortunately, chanting and dove pins will
have nothing to do with it.
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JWR contributor Bill O'Reilly is host of the
Fox News show, "The O'Reilly Factor," and author
of the new book, "The No-Spin Zone: Confrontations with the Powerful and Famous in America" Comments by clicking here.
03/24/03: That's the way it isn't, Walter
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03/10/03: The new Nazis
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02/24/03: A peace of the action
02/18/03: Cash for what?
02/10/03: Runaway train
02/03/03: Dissenting dishonest dissent
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01/13/03: To protect and serve
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11/11/02: The right stuff
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07/22/02: Suffer the children
07/15/02: Reaching critical mass
07/08/02: Believe it or not
07/01/02: Charity begins at home
06/24/02: Spinning a tale and the case for "Stupid White Men"
06/17/02: Blank those Europeans!
06/10/02: What does Bono want from us?
06/03/02: On fighting evil
05/28/02: A Tale of Two Churches
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05/06/02: Hide the children
04/29/02: 'Paul, Paul, Paul!'
04/22/02: Barbarians in the Church
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02/04/02: Back room deals
01/28/02: From boom to bust
01/21/02: The Fairness Doctrine
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01/07/02: And justice for none
12/31/01: All that's left
12/24/01: Santa is appalled
12/17/01: Fight the power
12/10/01: The black challenge
12/03/01: How things have changed
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11/19/01: The sign of the Cross
11/09/01: Hollyweird strikes back
11/06/01: The fear factor
10/26/01: Show me the money
10/22/01: See no evil
10/15/01: Peace, but no quiet
10/08/01: The air war
10/01/01: I don't understand
09/24/01: We are all soldiers, and we have a job to do
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04/10/01: People who need perspective
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02/06/01: How the Clintons do it
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© 2001 Creators Syndicate