Argo was number one at the box office in its third week of release. The film tells the story of the complicated CIA scam that rescued six hostages from Iran in 1980, while the rest of the United States’ embassy’s employees were held captive by Islamic radicals.
The bulk of the very successful film can be read as a fable of embattled but resourceful Americans fighting, and being terrorized by, mad, dangerous, radicalized Middle Easterners. This is a message likely to resonate, whether consciously or unconsciously, in these post-Benghazi days, where war with Iran is seen as a looming necessity by many.
At Argo’s beginning, though, writes Senior Editor Brian Doherty, a more complicated political point is detectable, one far more valuable to America this election season.
We see that the scary and violent actions of the Iranian rabble against our brave consular officers had motives rooted in actions before the film’s story proper begins: U.S. complicity in the overthrow of an elected leader in 1953 and decades of propping up a hated dictator, the Shah. The hit film thus features a useful lesson about foreign interventionism for our two major party presidential candidates.