Steven Spielberg Presents "The Eternal Arab"
Give Andrew Klavan some credit—it takes guts to write this in the LA Times and expect to ever get invited to any party ever again.
We need some films celebrating the war against Islamo-fascism in Afghanistan and Iraq—and in Iran as well, if and when that becomes necessary.
It takes guts, yes, but not reason. Klavan's argument is basically that Hollywood should—nay, must—return to the glory days of "Action in the North Atlantic" and "The Fighting Seabees." Not only would a wave of War On Terror propaganda films give the smart-ass college students of the future something to make fun of between Chinese classes and English lit (English 101: Darkness and Light in the Prose of Kaavya Viswanathan). They would stiffen our national backbone and gin us up to thwart the greatest enemy in the history of the universe—the Islamofascists. And while we're at it, let's cut it out with those gloomy movies, too.
Since the '60s, we have had, it seems, an endless string of war movies, from "Dr. Strangelove" to "Syriana," in which the United States is depicted as wildly aggressive and endlessly corrupt—which, in fact, it's not; which, in fact, it never has been.
I'm not even sure that the laws of physics allow us to mock a statement like that. Let's leave it for those future college students.
Klavan's chief problem, apart from his general lunacy, is his misunderstanding of America's foreign policy challenges. He believes the "outcome of the struggle" (the war v. "Islamofascism") is "much in doubt," and that it's potentially a greater challenge than World War II. That's an assessment at odds with our own government's. To fight the "good war," the government massively raised taxes, conscripted able-bodied men, rationed food and other goods, curtailed civil liberties, and basically demanded daily, grave sacrifices from all Americans. In order to fight the war on terror, our government's done none of this (apart from the civil liberties thing). There's no enemy army launching invasions or defending turf. There's no political leader who can be driven to surrender. The closest thing we have to a strategy is building up and democratizing Middle East nations, winning their citizens over from radical Islam to secular, West-friendly Islam. How would a wave of U.S. propaganda films, crafted to get Americans' blood pumping about Islam and terrorism, go over in occupied Iraq?