Hmmm.... I hadn't really planned on saying much about the war or anyone's Oscar crap, but upon reflection, I couldn't quite let it go.
I'm not a big fan of war. I wouldn't want to fight in one and I don't think anyone else should have to either. That said, now that we are in a war, I think it would be a surpemely Bad Idea to back off before accomplishing what "we" set out to do. On some level I have a hard time believing that so many random nutjobs out there seriously believe that they can attack the U.S. and it's interest with no fear of reprecussions. At times like this I wonder, how much the general anti-war/millitary sentiment demonstrated by Hollywood and other avenues of pop culture has hurt us in the world stage. I'm reminded how eerily various statements made by Al Qaeda after 9/11 mirrored those of Japan after Pearl Harbor. How is it that the country with one of the biggest freaking arsenals in the world is seen as weak and easily threatened by folks who's military force is malnurished and horribly outgunned? Speak softly and carry a big stick [*] seems to have been replaced by whine shrilly and wring your hands. In our complacency and relative comfort. we seem to have forgotten that people will invariably try to take advantage of those that they see as weaker in order to acheive their goals. Throw in religious dogma and you have a very unpleasant situation where it's in our best interest to look like we can kick someone's ass if they mess with us.
I find it odd that so many hardcore liberals are opposed to removing a government that is openly beligerent to the west (i.e. us) and which tends to be based on systems that rely on keeping some people (i.e. men) in power over others (i.e. women, homosexuals, minorities/non-God's people, etc...). Recently I've started to hear increased dissent with our entry into Afghanistan. People are upset that we used our millitary force to do something about a government that oppresed more than half of its population, killed anyone who spoke out against them and was even going so far as to destroy ancient monuments that they found religiously objectionable. So maybe going in there was not as much about getting rid of a bad form of government as it was about getting even for an attack on us. Why is it so shocking that this happened? It happened in the American Civil War. That didn't start as a battle to free the slaves, that got tacked on after a good bit of fighting. It started out as a largely political/economical conflict. Why is it ok to fight a war for a single good reason but it's not ok to fight a war for multiple reasons, some of which you agree with and some of which you don't? It seems that the smartest thing to do would be to express how much you don't like war, but since it's going on, maybe you could voice opinions about what forms of government might be acceptible if we depose Saddam. Considering what we definitely knew about Nazi Germany during WWII, I wonder how we would have handled the same situation today. Fine, dubbya is not the most inspirational of leaders, but maybe we could spare some of our criticism for the other guy. You know, the one who has people killed when the disagree with him. That dictator guy. Yes, I know we helped put him in power, but I figure if modern Germany can be forgiven for the Holocaust, we can be forgiven for some bad judgment in who we helped put in power 20-30 years ago.
Yes, in this country we all have the right to have our opinions and I respect people's right to express those opinions freely, however, when people start making a production out of it and calculating how they can get attention by expressing those opinions, I tend to lose some sympathy for their positions. Moore's speech at the Oscars was a calculated maneuver that will probably get him quite a few interviews and loads of free publicity. I respect his ability as a filmmaker, but I have always had a very strong dislike for how he approaches his subject matter. He's full of shit if he believes that he's a fan of non-fiction. He's a fan of his beliefs. Ultimately no major political issue can be summed up in any movie. Moore can find information that supports his beliefs just as easily as other people can find information that supports their beliefs. This is why the subjects are controversial. Gun control is controversial because both sides have legitimate points. Child abuse and rape is not as controversial because the abusers and rapists don't really have many/any compelling points (Mr. Polanski might have some insights in that area). That's the nature of the "global village". With enough information, almost every point of view can be right in the right circumstances. Honestly, I tend to find Moore's actual subject matter more reminiscent of a Geraldo Rivera Expose, than of a serious documentary. He has a belief and then he makes a movie to support that belief. His movies have that certain 6 o'clock evening news investigative report feel to them that makes me a fan of the morning newspaper.
Ok. I'm going to do some work stuff now. I may ramble some more later.
[*] Nathan Miller in his book "Theodore Roosevelt, A Life", page 337, writes: Looking back upon his handling of the incident, Roosevelt thought he 'never saw a bluff carried more resolutely through to the final limit.' And writing to a friend a few days later, he observed: 'I have always been fond of the West African proverb: "Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far." ' "